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Exhibitions | Past

The Wormsley Library
A Personal Selection by Sir Paul Getty, K.B.E.

January 27 through May 2, 1999

Bonet | Cobden-Sanderson | Martin | Ottobeuren | Ulm Ptolemy | Boleyn

THE OTTOBEUREN GRADUAL

GRADUAL, SEQUENTIARY, AND SACRAMENTARY, in Latin. Germany, Ottobeuren Abbey, ca. 1164. Written and illuminated for Abbot Isingrim.

Unlike the later Missal, which contains all of the texts needed for the celebration of the Mass, the Sacramentary usually excluded the lessons and musical texts, which were kept in separate books. This manuscript represents an intermediate stage in the development of the full Missal, because it includes both a Gradual and Sequentiary, which, while not integrated, precede the Sacramentary proper. Because the Sacramentary played a fundamental role in the Mass, it could be sumptuously decorated, especially if it was made for the abbot of a monastery.

In luxury books, the pages containing the Canon, the very heart of the Mass, were usually the most elaborately illustrated and written. Here, a full-page Crucifixion introduces the Canon, which begins with a large green T (of Te igitur), which, like the living green cross of the Crucifixion, is also set against a gold background.

© The Wormsley Library, United Kingdom

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.