Easter Sunday (Germany, 15th century)

May 5, 2009


Click on image for larger resolutions.

Leaf from a gradual:

Initial R with the Resurrection

Augsburg, Germany, late 15th century

Script: Gothic

Parchment with ink, paint, and gold

Notation: Hufnagel


This initial begins the Introit for Easter Sunday, “Resurrexi et adhuc tecum sum …” (I have risen and am still with thee).  The naturalist inhabited border of the leaf and the familiar medieval town and landscape background of the historiated initial are beautiful examples of trends in fifteenth-century German manuscript illumination. Above-ground sarcophagii were frequently used in late medieval German burial practices. The decoration in the leaf is typically anachronistic.

This leaf has Hufnagel musical notation: Hufnagel is a German term resulting from a comparison between the appearance of the notation’s virga (single note of relatively higher pitch) to a horseshoe-nail.

Free Library of Philadelphia Lewis E M 67:7


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