The Ascension of Christ Maestro del Liber Celestium Revelationum



This cutting of an initial V (Viri galilaei), the Introit for the Mass of the Ascension of the Lord, comes from a Gradual.  The representation of Mary surrounded by the apostles with Christ in an aureole surrounded by angels follows Sienese and Florentine models of the earlier Trecento.

The style of the figures, their faces, the palette, allow attribution to the Maestro del Liber celestium revelationum, named after the miniature he painted for the Book of the Revelations of Saint Brigit in New York (Pierpont Morgan Library, MS 498), which must have been painted a few years after the death of the saint (d. 1374) for the Order of the Johannites.  The Morgan miniature and the present one testify to the Florentine influence at the court of Naples in the 1370s and 1380s primarily through the presence of Niccolo di Tommaso, trained in the milieu of Masolino but active in Naples during this period.  Related are a series of miniatures of the Life of Saint Louis of Toulouse from the 1360s and 1370s.

Neapolitan painting of the Trecento maintains its connection with monumental painting, and the Maestro del Liber celestium revelationum was also a fresco painter to whom is attributed frescos in the Church of Santa Chiara in Naples.

Dr. Friz Zeileis, Gallspach, Austria, published in Piu ridon le carte, Buchmalerei aus Mittelalter und Renaissance, Katalog einer Privatsammlung von illuminierten Einzelblattern, 2nd ed., Gallspach, 2004.

A. Putaturo Donati Murano, in Bollati, ed., Dizionario biographico, 2004, pp. 589-90; Anna de Floriani, "Un' aggiunta al Maestro del Liber celestium revelatorum," in Studi di Storia dell'Arte 3, 1992, pp. 219-224; and Ferdinando Bologna, I Pittori alla Corte angiona di Napoli 1266-1414, Rome, 1969, pp. 329, 330, and pls. VII-86 and VII-87.

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