Leaf from the Wettingen Gradual


This monumental leaf from a choir book testifies to the ambition of the monks who commissioned it. With such commissions, newer mendicant orders like the Augustinians sought to place themselves on par with older foundations like the Benedictines. The illuminator responsible for this leaf worked in a manner derived from the latest fashion at the French court. Arranged from bottom to top like a stained-glass window, four scenes fill the initial I. They depict Augustine teaching; the dream of his mother, Monica; his baptism; and, finally, Bishop Augustine instructing monks. The scroll “spoken” by the monk in the lower margin reads, “Pray for us, blessed Father Augustine.”

Leaf from the “Wettingen Gradual,” in Latin
Germany, Cologne, ca. 1330
Cleveland Museum of Art
Purchased on the Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund, 1949.203