Treasures of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Treasures of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Helmarshausen (Germany); Bologna (Italy) and others — 11th–15th century

From the museum of a great oil tycoon and art patron: a sampling of the first-class manuscript collection of the Getty Museum

  1. The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is one of the richest art libraries in the world

  2. The museum of the American oil tycoon and art patron Jean Paul Getty (1892–1976) also acquired a first-class manuscript collection with the purchase of 144 manuscripts in 1983

  3. These ten single sheets are a sample of the finest specimens of this unique collection

Treasures of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

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Description
Treasures of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

An exquisite selection of ten pages from the most significant works of one of the most renowned manuscript collections in the world. The pages originate from manuscripts from the most highly prized artistic landscapes of illumination and in doing so encompass the time period stretching from the Early Middle Ages up to the 16th century in a grand overview.

Treasures of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

The compendium contains ten pages from the renowned manuscript collection of one of the most important museums in the world. In doing so, a selection from the time period stretching from the Early Middle Ages up to the 16th century and the development of medieval illumination is made comprehensible.

An Exquisite Selection

The ten pages, assembled here as the “Treasures of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles”, bear witness to the uniqueness of the collection. From it were chosen only the finest and most significant books, and from each of these a page was chosen, respectively, to present the splendor and artistry of the entire manuscript. As such, the focus is clearly placed on the artistic design of the richly illustrated book treasures. For example, among the selected book treasures is a picture page from an 11th century Ottonian sacramentary with the scene of the Three Maries at the grave. A magnificent illustrated initial, opulently adorned with gold and luminous color, originates from a 13th century French Psalter. A page from the Prayer Book of Charles the Bold, which demonstrates the high point of 15th century Flemish illumination, is chosen as an example of the Flemish artistic landscape. Finally, the unbelievably fine book art of France is represented through a miniature from the Book of Hours of Louis XII. Thus the compendium of examples encompasses all the various forms and types of books from all of the highly-prized artistic landscapes of illumination, whether German, French, Flemish, or Italian. Through the direct juxtaposition of the individually different and yet comparable pages, it is possible to comprehend the development of medieval book art from its beginnings in the Early Middle Ages up to the 16th century.

A Top-Class Collection

The selection of ten pages from the highest quality works of the manuscript collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles reflects the collection’s richness. The museum possesses an exquisite selection of special books, all of which are only of the highest quality. The heart of the collection of the American museum is formed by the assemblage originating from Germany called Peter and Irene Ludwig. It was brought together with the consultation of H.P. Kraus, the book dealer and important antiquarian of manuscripts based in New York since 1939, into a collection of the highest quality. These manuscripts – numbering 144 in total – were bought up by the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1983 and comprise the foundation of the renowned manuscript collection of the one of the most significant museums in the world.

The Individual Pages:

The Three Maries at the Tomb
Sacramentary, Ms. Louis, vol. 2, fol. 19v
Ottonian, Mainz or Fulda, ca. 1025–1050
St. Mathew Writing His Gospel
Evangeliary, Ms. Louis II 3, fol. 9v
German, Helmarshausen, ca. 1120–1140
The Creation of the World
Stammheim Missal, Ms. 64, fol. 10v
German, Benedictine Abbey of St. Michael, Hildehesim, ca. 1170–80
Annunciation
Miniature from a Psalter, Ms. 4, Individual Sheet 1
German, Würzburg, ca. 1240
Initial C: King David Playing the Bells
Master of the Ingeborg Psalter
Psalter, Ms. 66, fol. 105v
French, probably Noyon, after 1205
Two Fishers on a Sea Monster
Bestiary, Ms. Lousi XV 3, fol. 89v
Franco-Flemish, Thérouanne?, ca. 1270
The Call to St. Peter and St. Andrew; Initial D: St. Andrew; Initial Q: St. Peter
Master of the Brussels Initials
Missal, Ms. 34, fol. 172a
Italy, Bologna, 1389–1404
St. Michael Fighting the Demons
Lieven van Latham, illuminator; Nicolas Spierinc, scribe
Hours of Charles the Bold, Ms. 37, fol. 15v
Flemish, Ghent or Antwerp, 1469 and ca. 1471
The Moderate and the Immoderate
Master of the Dresden Prayer Book
Fragment of “Faits et dits mémorables des romains”
Translated by Simon de Hesdin and Nicolas Gonesse after Valerius Maximus “Facta et dicta memorabilia”
Ms. 43, Flemish, Bruges, ca. 1475–1480
Bathsheba at her Bath
Jean Bourdicon

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Schätze des J. Paul Getty Museum
Origin
Germany
Date
11th–15th century
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Peter and Irene Ludwig

Available facsimile editions:
Treasures of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 2009
Limited Edition: 1995 copies
Detail Picture

Treasures of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

King David Playing the Bells – Ms. 66

This elaborate “C” initial originates from the hand of the famous yet anonymous Master of the Ingeborg Psalter and exhibits his preference for burnished gold leaf and strong primary colors, blue in particular. It introduces Psalm 97 and shows King David playing a carillon of bells accompanied by two companion musicians. According to the Hebrew Bible, David led other musicians in musical rituals connected with the installation of the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem.

Schätze des J. Paul Getty Museum
Single Page

Treasures of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Hours of Louis XII – Bathsheba at her Bath

This miniature by Jean Bourdichon is a masterpiece of architectural perspective and the human form. Standing in the window of a classically-styled building with golden accents, King David gazes upon Bathsheba. The biblical tale is rewritten here as she looks back at him as an unabashed temptress, lingering naked in her bath – a fountain with a devilish water spout.

Bathsheba is portrayed according to contemporary standards of feminine beauty: her skin is white as ivory, her small, high breasts a sign of youth, her wide hips a sign of fertility, and her long, flowing hair is masterfully depicted with countless pen strokes of gold ink. She is surrounded by the flowers and fruit trees of a walled garden, which also makes use of perspective.

Schätze des J. Paul Getty Museum
Facsimile Editions

#1 Schätze des J. Paul Getty Museum

Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 2009
Treasures of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Treasures of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 2009
Limited Edition: 1995 copies
Binding: Passepartouts in a box
Commentary: 1 volume
Language: German
1 volume: 12 leaves: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
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