Devotional picture book
- Devotional picture book
- Title (alt.):
A late 14th-/early 15th-century illustrated devotional manuscript comprising 49 full-page illuminated miniatures. Various scenes depict the life of Christ, the life of the Virgin Mary, and images of saints.
- Master of 1411
- Former owner:
- Trau, Franz, 1842-1905
- Former owner:
- Goldschmidt, Victor, 1853-1933
- Former owner:
- H. P. Kraus (Firm)
- Former owner:
- Art ancien S.A.
Manuscripts, Latin (Medieval and modern)
Boston Public Library
Rare Books Department
- Collection (local):
Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts (Collection of Distinction)
Bible--Picture Bibles--Early works to 1800
- 26 leaves : parchment, ill. ; 140 x 102 (101 x 70) mm.
No known copyright restrictions.
No known restrictions on use.
Access to physical copy/copies by appointment only. Please contact Boston Public Library Rare Books and Manuscripts Department for further information.
- Place of origin:
- Table of Contents:
1. f. 1-1 verso: Blank.
2. f. 2: Conception of the Virgin Mary. Anne and Joachim embrace outside of a walled city as an onlooker peeks out of the gates. Captions: Conceptio beatae virgine/ Rapprasenta la Concezione di Maria V.S.
3. f. 2 verso: Birth of the Virgin. Anne sits in a canopy bed presenting the infant Mary to Joachim (or an attendant). An attendant sits at the foot of the bed. Captions: Nativitas beatae virginis/ La Nascita di Maria Vergina. [It is likely that at least two leaves (i.e. four miniatures) lacking: the Annunciation, Greeting of Mary and Elizabeth, the Nativity, and the Annunciation to the Shepherds].
4. f. 3: Presentation. In front of an altar, Mary, at center, hands the Christ-child to Simeon. At the far left, Joseph and a gray-robed female attendant; at the far right, a second gray-robed female attendant. Captions: Purificacion V[irgin]i/ La Purificazione [The Purification of the Virgin/ The Purification].
5. f. 3 verso: The Adoration of the Magi. At left, Mary sits in the manger with the Christ-child on her lap. Joseph kisses his feet, as two Magi wait behind. In the background, the third Magus leads a camel with a monkey (?) riding on it. Captions: Adventus regum/ La venuta dell tre Magi [The coming of the kings/ The coming of the three kings].
6. f. 4: The Flight into Egypt. Mary and Jesus ride on a donkey as Joseph follows behind, led by angel from a walled city at the right into the wilderness at the left. Captions: Transitus domini in egipto/ La fuga di Gesu in egitto [Journey of the Lord to Egypt/ The flight of Jesus to Egypt].
7. f. 4 verso: Slaughter of the Innocents. In front of a fortified facade with a balcony from which three officials watch (presumably Herod and two others), soldiers pull infants from their parents and stab them as a horrified crowd looks on. Captions: [ ] innocentum/ La strage degl'Innocenti [... of the Innocents/ The slaughter of the Innocents].
8. f. 5: Jesus preaching to the doctors (Lk 2:46-50). In an arch-topped interior, the youthful Jesus sits surrounded by the Elders with their books. Captions: Disputatio inter doctoris/ La disputa di Gesu con i Dottori [Dispute among the Doctors/ The dispute of Jesus with the Doctors].
9. f. 5 verso: Baptism of Jesus by John (Mt 3:13-17). Jesus stands in a river cross-section, baptized by John ashore, as a dove descends. Captions: Baptismum dominui ihesu/ Il Battesimo di Gesu Cristo [The baptism of the Lord Jesus/ The baptism of Jesus Christ].
10. f. 6: Wedding at Cana (Jn 2:1-11). Jesus sits at the left end of a long table, with the Virgin Mary at his left and guests around the other sides. Loaves of bread are scattered around the table, with jugs of wine beneath and to the right. Captions: Cum fecit dominus vinum/ Le nozze di Cana in Galilea [How the Lord made wine/ The Wedding at Cana in Galilee].
11. f. 6 verso: Jesus heals a leper (Mt 8:1-4). At the foot of a cliff with fortified city at top, Jesus stands with his right hand on a kneeling leper, surrounded by onlookers. Captions: Cum mundavit leprosum/ Gesu Cristo monda il Liebbrose [How he healed a leper/ Jesus Christ heals the leper].
