c 1590 Gregorian Chant - Elaborate Illuminated Initial


Original leaf from a manuscript Spanish Antiphonal on animal parchment. (565 x 380mm – 22.25 x 15’’).

The initial, manuscript text and music (five lines of dark brown music on a red five-line stave) were beautifully executed by hand over 400 years ago!!!  

Spain (Navarre), c. 1590

One large unusual illuminated initial “C” (170mm square – 6.75’’ square) in  yellow wrapped with red and blue set in a landscape setting on a dirt path surrounded by trees and mountains – all set within a red frame. 

This leaf is for the Vigil of the Pentecost.  The text continues Psalm 19:8: “Nomine domini…” (We will call upon the name of the Lord our God). The text at the illuminated initial begin part of Ezechiel 36: 23-24 “Cum sanctificatus fuero…” (When I shall be sanctified in you, I will gather you together out of all the countries…).

Antiphonals contain chants for the canonical hours of the Divine Office: first vespers or the vigil of great feasts, matins, lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers and compline.

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.

Shipped unmatted

  • Inventory# IM-12829