Legende de Saint Voult de Lucques

Legende de Saint Voult de Lucques – CM Editores – Pal. lat. 1988 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)

Paris (France) — 1410

The angelic face of Jesus as a miraculous pilgrimage destination: a colorful French Gothic masterpiece about the stories and miracles of the life-size statue of Christ in Lucca

  1. A famous text tells the story of the image of Christ that, according to legend, was crafted by an angel

  2. The statue made Lucca one of the greatest pilgrimage sites of the Middle Ages

  3. The codex contains 27 richly furnished French Gothic miniatures

Legende de Saint Voult de Lucques

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Legende de Saint Voult de Lucques

This richly illuminated codex, preserved in the Vatican Library along with many other masterpieces of book art, is about one of the most popular legends of the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages: The Legend of the Holy Face. This tells the story of a sculpted portrait of Christ completed by an angel. The manuscript, created in Paris around 1410, depicts the events of the legend in beautiful Gothic miniatures that impress not only with their size but also with their vividness and bold colours. The magnificent decoration is enhanced by a masterful use of gold and artfully ornamental decorated initials. Thus, it is not surprising that the precious manuscript also passed through the hands of a Roman-German emperor as well as a pope in its ownership history, which cannot be completely reconstructed.

Legende de Saint Voult de Lucques

A manuscript in the Gothic style, whose patron and master remain anonymous up to today, originated ca. 1410 in France, probably in the capital city of Paris. The mysterious manuscript deals with the Legend of the Holy Face, a widely-disseminated story in the Middle Ages concerning the veneration of Jesus Christ. 27 superb, richly furnished miniatures illustrate the masterful codex.

A Wondrous Tale

Nicodemus is supposed to be the last man who saw Jesus Christ before his death. He decided to make a sculpture of Jesus and left just the face to be completed the following day. When Nicodemus woke up in the morning, he found the sculpture completed – according to legend it was the angels who finished it. At first, Nicodemus decided to hide the sculpture because the Christians were being persecuted. Centuries later during his travels in the Holy Land, a pilgrim from Lucca had a dream about the sculpture and the place where it was hidden, and so decided to find it and then put it on a ship in order to save the sculpture. In doing so, he put it to sea in an unoccupied ship as guided by providence. The sculpture arrived in Luni, Italy and its ownership was quickly contested between the citizens of Lucca – the city where the sculpture was supposed to be delivered – and Luni, where it actually arrived. Eventually, the sculpture was brought to Lucca, where it resides today, making it the third most important pilgrimage town in Europe after Lourdes and Vatican City.

Splendid Illumination

The work by an anonymous master is furnished with miniatures that are counted among the most beautiful images of Gothic illumination. The stunning, intoxicating depictions illustrate the legend’s events in luminous colors. The first miniature of the luxurious manuscript shows a man and a woman kneeling before the image that was crafted by the hands of an angel. This undoubtedly is the noble owner of the valuable codex. The precious original edition of the literary masterpiece is stored today in the Vatican Library.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
La Leyenda de la Santa Faz
Die Legende des Heiligen Anlitz
The Legend of the Holy Face
Leggenda de "Il Volto Santo"
Size / Format
96 pages / 35.0 × 24.0 cm
Origin
France
Date
1410
Style
Language
Script
Gothic Textura
Illustrations
27 colorful, large miniatures, numerous red-blue initials with lush gold leaf ornamentation, and filigree borders
Content
The story of the image of Christ that, according to legend, was crafted by an angel
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Emperor Maximilian I (1459–1519)
Pope Gregory XV (1554–1623)

Available facsimile editions:
Legende de Saint Voult de Lucques – CM Editores – Pal. lat. 1988 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
CM Editores – Salamanca, 2008
Limited Edition: 997 copies
Detail Picture

Lectionary of St Petersburg

Bishop Johannes at Luni

According to the legend of this giant carved wooden crucifix, when the boat transporting it from the Holy Land came to the Tuscan port of Luni, the men could not take control of it until Johannes, Bishop of Lucca, arrived with an entourage of clerics and laity. The boat miraculously came to him and opened its gangplank, causing the crowd on the shore to weep tears of joy and sing Gloria in excelsis Deo. Fine strokes of gold ink wonderfully highlight the blue and purple checkered background.

La Leyenda de la Santa Faz
Single Page

Legende de Saint Voult de Lucques

The Dream of Nicodemus

According to legend, a wooden crucifix known as the Holy Face of Lucca was sculpted entirely by Nicodemus, save for the face, which was completed by an angel as he slept. Here, Nicodemus sleeps sitting up with a hammer in one hand while resting his head in the other and is surrounded by various tools. As a finishing touch, an angel places a crown on Christ’s head.

Dressed in black trimmed with gold, the Christ figure looks down at his faithful servant. They are presented within a blue arcade frame, which contrasts with the bright red background patterned with golden circles. The text is written in a similarly brilliant red ink and is adorned with an initial and thorny tendrils of red, blue, and gold.

La Leyenda de la Santa Faz
Facsimile Editions

#1 La Leyenda de la Santa Faz

CM Editores – Salamanca, 2008

Publisher: CM Editores – Salamanca, 2008
Limited Edition: 997 copies
Binding: Light brown leather with two metal clasps
Commentary: 1 volume by Marion de Larue and Beatriz Rodero
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.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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