Possibly from Jean Poyer's workshop and incredibly richly illuminated: a worthy gift to Emperor Charles V

Book of Hours of Charles V

Ghent (Flanders, Beglium) — Before 1520

Book of Hours of Charles V

Book of Hours of Charles V

Ghent (Flanders, Beglium) — Before 1520

  1. A gift worthy of Emperor Charles V (1500–1558), the wealthiest and most powerful figure of the Middle Ages

  2. Almost all 333 pages are completely illuminated, possibly from the studio of Jean Poyer (d. ca. 1503)

  3. The coveted manuscript passed through the hands of numerous high-ranking aristocrats

Book of Hours of Charles V

Alternative Titles:
  • Libro de Horas de Carlos V
  • Libro de horas del viaje de Carlos V para ser coronado Emperador
  • Book of Hours for the voyage of Charles V to his Coronation as Holy Roman Emperor
  • Stundenbuch Karls V.
Book of Hours of Charles V – Vitr. 13 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Book of Hours of Charles V – Vitr. 13 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Book of Hours of Charles V – Vitr. 13 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Book of Hours of Charles V – Vitr. 13 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Book of Hours of Charles V – Vitr. 13 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Book of Hours of Charles V – Vitr. 13 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
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Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

A truly magnificent present for the Emperor! Ca. 1503, a Parisian workshop made this valuable gem of illumination, presumably even in the studio of the great Jean Poyer, the most important master of French illumination ca. 1500. Stylistically oriented on the famous printed books of hours by Simon Vostre and Philippe Pigouchet, the Book of Hours of Charles V is a true masterpiece with its rich and overall high-quality pictorial adornment. An inscription points to the imperial owner of the manuscript, who probably received the book as a valuable gift from an unknown benefactor. Passing through the hands of further significant owners such as Philip III or Cardinal Zelada, the manuscript eventually reached the Spanish National Library in Madrid, where it is guarded as a precious treasure today.

Book of Hours of Charles V

A truly magnificent present for the Emperor! Ca. 1503, a Parisian workshop made this valuable gem of illumination, presumably even in the studio of the great Jean Poyer, the most important master of French illumination ca. 1500. Stylistically oriented on the famous printed books of hours by Simon Vostre and Philippe Pigouceht, the Book of Hours of Charles V is a true masterpiece with its rich and overall high-quality pictorial adornment. An inscription points to the imperial owner of the manuscript, who probably received the book as a valuable gift from an unknown benefactor. Passing through the hands of further significant owners such as Philip III or Cardinal Zelada, the manuscript eventually reached the Spanish National Library in Madrid, where it is guarded as a precious treasure today.

The Emperor’s Book of Hours

His liber fuit Magni Imperatoris Caroli Quinti – this inscription unequivocally indicates that the precious book of hours was in the possession of Charles V. Charles V (1500–1558), known as Charles I from 1516 to 1530 when he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Clement VII, was a great friend of the arts. The manuscript is probably not the result of the emperor’s commission, but was offered to him as a precious gift by an unknown benefactor.

A Printed Example

The book of hours is a real treasure of illumination ca. 1500. There are also close connections to the new technology of book printing, which would quickly come into competition with illumination. The artist of the manuscript oriented himself on the printed books of hours of Simon Vostre and Philippe Pigouchet. These two, a printer and an illuminator, published around 1,500 trendsetting printed books of hours, which were primarily ordered by wealthy collectors and exercised wide-ranging influence. These works were particularly characterized through their detailed ornamentation. Thus originated among others the Book of Hours for Cambrai and Besancon. Vostre and Pigouchet are counted alongside Gutenberg and other great names as outstanding figures of the 15th century printing trade!

A Manuscript from the Most Significant Parisian Studio?

Nevertheless, the Book of Hours of Charles V presents the superiority of the manuscript in comparison to printed books in a stark manner. The manuscript is from a Parisian studio during the time of Charles VIII and Louis XII. Due to the outstanding quality of the artistic furnishings, it is presumed that it could be a work from the studio of Jean Poyer (1465- before 1504). He was an influential and outstanding master of French illumination ca. 1500, from whom numerous magnificent books of hours have been handed down through the years.

Splendid Miniatures

The 333-page Book of Hours of Charles V enchants and impresses through its rich ornamentation and luminous colors, splendidly adorned moreover with precious gold and silver. The luxuriously artistic furnishing is truly worthy of an emperor: countless double-page and full-page miniatures adorn the text across a total of 320 almost completely embellished pages. Presented thereby are scenes from a typical calendar with marvelous figurative scenery both of scenes from Old and New Testaments as well as additional religious and biblical depictions – from the Fall of Man and the Expulsion from Paradise to the Annunciation and Birth of Christ to David and Goliath. Additionally represented were a most diverse group of saints and martyrs. Especially impressive, for example, is the representation of Noah’s Arc: a splendid ship of enormous construction stands in the center of the scene, and pairs of animals come to Noah on the green fields in the foreground. He stands before the arc and commands the workers. A dark blue sky stretches above everything.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Libro de Horas de Carlos V
Libro de horas del viaje de Carlos V para ser coronado Emperador
Book of Hours for the voyage of Charles V to his Coronation as Holy Roman Emperor
Stundenbuch Karls V.
Size / Format
74 pages / 27.0 x 18.0 cm
Date
Before 1520
Language
Illustrations
12 miniatures
Artist / School

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Book of Hours of Charles V“

Libro de Horas de Carlos V
Book of Hours of Charles V – Vitr. 13 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Book of Hours of Charles V – Vitr. 13 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Book of Hours of Charles V – Vitr. 13 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Book of Hours of Charles V – Vitr. 13 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Book of Hours of Charles V – Vitr. 13 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Book of Hours of Charles V – Vitr. 13 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
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Libro de Horas de Carlos V

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 2000
Limited Edition
980 copies
Binding
Hand stitched and bound in brown goatskin stamped in gold and black on both sides. Facsimile and commentary volume issued in a case.
Commentary
1 volume by José Manuel Ruiz Asencio
Language: Spanish
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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