Office for the Feast of Corpus Christi


Containing the prayers for the Feast of Corpus Christi, this manuscript was presented to Duke William of Habsburg shortly after his 1401 marriage to the Neapolitan princess Joanna of Anjou, whose arms appear at the center of the frontispiece’s lower register. Above, the kneeling duke, who wears a distinctive Rudolphine crown, adores the body of Christ in the facing initial. The attendant behind him is perhaps his privy notary, Leonhard Stubier (d. 1446), who may have commissioned the manuscript as a gift. Likely master and assistant, the book’s two artists worked in a cosmopolitan, courtly style characterized by conspicuous richness. The verdant meadow in which the duke kneels looks more like a luxurious millefleur tapestry than an inhabitable space.

Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
Office for the Feast of Corpus Christi, in Latin
Illuminated by Nicholas of Brno and the Lyra Master for Duke William of Habsburg (1370–1406)
Austria, Vienna, ca. 1403–6
The Morgan Library & Museum, MS M.853, fols. 1v–2r
Gift of Louis M. Rabinowitz, 1951