Home > Digitized Walters Manuscripts

This document is a tranformation of a TEI P5 XML manuscript description incorporating images. If you have trouble reading special or non-Latin characters on this page, please make sure you have appropriate Unicode fonts installed and an up-to-date web browser.

Walters Ms. W.33, Melk missal

Browse images (Browse images in a new window) | TEI in XML format

Shelf mark



Melk missal

Text title


This missal, which dates to the late twelfth or early thirteenth century, was made for the Benedictine abbey of Melk (or possibly Seitenstetten) in Lower Austria, as indicated by the inclusion of local saints. The surviving volume of a multi-volume missal, the manuscript contains only the ordinary of the mass and the "summer part," with the temporale running from Holy Saturday through the Sunday after Trinity Sunday and the sanctorale beginning with the feast of Primus and Felicianus (June 9) and ending with St. Andrew (November 30). Most notable about the manuscript are its skilled pen drawings, including two full-page miniatures depicting Christ in Majesty and the Crucifixion, as well as sixteen ornate initials, three of which are by the artist known as Gottschalk of Lambach.


Late 12th--early 13th century CE


Melk, Austria


Authority name: Gottschalk, 12th cent.

Known as: Gottschalk of Lambach






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Cream-colored parchment of medium thickness; quality varies, with many original holes and some irregularly shaped folios due to using the very edges of the skin


Foliation: 288

Modern pencil foliation in upper right corners (followed here) running from fols. 1-284, omitting four leaves (now fols. 85*, 132*, 202*, and 248*); some inconsistent pencil foliation in lower right corners; roman-numeral foliation (fifteenth century?) in middle upper margins


Formula: 1-24(8), 25(10,-8), 26-31(8), 32(10,-8), 33-35(8), 36(6)

Catchwords: None

Signatures: None

Comments: Quires begin on fols. 1(1), 9(2), 17(3), 25(4), 33(5), 41(6), 49(7), 57(8), 65(9), 73(10), 81(11), 88(12), 96(13), 104(14), 112(15), 120(16), 128(17), 135(18), 143(19), 151(20), 159(21), 167(22), 175(23), 183(24), 191(25), 200(26), 207(27), 215(28), 223(29), 231(30), 239(31), 247(32), 255(33), 263(34), 271(35), 279(36); third leaf of quire 25 (fol. 193) and third leaf of quire 32 (fol. 248bis) tipped in; bifolium 50-51 presently unsewn and glued in, presumably when fol. 248bis was tipped in; quire 36 misbound; correct order of folios is 279, 284, 280, 281, 282, 283


17.0 cm wide by 26.5 cm high

Written surface

10.9 cm wide by 19.7 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 21
  3. Drypoint ruling; contains neumatic musical notations periodically throughout the text

