Although the Getty Museum's collection of Italian manuscript illuminations is the youngest institutional collection in the United States, it includes a range of Italian manuscripts that spans more than eight centuries. The Getty's holdings presently consist of forty-four works, dating from the ninth to the sixteenth century, and include entire manuscripts as well as leaves and cuttings.
This volume gathers selections from the Getty's collection that highlight the extraordinary achievement of the Italian tradition of illumination. Examples include multiple illuminations from such books as the Montecassino Breviary, the Gualenghi-d'Este Hours, the missal of the antipope John XXIII, and the recently discovered Orsini Missal. Other paintings are such exceptional leaves and cuttings as those from the celebrated choir book of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence and the Laudario of the Company of Sant'Agnese, also in Florence.
A wide range of artists is included. Two of the most well-known, Pisanello and Girolamo de Cremona, worked for distinguished patrons at court, while others worked in obscurity and are known today only through their illuminations. One of the finest miniatures in this collection, for example, is credited to an artist known only as the Master of Gerona.
Thomas Kren and Kurt Barstow are curator of manuscripts and associate curator of manuscripts, respectively, at the Getty Museum.
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