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Manuscript - Fragment of a leaf from the Beaupre-lez-Grammont Antiphoner
  • Fragment of a leaf from the Beaupre-lez-Grammont Antiphoner
  • Enlarge image

Fragment of a leaf from the Beaupre-lez-Grammont Antiphoner

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Flanders (made)

  • Date:

    1280-1290 (made)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case I, shelf 66, box A

Physical description

Initial A with monks kneeling beside a bishop and a pope.

Place of Origin

Flanders (made)


1280-1290 (made)


Height: 305 mm max, Width: 170 mm max

Object history note

The Beaupré Antiphonary was initially composed of two sets of antiphonaries, each had three volumes, originally created for the abbess and prioress of Beaupré by Johannes de Toussens. The Walters Art Museum owns three volumes from the two sets: two volumes from the set for the abbess and one volume from the set for the prioress. A fourth, related volume was later created to accompany Volume one. These manuscripts were begun in 1280 and completed in 1290; they measure 33.5 cm wide by 47.5 cm high. All volumes remained in the Cistercian nunnery where they were originally created until about 1800. There is a gap in the provenance from 1800-1850. The book could have been taken into hiding after the pillaging associated with the French Revolution. It is possible that the Beaupré Antiphonary sets and volumes were separated during this gap.

The volumes at the Walters previously belonged to John Ruskin. Ruskin acquired the books circa 1850. Ruskin cut out pages from the volumes, annotated and added Latin transcriptions in the margins, and allegedly erased much of the marginalia. While the cutting of pages and annotations were supposedly intended for didactic purposes, the reason for the erasures is still unknown.

Although the V&A's fragments also suffered, they were not destroyed at the hands of Ruskin. Ruskin did not own the volumes from which this fragment came. Interestingly, neither of the V&A's fragments (7939 & 7940) appears to have the characteristic, "Ruskinian" erasures present in the Beaupré volumes. The other Beaupré volumes were lost in a fire in ca. 1865 that broke out in the house adjacent to Sotheby's. It is unknown if Ruskin had even seen these other volumes.

For more information see Walters Digital Collection Ms. W.759-W.762.

Historical context note

Data taken from notes compiled by Rowan Watson. The full text of the entry is as follows:

'Cat. 0.2
Part of a leaf, with an historiated initial A (Pope and bishop, with a kneeling Cistercian monk on either side)

Rubric: In natali plurimorum martyrum

NL (South). 1290
(295 x 155) mm.
Part of 6 lines of music and text visible; square notation

From Beauprè Abbey; Gift of A Pickert of Nuremberg, 26 Nov. 1872
1923 cat, 11; John Harthan, `An introduction to illuminated manuscripts' (HMSO, 1983), p. 21, plate 8 (in colour).'

Descriptive line

Fragment of a leaf from the Beaupre-lez-Grammont Antiphoner; Flanders; 1280-1290.


Vellum (paper)

Subjects depicted

Monks; Bishops (prelates); Manuscripts; Popes


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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