Golden Calendar of Albrecht Glockendon from 1526

facsimile edition: Golden Calendar of Albrecht Glockendon from 1526

Nuremberg (Germany) — 1526

A sparkling jewel of the German Renaissance: golden calendar pictures by the famous Nuremberg painter Albrecht Glockendon

  1. This gem of illumination from the German Renaissance is named for its lavish application of gold leaf

  2. The Nuremburg master Albrecht Glockendon (ca. 1500–45) paired labors of the month with corresponding poems in German

  3. The text concludes with tables and references, e.g. for bloodletting or calculating church holidays

Golden Calendar of Albrecht Glockendon from 1526

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Golden Calendar of Albrecht Glockendon from 1526

Albrecht Glockendon the Elder was a member of a famous Nuremberg family of artists and miniaturists during the Dürer period. This small but splendid codex is evidence that in the 16th century, when manuscripts and thereby the art of illumination were being slowly replaced by printing, great artists were still active in this field and produced truly masterful specimens of book art. The illuminated calendar book has miniatures for each month that combine typical labors or activities with zodiac symbols as well as ornamental elements. These scenes from everyday life in the early 16th century are painted with the finest pigments and generously adorned with gold leaf. The masterfully written with text is also highlighted with gold ink and consists of poems describing the month and giving advice specific to it. The final section has tables for calculating the church calendar or when to perform medical procedures like bloodletting as well as a magnificent miniature of the so-called zodiac man.

Golden Calendar of Albrecht Glockendon from 1526

The Nuremberg miniaturist Albrecht Glockendon created a wonderful gem of 16th century illumination with his Golden Calendar of Albrecht Glockendon from 1526. His 16-page astrological text with an everlasting calendar assembles a wonderful miniature for each month and the small book concludes with astrological tables and references, e.g. for bloodletting or calculating church holidays during the year. Decorative miniatures with scenes from everyday life are adorned with zodiac signs as well as floral and ornamental elements in the most luminous colors and with the lavish application of gold leaf.

A Nuremberg Miniaturist of the Dürer Period

Albrecht Glockendon, the artist of this wonderful manuscript, originated from a famous Nuremberg family of artists and miniaturists during the Dürer period. He was employed by a diverse milieu of patrons both noble and common. With his highly-prized artistic works, Albrecht Glockendon provided evidence that in the 16th century, when manuscripts and thereby the art of illumination were being slowly replaced by printing, great artists were still active in this field and produced truly masterful performances.

Twelve Months in Twelve Wonderful Miniatures

The 32 pages of the Golden Calendar from 1526 demonstrates why the miniaturist from Nuremberg was so highly esteemed. Each double-page deals with one of the twelve months, whereby a miniature illustrating the accompanying text in poetic form is featured on the verso. The respective month is explained by its sign and suitable life rules in gorgeous script with countless decorative flourishes and sometimes even gold ink. The decorative and richly-detailed miniatures attest to the great artistry of Albrecht Glockendon at his best. As such, the illustration for March shows a wonderful scene of farmers with horse and cart during field work, June is accompanied by a depiction of sheep shearing, which comes due in this month. Three people dressed like farmers sit before a green landscape with half-timbered houses in the background, each holding a wooly sheep for sheering, respectively. Illustrations like this and others from the agricultural cycle of the year accentuate the manuscript’s everlasting calendar. The small pictures are framed by decorative architectural ornaments in gold, which stand before the depictions like theater scenery. There is a medallion of the respective zodiac sign in the decorative border under the illustration, which is surrounded by floral ornamentation. Everything is designed in the brightest of colors with the most loving detail.

Artfully Designed Astrological Tables and Tools

Following after the 12 months are four pages with astrological content, which expanded on the rules for life in the depiction of the months. An artfully-designed man being bled is given along with a table for determining the position of the moon for information on an advantageous date for a bloodletting. A compass helps with the calculation of specific dates and numbers relating to the agricultural calendar. Albrecht Glockendon’s calendar book represents an impressive example for the connection of traditional knowledge from the country with the new humanist interest in astrological phenomena. The illustrations are of high worth for art history, the entire calendar book offers collectors and enthusiasts the wonderful opportunity to immerse themselves in the miniature art of Albrecht Glockendon.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Albrecht Glockendons goldener Kalender aus dem Jahre 1526
Kalendar von 1526
Albrecht Glockendons Prachtkalender vom Jahre 1526
Size / Format
32 pages / 14.0 × 10.0 cm
Origin
Germany
Date
1526
Language
Illustrations
14 miniatures
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
facsimile edition: Golden Calendar of Albrecht Glockendon from 1526 – Ms. germ. oct. 9 – Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin, Germany)
Müller & Schindler – Simbach am Inn, 1977
Detail Picture

Golden Calendar of Albrecht Glockendon from 1526

Sowing Winter Rye

The artist indicates that the month depicted is October via two lions holding a pair of scales, the zodiac symbol for Libra. After the harvests of late summer, autumn was a time for preparing for winter and the coming spring. On the left we see a farmer sowing rye, which is able to germinate under the snow and provide an initial grain harvest in the spring. It also serves to keep out weeds and it can be tilled back into the soil to enrich it even if it is not harvested.

Albrecht Glockendon Kalender von 1526
Single Page

Golden Calendar of Albrecht Glockendon from 1526

Portrait of the Duke of Berry in Prayer

Labors of the month, zodiac signs, and poetic advice for farming and bloodletting are all combined in this everlasting calendar. Here we see the month of October, identifiable by the Scorpio sign flanked by two cherubs just below the miniature, wherein wine is being made, hence the name Weinlesemonat or “wine harvest month” in medieval German.

Like the rest of the manuscript, the page is richly adorned with luminous gold leaf, including a golden architecture framing the miniature. Occurring in an interior space, everyone in the scene is dressed in bright colors and appears to be excited about the wine harvest, from the man stomping the grapes on the left, to the two women on the right who are filling the wine barrel.

Albrecht Glockendon Kalender von 1526
Facsimile Editions

#1 Albrecht Glockendon Kalender von 1526

Müller & Schindler – Simbach am Inn, 1977

Publisher: Müller & Schindler – Simbach am Inn, 1977
Binding: Green Leather
Commentary: 1 volume (68 pages) by Hermann Degering and Frauke Steenbock
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.
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