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← search Claricia Psalter W.26
Manuscript Overview
References
Bindings & Oddities

Abstract

This Psalter was made for, and most likely by, a group of Benedictine nuns at the abbey of saints Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg, Germany. Although the Psalter itself, along with its calendar, dates to the late twelfth or early thirteenth century, a number of texts and prayers were added in the mid thirteenth century. Most striking about the manuscript are its illuminations, which include a prefatory cycle, full-page miniatures, and historiated initials. While all are Romanesque in style, they vary greatly in quality and technique, and three or four different artists seem to have been at work. The Claricia Psalter takes its name from one of the initials, which depicts a young girl in secular dress swinging from the initial "Q," who has "Claricia" written around her head. It has been suggested that the image represents a novice artist who signed her work, but there are many other theories, and none are certain.

Text Note

Incomplete; lacks folio between fols. 9 and 10; lacks three folios between fols. 10 and 11; lacks folio between fols. 179 and 180; original manuscript contained calendar, Psalter, and canticles; the Magnificat, Office of the Dead, meditation on the Annunciation, Salve Regina, and several prayers and Gospel readings were added in the mid thirteenth century; two early charters used as pastedowns

Hand note

Written in documentary script

Decoration Note

Nineteen miniatures by three or four different hands, including a prefatory cycle of framed scenes heavily painted in blue, red, green, and gold; other drawings throughout in pen with some accent or background color; two historiated initials with figures in pen with accents of blue, red, and green; two decorated initials in the same colors; calendar framed by decorated columns topped by tympana containing the signs of the zodiac; enlarged red initials throughout (1-2 lines); rubrics in red; text in black ink

Contributors

Cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Editor: Noel, William

Copy editor: Bockrath, Diane

Contributor: Bockrath, Diane

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Hamburger, Jeffrey

Contributor: Noel, William

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Toth, Michael B.

Conservator: Owen, Linda

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

Förstermann, Ernst Wilhelm. Die Gräflich Stolbergische Bibliothek zu Wernigerode. Nordhausen, Germany: Förstemann, 1866, p. 98(sic 89), no. Za51.


De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 769, no. 75.


Harrsen, Meta. Cursus Sanctae Mariae. New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1937, p. 29, pl. 23.


Miner, Dorothy. Anastaise and her Sisters: Women Artists of the Middle Ages. Baltimore: Walters Art Gallery, 1974, pp. 11-12, figs. 2-3.


Carr, A. W. "Women Artists in the Middle Ages." The Feminist Art Journal 5 (1976): 5-9, 26.


Alexander, Jonathan J. G. Medieval Illuminators and their Methods of Work. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992, pp. 18, 20-21, fig. 31.


Stokstad, Marilyn, Michael Watt Cothren, Frederick M. Asher, et al. Art History. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson, 1995.


Pollock, Griselda, and Rozsika Parker. Old Mistresses: Women, Art, and Ideology. London: Pantheon, 1981, p. 16, fig. 9.


These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

Lower board outside

Spine

Fore-edge

Head

Tail

Keywords
Christian
Miniature
German
Romanesque
Devotion
Psalter
Germany
Original binding
Binding
Historiated initial
Inhabited initial
Charter
12th century
13th century

Origin Place

Augsburg, Germany

Date

Late 12th--early 13th century CE

Form

book

Binding

Original Binding

Binding Description

Original (or possibly thirteenth- or fourteenth-century) beech boards covered by much-abraded leather with five metal bosses on upper and lower boards; remains of leather straps visible; thirteenth- or fourteenth-century charters used as pastedowns on both boards (lower board pastedown now numbered as final folio)

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Provenance

Made in the late twelfth/early thirteenth century for an abbey in southern Germany, probably the Benedictine house of SS. Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg

Bénigne-Charles Févret de Saint-Mémin (bookplate originally on front pastedown [no longer extant]) (provenance)

Prince of Stolberg-Wernigerode, Zeisberg sale, Wernigerode, October 10, 1854, no. 37

