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Singing with angels : liturgy, music, and art in the gradual of Gisela von Kerssenbrock

Author: Judith Oliver; Gisela, von Kerssenbrock.
Publisher: Turnhout, Belgium : Brepols, ©2007.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
A prized possession of the Cistercian convent of Marienbrunn in Rulle near Osnabrück in northern Germany was its richly illuminated gradual dating to c. 1300, which is of great significance in the history of medieval art for several reasons. With 52 historiated initials iconographically complex in their literary quotations from the liturgy, the manuscript ranks as one of the most lavishly decorated books of its  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Oliver, Judith (Judith H.).
Singing with angels.
Turnhout : Brepols, ©2007
(OCoLC)654794558
Named Person: Gisela, von Kerssenbrock.; Gisela, von Kerssenbrock <...-1300>; Gisela, von Kerssenbrock; von Kerssenbrock Gisela
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Judith Oliver; Gisela, von Kerssenbrock.
ISBN: 2503516807 9782503516806
OCLC Number: 62901080
Description: viii, 384 pages : illustrations (some color), facsimiles (some color), music ; 29 cm
Contents: Ch. 1. The Cistercian Convent of Rulle and its Gradual --
Ch. 2. Gisela scripsit et illuminavit: Assessing the Evidence --
Ch. 3. "Beautiful Images": the Figural Illustrations of the Gradual and their Literary Sources --
Ch. 4. Marienbrunn: The Cult of the Virgin and the Christmas Season --
Ch. 5. From Lent to Holy Week --
Ch. 6. Solemnitas Solemnitatem: Easter Sunday --
Ch. 7. The Appearances of Christ in the Easter Season --
Ch. 8. The Chorus of Saints: Illustration of the Sanctorale --
Ch. 9. The Eucharist, Easter, and Heavenly Realms --
App. 1. Codicological Description of the Manuscript --
App. 2. Contents of the Sanctorale --
App. 3. Hymns, Kyries, and Sequences --
App. 4. Catalogue of Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century Illuminated Graduals (to c. 1390).
Other Titles: Liturgy, music, and art in the gradual of Gisela von Kerssenbrock
Rulle Gradual of Gisela von Kerssenbrock.
Responsibility: Judith H. Oliver.

Abstract:

A prized possession of the Cistercian convent of Marienbrunn in Rulle near Osnabrück in northern Germany was its richly illuminated gradual dating to c. 1300, which is of great significance in the history of medieval art for several reasons. With 52 historiated initials iconographically complex in their literary quotations from the liturgy, the manuscript ranks as one of the most lavishly decorated books of its type to survive. Painted in an elegant courtly Gothic style, it is ascribed in a prefatory inscription to the nun Gisela von Kerssenbrock, who wrote, notated, and decorated the manuscript "with golden letters and beautiful images." Such an encyclopedic listing of a scribe-artist's labors is unparalleled in medieval scribal colophons. The high quality of the miniatures ranks her among the most gifted women artists of the Middle Ages. Gisela is depicted in two self-portraits within the manuscript, in one of which she is leading the nuns of Rulle in singing the Christmas hymn, visual evidence that she was the choirmistress at this convent. The manuscript's images reflect the intellectual ambience of encloistered nuns who were steeped in the annual liturgical cycle of feasts with its associated bible readings, theological commentary, sermons, music, dramatic ritual, and artistic decoration. As it was used in the nuns' daily celebration of the mass, the book is an eloquent witness of the communal religious life of medieval women rather than their private meditations or mystical experiences. This study explores the imagery and texts associated with major feasts of the liturgical year and the novel ways in which music and text are woven into the artistic program of Gisela's manuscript. In particular, her book shows the seminal importance of the Easter celebration for convent life, as well over half of its illustrations are clustered in the Easter season; and the manuscript repeatedly gives artistic expression to the nuns' hopes of heaven.

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