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Walters Ms. W.756, Single leaf from a gradual with the Assumption of the Virgin

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Shelf mark



Single leaf from a gradual with the Assumption of the Virgin

Text title
Leaf from a gradual


This leaf originally belonged to a mid-thirteenth-century gradual from southern Germany, or possibly the Seitenstetten region of Austria. The pages contain the fragmentary hymns for the feasts of St. Lawrence and the Assumption of the Virgin. The illumination introduces the latter, in the form of a large historiated initial "G," and depicts the death of the Virgin surrounded by apostles in the lower portion of the initial, while revealing her assumption into Heaven above. Christ appears within a rainbow mandorla and holds a small figure representing Mary's soul, an image that is based on Byzantine iconography. Originally the verso of the leaf, the image was fortuitously preserved due to the recto having been re-used as an account book cover in the early seventeenth century, the title of which is still visible.


Mid-13th century CE


South Germany (or the Seitenstetten region of Austria?)






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Medium weight, cream colored parchment


Foliation: Not applicable


19.5 cm wide by 32.8 cm high

Written surface

17.4 cm wide by 27.0 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 12
  3. Number of lines is based on lines of text; multiple lines have been ruled between for musical notation

fols. W.756r - W.756v:
  1. Title: Leaf from a gradual
  2. Contents: Incomplete; recto and first lines of verso contain hymn for the feast of St. Laurence; fragmentary text begins "Dispersit dedit pauperibus..."; verso contains beginning of hymn for the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin, with incipit "In assumptione sanctae mariae gaudeamus..."
  3. Hand note: Gothic bookhand for main text; rubric and first word in a majuscule display script; following lines in a minuscule display script; a seventeenth-century hand has written a title in Gothic script over the musical notation during its use as an account book
  4. Decoration note: One historiated initial (5 lines) in gold, silver, green, red, blue, and white; enlarged initials in red, blue, and sometimes gold (1 to 2 lines); blue pen designs in margin on recto; musical staff lines color coded, with C-line in red or brown, F-line in red, and others in green; neumes in red and black; text in black ink


fol. W.756v:

  1. W.756, fol. W.756v
  2. Title: Initial "G" with the death and assumption of the Virgin
  3. Form: Historiated initial "G," 5 lines
  4. Text: Hymn for the Feast of the Assumption


Originally part of a gradual, South Germany, or possibly the Seitenstetten region of Austria, mid-thirteenth century

Page re-used as a book wrapper, Germany(?), seventeenth century, titled and dated on recto "Geldt Register/Anno/1624/Biss Anno/1625"

In collection of L'Art Ancien, Zurich, before 1955


Museum purchase, S & A.P. Fund, 1955


Faye, C. U. and W. H. Bond. Supplement to the Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. New York, 1962, p. 199, no. 572.

"Bulletin Codicologique." Scriptorium 26 (1972): 130-246, p. 28, no. 402.

Miner, Dorothy. "Since de Ricci - Western Illuminated Manuscripts Acquired since 1934: A Report in Two Parts: Part 1." Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 29-30 (1966):68-103, p. 87, fig. 14.

Huglo, Michel. "Souvenirs 'enchantes' de la Walters Art Gallery." Journal of the Walters Art Gallery, 54 (1996):1-8, p. 3, fig. 3.

Palazzo, Eric. "Voir et entendre les chants de la messe," Codex Aquilarensis, 28, 2012, p. 219-230.


Catalogers: Dutschke, Consuelo; Herbert, Lynley; Sciacca, Christine; Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Davis, Lisa Fagin; Emery, Doug; Hamburger, Jeffrey; Klemm, Elizabeth; Noel, William; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Valle, Chiara


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.