Hainricus Missal

Ms M.711 - Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)

Alternate Titles:

Das Hainricus-Missale, Hainricus Sakramentar, Heinricus-Sakramentar

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Alternate Titles

Das Hainricus-Missale
Hainricus Sakramentar

Extent / Format

296 pages / 24.2 x 17.2 cm

Around 1217
Artist / School

The Hainricus Master


5 full-page miniatures with gold background, two full-page and more than 30 initial letters with gold

Former owners

The first Earl of Leicester

Short description

One of the greatest works of German Romanesque illumination has also been one of the most coveted by wealthy art lovers. Boasting such owners as the First Earl of Leicester and J.P. Morgan, the Hainricus Sacramentary is a wonderful illuminated manuscript from the Weingarten scriptorium. Created in 1217 by a certain monk named Hainricus, whose identity has not yet been more exactly determined, it features a stunning range of decoration including miniatures, calendar, medallions, historiated initials, scrollwork, and more. The figures contained therein simultaneously possess an expressiveness and a certain restraint in their gesticulations and facial expressions.

Facsimile editions available


Romanesque Illumination in Gold and Silver

Man's wish, to stay in the memory of coming generations through the production of special works of art is one of the oldest. To be able to own such significant treasures is surely one of the greatest joys one can prepare for oneself. The history of this manuscript begins in 1217, when it was created. The first Earl of Leicester acquired the codex after it had been in Weingarten for almost 600 years. His grandson, however, had to sell the codex to the millionaireJohn Pierpont Morgan a hundred years later. The ambitious abbot Berthold, who had great appreciation for art, sponsored the scriptorium of the Benedictine abbey Weingarten. Besides the Berthold Sacramentary, it is this manuscript above all that has caused the lasting fame of the great Weingarten school: the Hainricus Sacramentary. Even so, the secret of Hainricus and his role in the production of the codex, remain unexplained. According to the chronicle of the Weingarten Abbey, three monks carried this name: Which one of them now is the Hainricus eternalized on the silver plate on the binding?

A Highlight of German Romanesque

Five magnificent full-page miniatures, two full-page ornamented initials, twenty-four calendar medallions, thirty-five narrative initials, twenty animal and scrollwork initials, and countless colored initials all executed in the highest perfection: this is the Hainricus Sacramentary. The full-page miniatures, with fabulous frames carried out like panel paintings captivate through their impressive monumentality, one in particular. The initials describe biblical episodes in a most lively manner. This high quality of decoration equals the precision with which the writing and neumes are carried out. The Hainricus Master kicked off a great new artistic movement in the Weingarten scriptorium. The protagonists have overcome the rigor of their isolation; the emotions are within reach even though facial expressions and gestures are reduced to the basics.

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