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The Beaupré Antiphonary (Volume I)
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The Beaupré Antiphonary (Volume I)


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Illuminated in Hainaut ca. 1280 and completed in 1290, this collection of richly illuminated Cistercian manuscripts is a rare example of those being produced in Flanders at the end of the thirteenth century. Eighteen extant large historiated initials, flourished and decorated initials, and an abundance of amusing drolleries facilitate a liturgical narrative within the text. However, additions and removals within the text and imagery tells much about the use and history of the manuscript. The liturgical contents of this volume provide musical settings from Easter to the Assumption of the Virgin. This manuscript is the first of a set of three volumes destined for use on the abbess’ side of the choir at the Cistercian abbey of Sainte-Marie at Beaupré (diocese of Cambrai). Two sets of antiphonaries, each composed of three volumes, were originally created for the abbess and prioress of Beaupre. Of these two sets, the Walters Art Museum houses three volumes: two volumes from the set intended for the abbess and one volume from the set designated for the prioress. A fourth associated volume was created later to supplement W.759. The manuscripts' patroness, from the de Viane family, is depicted with a younger woman named Clementia on fol. 3v of vol. 1 (W.759). Donations by members of the de Viane family to Sainte-Marie of Beaupré were recorded from 1244 to 1293. Some of the marginal imagery was erased, possibly by John Ruskin, who owned them in the mid nineteenth century. Truly a remarkable work, this multi-volume antiphonary was generously gifted to the Walters Art Museum in 1957 at the bequest of the Hearst Foundation.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
11/27/1985Treatmentstabilized
12/06/2013Treatmentbinding stabilized; examined for digitization; media consolidation; splits mended
Exhibitions
  • Undercover Stories in Art. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1980.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Saints and Their Symbols. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1985-1986.
  • Puer Natus Est : The Christmas Story in Medieval Manuscripts. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1986-1987.
  • Real People in the Middle Ages: Donor Portraits in Illuminated Manuscripts. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1987.
  • Death and Dying in the Middle Ages. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1987.
  • Making Music in Medieval Manuscripts. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1988-1989.
  • Medieval Mastery, Book Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold (Meesterlijke Middeleeuwen). Stedelijik Museum Vander Kelen-Mertens, Leuven. 2002.
  • Hearst the Collector. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles. 2008-2009.
  • The Christmas Story: Picturing the Birth of Christ in Medieval Manuscripts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2009-2010.
  • Seeing Music in Medieval Manuscripts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2014.
Provenance Lady Marie de Viane at Cambron, 1290, by commission; First daughter of Lady Marie de Viane at Cambron [date of acquisition unknown], by gift; Convent of Saint Marie de Beaupré near Grammont, Belgium, until the French Revolution [mode of acquisition unknown]; John Ruskin, ca, 1853 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Sale, London (?), June 22, 1921, III, no. 67; Henry Yates Thompson, London [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Sale, June 7, 1932, I, no. 15; A. Chester Beatty [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; William Randolph Hearst [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; William Randolph Hearst Foundation [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1957, by gift.
Credit Gift of the William R. Hearst Foundation, 1957

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Creator
Period
1290 (Medieval)
Medium
ink and paint on parchment bound between boards covered with crimson velvet, crimson morocco spine, and gilding
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
W.759
Measurements
Folio H: 18 15/16 x W: 13 5/8 in. (48.1 x 34.6 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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