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MBS Morgan Library & Museum Exhibit Newly Acquired Prayer Book Made for Queen C.

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  • arnoarnooo
    http://www.artdaily.com/index.asp?int_new=24301&int_sec=2 NEW YORK.- The Morgan Library & Museum will put on special exhibition beginning May 20 an extremely
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 21, 2008
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      NEW YORK.- The Morgan Library & Museum will put on special exhibition
      beginning May 20 an extremely rare Renaissance illuminated manuscript,
      the Prayer Book of Queen Claude de France (1499–1524), created around
      the time of her coronation in 1517. It is the most important single
      illuminated manuscript acquired by the Morgan in the last twenty-five
      years and will go on view in the East Room of the historic McKim building.

      The tiny, jewel-like book, measuring just 2 ¾ by 2 inches, is richly
      illustrated with 132 scenes from the lives of Christ, the Virgin Mary,
      the apostles, and numerous saints. The work was created by an artist
      known as the Master of Claude de France and can be characterized as
      the pinnacle of delicacy in Renaissance illumination. The artist,
      named after this prayer book and a companion manuscript, was active in
      Tours during the first quarter of the sixteenth century. Barely a
      dozen of his works survive.

      The prayer book was given to the Morgan by Mrs. Alexandre P.
      Rosenberg, a long time generous supporter of the Museum. The gift is
      in memory of her husband Alexandre Paul Rosenberg, who died in 1987.
      Mr. Rosenberg was founding president in 1962 of the Art Dealers
      Association of America and was for many years a prominent art dealer
      in New York.

      The manuscript includes a bookplate designed by Pablo Picasso, an
      artist whose works Mr. Rosenberg exhibited in his gallery. Mr.
      Rosenberg collected early printed books and illuminated manuscripts;
      the Prayer Book of Queen Claude is considered the crown jewel of the

      "The Morgan Library & Museum is deeply grateful to Mrs. Rosenberg for
      the generous gift of this Renaissance masterpiece," said Morgan
      director William M. Griswold. "It is a tremendously important addition
      to the Morgan's renowned collection of illuminated manuscripts. We are
      especially pleased to be able to put the work on view so soon after
      acquiring it, allowing visitors to see first-hand its beauty and

      The book's miniature scenes are painted in a range of soft purples,
      mauves, and roses in tiny, sometimes almost invisible brushstrokes.
      Especially delicate is the artist's handling of atmospheric
      perspective, which he used to both lighten and multiply the soft
      colors in the landscapes and cities that fill many backgrounds in the

      The exhibition of the prayer book will include a second, related
      manuscript, the Prayer Book of Anne de Bretagne. Anne was Claude's
      mother and queen of France as the wife first of King Charles VIII and
      then King Louis XII. This manuscript, which was commissioned around
      1495 by Anne for her son, was illuminated by Jean Poyer, a leading
      Tours illuminator in whose workshop the Claude Master is now thought
      to have trained. Side by side, the two juxtapose a mother's book with
      her daughter's and the work of one illuminator with that of his protégé.

      The exhibition will also include a panel with enlargements of many of
      the illuminations, allowing visitors to see more closely the detail
      and delicacy of the Claude Master's creations. In addition, visitors
      can view the complete manuscript on screens in the Morgan's computer
      alcove on the main floor of the museum.

      In 1514, at age fourteen, Princess Claude married François
      d'Angoulême, who became King François I of France the next year.
      Claude and François produced seven children in their ten years of
      marriage, including their second son, King Henry II of France. Queen
      Claude died in 1524 at age twenty-four.
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