Singing with Angels
Liturgy, Music, and Art in the Gradual of Gisela von Kerssenbrock
- Pages: 384 p.
- Size:210 x 275 mm
- Illustrations:124 b/w, 44 col.
- Publication Year:2007
- € 110,00 EXCL. VAT RETAIL PRICE
- ISBN: 978-2-503-51680-6
"Singing with Angels offers a wonderfully imaginative account of Gisela's gradual as a book with multiple layers of meaning conveyed through text, music and image. In the best tradition of interdisciplinary scholarship, this book is a model for manuscript studies and for medieval studies as a whole."
(Susan Boynton, in Manuscripta 54/2, 2010, p. 276-281)
Gisela is depicted in two self-portraits within the manuscript, in one of which she is leading the nuns of Rulle in singing the Christmas hymn, visual evidence that she was the choirmistress at this convent. The manuscript's images reflect the intellectual ambience of encloistered nuns who were steeped in the annual liturgical cycle of feasts with its associated bible readings, theological commentary, sermons, music, dramatic ritual, and artistic decoration. As it was used in the nuns' daily celebration of the mass, the book is an eloquent witness of the communal religious life of medieval women rather than their private meditations or mystical experiences.This study explores the imagery and texts associated with major feasts of the liturgical year and the novel ways in which music and text are woven into the artistic program of Gisela's manuscript. In particular, her book shows the seminal importance of the Easter celebration for convent life, as well over half of its illustrations are clustered in the Easter season; and the manuscript repeatedly gives artistic expression to the nuns' hopes of heaven.