VANISHED RENAISSANCE ILLUMINATIONS
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This article is devoted to a pair of late 18th-century archival sources - the earlier one, dated 1781, is by Ambroz Strahl and the later one, dated 1785 and titled 'Materialia ad historiam urbis Brodae Bohem(icalis)', is by Antonin Hill - which had heretofore stood as a far from depleted fountainhead of information on the painted decorations of 16th-century illuminated manuscripts in the margins of scholarly interest. Both sources offer - following a critical reappraisal - reliable descriptions of the contents of eight illuminated manuscripts originating in Cesky Brod and Litomerice and focused on codicological descriptions of their contents and particularly of individual illuminations. A section dealing with illuminations determines their iconography, codicological background and contains detailed descriptions of coats of arms and guild emblems, with supplementary dating provided. In the context of the descriptions, references are made to particular archival sources in connection with those who commissioned and donated the manuscripts. Both sources, with detailed descriptions of illuminated manuscripts, extend in a fundamental manner our knowledge on the existence of a great many illuminated musical sources, which - with the exception of four illuminated manuscripts - have not been preserved. In the case of the descriptions of the four preserved manuscripts, their crucial significance in evaluating the original extent of their painted decorations and the iconographic programme of cut out of 19th-century illuminated folios so as to order these musical sources and their original bindings according to a more exact chronology has been made evident.
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