Description This manuscript, written at the Cistercian abbey of Himmerode in Germany in the early thirteenth century, is one of twenty-two surviving Latin copies of the Speculum virginum, or mirror for virgins. Attributed to Conrad of Hirsau, the text was written in the first half of the twelfth century as a guide for nuns, offering them theological lessons in the form of a hypothetical conversation between a teacher, Peregrinus, and his student, Theodora. The twelve illustrations in the manuscript portray the protagonists as well as the mystical visions and diagrams they discuss in the text. The large, expressive pen drawings bring the text to life and are an excellent example of German art of this period.
Leaf from Speculum Virginum: Christ in Majesty Flanked by Mary, John the Evangelist, and Saints with a Kneeling Monk
Provenance Cistercian abbey of Himmerode, Wittlich, Germany, by 15th century [erased ownership note, "Liber monachorum sancte Marie in hymmenrode ordinis Cisterciensis Treverensis dyocesis," fol. 1r, Shelfmark C.I.]; Josef von Görres collection, Germany, 19th century [mode of acquisition unknown]; Görres Collection Sale, Munich, 1902 [Catal.libr.mss no. 76 (no. 71 in unpublished, pre-1844 catalog of manuscripts when kept in Koblenz by Ernst Dronke)]; Julien Chappée, Le Mans and Paris, 1902, by purchase [Lot 76, p. 14]; Gruel and Engelmann Collection, Paris, 1903 [no. 88, bookplate on front pastedown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, June 9, 1903 [mode of acquisition unknown] [bookplate on front pastedown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1903
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