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Text: Author: Family: Time:  
Cantino’s Map (Ref:B2011)

Author:

Family: Maps    Time: XVI century

It is unanimously regarded as the most beautiful among Renaissance geographical maps and it bears witness to the discovery of America. It was manufactured and illuminated in Portugal in 1502, right after Columbus’ and Vespucci’s voyages. It is drawn on six vellum sheets joined together making up a single 105 x 220 cm sheet.

German Prayer Book of the Margravine of Brandenburg (Ref:L2003)

Author:

Family: Book of Hours    Time: XVI century

In the year 1520, in the middle of the turbulent times of Renaissance and Humanism, an ornate, yet highly intimate prayer book in the German language was produced in Augsburg. The town, then under the Fugger dynasty, was not only an important place of commerce and finance, but also one of the major centres of German book illumination. The book was commissioned by Kasimir, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach and his wife, Susanna of Bavaria, whose portraits and coats of arms decorate the manuscript. Margarine Susanna was the niece of Emperor Maximilian, a generous patron of the arts throughout his life. He commissioned works from some of
the greatest European painters, such as Dürer, Cranach and Holbein.

Model Book of Giovannino de Grassi (Ref:B2009)

Author:

Family: Secular    Time: XIV century

The Model book of Giovannino de Grassi is the best known and most precious manuscript in the ‘’Angelo Mai’’ Library in Bergamo and is commonly regarded as the most important example of the late Italian Gothic art. Created in the late XIV century in the Visconti court, the codex, a so-called model book, comprises 77 drawings and 24 letters of the alphabet in excellent quality.

The Hildesheim Golden Calendar (Ref:41029)

Author:

Family: Religious    Time: XIII century

The Impressive early Gothic deluxe manuscript produced at the height of the Saxon book illumination tradition, comprises nine pages of considerable size: a complete calendar with rich architectural decoration and elaborately designed zodiac signs as well as two magnificently painted pages showing five scenes from the Life of Christ: the Annunciation, Nativity, Crucifixion, Ascension and Maiestas Domini. The individual miniatures of these fragments are executed as expressive colour paintings with luminous golden grounds. The extraordinary Calendar mirrors the harmonious fusion of a charging conception of the arts with a lively, exciting meaning of expressions.

King David with two Musicians and two Dancers (Ref:1172)

Author:

Family: Psalter    Time: IX century

David is depicted under an arch spanning two twisted columns, in front of a purple ground; he is beardless and clad in a short skirt. A young and active person, he does not really feel at ease on his throne with the slanted footstool in front of him. Gazing up to the top left, he appears about to use the plucking stick in his right hand to play the string instrument on his left thigh. David’s performance seems to be inspired by the angel in the left-hand spandrel of the surrounding arch. Seated high up in the arch, the young psalmist is the protagonist of the scene. The angel on the top left, and the Hand of God appearing in the right-hand spandrel of the arch are both pointing to him.

Initial In (Ref:1143)

Author:

Family: Gospels    Time: IX century

The fascinating art of initial pages in luxurious liturgical manuscripts of the Middle Ages was an invention of Scottish-Irish origin. During the Carolingian period, an unparalleled coalescence took the place of elements from this art and those of Merovingian and late antique art.

In Northern Gaul, once occupied by the Romans, the late antique influence still developed in fertile ways when integrated with insular ornament; that was transmitted by the monasteries of Irish origin together with zoomorphic Merovingian patterns. It was after Charlemagne’s death (in 814), and long into the 9th century, that is an extremely rich art of initial-decoration flourished in the Benedictine monasteries of the Western Frankish Empire; they had already been fostered by Charlemagne himself. Our initial page from St John’s Gospel (in principio erat verbum…) is an outstanding example of this art.

Initial Q (Ref:1143)

Author:

Family: Gospels    Time: IX century

In the initial letters of the magnificent sacred manuscripts of the Middle Ages, the elemental task of book illustration found its appropriate theme: it is the artistic arrangement of the letters which ceremoniously introduce the words of the gospels. Wall-painting, panel-painting, as well as illustrations of scenes in manuscripts, stem from a different tradition. But in the initials and their ornamental lines the script image is dominant as they are literal and decorative at the same time – their size, the coloring, and the gold, serve to emphasize their symbolism.

The Four Evangelists (Ref:1110)

Author:

Family: Gospels    Time: IX century

This picture is a striking example of the resurgence of late antique traditions of the Imperial Court of Charlemagne. For his Palatine Chapel at Aix-la Chapelle the codex had been destined from the very beginning. The splendor of the manuscript is reflected in the ornate gold frame with painted semi-precious stones of blue and green colors. Its blue border line awakes the connection with the dominating color of the picture. Under a pale violet sky with tree silhouettes there rises up a picturesque landscape of mountains in evocative shades of blue. The Evangelists sitting in the four corners, reading and writing are separated by the cloud-like mountains as well as by their deep absorption.

The Fountain of Life (Ref:1133)

Author:

Family: Gospels    Time: IX century

At Easter in the year of 827 a ceremony took place in which the relics of St. Sebastian of Rome were transferred to the church of St. Médard at Soissons, northwest of Reims. On this occasion, Emperor Louis the Pious, son of Charlemagne and his wife, Empress Judith, who both attended the ceremony, presented the church with several precious objects from the treasury of Charlemagne and this magnificent Gospel Book were among them. It remained in Soissons until 1790, then it was taken to Paris and at the beginning of the 19th century, entered the National Library.

Initial Page to Genesis (Ref:2101)

Author:

Family: Bibles    Time: IX century

The arrangement of the Bible, as it is known today, with the sequence of its single books is the result of a long development. The fundamental and pathbreaking version of the Bible texts was the Latin translation and new revision, which in 382/83 Pope Damasus ordered to be compiled by Jerôme, scholar and later teacher of the church. Known as the Vulgate, this version was continuously revised and ‘purified’ throughout the centuries. During the ninth century, the scriptoria of Charlemagne played a special part in the history of efforts to achieve textual precision in manuscripts. In 781 Alcuin, whom Charlemagne had called from the Benedictine monastery of York, became responsible for the entire education program of the Empire and he was instrumental in realizing the Emperor’s endeavor.

       
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