Original leaf from a large manuscript Spanish Gradual on animal parchment. The manuscript text and music (5 lines of music on a five-line stave) were beautifully executed by hand over 500 years ago in the 15th century!!! (533 x 370mm – 21 x 14.5”)
Spain, c. 1475-1500.
Three elaborate knot-work (cadel) initials heightened with yellow - two with an intricate internal design in violet.
This leaf continues the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Line one continues: “Reple cordis intima…” (With Heaven’s affections, fill our inmost hearts. Be our ultimate comforter as we pray to the King of glory…).
As is usual with Medieval and Renaissance parchment, the hair side of the leaf is darker than the flesh side, but may take ink somewhat better. The differences in tone caused scribes to arrange their quires so that the hair side of one sheet faced the hair side of the next, and the flesh side faced the flesh side.
Graduals contain the musical chants for the proper of the Mass: introits, graduals, tracts, alleluia, offertory and communion verses, and sequences for special feasts. They may also include chants for the ordinary of the Mass: Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and for the introductory ‘asperges’ rite.