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Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Name-CRT: France, Burgundy, Archdiocese of Sens, Abbey of Pontigny, 12th Century
Title: Single Leaf from Gratian's Decretum
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1160
Creation End Date: 1165
Creation Date: c. 1160-1165
Creation Place: Abbey of Pontigny
Creation Place: Archdiocese of Sens
Creation Place: Burgundy
Object Type: Books
Classification Term: Manuscript
Materials and Techniques: ink, tempera, and gold on parchment
Dimensions: Sheet: 43.8cm x 33.5cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1954.598
Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
Context: The focus of the present leaf is a large decorated letter Q with spiraling lotus petals. The initial Q introduces the first Causa or case of law which concerns the definition of simony (making profit from sacred things). This leaf was excised from a copy of the handbook of canon law known as the Decretum written by Gratian, an Italian Camaldolese monk active in Bologna about 1130-40. The manuscript to which this leaf belongs was listed in several inventories of the library of Pontigny Abbey. Its style of decoration, known as "Channel School," was current in both southern England and northern France during the second half of the twelfth century.The style of both the illumination and the script date the leaf to between 1160 and 1165. In November 1164, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, took refuge at Pontigny as a result of his conflict with King Henry II of England. During his stay there, Becket immersed himself in the study of canon law, as evidenced by his later use of citations from the Decretum. It is not unlikely that this leaf was part of the original manuscript consulted by Becket. The volume was later dismembered after the suppression of the monastery during the French Revolution.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1954.598
AMICA Library Year: 2001
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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