12. f. 7: Miracle of stilling the storm (Mt 8:24-27). On a small body of water before a walled city, five apostles and sleeping Jesus sit in a sailboat, with two men rowing. On shore, a man fishing. Captions: Cum putaverunt christum dormare/ Li Discepoli in Nave Soffrivare tempesta e Gesu dormire [How they thought Jesus was asleep/ The disciples in a boat enduring a storm and Jesus sleeping].
13. f. 7 verso: Blind man recognizes Jesus as Son of David (Mt. 9:27). In a valley with fortified towns on either side, a crowd watches as Jesus stands before a seated blind man who gestures towards him. A small dog lies at the front of the scene. Captions: Cecus clamans ihesu fili david/ Quando il cieco sclamo a Gesu figlio di David [The blind man declares Jesus [to be] the son of David/ When a blind man declared Jesus [to be] the son of David].
14. f. 8: Jesus heals servant of Centurion (Mt 8:5-13). At left, servant lies in bed attended by centurion and cloaked attendant, Jesus approaches from outside with crowd. Captions: Fides [?] centurionis/ Rappresenta la grentede [?] del centurione [Servant of the Centurion/ Representation of the servant [?] of the Centurion].
15. f. 8 verso: Jesus walks on water (Mt 14:25-28). On a body of water in front of a walled city, three men on a boat (presumably apostles, though not nimbed) stare as Jesus walks toward them across the water. Captions: Cum ihesus videbatur fantasma super mare/ Li Discepoli in Barca e Gesu sopra il Mare [How Jesus was seen as a vision [?] on the ocean/ The disciples on a boat and Jesus on the ocean].
16. f. 9: Temptation in the wilderness (Mt 4:1-11). Three vignettes: upper right, Jesus being led from walled city by the devil; center left, the devil presents three stones to Jesus; lower right, Jesus casts the devil into the ground. Captions: Temptatio dominum a dioabolo/ La tentazione di Gesu nel Deserto [The temptation of the Lord by the devil/ The temptation of Jesus in the desert].
17. f. 9 verso: Cleansing of the Temple (Jn 2:13-17). In the anteroom of the Temple, Jesus, followed by apostles, approaches the money-changers and pigeon-sellers and their tables and cages. One table is already overturned. Captions: Cum eiecit de templis vendentes columbas/ Gesu scaccia [?] dal Templo li Profanatori [How he ejected from the Temple the sellers of pigeons/ Jesus [evicts] the Profane Ones from the Temple].
18. f. 10: Jesus heals the daughter of the Canaanite woman (Mt 15:21-28). In front of a forest, Jesus reaches out to a kneeling woman completely robed in white, with apostles behind him to the right and two onlookers to the left. Scrolling gold filigree on blue background. Captions: Chananea/ Quando la Cananea si presento a Gesu [The Canaanite woman/ When the Canaanite woman was presented to Jesus].
19. f. 10 verso: Miracle of Bethesda pool (Jn 5:1-9). In front of a building with five porticos, an angel walks on the pool towards Jesus, as the man just cured carries his sleeping mat away. Several other sick people crouch beneath the porticos. Captions: Piscina/ Rappresenta la Probatica Peschiera [The Fishpool/ The Test at the Fish Pool].
20. f. 11: Transfiguration (Mt 17:1). Jesus stands on a high mountaintop, with Moses (with horns) on a shorter mountaintop to the left and Elijah (white-robed) on a similar mountain to the right, as Peter, James, and John sleep at the foot of the mountains. Background of scrolling gold filigree on blue. Captions: Transfiguratio/ La Tranzfiguratione di Gesu nel Taborra [Transfiguration/ The Transfiguration of Jesus at Thabor].
21. f. 11 verso: Petition of Zebedees wife (Mt 20:20). Jesus in the center, with James and John in front of a tent to the right, and the remaining apostles to the left. Zebedee's wife kneels in front of Jesus, grasping her sons' cloaks. Background of scrolling gold filigree on black. Captions: Petitio uxoris sebederi/ Quando la Moglie di Zebedeo dimando a Gesu i primi posti per I suoi Figliuoli [Petition of the wife of Zebedee/ When the wife of Zebedee asked Jesus if her sons could have the "first places" (i.e. seats at the right and left hand of Jesus in Heaven)].
22. f. 12: Parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19). Jesus stands at the right, gesturing toward the fainting possessed man who is being upheld by two men, as other men watch from the left and two apostles stand behind Jesus. Captions: Cum eiecit demonium/ Gesu libera un indemoniato [How he cast out a demon/ Jesus frees a demoniac].
