Ansgar Schoppmeyer

Book page: illuminated initial B and initial S in an excerpt from the Psalterium Rudnicense
Illuminated initial B and initial S in an excerpt with text (incipit), folio 1 from the Psalterium Rudnicense, copy by Ansgar Schoppmeyer
Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek Leipzig

Ansgar Schoppmeyer

The last illuminator

He manages, like almost no other artist, to relay the gold and colour in early miniatures with such perfection that you would believe them to actually be old miniatures.

Martin Breslauer, Das Werk Ansgar Schoppmeyers, 1932

To copy the works of medieval illumination, you have to be not just an artist, but also a scientist, with a precise understanding of the colours used and the specifics of the workshops. Ansgar Schoppmeyer was both of these things. After completing training as an artisan as well as studies in palaeography and art history, he qualified as a professor in 1892 with his work on the history of script and illumination.

In his travels throughout Europe he studied the illuminated works of the 4th to the 15th centuries. His copies of these originals were seen in 1914 at the International Book Fair in Leipzig. The German Museum of Books and Writing purchased this collection of miniatures with the aim of compensating for missing originals. The pages were irretrievably lost in the War in 1943; 53 further examples were bought in 1944 as replacement.