The Missal contains a Temporale, benedictions and preparations for the mass, Canon of the Mass, Sanctorale, and votive masses. The first section is a palimpsest written on parchment and was signed by frater Arnoldus in 1472 (151v). Beside a small drawing of a Crucifixion in the beginning of the volume, numerous pen-drawn initials, and three illuminated non-figural initials, the manuscript is decorated with one full-page Crucifixion (79v).
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Geography:Made in Hildesheim, Germany
Medium:Tempera, ink, and metal leaf on parchment; leather binding
Dimensions:Overall: 11 x 7 5/8 x 2 1/2in. (27.9 x 19.4 x 6.4cm)
Classification:Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:Purchase, 1895
Date: copied by Arnoldus in St Michael, Hildesheim, 1472; with contemporary and early modern additions and notes
Geography: made in Hildesheim, Germany
Medium: red and black ink, opaque watercolour, and gold leaf on parchment and paper; brown leather binding from 1616
Dimensions: Overall: 11 x 7 5/8 x 2 1/2in. (28 x 21,8 x 6.5 cm)
27.9 x 19.4 x 6.4cm); iii+162+i folios
Classification: Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line: Purchase, 1895
Accession Number: 95.65
Anonymously purchased for the library in 1895.
The Missal contains a Temporale, benedictions and preparations for the mass, Canon of the Mass, Sanctorale, and votive masses. The first section is a palimpsest written on parchment and was signed by frater Arnoldus in 1472 (151v). Beside a small drawing of a Crucifixion in the beginning of the volume, numerous pen-drawn initials, and three illuminated non-figural initials, the manuscript is decorated with one full-page Crucifixion (79v). The first image on which the crucified Christ appears is a simple pen drawing, combined with water colour to highlight the cross, the blood profusely dripping from the body, and the green crown of thorns. The first illuminated initial of the volume on the following folio is adorned with the head of a dragon.
The most impressive decoration of the Missal is the fine large-scale watercolour of the Crucifixion on fol. 79v. The linear style of the image suggests a master who was trained in tempera painting. A slightly archaising trait is the ample use of gold, which is applied on the haloes, the decorative border, and completely fills out the background. The crucified Christ is surrounded by the Virgin and St John who are placed in a forested area with a church building in the background. The illumination was probably once protected by a silk cover, which is suggested by the small holes above the image with which the protective curtain was secured.
Numerous different hands which worked on the Missal can be distinguished. The material on which it was written also varies. The votive masses dedicated to St Benno and St Bernward towards the end of the volume are inscribed on paper. These, and the presence of other saints in the Sanctorale, eg. Godehard and Bernard, reinforce the manuscript’s origins in the abbey of St Michael in Hildesheim, which is confirmed by an inscription in the beginning of the volume ("Liber Monasterii sti. Michaelis"). The abbey of St Michael served as a lively artistic and cultural centre during the Middle Ages, and it was also an influential ecclesiastical institution. This Missal sheds light on the liturgy in Hildesheim in a period of reform, after the abbey joined to the Bursfelde Congregation. It is especially important for the development of the cult of St Benno. St Benno was a miracle-working bishop of Meissen (1066–1106), although he was born and educated as a Benedictine monk in the St Michael abbey in Hildesheim. While his veneration is attested since the thirteenth century, the first surviving hagiography was composed in Hildesheim by a Benedictine monk in 1460. The Metropolitan Museum’s Missal therefore serves as a source contemporary to this early biography and contains an important testimony of St Benno’s commemoration in medieval liturgy.
Krisztina Ilko, Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow, 2019
Krisztina Ilko, "65. Missale," in Zeitenwende 1400: Hildesheim als europäische Metropole (exhibition catalogue, Dommuseum Hildesheim 26 September 2019 – 2 February 2020), ed. Claudia Höhl, Gerhard Lutz, and Felix Prinz, Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2019, 360–361.
Dom-Museum Hildesheim (Cathedral Museum). "Zeitenwende: Hildesheim als europaische Metropole um 1400 / Turn of Eras: Hildesheim as a European Center around 1400," September 26, 2019–February 2, 2020.
Zeitenwende 1400: Hildesheim als europäische Metropole um 1400. Regensburg: Dom-Museums Hildesheim, 2019. no. 65, p. 361.
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