Hugo von Montfort - Poems and Songs

Hugo von Montfort - Poems and Songs Facsimile Edition

Steiermark (Austria) — 1414/1415

The complete body of poetry written by one of the last of the minnesingers, Count Hugo von Montfort: an elaborately illuminated manuscript marking the transition from modal to mensural notation

  1. Hugo von Montfort (1357–1423) was an important politician in the service of the House of Hapsburg

  2. 37 of the 40 poems in the manuscript are introduced by decorative initials including 5 historiated initials

  3. They are the work of Heinrich Aurhaym (active 1399–1429), an illuminator at the court of Duke Ernest the Iron

Hugo von Montfort - Poems and Songs

  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Hugo von Montfort - Poems and Songs

Hugo VII von Monfort was the head of an ancient and powerful Swabian noble family and was related to the House of Hapsburg through his mother. As the second son of his family, he had educated to become a clergyman but ended up spending his life in the service of the Hapsburgs both politically and militarily. When he was not expanding his territory, Hugo was one of the last of the courtly Minnesänger who wrote songs and poems as well as speeches of a political, educational, and moralizing nature. This collection of 40 poems was adorned by Heinrich Aurhaym ca. 1414/15, an illuminator at the court of Duke Ernest the Iron, with 37 decorative initials, five of them historiated, as well as intricate floral bordures, and a full-page miniature of the von Montfort coat of arms. The color palette of this illumination ranges from deep opaque to light pastel and is highlighted with gold, which is sometimes embossed with patterns. What is more, the manuscript marks the transition from modal to mensural notation during the Late Middle Ages.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Hugo von Montfort - Gedichte und Lieder
Size / Format
130 pages / 31.3 × 22.5 cm
Origin
Austria
Date
1414/1415
Style
Language
Script
Calligraphic cursive
Illustrations
37 initials, some historiated
Content
40 poems
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Reichert Verlag – Wiesbaden, 1988
Limited Edition: 550 copies (total circulation 600 copies)
Detail Picture

Hugo von Montfort - Poems and Songs

Coat of Arms

Hugo von Montfort’s coat of arms is presented within a pink and gold frame with a blue background patterned with swirling golden tendrils. The shield exhibits a pink gonfalon or gonfanon – a banner with three rings and three tails resembling the vexillum that were carried by the armies of Ancient Rome – on a field of white. A golden tournament helmet with a red lappet, the tips of which are decorated with white pearls, rests atop the shield. A chain connects it to a twisted salamander symbolizing Austria and the heraldic symbol of the Tournament Society of the Fish is similarly attached to the shield with a chain.

Hugo von Montfort - Gedichte und Lieder (Normalausgabe)
Single Page

Hugo von Montfort - Poems and Songs

Lady Minne

The opening page of this luxurious manuscript features a historiated “A” initial consisting of acanthus leaves, which presents a right-facing female figure with a crown and scepter seated on a throne consisting of two lions representing courtly love. Lady Minne is a delicate, slender figure with a naturalistic fall of folds that has been masterfully shaded and is presented before a bright red background with gold filigree.

A trefoil appearing above her head contains the von Montfort coat of arms with a silver field that has turned black surmounted by a golden tournament helmet with two decorative golden pearls at the tips. The rest of the page consists of pastel colored floral décor ennobled with generously applied gold leaf in the margins and between the two neatly written columns.

Hugo von Montfort - Gedichte und Lieder (Normalausgabe)
Facsimile Editions

#1 Hugo von Montfort - Gedichte und Lieder (Normalausgabe)

Reichert Verlag – Wiesbaden, 1988

Publisher: Reichert Verlag – Wiesbaden, 1988
Limited Edition: 550 copies (total circulation 600 copies)
Commentary: 1 volume (147 pages) by Franz Viktor Spechtler
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