Codex Escurialensis

Codex Escurialensis Facsimile Edition

Augsburg, Germany — Second half of the 15th century

A gift from the Bishop of Augsburg to King Philip II of Spain: a chronicle of humanity in 227 miniatures by Jörg Breu the Younger

  1. Jörg Breu the Younger (active 1510–47 in Augsburg) was a painter, miniaturist, and draftsman

  2. The Prince-Bishop of Augsburg, Otto Truchsess von Waldburg (1514–73), commissioned this work in honor of King Philip II of Spain

  3. It tells the story of mankind and the settlement of the continents from Noah to the mid-16th century

Codex Escurialensis

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Codex Escurialensis

In 1549, Otto Truchsess von Waldburg, Prince-Bishop of Augsburg (1514–73), dedicated this sublime manuscript to King Philip II of Spain (1527–98), who held it in especially high esteem. Its text chronologically describes world history from Creation to the mid-16th century and also serves as a genealogy of the royal house of Austria, from which Philip II was descended. 227 miniatures from the hand of Jörg Breu the Younger (active 1510–47 in Augsburg) magnificently illuminate the manuscript. Today, the luxurious work is a coveted treasure of the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial.

Codex Escurialensis

Although simply titled Heráldica y origen de la nobleza de los Austrias or “The Heraldry and Origins of the Nobility of Austria”, the purpose of this manuscript is in fact far grander. It describes the history of humanity beginning with Noah and his sons, who go on to populate parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe. The text regarding each territory takes into account their geographical, historical, und cultural details while always highlighting their relationship with the House of Augsburg. This chronological order is introduced each time by a prefatio heraldi in which the specific approaches of the chapter in question are elaborated.

A Gift for a King

This magnificent manuscript is the result of a collaboration of two men from Augsburg: it was written by Hans Tirol (ca. 1505 – ca. 1575/76) contains 207 miniatures, the work of Jörg Breu the Younger (ca. 1510–47), who did a magnificent job of illuminating the manuscript. They worked at the behest of the Prince-Bishop of Augsburg, Otto Truchsess von Waldburg (1514–73), who gifted the work to King Philip II of Spain (1527–98). The delivery of the codex is recorded in a handwritten note from the Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library): “Anno 1549 The Bishop of Augsburg honored the Prince of Austria with a precious book, which he commissioned from the Augsburg resident Tirol, at great expense and with exquisite drawings and texts”. Furthermore, it states in the beginning of the text that it was a gift from Otto on behalf of his Austrian family “to the most serene Prince of Spain, the son of Philip Charles V Augustus the Great and the most invincible Emperor”.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Historia heráldica y origen de la nobleza de los Austrias
Historia originis et successionis regnorum et imperiorum a Noe usque ad Carolum V ab Ottone cardinali et episcopo Augustanu
Size / Format
1 Volume / 500 x 360 mm
Origin
Germany
Date
Second half of the 15th century
Style
Illustrations
207 miniatures, which occupy the top quarter of the page, and 24 shields, some unfinished
Patron
Otto Truchsess von Waldburg, Prince-Bishop of Augsburg (1514–73)
Artist / School
Previous Owners
King Philip II of Spain (1527–98)

Available facsimile editions:
Codex Escurialensis – Ms 28-I-11 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain) Facsimile Edition
Ediciones Grial – Valencia, 1996
Limited Edition: 980 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Historia heráldica y origen de la nobleza de los Austrias

Ediciones Grial – Valencia, 1996

Publisher: Ediciones Grial – Valencia, 1996
Limited Edition: 980 copies
Binding: Leather on wooden board with embossing on both sides and spine
Commentary: 1 volume by Francisco Garcia Quintero and Ana Frances Olmos
Language: Spanish
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: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
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