Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Robert Lehman Collection: Illuminations from medieval and renaissance manuscripts

A little birdy told me (well, Wilhelm Fink actually) that he loved my posts on illuminated manuscripts, so I thought I'd share a peek inside a book we're carrying that's devoted to them. It's Illuminations, Volume 4 in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's series devoted to The Robert Lehman Collection. Supplementing the "main attractions" are biographies of each artist and black-and-white illustrations placing each of the color images in an art historical context. In addition to the samples shown below, the book includes a self-portrait by Simon Bening and a Virgin and Child signed by Francesco Morone. These are both early instances of small paintings on parchment conceived as independent works of art rather than as illustrations for manuscripts. (Left: Adoration of the Magi, a leaf from a psalter. Southern Germany or Austria, 13th century)
The Annunciation. Bruges, early 16th century. Circle of Gerard David.  Tempera on parchment, ~ 7 x 6 in.
Annunciation in an Initial M. Maestro Daddesco  (Italian, Florence, active c 1320–40). Tempera and gold on parchment, ~5 3/8 x 5 1/4 in.
The Ascension in an initial V, by Niccolo di Ser Sozzo. Cutting from a 14th-century antiphon. Niccolò di Ser Sozzo  (Italian, Siena, active c 1334). Tempera and gold on parchment, 4 1/4 x 3 7/8 in.
The Trinity in an Initial B. Master of the Codex Rossiano  (Sienese, active ca. 1380–1400). Tempera and gold on parchment, 10 x 9 9/16 in.
Coronation of the Virgin. France, 15th century. Leaf from a Book of Hours. Tempera and gold leaf on parchment. Miniature: 2 5/8 x 1 3/4 in.

23 comments:

  1. I've always been a fan of religious art, so props to this post!!!!

    While this is probably a blasphemous idea, but some of these works would make a great caption contest. I will keep the captions to myself:)

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    1. being a former catholic schoolgirl, i would very much enjoy that! a little levity would not be blasphemous at all.

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    2. How about this for #1: "Holy Mother of God, you scared me! What's that? You want ME to be the mother of God? Seriously?"

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    3. gioconda in the frigid northNovember 7, 2012 at 6:06 PM

      You go, Catholic girls!
      As I am likely going to Hell anyway, I'm clinging to my hope for an upper berth!

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  2. You give me wayyyy too much credit, it's true though! Penny, that's not blasphemous at all. Wonderful idea:) I say you go first...

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  3. Here's another caption for The Annunciation---
    "Holy sh@!T, do you see this creepy floating light, too?!"

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  4. Caption for The Ascension:

    "MOTHER MARY! Look, the upstairs neighbors bathtub is leaking on is again. Jesus Christ!"

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  5. The Annunciation:

    "You want me to what?? Srsly? You cray lolz"

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  6. Adoration of the Magi:

    "That little one, that's Jesus. He's totally rich because his dad invented the universe."

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  7. Let me tell you something about Judas Iscariot. We were best friends in middle school. I know right? It's so embarrassing. I can't even... Whatever. So then in the first century I started hanging out with my first apostle, Peter, who was totally awesome but then he denied me three times, and Judas was like...weirdly jealous of him. Like if I would blow him off to walk on water with Peter, he'd be like "why didn't you call me back?" and I'd be like "why are you so obsessed with me??" So then for my last supper which was an all-apostle Seder meal, I was like "Judas, I can't invite you because I think you're going to betray me." I mean, I couldn't have a traitor at my last supper... There were going to be apostles there... I mean he was a TRAITOR. So then his dad called my dad and started yelling at him... It was so retarded. And then he dropped out of school because no one would talk to him, and when he came back to the garden of Gethsemane, he sold me out to the Romans for thirty pieces of silver and he was totally weird, and now I guess he hung himself.

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    1. I think you have a book/musical/podcast in the making!

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    2. I love you a little. You go Glen Coco!

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    3. Sadly I can't take full credit for that because I stumbled across something similar on the internet recently. But I totally just did that all from memory... So that has to count for something! :)

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  8. The Devil made me do it, and She prefers ChanelNovember 8, 2012 at 5:18 AM

    The annual meeting of Hosts of Heaven, Inc. is called to order! (Trinity in initial B)
    First order of business: the sinners-to-saints gap continues to widen.
    The earth is producing 5 times more sinners than saints.
    At this rate, the Apostles vs. Devil Lictors baseball game will have to be cancelled. We don't have enough men on the field. Anyway, the other side has all the good pitching.
    Second order of business: the desinnerization of the spitball...

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    1. did you see the little red angels (looking alarmingly like locusts) arranged around the big 3? They're also in the Coronation. Had to squeeze them in somehow!

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  9. Keeping with the Mean Girls theme...

    The Ascension:

    "Jesus Christ knows everybody's business. He knows everything about everyone. That's why his halo's so big; it's full of secrets."

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    1. You win all the awards.

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  10. How quickly you people go from the sacred to the profane...

    p.s. For the Ascension: "He won’t come out of the water. He says he wants to be one of the Lake Poets."

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    1. Looks like I'll have plenty of company on the Big D Express:>).
      Ah well, George B. Shaw used to say Heaven would be boring.

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