Commissioned by Cardinal Jacopo Stefaneschi at the notoriously lavish papal court in Avignon: The Legend of St. George, Slayer of the Dragon

Codex of St. George

Italy and probably Avignon (France) — First half of the 14th century

Codex of St. George

Codex of St. George

Italy and probably Avignon (France) — First half of the 14th century

  1. After the papacy moved to Avignon in 1309, numerous artists from across Europe followed them there

  2. The Vita of St. George is adorned with elaborate historiated initials and a gorgeous miniature of St. George slaying the dragon

  3. Originating from or trained in Siena, the Master of the Codex of Saint George was active in Avignon from 1310 to 1344

Codex of St. George

Alternative Titles:
  • St. George Codex
  • Georgscodex
  • Georg-Codex
  • Vita des heiligen Georg
  • Codice di San Giorgio
  • Vita Sancti Georgii Martyris
Vita des heiligen Georg
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Some manuscripts are so spectacular that they become the name of convenience for the artist who created them. Such is the case with the gorgeous Codex of St. George, which is housed in the illustrious collections of the Vatican Apostolic Library. Aside from the standard liturgical texts, the illuminated missal also contains a Vita of Saint George written by Cardinal Jacopo Caetani degli Stefaneschi (1270-1343). The work was lavishly illuminated by the Master of the Codex of Saint George ca. 1320 in Avignon at the behest of Cardinal Jacopo Stefaneschi.

Codex of St. George

After the papacy moved to Avignon in 1309, many artists moved there as well seeking the patronage of the princes of the church. Coming from all over Europe, they came together at the papal court and thus helped give birth to the International Gothic style. One of these artists was the Master of the Codex of Saint George, who is named after a richly illuminated missal containing a Vita of Saint George, which was completed ca. 1320. Elaborate historiated initials, as well as numerous smaller initials in red, blue, and gold leaf, decorate the text in addition to a gorgeous miniature of St. George slaying the dragon.

Who Was the Master of the Codex of St. George?

Although his true name remains unknown, the Master of the Codex of Saint George was first identified by Giacomo De Nicola in 1906. Judging by his artistic style, the talented artist came from or was trained in Siena before making his way to the Papal court in Avignon where he was active from 1310 until 1344. It was there that he received a commission from Cardinal Jacopo Stefaneschi for the creation of an elaborately illuminated missal. In addition to creating at least four illuminated manuscripts, the Master of the Codex of Saint George has also been credited with creating numerous gorgeous panel paintings with gold leaf backgrounds.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
St. George Codex
Georgscodex
Georg-Codex
Vita des heiligen Georg
Codice di San Giorgio
Vita Sancti Georgii Martyris
Date
First half of the 14th century
Style
Language
Script
Gothic Textualis Rotunda
Illustrations
18 miniatures accompanied by bas-de-page images
Content
Mass texts from the Feast of the Annunciation of Mary (March 25) to the Feast of Saints Primus and Felicianus (June 9)
Artist / School

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Codex of St. George“

Vita des heiligen Georg
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Vita des heiligen Georg

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Belser Verlag – Stuttgart, 2020
Limited Edition
299 copies
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.
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