Aosta, Collegiata dei Santi Pietro e Orso, MS 43

Missal of George of Challant Facsimile Edition

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The Missal of George of Challant, also known as Missale Magnum Festivum Georgii Challandi, is a beautifully illuminated liturgical book crafted in the late fifteenth century. The manuscript, written in Latin, was commissioned in the late fifteenth century by a descendant of the most powerful and illustrious feudal family in the Aosta Valley, George of Challant, the prior of the Aosta Collegiate Church from 1468 to 1509 and governor of the Duchy of Aosta.

This illuminated missal, measuring an impressive 51 × 34 cm, consists of 176 parchment leaves, with the initial eight and the final seventeen leaves unnumbered. The manuscript's main text occupies a space of 33 × 21 cm on each page, arranged in two columns with twenty-eight lines of text.

Religious Scenes of High Artistic Value

The artistic merit of the illuminations is exceptional, showcasing a variety of religious scenes with deep symbolic significance. Highlighted among these are a striking depiction of the Crucifixion at the beginning of the Canon, and vivid portrayals of the Conception and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as feasts commemorating St. Orso, St. Peter and Paul, St. John the Baptist, Easter, Pentecost, Corpus Domini, the Assumption and Birth of the Virgin Mary, and All Saints' Day. These illustrations transcend simple stylistic embellishment, integrating decorative and figurative elements inspired by nature into an essential and expressive component of the manuscript's iconography and text.

Vividly Colored Decorations and Initials

Further distinguishing this masterpiece are the marginal decorations and large initial letters, many adorned with gold leaf. These elements, characterized by their warm and vibrant colors, showcase the artist's exceptional skill in creating a diverse and engaging decorative scheme without falling into monotony. This missal not only reflects the unique artistic traditions distinct from contemporaneous Italian schools but also serves as a vivid chronicle of the spiritual and cultural dimensions of its time.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Missal of George of Challant": Grande messale festivo di Giorgio di Challant facsimile edition, published by Priuli & Verlucca, editori, 1993

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Manuscript book description compiled by the publisher.
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Grande messale festivo di Giorgio di Challant

Scarmagno: Priuli & Verlucca, editori, 1993

  • Commentary (English, French, Italian) by Careggio, Alberto M.; Quazza, Ada; Regni, Marina
  • Limited Edition: 333 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Missal of George of Challant: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

This facsimile edition includes two volumes. The first volume contains the facsimile reprint, consisting of 352 pages printed in 8-12 colors plus gilding on parchment-like art paper especially manufactured by the mill for this edition with stencilled edges and prickings. The second volume contains historical-critical essays and the introduction in three languages.


Both volumes are hand-bound in quarter brown calfskin with blind toolings and wooden boards with tie-strings, and they come in a slipcase with wooden headboards and brown calfskin sides with blind toolings.

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