fols. 1r - 284v:
  1. Title: Missal
  2. Text note: Text is "summer part" of missal only, Use of Melk
  3. Hand note: Written in pre-Gothic bookhand for the majority of the text, with a much smaller version used for sections with neumes; later material added in fifteenth-century cursive (e.g. fols. 238v, 239r, and 241v); four primary hands: Scribe A (fols. 1r, 2r, 3r-8v); Scribe B (fols. 9r-184r, 193r, 271r-277v [line 21], 278r [line 4]-279v, 284r [lines 1-4]); Scribe C (fols. 184v-192v, 194r-270v, 277v [line 22]-278r [line 3]); Scribe D (fols. 280r-283v); three later hands: Scribe E, thirteenth-fourteenth century (fols. 284r [lines 5-19], 284v [lines 1-14]); Scribe F, fifteenth century (fol. 284r [lines 19-26]); Scribe G, fourteenth century (fol. 284v [lines 15-29])
  4. Decoration note: Two full-page miniatures, drawn in red and purple pen, with only the backgrounds painted in solid tones of blue and light green and images contained within frames of penned foliate designs; six historiated initials, five inhabited initials, and five decorated initials, all between 4 and 10 lines in height and done in the same technique and colors as the miniatures; three pen-drawn initials added later in blank spaces; capitals in red throughout, ranging from 1 to 4 lines; text and neumes in black ink
fols. 1r - 7r:
  1. Title: Ordinary of the mass
  2. Artist: Gottschalk, 12th cent.
  3. Contents: Fol. 1r: Prefaces for Easter, Ascension of the Virgin; fol. 2r: Vere dignum; fols. 3r-7r: Canon of the mass
  4. Decoration note: Two full-page miniatures (fols. 1v and 2v); large initials by Gottschalk of Lambach (fols. 2r and 3r)
fols. 7v - 132r:
  1. Title: Temporale (summer part)
  2. Artist: Gottschalk, 12th cent.
  3. Rubric: In Sabbato Sancto ad missam ... Oratio
  4. Incipit: Deus qui hanc sacratissimam
  5. Text note: Begins with Holy Saturday and ends with the Sunday after Trinity Sunday
  6. Decoration note: Initials on fols. 7v (by Gottschalk of Lambach), 9r, 36v, 53v, 62r, 65r, 66v, 78v, and 80v
fols. 132r - 133v:
  1. Title: Dedication of a church
  2. Rubric: In dedicatione templi
  3. Incipit: Terribilis est locus iste
  4. Decoration note: Initial on fol. 132r
fols. 133v - 134r:
  1. Title: Dedication of an altar
  2. Rubric: In dedicatione altare
  3. Incipit: Ominpotens sempiterne Deus altare hoc nomini
  4. Decoration note: Initial on fol. 133v
fols. 134v - 232r:
  1. Title: Sanctorale (June 9 to November 30)
  2. Rubric: Primi et Feliciani
  3. Incipit: Sapientiam sanctorum narrant populi
  4. Text note: Begins with the nativity of SS. Primus and Felicianus and ends with St. Andrew
  5. Decoration note: Initials on fols. 143r, 149v, and 178v
fols. 193v - 193v:
  1. Title: Mass of Corona Dei (added)
  2. Rubric: Officium de Corona Dei
  3. Incipit: Gaudeamus omnes in domino Diem festum celebrantes sub honore Corone Deo
  4. Text note: Text not originally included but added to a blank folio in a later, thirteenth-century hand
fols. 232r - 284r:
  1. Title: Common of Saints and votive masses
  2. Incipit: Ego autem sicut oliva fructifera
  3. Contents: Fols. 232r-237r: Common of Saints; fols. 237r-243v: Feriae which are not proper; fol. 243v: For the patrons of the church (Propitiate quos domine nobis famulis tuus per sanctorum Apostolorum tuorum Petri et Pauli et Sancti Cholomanni martyris); fol. 244r: Common of all Saints; fols. 244r-284r: Votive masses
fols. 284r - 284v:
  1. Title: Added prayers
  2. Contents: Fol. 284r: Prayer to St. Katherine (Loquebar per totum), prayer to the Virgin Mary (Virginis Mariae laudes); fol. 284v: Prayer to St. Katherine (Deus qui dedisti legem), prayer (Omnipotens sempiternae Deus tuae)
  3. Hand note: Text not originally included but added to blank folios in several later hands in the fourteenth and fifteenth century


fol. 1v:

  1. W.33, fol. 1v
  2. Title: Christ in Majesty
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Ordinary of the Mass: Vere dignum
  5. Comment:


fol. 2r:

  1. W.33, fol. 2r
  2. Title: Decorated monogram
  3. Form: Inhabited initials "VD," 8 lines
  4. Text: Ordinary of the mass: Vere dignum
  5. Label: This Vere dignum monogram was painted by an artist called Gottschalk of Lambach.

fol. 2v:

  1. W.33, fol. 2v
  2. Title: Crucifixion
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Ordinary of the mass: Canon of the mass
  5. Comment:

    Titulus is inscribed: IESUS NAZARENUS REX IUDEORUM. The circular inscription reads: CARNE DOMINUM CRUCIFIXUM CORDE TENEFIXUM CARO.

fol. 3r:

  1. W.33, fol. 3r
  2. Title: Decorated initials
  3. Form: Decorated initials "TE," 8 lines
  4. Text: Canon of the mass: Te igitur
  5. Label: These decorated initials were painted by an artist called Gottschalk of Lambach.

fol. 7v:

  1. W.33, fol. 7v
  2. Title: Monogram with a lion breathing on two cubs
  3. Form: Historiated initials "DS," 8 lines
  4. Text: Sanctorale: Deus qui hanc
  5. Label: This historiated monogram is a contraction for the word "Deus" and was painted by an artist called Gottschalk of Lambach.

fol. 9r:

  1. W.33, fol. 9r
  2. Title: Jonah in the mouth of the whale
  3. Form: Historiated initial "R," 11 lines
  4. Text: Temporale: Mass for Easter

fol. 53v:

  1. W.33, fol. 53v
  2. Title: Abraham sacrificing Isaac
  3. Form: Historiated initial "T," 9 lines
  4. Text: Temporale: Mass for the vigil of Pentecost

fol. 62r:

  1. W.33, fol. 62r
  2. Title: Pentecost
  3. Form: Historiated initial "S," 8 lines
  4. Text: Temporale: Mass for Pentecost

fol. 132r:

  1. W.33, fol. 132r
  2. Title: Crucifixion
  3. Form: Historiated initial "T," 9 lines
  4. Text: Mass for the dedication of a church

fol. 143r:

  1. W.33, fol. 143r
  2. Title: St. John the Baptist
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 5 lines
  4. Text: Sanctorale: Mass for the Nativity of John the Baptist

fol. 149v:

  1. W.33, fol. 149v
  2. Title: SS. Peter and Paul
  3. Form: Historiated initial "N," 10 lines
  4. Text: Sanctorale: Mass for SS. Peter and Paul


The binding is not original.