23. f. 12 verso: Exorcism (Mk 1:23?). Jesus stands at the right, gesturing toward the fainting possessed man who is being upheld by two men, as other men watch from the left and two apostles stand behind Jesus. Captions: Cum eiecit demonium/ Gesu libera un indemoniato [How he cast out a demon/ Jesus frees a demoniac].
24. f. 13: Healing in Capernaum (Mt 8:16). Jesus stands before a walled city with two apostles behind him, healing a woman cloaked in white as others wait for healing at the right. Background of scrolling gold filigree on white. Captions: Mirabilia in chapharnanum/ Quando Gesu facera Miraculi in Cafarnao [Miracles in Caparnaum/ When Jesus worked miracles in Caparnaum].
25. f. 13 verso: The Adultress (Jn 8:3). Outside a fortified building (the Temple?), the Adultress stands with a crowd behind her, facing Jesus who bends down to write on the ground. Two apostles stand behind him. Background of scrolling gold filigree on black. Captions: Adultera/ Quando a Gesu Cristo fu presentata l'Adultera [The Adultress/ When the adultress was presented to Jesus Christ].
26. f. 14: Miracle of feeding 5,000 (Jn 6:1-15). Behind a large crowd, an apostle hands a small basket of fish to Jesus. In front of the crowd, two apostles distribute loaves from large baskets. Two children stand in the lower left corner. Background of scrolling gold filigree on black. Captions: Mirabile 5 panum et 2 piscum/ Quando Gesu sazio cinque mila persone moltiplicando cinque Pani e due Pesci [The miracle of 5 loaves and two fish/ When Jesus satisfied five thousand people by multiplying five loaves and two fish].
27. f. 14 verso: Miracle of healing the man born blind (Jn 9:1-41). Jesus, surrounded by apostles, gestures towards the blind man (here small enough to be a child) who leads a dog on a rope. Captions: Cecus a nativitate/ Quando Gesu illumino il Cieco nato [Man born blind/ When Jesus gave light to the man born blind].
28. f. 15: Resurrection of the widow's son (Lk 7:11-17). Outside the gates of Nain, four pallbearers carry the bier of the widow's son, who sits up, having just been healed by Jesus. Jesus stands in front of the bier with the widow, apostles stand behind. Captions: Resurrectio[ ] filii vidue/ Quando risuscito il figliuolo della Vedova [Resurrection of the widow's son/ When he resuscitated the son of the widow].
29. f. 15 verso: Resurrection of Lazarus (Jn 11:38-44). Jesus gestures toward the tomb, two apostles kneeling before him and a crowd of apostles standing behind him. Lazarus, wrapped in white cloth, is lifted out of the tomb by two men. The walled city of Bethany is in the background. Captions: Lazari resurecti[ ]/ La risurrezione di Lazzaro [The resurrection of Lazarus]
30. f. 16: Jesus threatened with stoning (Jn 8:59). Upper register: a group of apostles surrounded by a larger group inside the Temple. Lower register: Jesus flees the Temple. Caption: Cum tulera[ ] lapidis et absconditis/ Quando Gesu si nascose [How they [?] brought stones and he hid/ When Jesus hid himself].
31. f. 16 verso: Jesus walks through the crowd (Lk 4:30). Jesus walks through the middle of a large crowd. Captions: Jesus autem transiens per m[edium] i[llorum] ibat/ Quando G[esu] passando per mezzo deglii Ebrei andara via [Jesus, however, passed through the middle of the crowd and left/ When Jesus passed through the middle of the Hebrews [and] went on his way].
32. f. 17: Mary Magdalene anoints Jesus' feet (Jn 12:3). Around a table in an interior setting, Mary Magdalene sits at Jesus' feet, wiping his feet with her hair. Jesus gestures at the four men sitting across from him, one of whom is presumably Judas. Martha works at a small table with her back to the reader. Captions: Cum Magdalene unxit pedes domini/ Quando Maddalena unse i piedi di G[esu] C[risto] [How the Magdalene anointed the feet of the Lord/ When the Magdalene anointed the feet of Jesus Christ].
33. f. 17 verso: Elders recall that the Messiah is supposed to be born in Bethlehem (Jn 7:40-44). A group of Jewish elders, one of whom shows an open book, debate around a table. A large lamppost illuminates the scene from the foreground. Captions: Judeorum d[icentes?] verus christus [ ] esse de bethlehem/ Quando dissero gli Ebrei, que il Messia dovera nascere in Bettelemme [The Jews saying that the true Christ was to come from Bethlehem/ When the Hebrews discussed that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem].
