New Contexts – New Perspectives
Edited By Pawel Gancarczyk and Lenka Hlávková-Mrácková
Martina Šárovcová: Choral Books from the Observant Franciscan Monastery in Wrocław from the End of the 17th Century
Choral Books from the Observant Franciscan Monastery in Wrocław from the End of the 17th Century Martina Šárovcová Nadace pro djiny kultury ve st ední Evrop, Praha Illuminated musical manuscripts from the 17th and the 18th centuries represent a rather marginal topic for art historians. This situation is amplified by the view that in the first half of the 16th century the production of manually written and illustrated books came to an end. Consider Goldschmidt’s view that “by 1550 the illustrated book is dead”.1 It almost seems as if manually written and illustrated books were important only in medieval art, and as the printing press spread rapidly throughout Europe, handwritten books receded into the background as a less interesting, and less distinctive variant in terms of the progression of style and formal language. The collection of musical manuscripts created as early as the 16th and the 17th centuries by a Strahov Premonstratensian, Jan Šícha, illustrates well the topic of illuminated manuscripts from the 17th and the 18th centuries. Such “baroque” illuminated manuscripts were created predominantly in a monastic environment. Their authors (scribes, illuminators) were thus members of individual monastic communities. One of the key characteristics of these “baroque” manuscripts is the imitation of medieval codex features and looking back to the older tradition of such illuminated musical manuscripts. In 2006, Jan Gromadzki published a hitherto unknown collection of musical manuscripts which were created for the Observant Franciscan monastery in Wrocław/Breslau in the 1680s.2 This compilation consists of...
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