"Spend five minutes with the Italian choir book featured in the exhibition Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroads. It is one of the largest manuscripts in the Museum’s collection, but the intricacy of its pages is what I find compelling. The Latin words, the musical notation, the form of the letter “h” that encloses the scene of the Nativity, the monumental form of the Virgin, and the humble ox and donkey peeking over the edge of the manger at the Christ Child—all combine to remind me of why I love manuscripts.”
Recommended viewing for slowartday from our manuscripts curator, Elizabeth Morrison.
To zoom in and let your “eyes” wanter, click here.
Initial H: The Nativity (detail) in an Antiphonal, late 1200s, Master of Gerona. J. Paul Getty Museum.
On this day in 1500, Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, was captured by Swiss troops and handed over to French forces at Novara. Prior to his flight from Milan in August 1499, Sforza had been a great patron of the arts, bringing Donato Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci to his court and commissioning numerous projects from them and others including the completion of the Dominican friary of Santa Maria delle Grazie with a new choir for his family’s tombs and a mural showing the Last Supper for its refectory.
Reference: E. S. Welch, et al. “Sforza.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.<http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T077930pg5>
Ludovico Sforza, Pala Sforzesca, 1494 (detail)
Giovanni Ambrogio de Predis, Portrait of Ludovico Sforza
Leonardo da Vinci, Lady with an Ermine (Ceclia Gallerani), 1489-90, Czartoryski Museum, Kraków
Lazzaretto Hospital, Milan, 1488-1513 (destroyed)
Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, Facade, Certosa, Pavia, after 1492
Donato Bramante, Choir of Santa Maria delle Grazie, after 1492
Leonardo da Vinci, Last Supper, 1495-98, Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan