The “Salzburg Missal” was created between the years 1478 and 1489 is certainly the most important work by Berthold Furtmeyr. The five-volume manuscript was originally produced for Prince Archbishop Bernhard von Rohr (1421-1487) and comprises, as a full missal, 22 texts of the mass, which follow the calendar of feasts of the Salzburg bishopric. The multi-volume work includes altogether 680 parchment sheets (ca. 38 x 27 cm). The layout is in a single column. The miniature and full-page images are executed in opaque watercolour with gilding; in some cases, silver is added. At the beginning of each mass and at the start of the Eucharistic Prayer is a full-page miniature.
Apart from the rich illustrations of the manuscript, the eye of the beholder is struck by the luxuriance of the scroll motifs half way between a naturalistic depiction and a fantastic approach to the surreal.
Up to 1801, the manuscript was part of the archiepiscopal library in Salzburg. During the French occupation of Salzburg, the missal may have been part of looted books taken to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. Each volume bears the red stamp of the French National Library. After Salzburg had become part of Bavaria in 1810, the Bavarian government sought the restitution of the manuscript from 1814. The missal was handed back on 29 September 1815 and remained in Munich even after Salzburg’s transition to Austria.
The missal, which displays a high degree of representational value, emphasising the identity of the archbishops of Salzburg as "Primas Germaniae", was used during the celebrations of Pontifical High Masses. Changes of or additions to the rite were noted down on small pieces of paper glued to the missal. The use of the missal over the course of a longer period, possibly into the seventeenth century, can be assumed.
Wolfgang Neiser, Ratisbon.