2007年11月17日

黄金年鑑

A Golden Almanac
【TIMEより、以下転載】
Some of the medieval age's greatest treasures are its books of hours, virtually museums within hard covers. These Christian almanacs are crammed with prayers, psalms, and calendars of saints' days. They summarize all that medieval man worshiped and feared, depicted in miniatures wondrous with wildflowers and lavish with gilding. They are the unintentional encyclopedias of their era, and because each is unique, they are almost beyond acquisition.

When such a book does come along, its history is often shrouded in intrigue. Back in 1856, a Paris dealer sold a 193-page manuscript. Dated around 1435, it was recognized by its heraldic symbols as a Book of Hours for Catherine of Cleves, noble daughter of a powerful Dutch duke. For more than a century, no one questioned its completeness. It wound up in 1958 in the Guennol collection, owned by Long Island Investor Alastair B. Martin.

But in early 1963, Frederick B. Adams Jr., 54, director of Manhattan's Pierpont Morgan Library, chanced to find a manuscript from Europe with a title referring to Catherine. It was unmistakably by the same hand as the Guennol version. The library purchased it, and by matching sentence breaks, even stains on the pages, proved conclusively that the two were once one, an uncommonly long Book of Hours illumined with 157 dazzling miniatures. Joined for an exhibit at the Morgan, the reunited book was clearly the finest Dutch manuscript in existence (see color pages). Now the halves are separate again.

The master who painted the book is unknown, but he had the sharp eye of a jeweler. Details only 1/32 of an inch are revealed by a magnifying glass as ducks floating on a pond. He portrays hell's horrors with shrieking, Bosch-like surrealism, but more divine images receive less than medieval veneration. Christ's birth and infancy are treated with the tenderness of an uncle. The artist took his greatest liberties in the borders of his illuminations. There he imitates a grape arbor's lattice in textiles and lacework, borders a saint with pretzels that were originally baked to imitate hands clasped in prayer, in a secular study of commonplace reality.

This labor was a wedding present for the duchess. At the age of 13, Catherine was married to the neighboring Arnold, Duke of Guelders. In time, she became vain, violent and overweening. Eventually, with her son, she conspired against her husband. But though the manuscript illuminations speak toward a more secular age, they apply medieval alchemy to make gentle nature glitter with lasting fire. The Cleves master was shrewd but also sensitive, and his work can stir souls. Perhaps Catherine herself was the only one not mindful enough of her Book of Hours.
これは1964年のニュース記事。さっきのより更に古いです。

モーガン・ライブラリーが『カトリーヌ・ド・クレーブの時祷書』をまさに入手したぐらいの頃の話です。

二つに分かれていた写本が実は、一つのものだったという発見があったと書かれています。実は、この話は先日購入した本『The Golden Age of dutch Manuscript Painting』の中にも更に詳細な話が書かれていてそれを読んでいたので、特に驚かなかったのですが、ニュース記事になっているとは思わなかったので、とりあえずメモ。

いろいろな意味で興味深い話がたくさんあって本当に楽しい♪

関連ブログ
モーガン・ライブラリーで稀稿本の滅多にない楽しみ
「The Hours of Catherine of Cleves」John Plummer George Braziller
Hours of Catherine of Cleves 獲得までの経緯
「中世彩飾写本の世界」内藤裕史 美術出版社
第48回東京名物・神田古本まつり~其の二
モーガン・ライブラリーで開かれた「オランダ細密写本の黄金時代」の本。


posted by alice-room at 00:34| 埼玉 ☁| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 【ニュース記事A】 | 更新情報をチェックする
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