G. Schar, unknown date and mode of acquisition

Léon Gruel collection, Paris, late nineteenth/early twentieth century

Acquired by Henry Walters, Baltimore, from Gruel, before 1931

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest

← search Claricia Psalter W.26

Origin Place

Augsburg, Germany

Date

Late 12th--early 13th century CE

Form

book

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Provenance

Made in the late twelfth/early thirteenth century for an abbey in southern Germany, probably the Benedictine house of SS. Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg

Bénigne-Charles Févret de Saint-Mémin (bookplate originally on front pastedown [no longer extant]) (provenance)

Prince of Stolberg-Wernigerode, Zeisberg sale, Wernigerode, October 10, 1854, no. 37

G. Schar, unknown date and mode of acquisition

Léon Gruel collection, Paris, late nineteenth/early twentieth century

Acquired by Henry Walters, Baltimore, from Gruel, before 1931

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest

Manuscript Overview

Abstract

This Psalter was made for, and most likely by, a group of Benedictine nuns at the abbey of saints Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg, Germany. Although the Psalter itself, along with its calendar, dates to the late twelfth or early thirteenth century, a number of texts and prayers were added in the mid thirteenth century. Most striking about the manuscript are its illuminations, which include a prefatory cycle, full-page miniatures, and historiated initials. While all are Romanesque in style, they vary greatly in quality and technique, and three or four different artists seem to have been at work. The Claricia Psalter takes its name from one of the initials, which depicts a young girl in secular dress swinging from the initial "Q," who has "Claricia" written around her head. It has been suggested that the image represents a novice artist who signed her work, but there are many other theories, and none are certain.

Text Note

Incomplete; lacks folio between fols. 9 and 10; lacks three folios between fols. 10 and 11; lacks folio between fols. 179 and 180; original manuscript contained calendar, Psalter, and canticles; the Magnificat, Office of the Dead, meditation on the Annunciation, Salve Regina, and several prayers and Gospel readings were added in the mid thirteenth century; two early charters used as pastedowns

Hand note

Written in documentary script

Decoration Note

Nineteen miniatures by three or four different hands, including a prefatory cycle of framed scenes heavily painted in blue, red, green, and gold; other drawings throughout in pen with some accent or background color; two historiated initials with figures in pen with accents of blue, red, and green; two decorated initials in the same colors; calendar framed by decorated columns topped by tympana containing the signs of the zodiac; enlarged red initials throughout (1-2 lines); rubrics in red; text in black ink

References

Contributors

Cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Editor: Noel, William

Copy editor: Bockrath, Diane

Contributor: Bockrath, Diane

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Hamburger, Jeffrey

Contributor: Noel, William

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Toth, Michael B.

Conservator: Owen, Linda

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

Förstermann, Ernst Wilhelm. Die Gräflich Stolbergische Bibliothek zu Wernigerode. Nordhausen, Germany: Förstemann, 1866, p. 98(sic 89), no. Za51.


De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 769, no. 75.


Harrsen, Meta. Cursus Sanctae Mariae. New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1937, p. 29, pl. 23.


Miner, Dorothy. Anastaise and her Sisters: Women Artists of the Middle Ages. Baltimore: Walters Art Gallery, 1974, pp. 11-12, figs. 2-3.


Carr, A. W. "Women Artists in the Middle Ages." The Feminist Art Journal 5 (1976): 5-9, 26.


Alexander, Jonathan J. G. Medieval Illuminators and their Methods of Work. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992, pp. 18, 20-21, fig. 31.


Stokstad, Marilyn, Michael Watt Cothren, Frederick M. Asher, et al. Art History. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson, 1995.


Pollock, Griselda, and Rozsika Parker. Old Mistresses: Women, Art, and Ideology. London: Pantheon, 1981, p. 16, fig. 9.


Bindings & Oddities

These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

Lower board outside

Spine

Fore-edge

Head

Tail

Keywords
Christian
Miniature
German
Romanesque
Devotion
Psalter
Germany
Original binding
Binding
Historiated initial
Inhabited initial
Charter
12th century
13th century
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