Antiphonal of St. Anthony the Abbot’s church of Udine

  • S. XIV; parchment; mm 586 x 340; ff. II, 165, II
  • Udine, ‘Archivio Capitolare’, 24

The codex, which is part of a four-volume Antiphonal written and illuminated under the Neapolitan church’s patronage of St. Anthony the Abbot at Foria, probably came to Friuli in the first half of the fifteenth century.

The codex contains the antiphonal from Sexagesima to Easter Sunday, and it is part of the same group of choir books the ms. 20 also belongs to (see file VIII.4). The rich miniated decoration has been jeopardized due to the removal of a large number of initials. The extant illumination set consists of a decorated initial on f. 161v, an initial I (Isti sunt dies) on f. 92r shaping a zoo-anthropomorphic hybrid (a human-headed bird), and nine historiated initials on the following folia: 5r (Miserere mei deus), Adam and Eve expelled from Eden; 9r (Dixit dominus), Christ appears to David; 14r (Secundum magnam misericordiam), Praying David; 17v (Locutus est dominus), the scene is so damaged that impedes any iconographic recognition; 32r (Ecce nunc tempus), a repentant on her knees is confessed by a religious, while on the top an angel fights against a demon and two hooded persons can be seen on the right; 38v (Cor mundum crea in me), Praying David; 137v (Iustificeris domine in sermonibus), Christ and the Apostles; 108r (In die qua invocavi te), Christ appears to a prophet; 160r (O mors, ero mors tua), Christ’s descent into limbo. Marginal ornaments frame many pages and often puts up animals, putti and hybrids among vine-stems, while in the leaf bottom edge two angels hold Mitte’s coat of arms, the same that appears in the other choir books of this series, too. The whole chromatic range is modulated in blue, rose, red and, more rarely, green hues. The manuscript decoration is entirely referable to the workshop of a Neapolitan illuminator, known as the Master of the Crucifixion of Avignon.

f. 14r, Antiphonal from Sexagesima to Easter Sunday, initial S with Praying David

f. 14r, Antiphonal from Sexagesima to Easter Sunday, initial S with Praying David

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