34. f. 18: Entry into Jerusalem (Mt 21:1-11). Jesus rides a donkey towards the walled city of Jerusalem, followed by two apostles. A crowd stands before the city gates. Three small figures lead another donkey in the foreground. Captions: In festo olivarum/ Quando Gesu entro trionfante in Gerusalemme [During the feast of olives/ When Jesus entered triumphantly into Jerusalem].
35. f. 18 verso: Magadalene annoints Jesus' head (Mt 26:6 ff.). Jesus sits at the left, gesturing towards a group of apostles. Behind him, barely visible, sits Mary Magdalene, pouring the contents of her alabaster jar onto his head. Another woman sits beside Jesus. Captions: Cum Magdalena unxit caput domini/ Maddalena unge il capo [How the Magdalene anointed the head of the Lord/ The Magdalene anoints [his] head].
36. f. 19: The Last Supper (Mt 26:20 ff., Jn 13:21 ff.). Jesus sits at the upper center of a round table, surrounded by the Apostles. The apostle to Jesus' left leans into his embrace
this is the "disciple Jesus loved" of John 13:23. With his free hand, Jesus gestures to the Apostle at his right, possibly Judas. Captions: Cena domini/ L'ultima ceno [The Last Supper].
37. f. 19 verso: Jesus washes the feet of the disciples (Jn 13:1-15). A crowd of apostles watches Jesus wash the feet of an apostle who sits with his feet in a basin before which Jesus kneels. Another apostle sits on a low platform at the right, putting his shoes back on. Only ten apostles are depicted. Captions: Cum lavit pedes dissipulorm/ G[esu] lavo i piedi a suoi Discepoli [How he washed the feet of the disciples/ Jesus washes the feet of his disciples].
38. f. 20: Compact of the Traitor (Mt 26:14-16). A doorway at the right opens into an interior scene at the left, where two priests hold open a large silver box on a table as the chief priest, moneybag in his left hand, pushes a pile of gold coins towards the waiting Judas with his right hand. Two other priests watch from the foreground. Captions: Opportunitas Judas Scarioth/ L'occasione di Guida a tradir Gesu [The opportunity of Judas Iscariot/ The occasion that Judas had to betray Jesus].
39. f. 20 verso: Christ tells apostles to sleep (Mt 26:46). In the enclosed garden of Gethsemane, Jesus stands behind the seated Peter, James, and John, one of whom is asleep. Jesus touches the head of one of the wakeful apostles. Captions: Cum dixit dormire iam/ Gesu disse a suoi Discepoli, che dormissere [How he told [them] to sleep now/ Jesus tells his disciples to sleep].
40. f. 21: Jesus takes the cup from the angel (Mt 26:39-44 and Lk 22:41-46). In the enclosed garden of Gethsemane, Jesus kneels before a hovering angel who holds a cup to his lips. Droplets of sweat/blood cover his face (see Luke 22:44). The three apostles sleep in the foreground. Captions: Cum orando, sudavit sanguinem/ Quando Gesu sudo sanguine [When praying, he sweated blood/ When Jesus sweated blood].
41. f. 21 verso: Flagellation (Mt 27:26). Jesus sits in the center of a room as four men beat him with various implements. Captions: Flagella dominum/ La falgellazione di Gesu [The Flagellation of the Lord / The Flagellation of Jesus]. [At least two, and possibly three leaves lacking at this point, depicting some combination of: Christ before Pilate, The Road to Calvary, the Crucifixion, the Deposition, the Entombment, the Resurrection]
42. f. 22: Appearance to two disciples en route to Emmaus (Lk 24:13). At the foot of a hill leading to the walled city of Emmaus, the humbly-clothed Jesus walks with the aid of a walking-stick between two gesturing disciples. Captions: Tu solus peregrinus in Jerusalem/ Quando Gesu in abito di Pellegrino s'accompagno con li due Discopoli que andarano in Emmaus [You are the only pilgrim in Jerusalem [who doesn't know know these things]/ When Jesus, in pilgrim's attire, accompanied the two disciples going to Emmaus].
43. f. 22 verso: Appearance to disciples through closed door (Jn 20:26). Jesus stands barefoot among the Apostles. According to the Biblical account, only the Apostles were present for this Appearance, but here there are thirteen figures surrounding Jesus; one is probably Mary Magdalene. Captions: Cum introivit januis clausis/ Quando Gesu entro a porte chiuse. [When he came in through the closed door/ When Jesus entered through the closed door].
