Glockendon Hours

Glockendon Hours

Nuremberg (Germany) — 1534

For Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg, a prince of the church of the Reformation: a masterpiece of book illumination by the last great German illuminator, provided with a graphic by Albrecht Dürer

  1. The work is adorned with 43 miniatures by Nikolaus Glockendon (active 1515–1534), the last great German illuminator

  2. Commissioned by Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg (1490–1545), a prominent prince of the church during the Reformation

  3. The gem also features a graphic print by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), the greatest artist of the German Renaissance

Glockendon Hours

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Edition available
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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (3)
Description
Glockendon Hours

The Nuremberg artist Nikolaus Glockendon, the last great German illuminator, completed a fantastic illuminated prayer book for Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg ca. 1534. The Glockendon Hours is adorned with 43 high-quality, full-page miniatures from the quill of the master, Glockendon, and contains an additional graphic print from Nuremberg’s Albrecht Dürer. The historically-significant text is not only one of the last masterpieces of handwritten book art, but at the same time, is also a gem from the private collection of one of the most important advocates of the Catholic faith during the time of the Reformation.

Glockendon Hours

Nikolaus Glockendon was the last great master of hand-made book art in Germany. His illuminated manuscripts count among the most highly valued that were ever produced by medieval European illumination. Named after the unbelievably talented master, the Glockendon Hours is one of his most exclusive works and stands out not only because of its noble illustration, but equally so because of its historically significance. The work was made for the young prince of the church, Albrecht von Brandenburg and contains prayer texts for his private devotion. It is adorned with 43 enchanting, full-page miniatures and 62 richly embellished initials.

The End of an Era

When the artist Nikolaus Glockendon appeared, the art of making books by hand was already displaced by book printing to a large extent. As a result, the native of Nuremberg was one of the last illuminators who composed his texts and pictures by hand. Simultaneously, he was one of the most gifted artists in his field. He worked for the wealthiest German princes and had the favor of Albrecht Dürer, probably the greatest artist to come out of Nuremberg. It was also Dürer who made Glockendon known to his eventual patron, Albrecht von Brandenburg. Alongside the prayer book for Cardinal Albrecht, Glockendon produced masterpieces for Duke Johann of Saxony and Duke Albrecht of Prussia.

A German Prince of the Church

Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg was already the Archbishop of Mainz at the age of 23, and as such Metropole of the church province of Mainz, sovereign lord of the Archbishopric of Mainz, Prince-Elector, and Archchancellor of the Holy Roman Empire and eventually a Cardinal of the Roman Church. As a promoter of the selling of indulgences and a high-ranking ecclesiastical dignitary of the Holy Roman Empire, he was one of the most important and popular opponents of Martin Luther. In a time during which political life in Germany was characterized by religious upheavals, the strictly religious Catholic and art-lover Albrecht primarily prayed and meditated by himself. It was for this purpose that he commissioned Glockendon with the furnishing of a private book of devotion, worthy of the high-rank of the Prince of the Church.

Enchanting Pictorial Decoration

The harmonious, full-page miniatures of the prayer book show scenes from the life of Jesus Christ and continuously refer to their high-ranking commissioner. An image shows the Coat of Arms of the Archbishop of Mainz in splendid colors. The biblical scenes were transposed into the medieval world. The Salvation History of the New Testament is pictured in the large-format miniatures and is framed by scenes from the Old Testament, which, in the eschatological worldview of the Middle Ages, predicted the events of the New Testament. 62 splendid historiated initials, which were completed by Glockendon’s no-less talented associate Georg Stierlein, ennoble the meticulous script of the prayer book. A highpoint of the enchanting illumination of the work is represented by a graphic print by Albrecht Dürer, which was appended to the manuscript in 1523.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Prayer Book of Albert of Brandenburg
Albert of Brandeburg Prayerbook
Glockendon-Gebetbuch
Libro de Oración de Alberto de Brandenburgo
Il Libro di Devozione di Alberto di Brandeburgo
Livre de Prières d’Albert de Brandebourg
Livro de Oração de Alberto de Brandemburgo
Size / Format
256 pages / 21.5 × 16.5 cm
Origin
Germany
Date
1534
Language
Illustrations
43 full-page miniatures and 62 decorative initials
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Tommaso Obizzi (1750–1803)
Este Family

Available facsimile editions:
Glockendon Hours – Est.136 = a.U.6.7 – Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (Modena, Italy)
Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 1998
Limited Edition: 999 copies, 420 copies of them reserved for Faksimile Verlag

Il Libro di Devozione di Alberto di Brandeburgo
Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 1997
Limited Edition: 999 copies worldwide realized in collaboration with Moleiro editor, Barcelona and Faksimile Verlag, Lucerne.

Libro de Oración de Alberto de Brandemburgo
M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 1997
Limited Edition: 987 copies
Detail Picture

Glockendon Hours

Gilded Frame with Floral Marginalia

The greatest works of art distinguish themselves not only by the way in which primary scenes are depicted, but the amount of detail and attention that one finds in the margins. For example, a white greyhound lounges lazily in one corner of this miniature and shares the beholder’s perspective of this scene; the artist’s signature “NG” can be seen in the other corner. The snail and songbird in the floral frame with a gold leaf background are painted with a superfluous level of detail as well.

Glockendon-Gebetbuch
Single Page

Glockendon Hours

The Betrayal of Judas / Joseph’s Dreams

This miniature page juxtaposes the New Testament story of Judas and the Old Testament story of Joseph, famous for his dreams and the ability to interpret the dreams of others. The creative frame takes the form of a series of sticks bound together and has a red sign hanging in the upper left corner indicating the source of the scene in the margins.

The primary miniature shows Judas accepting thirty pieces of silver from the Sanhedrin, who are dressed as bloated Renaissance clerics, in exchange for identifying Jesus to them. The scene is depicted within a sublime Renaissance interior. The bas-de-page miniature is a lovely landscape, in which young Joseph is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and then taken off to Egypt by camel.

Glockendon-Gebetbuch
Facsimile Editions

#1 Glockendon-Gebetbuch

Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 1998
Glockendon Hours – Est.136 = a.U.6.7 – Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (Modena, Italy)
Glockendon Hours – Est.136 = a.U.6.7 – Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (Modena, Italy) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 1998
Limited Edition: 999 copies, 420 copies of them reserved for Faksimile Verlag
Binding: The binding is a faithful replica of the original. It is made of the finest calfskin and is furnished with replicas of the original clasps. Protected in an acrylic case with the commentary volume. Facsimile and commentary volume are delivered together in a protective acrylic case.
Commentary: 1 volume by Eberhard König, Ulrich Merkl, Regina Cermann, and Ernesto Milano
Language: German
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
Price: Login here!

#2 Il Libro di Devozione di Alberto di Brandeburgo

Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 1997

Publisher: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 1997
Limited Edition: 999 copies worldwide realized in collaboration with Moleiro editor, Barcelona and Faksimile Verlag, Lucerne.
Binding: The binding is a faithful replica of the original. It is made of the finest calfskin and is furnished with replicas of the original clasps. Presented with the commentary volume in a Solander box.
Commentary: 1 volume (160 pages) by Ernesto Milano, Daniele Bini, Leandro Ventura and Giancarlo Malacarne
Language: Italian
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.

#3 Libro de Oración de Alberto de Brandemburgo

M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 1997

Publisher: M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 1997
Limited Edition: 987 copies
Binding: Embossed brown leather with metal clasps in a leather case with the commentary volume
Commentary: 1 volume (160 pages) by Ernesto Milano, Daniele Bini, Leandro Ventura and Giancarlo Malacarne
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.
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