Book of Hours of Ferdinand II of Aragon

Book of Hours of Ferdinand II of Aragon Facsimile Edition

Italy — 1500-1510

A treasure of the Italian Renaissance for the founder of the Spanish Empire: 81 magnificent miniatures, including 4 on purple-dyed pages, numerous decorative initials, friezes, and elaborate frames with vases, fruits, precious stones

  1. Ferdinand II of Aragon (1452–1516) was the co-ruler of Spain with his wife Isabella I of Castile (1451–1504)

  2. He also reigned over most of the Western Mediterranean including the kingdoms of Sicily and Naples

  3. A team of Roman artists is responsible for the sumptuous color palette and naturalistic, graceful human figures

Book of Hours of Ferdinand II of Aragon

  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Book of Hours of Ferdinand II of Aragon

Together with his wife Queen Isabella I of Castile, Ferdinand II of Aragon co-ruled Spain as its de facto king while reigning over an empire stretching across the Mediterranean from the shores of Iberia to the Italian Peninsula and most of the islands in between as well as serving as the Grandmaster of four Spanish military orders. Largely regarded as the founder of the Spanish Empire, he was naturally a man of great power and wealth who did much to promote education in Spain. Therefore, it is no surprise that he would have owned such a splendid specimen of Italian Renaissance illumination as this. Created ca. 1500–10 by a team of artists trained in Rome, the manuscript contains an ecclesiastical calendar, prayers, Psalms, canticles, Lauds, and sequences of the Holy Evangelists. 81 magnificent miniatures, including 4 on purple-dyed pages, as well as numerous decorative initials, friezes, elaborate frames with vases, fruits, precious stones, adorn the manuscript. Between its rich color palette, generous application of gold, and incredible naturalistic and graceful human figures, the Book of Hours of Ferdinand II of Aragon is a true treasure of illumination.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Stundenbuch König Ferdinands II. von Aragon
Il libro d'ore di Ferrante d'Aragona
Size / Format
464 pages / 16.0 x 22.9 cm
Origin
Italy
Date
1500-1510
Illustrations
81 illuminations, 4 purple sheets
Content
Ecclesiastical calendar, prayers, Psalms, canticles, Lauds, sequences of the Holy Evangelists
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Count Paolo Gerli

Available facsimile editions:
Il libro d'ore di Ferrante d'Aragona Facsimile Edition
Limited Edition: 1025 copies
Detail Picture

Book of Hours of Ferdinand II of Aragon

Salvator Mundi

The iconographic image of Christ as the “savior of the world” first became popular in Northern Europe and this miniature follows the standard form with Christ holding a globus cruciger in his left hand while raising his right hand as though he were about to bless the beholder, whom He looks directly in the eyes with a compassionate expression on His face. The luminous blue background makes it appear as though Christ, dressed in beautiful flowing robes, has stepped out from the firmament and his globus cruciger is masterfully depicted as a transparent crystal ball wrapped with gold bands that attach a cross to it.

Il libro d'ore di Ferrante d'Aragona
Single Page

Book of Hours of Ferdinand II of Aragon

Patron Portrait

King Ferdinand II of Aragon and his wife Queen Isabella I of Castile are often referred to as “the Catholic Monarchs” because in 1494, Pope Alexander VI officially bestowed on them the title of Rex Catholicissimus. This was done in recognition of their deep personal piety, completion of the Reconquista, and the forced conversion and expulsion of Jews and Muslims in an attempt to make Spain a purely Catholic kingdom.

With his distinctive long black hair now turned grey, Ferdinand is dressed in rich cloth of gold brocade with a fur collar as he kneels with his hands held up in prayer before an angel standing next to a broken column holding a crown and flail. The figure in the bas-de-page holds a banderole that says: “make a crown of a kingdom, which you may understand to signify honor and work of fortitude”.

Il libro d'ore di Ferrante d'Aragona
Facsimile Editions

#1 Il libro d'ore di Ferrante d'Aragona

Il libro d'ore di Ferrante d'Aragona Facsimile Edition
Il libro d'ore di Ferrante d'Aragona Facsimile Edition Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Limited Edition: 1025 copies
Binding: Sturdy slipcase with acanthus leaves and dolphins forming a gilded metal clasp
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) 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.
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