The solemnity of the scene of Jesus' apostles witnessing the miraculous Assumption of the Virgin into heaven is radically transformed by the depiction of a monstrous green dragon whose body forms the opening letter A of the chant.
A contract of 1452 indicates that Cosmè Tura was to paint miniatures on a coffret, and it is therefore inferred that he was active both as a painter and as an illuminator of manuscripts. Displayed in this case and an adjacent one are four illuminations attributed to him from the same ensemble of choir books, two from the gradual for the Mass and two from the antiphonary for the Daily Office.
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Title:Manuscript Illumination with the Assumption of the Virgin in an Initial A, from an Antiphonary
Artist:Attributed to Cosmè Tura (Cosimo di Domenico di Bonaventura) (Italian, Ferrara ca. 1433–1495 Ferrara)
Geography:Made in Ferrara, Italy
Medium:Tempera, ink, and gold on parchment
Dimensions:Overall: 17 5/16 x 12 1/8 in. (43.9 x 30.8 cm) illumination: 7 9/16 x 6 5/8 in. (19.2 x 16.9 cm) Mat size: 21 15/16 x 16 in. (55.7 x 40.6 cm)
Classification:Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:Rogers Fund, 1911
[ F. Kleinberger Galleries, New York (sold 1911)]
The Katonah Gallery. "Medieval Images: a glimpse into the symbolism and reality of the Middle ages," May 12–May 21, 1978.
Milan, Museo Poldo Pezzoli. "Le Muse e il principe: arte di corte nel Rinascimento padano," September 20–December 1, 1991.
Palazzo Schifanoia. "La Miniatura a Ferrara: Dal tempo di Cosme Tura all'eredita di Ercole de' Roberti," March 1–May 31, 1998.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Treasures of a Lost Art: Italian Manuscript Painting of the Middle Ages and Renaissance," September 30, 2003–February 1, 2004.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Choirs of Angels: Painting in Italian Choir Books, 1300-1500," November 25, 2008–April 12, 2009.
Stahl, Harvey. "Selected Manuscript Paintings from the Medieval Collection: Opens April 18, 1972." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 30, no. 5 (April–May 1972). p. 227, fig. 2.
Vikan, Gary, ed. Medieval & Renaissance Miniatures from the National Gallery of Art. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 1975. pp. 78–83, fig. 23f–23i.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ancient Egypt in the Metropolitan Museum Journal. Vol. 1–11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977.
Boskovits, Miklós. "Ferrarese Painting about 1450: Some New Arguments." The Burlington Magazine, Special Issue Devoted to the Italian Quattrocento, 120, no. 903 (June 1978). p. 378, n. 36.
Gómez-Moreno, Carmen, ed. Medieval Images: A Glimpse into the Symbolism and Reality of the Middle Ages. Katonah: Katonah Museum of Art, 1978. no. 45, pp. 14, 22.
Mariani Canova, Giordana. "Una Ilustre Serie Liturgice Ricostruita: I Corali del Bessarione già all'Annunziata di Cesena." Saggi e memorie di storia dell'arte 11 (1978). pp. 11–20, fig. 35, 36.
Balsamo, Luigi. Libri manoscritti e a stampa da Pomposa all'umanesimo: catalogo della mostra, Ferrara, Casa Romei, 24 giugno-15 ottobre 1982. Venice: Corbo e Fiore Editori, 1982. pp. 175–76, fig. 157.
"Bologna, Ferrara, Cesena. I Corali del Bessarione Tra Circuiti Umanistici e Percorsi di Artisti." In Corali miniati del quattrocento nella biblioteca malatestiana. Milan, 1989. pp. 19–36; 109–110.
Le muse e il principe: Arte di corte nel Rinascimento padano. Modena: Panini, 1991. pp. 330–333, fig. 82.
Travagli, Anna Maria Visser. La Miniatura a Ferrara: Dal tempo di Cosme Tura all'eredita di Ercole de' Roberti. Modena: Beni Culturali e Ambiente, 1998. no. 20a–e, pp. 148–156.
Manca, Joseph. Cosmè Tura: The Life and Art of a Painter in Estense Ferrara. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000. pp. 171–72, pl. 108–111.
Calderoni Masetti, Anna Rosa. "Modelli di oreficeria franco-borgognona alla Corte di Ferrara." In Medioevo: i modelli; Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi, Parma, 27 settembre–1 ottobre 1999, edited by Arturo Carlo Quintavalle. Convegni di Parma, Vol. 2. Milan: Electa, 2002. pp. 656–657, fig. 18.
Palladino, Pia. Treasures of a Lost Art: Italian Manuscript Painting in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2003. p. 95.
Natale, Mauro, ed. Cosmè Tura e Francesco del Cossa: l'arte a Ferrara nell'età di Borso d'Este. Ferrara: Ferrara Arte S.p.A., 2007. p. 304.
Boehm, Barbara Drake. "Choirs of Angels: Painting in Italian Choir Books, 1300-1500." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 66, no. 3 (Winter 2009). p. 24, fig. 26.
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