Missal of Johannes von Giltlingen


This leaf comes from a deluxe Mass book illuminated for the abbot of the imperial Benedictine abbey of Sts. Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg. As a center of the Melk monastic reform movement, the abbey produced books of all kinds. In addition to scribal, authorial, and artistic activity, the abbey housed its own press, complete with a binding workshop. Shown here is the Mass for the Feast of the Annunciation. Its accompanying miniature is not placed within the initial, as was customary, but within the foliage in the lower margin. The artist was a monk, whose brother, Leonhard Wagner, also affiliated with the monastery, was a celebrated scribe and writing master.

Leaf from the “Missal of Johannes von Giltlingen,” in Latin
Illuminated by Conrad Wagner for Johannes von Giltlingen (d. 1496)
Germany, Augsburg, 1484–85
Columbia University, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, New York, MSMS Plimpton 36B