Missal

Object Details

Title:

Missal

Artist/Maker(s):

Master of the Brussels Initials (Italian, active about 1389 - 1410)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Place created)

Date:

between 1389 and 1404

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment bound between wood boards covered with blind-stamped sheepskin

Dimensions:

Leaf: 33 x 24 cm (13 x 9 7/16 in.)

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Cosimo de' Migliorati, bishop of Bologna and a cardinal, commissioned this luxuriously decorated missal. It was made sometime between 1389 and 1404, the year in which he was elevated to the papacy as Innocent VII. A missal contains all the texts used for celebrating Mass, including all the chants sung by the choir but without musical notation. Only the musically elaborate portions sung by the celebrating priest are supplied with notation, suggesting that this book was designed to be used by the cardinal himself at the altar as he celebrated Mass. The elegant illuminations of the missal, consisting of decorated calendar pages, numerous historiated initials, ornamented borders, and miniatures, place the book within the tradition of Bolognese manuscript illumination. The manuscript's anonymous illuminator, known as the Master of the Brussels Initials, was trained in Bologna, a city whose book trade flourished due to the prestige and growth of the university. The Master's work is characterized by the use of vivid colors, heavily modeled figures, and borders teeming with drolleries, beasts, and acanthus leaves.

Related Works
Exhibitions
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), January 17 to April 1, 1989
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Manuscripts and Americans: An Exhibition in Honor of Franklin D. Murphy (July 21 to October 18, 1992) (fols. 171av - 172a)
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The Psalms and Their Illustration (April 27 to July 3, 1993) (fols. 6v - 7)
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The International Style: Courtly Art Around the Year 1400 (October 24, 1994 to January 8, 1995) (fols. 129v - 130)
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Illuminated Choir Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance 1995 (April 25 to July 9, 1995) (fols. 171av - 172a)
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998
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Italian Manuscript Illumination (May 9 to July 30, 2000) (fols. 129v - 130)
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Treasures of a Lost Art: Italian Manuscript Painting of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (June 7 to August 31, 2003) (not in catalogue; fols. 129v - 130)
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Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscripts from the Middle Ages and Renaissance (March 29 to June 12, 2005) (fols. 6v - 7)
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Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscript Illumination from the J. Paul Getty Museum (September 25, 2005 to January 2, 2006) (fols. 171av - 172a)
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Out of Bounds: Images in the Margins of Illuminated Manuscripts (September 1 to November 8, 2009) (fol. 6v - 7)
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