Kutna Hora's Musical Manuscripts of 15. and 16. Centuries

Smisek family's gradual

Entrace page with votive picture
of Smisek's family

Detail: Smisek's family Sign

Holy Trinity church
This source is deposited in the Austrian National Library in Vienna. Along with Kutná Hora’s Gradual [18] it counts among the most famous Kutna Hora’s graduals. It was made in the Prague’s workshop of illuminator Matouš between 1490-1495. The second part of the book is illuminated by a different artist. ( We know that Matouš dies in 1495.) The artistic aspects have been presented in many publications [11, 19, 20, 21] etc.

As well as other graduals, the book contains one-voice Latin chorals for the church year written in rhombic choral notation on four lines.The illuminations depict a number of scenes from the life in Kutna Hora, including the Church of Holy Trinity which served as a family chapel of the family Smíšek. The manuscript also contains an array of Hussite themes – burning of John Huss, throwing of the Hussite priests into the mine shaft in 1420.

Christ in Getsemane Garden

Throwing Husits priesthoods into colliery.
The customer was Michal Smíšek of Vrchoviště. The votive image on the front page portrays his family under the figure of Madonna. Other family symbols are on the ironwork. Gradual later came into posession of the family Rozumberk. In 1590 Petr Vok of Rožumberk gave it as a present to Duke Ferdinand of Tyrolia. From him it passed to the art-historical museum in Vienna and ended up in the depository of the Austrian National Library [11].

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