Gradual of the Parish Church of Spilimbergo

  • S. XIV ex. – XV in. (within 1503); parchment; mm 510 x 385; ff. II, 243, II’
  • Spilimbergo, Parish Church Archives, 3

The codex is part of the series of choir books for the cathedral church of Spilimbergo drawn by the painter Giovanni de Cramariis from Udine under the lords of Spilimbergo’s patronage.

The codex is part of the series of choir books for the cathedral church of Spilimbergo consisting of six volumes that are still nowadays kept in loco and have left a wide and interesting documentation thereon. That evidences the sales of parchments occurred in Venice in 1484, the names of the writers, and of the illuminator, the painter Giovanni de Cramariis from Udine, and gives data on the terms and costs for the different books manufacturing. These books were realized between 1494 and 1507, the final act of an ambitious project financed by the lords of Spilimbergo and the local clergy that had also realized the church wooden stalls, the monumental lectern and the new organ. The Gradual ms. 3, finished in 1501, is one of the most sumptuous and it well witnesses Giovanni de Cramariis’ style, whose education as a miniaturist had taken place in Siena. In this Tuscan city he had worked with two main representatives of the Renaissance miniature, Girolamo da Cremona and Liberale da Verona, to the monumental and prestigious series of the Cathedral church of Siena, which is nowadays exhibited in the Piccolomini library. The figurative culture illustrated on the present volume folia, dedicated to the time of Easter and Pentecost, pertains to the Renaissance of Veneto and Mantegna and closely matches with the Friulian painting on wooden board and on fresco, and even more with Girolamo da Cremona, in a personal interpretation by Giovanni through simpler shapes.

Pentecost, introit, f. 73v with ornaments on the four margins and initial S with Pentecost

Pentecost, introit, f. 73v with ornaments on the four margins and initial S with Pentecost

f. 1r, Gradual, Easter, introit (detail, Playing Angels)

f. 1r, Gradual, Easter, introit (detail, Playing Angels)

Gradual, Ascension, introit, f. 59v with ornaments on the four margins and initial V with Christ’s Ascension

Gradual, Ascension, introit, f. 59v with ornaments on the four margins and initial V with Christ’s Ascension

f. 1r, Gradual, Easter, introit, initial R with Christ’s Resurrection

f. 1r, Gradual, Easter, introit, initial R with Christ’s Resurrection

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