Leaf from a Missal (MS 52)


Although the narrative of the Crucifixion calls for a view of Jerusalem seen from Golgotha, the city in the background of this miniature appears to be Nuremberg. In its meticulous rendition of topographical details, the miniature rivals the drawings and watercolors that Albrecht Dürer produced while crossing the Alps on the first of his two trips to Italy (1494–95), sights from which he also incorporated into religious and allegorical subjects. Here, such details include the gabled façade of Nuremberg’s Church of Our Lady, directly behind St. John. Designed by Peter Parler, the architect of Prague Cathedral, the church was built between 1352 and 1362 by Charles IV on the site of Nuremberg’s old synagogue.

Leaf from a Missal
Illuminated by the Pleydenwurff-Wolgemut Workshop
Germany, Nuremberg, ca. 1475–1500
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, MS 52
Purchased, 1993