Austrian fifteenth-century beech boards covered with brown calfskin stamped with inscribed scrolls containing German poetic inscriptions; Clarkson notes in the Walters file that letters are raised and therefore cannot have been directly impressed with movable type as suggested by Miner and Goldschmidt; much restored; pastedowns of manuscript waste: front pastedown in twelfth-century Gothic bookhand (1 Chronicles, 2:33-43), back pastedown in fifteenth-century German cursive hybrid bookhand (breviary)


Benedictine abbey of Melk or possibly Seitenstetten, evinced by the patron saints of Melk, Peter and Paul, and Cholomannus (fol. 212r); liturgy for use in Melk diocese, so appears to have been made for the abbey in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century

Seitenstetten Stiftsbibliothek Ms. 127, acquired before 1913; described in 1913 Swarzenski publication

Jacques Rosenthal bookplate on inside of upper board, cat. 90, 1928

Henry Walters, Baltimore, before 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


Swarzenski, Georg. Die Salzburger Malerei von den ersten Anfängen bis zur Blütezeit des romanischen Stils. Leipzig: Karl W. Hiersemann, 1913, pp. 153, 165, pl. 121, figs. 406-407 (fols. 1v, 2v).

Bibliotheca Medii Aevi Manuscripta. Pars Altera: Einhundert Handschriften des Mittelalters vom zehnten bis zum fünfzehnten Jahrhunderts. Munich: Jacques Rosenthal, 1928, pp. 88-90, no. 167, pl. 17 (fol. 1v).

Davis, Lisa Fagin. The Gottschalk Antiphonary: Music and Liturgy in Twelfth-Century Lambach. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 25-26.

Miner, Dorothy E. "The Development of Medieval Illumination." Catholic Life Annual 1 (1958): 14-15, fig. 5 (fol. 9r).

Pirker-Aurenhammer, Veronika. Die Gumbertusbibel: Codex 1 der Universitätsbibliothek Erlangen: Ein Regensburger Bildprogramm des späten 12 Jahrhunderts. Regensburg, Germany: Universitätsverlag Regensburg, 1998, p. 140., no. 74.

Walters Art Gallery. The History of Bookbinding 525-1950 A.D.: An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art, November 12, 1957, to January 12, 1958. Baltimore: Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery, 1957, pp. 65-66, no. 152.

Holcomb, Melanie. Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009, pp. 100-102, no. 26.

Holter, Kurt. "Neue Beiträge zur Geschichte der Stiftsbibliothek Lambach im hohen mittelalter." In Kunstgeschichte und Denkmalpflege: Festschrift für Norbert Wibiral zum 65. Geburtstag. Georg Heilingsetzer, ed. Linz, Austria: Musealverein, 1986, pp. 85-98.

Holter, Kurt. "Initialen aus einer Lambacher Handschrift des 12. Jahrhundert." Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte 46-47 (1993-4): 255-265.

Hoffmann, Konrad. The Year 1200: Between Romanesque and Gothic. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1970, p. 289, no. 282 (fol. 1v).

Glaßner, Christine, and Alois Haidinger. Die Anfänge der Melker Bibliothek: Neue Erkenntnisse zu Handschriften und Fragmenten aus der Zeit vor 1200. Melk, Austria: Verlag Stift Melk, 1996, pp. 86, 91.

De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 775, no. 115.

Huglo, Michel. "Souvenirs énchantes de la Walters Art Gallery." Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 54 (1996): 1-8.

Toledo Museum of Art. Medieval and Renaissance Music Manuscripts. Toledo, 1953, p. 10, no. 28, pl. 5 (fol. 9r).

Walters Art Gallery. Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance: An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Baltimore: Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery, 1949, p. 14, no. 30, pl. 18 (fol. 9r).


Cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editors: Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William

Copy editor: Bockrath, Diane

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Clarkson, Christopher; Davis, Lisa Fagin; Dutschke, Consuelo; Emery, Doug; Hamburger, Jeffrey; Noel, William; Sciacca, Christine; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.