Barcelona Cultura

Manuscripts

One of the highlights of the large collection of manuscripts in the community archive, dating from the late Middle Ages to modern times, is the series of thirty-five choir books, with a set of ten volumes, ordered in the 16th century by the abbesses Maria d’Aragó and Teresa de Cardona, promoters of the observance movement within the monastery, being particularly valuable. The choir books contain the sung parts of the mass and the liturgy of the hours, in accordance with the organisation of the liturgical year. The first set, bearing Maria d’Aragó’s coat of arms, consists of four volumes, three of them illustrated by Smeraldo Dotavanti. They contain hymns for the liturgy of the hours from the first Sunday of Advent until the Missa in honore sancte Trinitatis. The second set of six volumes, with the coat of arms of Teresa de Cardona, contains hymns for the services commemorating the saints’ days throughout the liturgical year. These choir books were calligraphed at the monastery of Montserrat by Pere de Perpinyà and illustrated by the miniaturist Joan Gonçal.

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