Gradual (Choir Book)
Made for Dominican use

Artist/maker unknown, French

Made in Poissy, France, Europe

c. 1350

Gold and tempera on vellum

Book (approximately): 7 1/2 x 6 1/8 x 2 1/8 inches (19.1 x 15.6 x 5.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Philip S. Collins Collection, gift of Mrs. Philip S. Collins in memory of her husband, 1945

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Graduals, which include both lyrics and musical notations, served as guides for singing chants during Mass. Typically, graduals are very large, and a single book would have been placed on a lectern to be read by an entire choir. The unusually small size of this example, which was created for nuns in a wealthy Dominican convent in Poissy, France, suggests that it was designed to be used individually or shared between two or three people.