Friday, 22 June 2012

Sankt Gallen, 1562

The wonderfull collection of digitalized codices from Sankt Gallen Abbey library, in Switzerland, one of the oldest and richest medieval libraries in the world, offers us a very special work of great interest to know about Northern Bald Ibis historical distribution.

The manuscript includes Four-part vocal pieces for holy days of the church year, and it's numbered 542 in the catalog.

Prince-bishop Diethelm Blarer ordered Italian composer Manfredo Barbarini Lupo, from Correggio, composed these challenging vocal pieces, Father Heinrich Keller (1518-1567) wrote the text, and the manuscript illustrator Kaspar Härtli from Lindau on the northern side of the Bodensee illuminated the first pages with the important holy days of the church year.

Some of the sheets show an important number of birds, not to scale.

Page 5 shows, among goldfinches, crossbills, wagtails, robins, wrens, bullfinches, and some other birds difficult to identify, probably the finest, most accurate image in the group, a young northern bald ibis, proving a familiarity of the artist with the bird.

Source: Cod. Sang. 542, page 5, Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen / Codices Electronici Sangallenses

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