The musicians of Salem

March 2, 2017

Images from the Cistercian monastery in Salem, Southern Germany (by Konstanz).

This breviary was commissioned by the Johannes Stantenat, an abbot from Alsace who lived his last years at the Salem monastery (who died in 1494 when this book was completed). He was crucial production of precious books and the expansion of the abbey's library.


The illustrations by Amandus Schäffer show that Stantenat must have been a music lover since, apart from the few musicians in biblical scenes and animal marginalia, the abbot himself is represented in a visual commentary, traveling by boat with a lute and a pipe player.


In the two sections of the book (winter and summer sections), Schäfer shows a humorous storytelling. 




Codex Salemitanus IX c-d, Bl., 1493/1494.

DE- Heidelberg, University Library



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