Original leaf from a 15th century Gregorian chant. This illuminated medieval musical sheet was executed by hand in manuscript calligraphy on animal parchment.(610 x 430mm – 23 ½ x 16 ¾’’)
The music and text (six lines written in rounded gothic script) are written in black ink, on a five-line-stave, with headings and rubrics in red. Spain: Seville, c. 1460-90.
This striking leaf is related to a series of Choirbooks attributed to the Master of the Cypresses who illuminated twenty Choirbooks preserved in the Cathedral of Seville. Once thought to be Pedro da Toledo, he is now identified as Nicolás Gómez – active 1460-90.
Two highly illuminated initials extend the length of the five-line stave and are in burnished gold with and interior floral motif on red or blue ground, resting on an outer rectangular blue or red ground with a delicate floral motif; then extending into the margin in an elegant rinceaux-style border of vines adorned with gold bezants!
The illuminated "B" begins: “Beata es virgo maria…” (Truly blessed art thou, O Virgin Mary: the Creator of all things thou didst bear; Him who made thee thou didst bring forth; and a Virgin evermore thou dost remain).
The illuminated “A” begins the hymn: “Ave regina celorum…” (Hail, queen of heaven, mother of the king of the angels, Mary, flower of virgins, like as the rose and lily…).