A manuscript of the Austrian Lambach Abbey in its original binding
with illuminations by Gottschalk
4 St Augustine (354-430), Enarrationes in PsalmosIlluminated manuscript on vellum. Upper Austria, Lambach Abbey, second half of the 12th century.
333 x 225 mm. 279 leaves: I8-2 (lacking first two leaves), II-XIX8, XX4-1 (last cancelled blank), XXI-XXXV8, XXXVI8-2 (lacking last two blanks), two sequences of quire signatures in lower case roman numerals survive on some final versos, for example vi on fol. 38v, vii on fol. 46v, xi on fol. 78v, iii on fol. 169v. – Written space 250 x 160 mm, 35 lines.A romanesque bookhand in brown ink by two scribes between two pairs of scored verticals and on 35 scored horizontals, top and bottom pairs ruled across margins, rubrics in orange-red. Large initials from fol. 162 of orange-red, forty-six large foliate initials in orange-red and purple penwork,eighteen of them inhabited with birds, and three including figures, in addition two standing figures in the same technique, plummet preparatory drawing sometimes visible. – Strip cut from outer margin of final folio, opening folio darkened and spotting to outer margin, and marginal mark on verso. – Contemporary tawed skin over thick beech boards sewn on three double thongs, with perimeter-sewn tabs at head and foot of spine, remains of two pins in edge of lower cover and grooves from clasp straps at edge of upper cover, two brass catches at edge of upper cover and clasp straps on lower, medieval vellum title and shelf-mark labels on upper cover, the shelf-mark “B.41.” in red ink, a paper label at top of spine, later paper pastedowns two bifolia from a 15th-century Austrian manuscript giving abbreviated incipits for masses in the sanctoral. Lacking one clasp, upper board wormed and weak, lower board slightly wormed and with mark from chain hasp, corners rubbed, upper joint split at foot with 15th-century repair of inserted vellum. Brown morocco-backed box.
PROVENANCE: 1. Lambach Abbey, founded about 1056 by St Adalbero of Wurzburg.This manuscript can be identified as the second volume of the six-volume set of Augustine's commentary on the Psalms, rebound in five volumes in the 15th century, that was listed in the inventory of the Lambach library at the end of the 12th or early in the 13th century (Holter 1956, p. 273).The manuscript was still in Lambach in 1924 when Hans Gerstinger described it in his unpublished notes now deposited in the ÖNB in Vienna (ms. ser.n. 9713). 2. Sotheby's, 11 November 1929, lot 389; the manuscript was not identified as from Lambach. Three of the other four volumes of the set are now in Leutkirch,Waldburg- Zeilisches Gesamtarchiv, Zms 5 (1st volume, Pss 1-50), Frankfurt, Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek, ms. lat. qu. 64 (4th volume, originally vols. 4 and 5, Pss 118-133), Yale, Beinecke Library, ms. 699 (final volume, Pss 134-150 – see Holter 1989, pp. 56-57 and 205-208). 3. Catalogue of Graupe, Berlin 1935, no 144. 4. Sotheby’s, 3 June 1946, lot 188. 5. Private collection, Europe.
TEXT: TEXT: St Augustine’s commentary on Psalms 51-100, entitled here Expositio b(ea)ti Augustini sup(er) s(e)c(un)da q(ui)nquag(esi)ma ps(alm)is, but known from the time of Erasmus as ‘Enarrationes in Psalmos’, fol. 1-279v: PL 36, 601-637 to 1293 (lacking slightly less than two columns from the beginning of Psalm 51, cf. PL). The commentary on the Psalms was both the most extensive and most influential of Augustine's exegetical works; it came to be regarded as an essential component of a monastic library. Because it was so vast it was usual for it to be copied, as at Lambach, in several volumes (see:Wilmart 1931). The two surviving booklists from Lambach reveal the extent of the Abbey's 12th-century holdings. One records the books in the school library, the other the patristic, theological and liturgical manuscripts.The paucity of illumination from the Lambach scriptorium results from a conscious desire to avoid excessive luxury and the large number of patristic, exegetical and theological texts in the 12th-century Lambach library indicates that at that time the abbey was becoming a regional centre for advanced theological studies.The present manuscript would have been part of this campaign of production, and the set of which this is the second volume has been described as the greatest achievement of the Lambach scriptorium (Babcock 1993, p. 53).
ILLUMINATION:fol. 15:‘E’ a kneeling young man – fol. 30: ‘M’ Christ seated – fol. 47: ‘C’ a half-length tonsured saint holding a crosier – fol. 57: ‘I’ in the form of a standing figure of Ecclesia – fol. 124v: ‘I’ in the form of a standing figure of Solomon. The initials with birds or beasts on fol. 2v, 14, 28v, 33v, 42v, 47v, 57v, 63v, 68v, 86v, 87, 99v, 104v 120, 137v, 143v, 147v and 154. One figure dominates manuscript production at Lambach during the second half of the 12th century: the scribe and artist identified as Gottschalk from an inscription in the ‘Williram codex’ in Berlin (Staatsbibliothek, ms. theol. lat. qu. 140), a commentary of Williram von Ebersberg on the Song of Songs. Gottschalk appears to have been rubricator, scribe and artist, and it has also been suggested that he was the librarian (Holter 1956, p. 270) or the school master of the abbey (Davis 2000, p. 20). His artistic talent was clearly admired by other houses, as testified by the manuscripts he created for Kremsmünster, Garsten and Melk. Gottschalk’s work as a scribe consists of seven survived complete and two fragmentary manuscripts, although illuminations in his style are found in 25 other manuscripts. The delightful orange and purple penwork initials of this volume are characteristic examples of the work of this artist. All the features that distinguish his style from that of his followers are found here – stem bands with rows of circles, the ring-like buds or berries, halos outlined with circles, red dots on cheeks etc (Babcock/Davis 1990, p. 138). Lisa F. Davis included this codex, on the basis of the 1929 catalogue illustrations, among those listed as illuminated by Gottschalk himself (Davis 2000, p. 25). The figures of Solomon and Ecclesia, each serving as a letter ‘I’, have a claim to be regarded as some of his finest initials, each of them engaging and direct while wholly appropriate to the titulus or incipit of the texts they open.
LITERATURE: Holter 1956, p. 273; Hainisch 1959, p. XXXIV; Holter 1989, pp. 56-57 and pp. 205-208; Haidinger 1998, pp. 27-67; Davis 2000, p. 25. Migne 1844-55 (= PL);Wilmart 1931, pp. 257-315; De la Mare 1971; Babcock/Davis 1990, pp. 137-147; Babcock 1993.