44. f. 23: Appearance to disciples at Lake Tiberias (Jn 21:1-14). On the shore of Lake Tiberias, Jesus stands before a small campfire and three apostles, with a boat and an empty net in the background. Captions: Cum dederunt sibi de pisce assato/ Quando Gesu stando del lido di Tiberiade diede a suoi Discepoli il pesce arrostito [How they gave him a roasted fish/ When Jesus stood on the shore of the Tiberias [and] gave a roasted fish to his disciples].
45. f. 23 verso: Ascension. The twelve apostles and the Virgin Mary kneel and look up at Jesus, who holds a long white banner while ascending. Captions: Ascensio domini/ L'Ascensione del Signore [The Ascension of the Lord].
46. f. 24: Pentecost. The twelve apostles kneel to either side of the Virgin Mary, all looking up to the Holy Spirit descending as a nimbed white dove scattering red rays over them. Captions: Munus spiriti sancti/ La venuta dello Spirito Sancto [The gift of the Holy Spirit/ The coming of the Holy Spirit].
47. f. 24 verso: Last Judgement. Jesus sits on a celestial throne amidst hosts of angels, his right hand gesturing to the Saved, the Damned at his left, and the minions of Hell below. The Cross hovers to his left, the Instruments of the Passion (three nails and the Column of the scourging with the Crown of Thorns) to his right. Captions: Judicans vivos et mortuos/ Gesu guidice dei vivi e dei morti [Judging the living and the dead/ Jesus judges the living and the dead]. [Other leaves may be missing at this point]
48. f. 25: Blank.
49. f. 25 verso: John the Baptist. John stands barefoot in his hairshirt at the shore of the river, presumably the Jordon, over which a small wooden bridge passes. He gestures with his left hand toward a lamb in heaven, while his right hand holds a banderole reading "Ecce agnus." Caption [Italian only]: S. Giovanni Battista.
50. f. 26: St. George and the Dragon. St. George, on horseback, slays the long-necked and winged dragon emerging from the sea, as the princess kneels and watches from shore. This image has historically been interpreted as illustrating the Dragon of the Apocalypse, based on the erroneous Italian caption: "La Bestia dell' Apocalisse."
51. ff. 26 verso-27 verso: Blank.
Bibliographic record created by BPL staff based on description by Dr. Lisa Fagin Davis.
Origin: Written and decorated in Bologna, between the last decade of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th century. Fols. 2r-4r assigned to same artist as Vatican City, BAV, ms. Ross 242. Most other illuminations attributed to the Master of 1411, who takes his name from the Matricola dei Drappieri of 1411 (see Hamburger, Jeffrey F., et al., eds. Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections, no. 136). Italian captions added in the 17th century. Formerly contained at least 10 additional miniatures (Nativity and Crucifixion/Resurrection cycles removed, apparently prior to binding in current boards).
For further information, see curatorial file.
- Notes (ownership):
Provenance: Franz Trau (sale, Vienna, 1905 -- see Gilhofer & Ranschburg, cat. 7, 1905) to Prof. Victor Goldschmidt of Heidelberg (1853-1933), with his black ink signature, fol. 26v, dated 1915. Offered by L'Art Ancien, cat. 26 (1941), no. 20 (SDBM 10364).
- Notes (acquisition):
Immediate source of acquisition: H.P. Kraus, March 1941 (SDBM 56864). BPL bookplate inside front cover, with pencil note "Josiah H. Benton, May 23, 1941."
- Notes (citation):
Bond, W.H. Supplement to the Census of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the United States and Canada, page 208
- Notes (object):
Secundo folio: La Purificazione.
Collation: Parchment, fol. i (parchment) + 26 + fol. i (parchment) ; I⁴ II⁸ III⁶ IV², i, i, i, V², i, i (fols. 21, 22, 23, 26, and the final blank are singletons, with f. 26 tipped onto the final blank).
Layout: Latin captions accompany each full-page miniature.
Script: Written in a rounded gothic bookhand in red ink, with 17th-century captions in a humanistic bookhand in black ink.
Decoration: 49 full-page miniatures in gold and colors by several hands, with added woodcut borders of scrolling vines.
Binding: 16th-century leather (goat or sheep) paneled and tooled in blind over bevelled wooden boards with early modern repair and rebacking. Clasps missing, brass catches present. Conserved in 2018: rebacked and resewn, with consolidation of pigments and illumination. Housed in a tan cloth box.
- Notes (bibliography):
Bibliography: Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance; an Exhibition held at the Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, 1949), no. 167.
- Notes (language):
In Latin, with 17th-century captions in Italian.
MS-q-Med-85_001 - MS-q-Med-85_062
- Call #:
RARE BKS MS q Med. 85
BPL MS 1512 (no longer used)