The J. Paul Getty Museum

Missal

Object Details

Title:

Missal

Artist/Maker:

Matteo da Milano (Italian, active 1492 - 1523)

Culture:

Italian

Place:

Rome, Italy (Place Created)

Date:

about 1520

Medium:

Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment bound between wood boards covered in full red velvet

Object Number:

Ms. 87 (2004.65)

Dimensions:

Closed: 33.6 × 23.4 cm (13 1/4 × 9 3/16 in.)

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Object Description

This missal (a book containing the necessary texts for the celebration of mass) is illuminated with four large historiated initials and lavish decorated borders filled with cameos, gems, flowers, and hybrid creatures. The painting in the manuscript is both technically precise and conceptually playful. The figures inhabiting the initials have the minutely rendered details of manuscript illumination while still asserting a monumental presence. The border elements are as creative as the finest Italian manuscripts, executed with a wit that leaves the viewer wondering where the observation of nature leaves off and artifice begins.

The manuscript's artist, Matteo da Milano, was known for his lively, colorful palette, robust modeling, and a penchant for exotic details of costume. He was among the most important and successful artists of the beginning of the 1500s in Rome. This manuscript was commissioned by a member of the powerful Orsini family, which can be determined by the appearance in the borders of the Orsini arms and the device of little bears (orsini in Italian).

Provenance
Provenance
early 16th century
until 1833

Joseph Anthony, German, 1766 - 1833 (Southeastern Baden-Württemberg, Germany)

at least since the 18th century

Princes of Waldburg-Wolfegg and Waldsee, German, , by descent through the family until the 20th century.

2003 - 2004

Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG, Sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2004.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscripts from the Middle Ages and Renaissance (March 29 to June 12, 2005) (fols. 52v - 53)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 29 to June 12, 2005
Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscript Illumination from the J. Paul Getty Museum (September 25, 2005 to January 2, 2006) (fols. 52v - 53)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), September 25, 2005 to January 2, 2006
Rare Finds: Ten Years of Collecting Manuscripts (February 12 to April 20, 2008) (fols. 52v - 53)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 12 to April 20, 2008
Carvers and Collectors: The Lasting Allure of Ancient Gems (March 19 to September 7, 2009) (fols. 3v -4; fols. 52v - 53)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), March 19 to September 7, 2009
Remembering Antiquity: The Ancient World Through Medieval Eyes (January 24 to May 28, 2017) (fol. 52v - 53)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 24 to May 28, 2017
Bibliography
Bibliography

Kren, Thomas, and Kurt Barstow. Italian Illuminated Manuscripts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2005), pp. ii, xvii, 74-76, frontispiece ill., ill.

Barstow, Kurt, and Thomas Kren. Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscript Illumination from the J. Paul Getty Museum (Washington: National Gallery of Art, 2005), unpaginated, no. 41, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 81, ill.

Medica, Massimo. "La decorazione delle Ore Ghisilieri." In Il libro d'Ore di Bonaparte Ghislieri. Massimo Medica, ed. (Modena: Franco Cosimo Panini, 2008), p. 203n58.

Nishimura, Margot McIlwain. Images in the Margins (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum; London: The British Library, 2009), p. 50, fig. 52.

Scott, Margaret. Fashion in the Middle Ages (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011), p. 102, fig. 76.

Morgan, Nigel, Stella Panayotova, and Suzanne Reynolds, eds. Illuminated Manuscripts in Cambridge: A Catalogue of Western Book Illumination in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Cambridge Colleges. Pt. 2, Italy & the Iberian Peninsula (London: Harvey Miller, 2011), vol. 2, pp. 190, 194.

Laurentiis, Elena De, and Emilia Anna Talamo, eds. The Lost Manuscripts from the Sistine Chapel: An Epic Journey from Rome to Toledo, exh. cat. (Dallas: Meadows Museum, 2011), p. 220, fig. 27.

Kren, Thomas, and Kurt Barstow. Italian Illuminated Manuscripts in the J. Paul Getty Museum. 2nd ed. (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), pp. xix, 86-89, ill.

Kempf, Damien, and Maria L. Gilbert. Medieval Monsters (London: British Library, 2015), p. 40, ill.

Alexander, Jonathan J.G. The Painted Book in Renaissance Italy, 1450-1600 (New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 2016), pp. 161, 342.