Gradual of the Parish Church of Gemona

  • S. XIV (3rd or 4th decade); parchment; mm 310 x 225; ff. 297
  • Gemona del Friuli, Parish Church, Gradual 3 (marked as ms. 1677)

A codex of the school of Bologna that, according to tradition, the parish church of Gemona received as a present by the patriarch Bertrand of Saint-Geniès.

The volume contains the mass chants to be sung from Advent Sunday to the 25th after-Pentecost Sunday, written in an uniform script with interposed red tetragrams with black square notation (ff. 1r-276v). From f. 277r to f. 292v there is other liturgical material by different, even sixteenth-century hands. From f. 293r to the end there can be read the patriarch Bertrand of Saint-Geniès’ dedication to the church of Gemona, as well as two versions of the Credo. Scholar criticism has actually arisen some doubts on this dedication, since it is added at the end of the volume, on folia whose provenance could be from another codex. It is sure that the three coats of arms present on the first folium were later added. These are the patriarch Bertrand’s coat of arms, the blazon of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, and on the right the coat of arms of the de’ Brugnis, a noble family of Gemona, which had once been erroneously identified with the one of the city of Gemona. The codex has been therefore supposed being given by Bertrand as a present to the de’ Brugnis family, and subsequently from the latter to the church of Gemona. Albeit damaged and hence nowadays scarcely readable, the ornament morphology and the chromatic choice of the miniatures apparently belong to a Bologna milieu or an environment under the influence of that city, and they are datable to the third and fourth decades of the fourteenth century. In the codex oldest part there are pen-made filigree and inlay initials in red and blue inks, which are also typical of the fourteenth-century liturgical codex. Referable to another typology are, on the contrary, the calligraphic initials that ornament the last folia, starting from the dedication (f. 293r).

f. 1r, Gradual from Advent Sunday to the 24th after-Pentecost Sunday, initial A with King David raising his soul to God

f. 1r, Gradual from Advent Sunday to the 24th after-Pentecost Sunday, initial A with King David raising his soul to God

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