A Liber Precum in Sélestat and the Development of the Illustrated Prayer Book in Germany
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CitationHamburger, Jeffrey F. 1991. A liber precum in Sélestat and the development of the illustrated prayer book in Germany. The Art Bulletin 73(2): 209-236.
AbstractThe twelfth century marks a turning point in the history of the prayer book. During the first Christian millenium, pictures played only a limited role in prayer and in narrative imagery almost none, but by the later Middle Ages extensive cycles of narrative illustration appeared in booksof prayer across Europe. Focusing on developments in Germany, this article argues that the cura monialium or pastoral care of nuns provided a seminal context for the development of early illustrated prayer books. A newly discovered liber precum in Selestat serves as the point of departure for a reevaluation of the so-called Prayer Book of Hildegard of Bingen, the most profusely illustrated prayer book from twelfth-century Germany. Analysis of the prayers as well as the images in this group of manuscripts suggests that the history of prayer books with narrative illustrations should be carried back to the very beginning of the twelfth century, if not even earlier, and that, within the context of monastic reform, female patrons and recipients of prayer books had a formative role in this development.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10265388
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