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The Missal of Eberhard von Greiffenklau

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The Missal of Eberhard von Greiffenklau is a masterpiece of Dutch manuscript painting. It was originally produced in the second quarter of the fifteenth century for von Greiffenklau, prebendary of Utrecht from 1446. The manuscript features work by the Masters of Zweder van Culemborg, active in the Utrecht area between 1420 and 1440, so-named after the bishop of Utrecht (1425-1433), for whom they produced a magnificent Missal in the late 1420s (now Bressanone, Bibl. del Seminario Maggiore). This Missal also features work by the celebrated Master of Catherine of Cleves, linking it to possibly the finest Dutch illuminated manuscript ever made; the Hours of Catherine of Cleves of ca. 1440 (Morgan Library & Museum, M.917 and M.945). This extremely elaborate Missal is illuminated with one full-page miniature, fifty-two column miniatures and sixty-eight historiated initials throughout the manuscript, with the temporale and sanctorale sections being particularly richly decorated. In the late fifteenth century, a selection of prayers and sequences were added to the end of the manuscript in Germany, probably Mainz, and the volume was subsequently rebound with its current brown calf over boards, blind, rebacked binding either at that time or in the early sixteenth century.
Date Description Narrative
8/06/1985Examinationexamined for condition
  • Splendor in Books. Grolier Club, New York; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1977-1978.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • The Golden Age of Dutch Manuscript Painting. Rijkmuseum Het Catharijneconvent, Utrecht; The Morgan Library & Museum, New York. 1989-1990.
  • The Book within the Book: Images of Books and Readers in Manuscripts. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995.
  • The Origins of Dutch Painting: Manuscripts from the Fifteenth Century. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998.
  • For This is My Body: The Medieval Missal. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2007.
  • Mirror of a Medieval World. The Hours of Catherine of Cleves. Museum Het Valkhof Nijmegen, Nijmegen. 2009-2010.
  • Beasts on Parchment: Picturing Animals in Medieval Manuscripts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2010-2011.
  • A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota. 2016-2017.
Provenance Eberhard von Greiffenklau (?), Cleves, 15th century. Dr. Jakob von Hefner-Alteneck [1811-1903], Munich; Sale, Munich, Galerie Hugo Helbing, June 6 1904, lot 500; purchased by Jacques Rosenthal, Munich, 1904. Acquired by Henry Walters, Baltimore; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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2nd quarter 15th century
ink and pigments on parchment bound between boards covered with fifteenth- or sixteenth-century brown calf with blind, rebacked, corners repaired in tan calf
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
Overall H: 10 13/16 x W: 7 13/16 x W: 2 7/16 in. (27.5 x 19.8 x 6.2 cm); Folio H: 7 11/16 × W: 6 13/16 in. (19.5 × 17.3 cm)
  • Netherlands (Place of Binding)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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