A picture book for the son of the Hungarian king: a masterpiece based on Jacobus de Voragine's saints' stories in golden miniatures of the Trecento

Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium

Hungary — Circa 1330

Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium

Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium

Hungary — Circa 1330

  1. This manuscript was commissioned by the Hungarian King Charles I (1288–1342) as a gift to his son

  2. The work contains 105 vivid miniatures, sometimes set against a gold background, with saints' vitae

  3. Although anonymous, the master was probably from Bologna and a representative of the Trecento

Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium

Alternative Titles:
  • Heiligenleben
  • Ungarisches Legendarium
  • Legendarium der ungarischen Anjou
  • Legenda Aurea - Goldenes Legendarium
  • Golden Legend
  • Vitae Sanctorum
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The Legenda Aurea from Hungary originated ca. 1330 and was commissioned by the Hungarian King Charles I (Charles Robert) as a gift to his son. The work contains 105 vivid miniatures, sometimes set against a gold background. Scenes from the lives of important saints are depicted therein.

Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium

Around 1330, King Charles I of Hungary, known as Charles Robert of the House of Anjou, commissioned a manuscript for his three year old son Andrew. The manuscript was an enlargement of the famous Legenda Aurea by the Dominican monk Jacobus de Vorraigne. It deals with a collection of saints’ lives and deeds. As a result, the Hungarian Legendarium places particular emphasis on people who had a special meaning for the Anjou family. A splendid picture cycle of 105 mostly full-page miniatures on a gold background illustrates the valuable manuscript.

A Picture Book for the Prince

The Legenda Aurea is a picture book intended for children, in which short texts describe the scenes depicted in the book. Early on, King Charles I of Hungary wanted his son to be familiarized with the legends of the saints, whom were associated with the Anjou family. Scenes are depicted from the lives of important biblical figures from various epochs. Among them are apostles and martyrs, monks, the Virgin Mary, but also high church officials from Hungary and Poland.

A Gothic Masterpiece

The qualitatively valuable miniatures probably originate from an important Late Gothic studio. The page-filling miniatures are separated into four scenes, respectively, that are framed by excitingly-patterned bordures. The dramatic and elegant miniatures on golden backgrounds shine in a vivid variety of luminous colors. Who exactly illustrated the codex is not knowable today. Nevertheless, the master was probably from Bologna, the school of painting of the so-called Trecento. The style referred to as Trecento is the one that preceded the Renaissance. The miniatures of the Hungarian Legendarium show stylistic elements of unsophisticated Gothic painting and are already characterized by stylistically-changing influences of the Renaissance.

A World-Famous Book Treasure

The Legenda Aurea from Hungary, with its splendidly-colored miniatures, which are sometimes decorated with elaborately wrought golden backgrounds, is a fine specimen of Gothic book art. The work was divided into several parts and are to be found today in some of the most renowned libraries worldwide. The main part of the manuscript is housed in the Vatican Library. 20 miniatures are in the Morgan Library in New York. Five further pages are located in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Heiligenleben
Ungarisches Legendarium
Legendarium der ungarischen Anjou
Legenda Aurea - Goldenes Legendarium
Golden Legend
Vitae Sanctorum
Size / Format
212 pages / 28.0 x 21.5 cm
Origin
Hungary
Date
Circa 1330
Style
Gothic
Language
Illustrations
105 mostly full-page miniatures /each page with 4 scenes), illuminated in gold
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Heiligenleben - Legendarium der ungarischen Anjou

Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium

Martyrdom of Saint Peter

The Pope is often referred to as the “heir of St. Peter”, an Apostle who was martyred in Rome in the year 64, which is illustrated here. The cause is debated: some claim that it was part of recriminations against Christians who were blamed for the Great Fire of Rome, others claim it was simply because of his faith.

Peter is depicted with his iconic short-cropped beard and balding head in this gorgeous, richly gilded miniature. He is arrested and crucified on the orders of the Emperor Nero, who is depicted as a bearded medieval king. This was done with his head downward according to his own wishes, because he felt unworthy to die in the same way as Christ. The final scene, in which his body is wrapped, features a figure wearing a miter, an allusion to the papacy?

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium“

Heiligenleben - Legendarium der ungarischen Anjou
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Legenda Aurea - Anjou Legendarium – Vat. lat. 8541 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
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Heiligenleben - Legendarium der ungarischen Anjou

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Belser Verlag – Zurich, 1990
Limited Edition
400 copies
Binding
Bound in leather with metal fittings
Commentary
1 volume (168 pages) by Giovanni Morello and Heide Stamm
Language: German
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.
Regular price without login (like new)3,190 €
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