This delightful book describes and illustrates the Metropolitan Museum's collection of nearly 40 illuminations from Italian choral manuscripts. Representing the work of Gothic and Renaissance masters both celebrated and anymous, these precious paintings in miniature---with their compelling narrative, brilliant color, and shining gold---bear witness to exceptional aesthetic accomplishment. The choir books they illuminate are a rich source of information about the development of chant, whose unexpected transcendent tonalities have abiding appeal today. They also serve as primary sources for the study of the lives of religious communities and of the philosophy and faith that infused medieval Europe, offering a glimpse of Italy at the dawn of the Renaissance.
Barbara Drake Boehm is Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.