Tegernsee Psalter


From the colophon on leaf 313 verso of this codex we learn that the Tegernsee monk Konrad Sartori, who held the post of librarian at the monastery from 1500 until his death in 1531, wrote the manuscript in 1516. He entered this date at the end of the canticles (leaf 218 verso) and at the end of the hymns (leaf 264 verso) as well. The book was probably commissioned by the Tegernsee abbot, Maurus Leyrer (died 1534, served as abbot 1512‒28). The psalms (leaves 9 verso-193 recto) are, as usual, preceded by a calendar (leaves 2 recto‒7 verso), the canticles (leaves 193 recto‒218 verso), and the hymns (leaves 219 recto‒264 verso). On the next leaf, 265 recto, the Office of the Dead begins. The decorative elements of the codex were produced on the basis of the illuminations in the monastic psalter made by the Augsburg painter Jörg Gutknecht (Bavarian State Library, Clm 19201) just a year or two before. At the beginning of the manuscript are three miniatures in exceptionally large format, each covering an entire page. The series begins with the depictions of Abbot Adalbert and his brother Otkarius, who together founded the monastery in the eighth century. The monumental figures dressed in the habit of monks are holding a model of Tegernsee Abbey church. The miniatures between the calendar and the psalms show the Saints Peter, Benedict, and Paul (leaf 8 recto) as well as Saint Quirin, the patron saint of the monastery, flanked by Saints Chrysogonus and Castor (leaf 8 verso). The abbey possessed relics of the latter since the middle of the 11th century. Out of the 50 historiated initials illuminating the codex, 38 are found within the psalter, nine in the canticles, two in the hymns, and one at the beginning of Office of the Dead. The representation of Christ on the cross flanked by his mother Mary on one side and the Apostle John on the either (leaf 109 recto, Psalm 85) is a quite close borrowing from an engraving by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528). The manuscript came to Munich in 1803, in the course of the secularization of the Monastery of Tegernsee. It has been part of the collections of the Bavarian State Library ever since.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Regensburg, Germany


Title in Original Language

Psalter für Kloster Tegernsee

Type of Item

Physical Description

313 folios, parchment : illuminated


  • This description of the work was written by Beatrice Hernad.
  • BSB shelfmark: Clm 19202

Last updated: December 11, 2017