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Resurrection of Christ, by Hermann Scheere, in a Book of offices

Resurrection of Christ, by Hermann Scheere, in a Book of offices

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1405

Shelfmark: Additional MS 16998

Item number: f.19v

Length: 22.6

Width: 14.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

A book of offices (special prayers for each day) and other prayers, this manuscript was illuminated by Hermann Scheere and one or more unknown painters. Scheere may have been German, but his style suggests that his artistic background was Flemish. Certain features of its decoration reveal his continental origins and suggest that he decorated this book soon after arriving in England. It presents several unique or early examples of subject matter and text. Provided with a calendar, it includes prayers for feast days and ones special to certain saints, similar to a book of hours. It would have been used as a personal prayerbook. The prayers for Easter are illustrated with a picture in a square frame within the column of text., a continental feature differing from the typical English presentation of such pictures within the first letter. It depicts Christ, his wounds clearly visible, stepping out of a sarcophagus in open air, the soldiers sleeping around it. The picture emphasises his human body, to make the point that he is resurrecting and also to refer to the Eucharist. The connection between the two would have been a point for contemplation. The text is the introit or introductory processional hymn of Easter Sunday.

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