Early Seventeenth-Century Cartagloria
[France or Italy?].
Illuminated manuscript on vellum, signed by Bernardo Anglesi of Pavia and dated 1604. (BRMS 122)
This large folding illuminated manuscript is a cartagloria, a triptych comprising essential Latin texts for the Mass ceremony. The texts to be read by the priest while officiating at the altar include the Gloria, Credo, Offertory prayers, the Canon prayer ending with the words of Consecration, Hoc est corpus meum (“This is my body”), and the opening words of the Gospel of John. The Italian term cartagloria refers to the words Gloria in excelsis Deo, with which such altar cards always begin. In addition to this manuscript, Bridwell Library also holds examples of later printed cartaglorias from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The central miniature of this triptych replicates Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco of the Last Supper at the Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, completed in 1498. When Bridwell Library’s cartagloria was produced in 1604, Leonardo’s fresco was just beginning to gain international fame through the distribution of engravings. However, the illuminator who signed this triptych at the lower right corner, Bernardo Anglesi, indicated that he was from Pavia, twenty miles south of Milan. Thus, he may have known Leonardo’s composition directly from the original. The triptych’s leather covering features gold-tooled symbols of Christ’s Passion.