Budapest Concordantiae Caritatis

Budapest Concordantiae Caritatis

The most richly illuminated manuscript in modern Hungary: late medieval Austrian illumination with more than 1,000 miniatures of the Old and New Testaments

  1. A team of seven talented artists illuminated this manuscript under the direction of Abbot Ulrich Lilienfeld (ca. 1308–58)

  2. It is a typological a work that ties the events of the Old and New Testaments to one another

  3. 238 such typographical units are gorgeously presented here in a large, 524-page manuscript measuring 27 x 39 cm

Budapest Concordantiae Caritatis

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Budapest Concordantiae Caritatis

The most richly illustrated medieval manuscript in Hungary: the Budapest Concordantiae caritatis by Abbot Ulrich Lilienfeld (ca. 1308–58), who directed Lilienfeld Abbey from 1345–1351. The work is a typological manuscript, i.e. a work that ties the events of the Old and New Testaments to one another as relates to the story of Redemption. Scenes from the Old Testament serve as a model for scenes from the New Testament, which fulfill the prophecy of the former and create a holistic, reciprocally enlightening whole. The specimen at hand represents the most complete manuscript of its kind, comprising 238 typological units arranged in the form of an encyclopedia. The codex’s colophon dates the work to 1413, which was written down by the Viennese scribe Stephanus Lang.

Budapest Concordantiae Caritatis

This is an outstanding work of late-medieval Austrian illumination comprising 1,000+ miniatures from a group of seven talented artists, it is the most richly illuminated manuscript in modern Hungary, and the most complete manuscript of its kind: Budapest Concordantiae caritatis by Abbot Ulrich Lilienfeld (ca. 1308–58). It is a typological manuscript, i.e. a work that ties the events of the Old and New Testaments to one another as relates to the story of Redemption. Scenes from the Old Testament serve as a model for scenes from the New Testament, which fulfill the prophecy of the former and create a holistic, reciprocally enlightening whole. 238 such typographical units are gorgeously presented here in a large, 524-page manuscript measuring 27 x 39 cm and contained within a gilded calfskin binding. This is one of the finest specimens of late medieval illumination from Central Europe to survive to the present and a gem in the history of art and theology.

A Gorgeous Morally Instructive Work

This is an incredibly rich source containing 1,225 biblical scenes, scenes from the lives of saints, and depictions of natural phenomena depicted in 1,000+ miniatures in the form of pen and ink drawings created by a team of seven artists, the most talented of which was connected to the circle of the Master of the Sankt Lambrecht Votive Picture, whose style dominated early–15th century Viennese panel painting. Although working in collaboration with one another, stylistic differences between them are evident, allowing for a glimpse into late-medieval workshop culture. Each of the 238 typographical units assumes the same five-part-form in the codex: the text appears on the right page and the illustrations on the left. The primary scene is found at the top of the page with the two related scenes from the Old Testament below it, while two natural scenes appear at the bottom of the page. Partially written in German, a so-called “picture-catechism”, which depicts virtues and vices fighting one another astride various animals and chariots as well as the Miles Christi (soldier of Christ), rounds out the work. Stephanus Lang, educated at the University of Prague, meant for his work to be an inexhaustible source on the world first created by God and then shaped by man, which was also to be richly illuminated. The Budapest codex clearly fulfills this wish, even if most copies of the manuscript were unadorned copies used by priests as a resource while writing their sermons.

A Coveted Manuscript

Only eight illuminated manuscripts of Lang’s work have survived to the present and the specimen at hand is not only the most complete, but the most refined in terms of artistic quality. Details about the ownership history prior to the 17th century are scarce, but it is known for certain that the splendid manuscript found itself in the possession of Pál Lászlóffy, registrar of the Hungarian Chancellery in Vienna, in 1646. It was acquired by the Pálffy family in 1666 and was part of the library of Bajmóc Castle (modern Bojnice, Slovakia) until 1795, when it passed to the library of the Piarist Order in Pozsony szentgyörgy (modern Svätý Jur, Slovakia). In 1906, the manuscript was sent to the Central Library of the Piarist Order in Budapest, where it remains today. Scholarly interest in the work was reignited in 1979 by the Piarist monk László Papp when he published the first study of the manuscript and it is hoped that the production of the facsimile edition will lead to a thorough analysis of the Budapest Concordantiae caritatis.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Die Budapester Concordantiae Caritatis

Available facsimile editions:
Budapest Concordantiae Caritatis – CX 2 – Piarista Központi Könyvtár (Budapest, Hungary)
Schöck ArtPrint Kft. – Szekszàrd, 2011
Limited Edition: 480 copies
Detail Picture

Budapest Concordantiae Caritatis

Adoration of the Magi

The specimen at hand represents the most complete manuscript of its kind, comprising 238 typological units arranged in the form of an encyclopedia that connect events from the Old and New Testaments to one another as relates to the story of Redemption. Here the typical Adoration of the Magi scene is presented flanked by figures from the Old Testament such as King David, Christ’s ancestor, and the prophet Malachi or "messenger of YHWH". Thus, the promise of the Messiah is fulfilled.

Budapester Concordantiae Caritatis
Single Page

Budapest Concordantiae Caritatis

Tower of Virtues

After addressing various biblical subjects and the lives of saints, the second half of the work turns to Christian morality. Virtues were often personified by female figures during the Middle Ages, and the same is true of these women with long, flowing curls of blonde hair and dresses of green, blue, and red. They are meant to represent the characteristics of an ideal Christian knight.

The knight’s shield and armor are love, his helmet is hope, and his other virtues are self-denial, gentleness, humility, abstinence, love of God, and love of the soul. Four women holding up the horse’s hooves represent the cardinal virtues of truth, cleverness, temperance, and spiritual strength. Labelled with the word anima or “soul”, the cross is exalted above all else.

Budapester Concordantiae Caritatis
Facsimile Editions

#1 Budapester Concordantiae Caritatis

Schöck ArtPrint Kft. – Szekszàrd, 2011
Budapest Concordantiae Caritatis – CX 2 – Piarista Központi Könyvtár (Budapest, Hungary)
Budapest Concordantiae Caritatis – CX 2 – Piarista Központi Könyvtár (Budapest, Hungary) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Schöck ArtPrint Kft. – Szekszàrd, 2011
Limited Edition: 480 copies
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.
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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