Cistercian Devotional Book

Ms. theol. lat. quart. 9 - Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin, Germany)

Alternate Titles:

Das Herrenalb-Gebetbuch, Das Herrenalber Gebetbuch, Das Gebetbuch aus Herrenalb, Devocionario del Císter, Gebetbuch des Zisterzienserordens, Missel de l'Ordre de Cíteaux, Devozionario Císterciense

Facsimile edition
Our price
Info / Order
Please log in!
Add to compare list
Please log in!
Add to wish list
Please log in!
Add to my stock

Codiology

Alternate Titles

Das Herrenalb-Gebetbuch
Das Herrenalber Gebetbuch
Das Gebetbuch aus Herrenalb
Devocionario del Císter
Gebetbuch des Zisterzienserordens
Missel de l'Ordre de Cíteaux
Devozionario Císterciense

Type
Extent / Format

206 pages / 20.0 x 14.0 cm

Origin
Date
1484
Style
Genre
Language
Artist / School

Johannes Zurn of Nyposheim

Illustrations

30 full-page miniatures

Short description

The so-called Herrenalb Prayer Book is a gem of late 15th century illumination. The manuscript is a wonderful attestation of its time, in which 30 splendid miniatures present scenes from the Passion. Nonetheless, there is something very special about these illustrations: they were modeled on copperplate etchings, which were made by various masters of this new printing technique! In this way, the piety that the patron from the Herrenalb Abbey had desired for such a work was wonderfully and profoundly conveyed. Johann Zürn from Neibsheim created a unique manuscript of his time with the Cistercian Devotional Book!

Facsimile editions available

Description

Cistercian Devotional Book

The so-called Herrenalb Prayer Book is a gem of late 15th century illumination. The manuscript is a wonderful attestation of its time, in which 30 splendid miniatures present scenes from the Passion. Nonetheless, there is something very special about these illustrations: they were modeled on copperplate etchings, which were made by various masters of this new printing technique! In this way, the piety that the patron from the Herrenalb Abbey had desired for such a work was wonderfully and profoundly conveyed. Johann Zürn from Neibsheim created a unique manuscript of his time with the Cistercian Devotional Book!

A Devout Commission

“This prayer book by Johann Zürn from Neibsheim, monk and cantor of our abbey at Herrenalb, was begun in the year 1482 and painstakingly completed in the year 1484 at the instigation and request of the Lay Brother Ludwig von Bruchsal, who occupied the office of procurator in Merklingen.” So begins the Latin text of Manuscript theo. Lat. quart. 9 of the State Library in Berlin”, the so-called Herrenalb Prayer Book. **Ludwig von Bruchsal commissioned the work in 1482, which wows not only because of the typical text, but also and especially because of its grandiose miniature pages.

An Illuminated Prayer Book from Herrenalb

The Cistercian Devotional Book’s 206 parchment pages contain a calendar, prayers to the Virgin Mary and saints, St. Bernhard of Clairvaux among others, and other typical texts for such a manuscript. The scribe and author of the prayer book was Johann Zürn from Nyposheim (present-day Neibsheim), cantor of the Cistercian Herrenalb Abbey in modern Baden-Württemberg, founded 1148. It is probable that this Johann Zürn was also responsible for the marvelous book adornment that makes the Cistercian Devotional Book so unique: 30 full-page miniatures with scenes of the Passion.

Copper Etchings as a Template

These impressive and magnificently-colored depictions do not represent the actual creations of the illuminator. Whoever the painter of these gorgeous compositions was, they relied upon templates in the form of masterful copperplate etchings. Therefore, among the examples were some copperplate etchings by the artist Martin Schongauer from the Upper Rhine, and also probably from a Strasbourg Master ES, a “Karlsruhe Master of 1446”, and the Upper Rhine Master WB. In this way, the innovative new technique of copperplate etching was “reverse engineered” into the established medium of illumination. Magnificent miniature pages were the result of this fruitful combination, belonging among some of the most beautiful that were produced in the 15th century!

Quick Search
Publisher
Show all options