Leitura Nova of Manuel I of Portugal

Leitura Nova of Manuel I of Portugal – Patrimonio Ediciones – Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)

Portugal — 16th century

Of inestimable historical value and at the same time magnificently equipped with 43 large title pictures: a compendium with endless information about the Kingdom of Portugal masterfully illuminated with the collaboration of Antonio de Holanda

  1. A compendium of legal, geographic, historical, and institutional information on the Kingdom of Portugal

  2. Individual regions, commodities, cities, villages, abbeys, hospitals, and other institutions enumerated

  3. Originating from a collaboration of the famous Portuguese miniaturist Antonio de Holanda, Alvaro Pires, and Antonio Godinho

Leitura Nova of Manuel I of Portugal

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Leitura Nova of Manuel I of Portugal

The so-called Leitura Nova of Manuel I of Portugal is a highly, historically important work. Originating in the first half of the 16th century, its 90 pages contain many different sheets with recordings of the legal, geographic, historical, and institutional information of the Kingdom of Portugal. The manuscript is not only historically valuable but also aesthetically pleasing: it just so happens to have been decorated by some of the most famous Portuguese miniaturists of the time: Antonio de Holanda, Alvaro Pires, and Antonio Godinho.

Leitura Nova of Manuel I of Portugal

The so-called Leitura Nova of Manuel I of Portugal is an extremely historically important work. Originating in the first half of the 16th century, within its 90 pages it contains many different sheets with recordings of legal, geographic, historical, and institutional information on the Kingdom of Portugal. Alongside its historical value, the artistic décor of the manuscript is also significant, which just so happens to have been adorned by some of the most famous Portuguese miniaturists of the time: Antonio de Holanda, Alvaro Pires, and Antonio Godinho.

An Important Testimony of Portuguese History

Under King Manuel I (1469–1521) – who was also known as The Fortunate – Portugal experienced a cultural and economic boom. With the discovery a seaward passage to India by Vasco da Gama in 1497, under the ruler ship of King Manuel, Portugal became one of the important empires of the time. An especially exquisite example for the artwork of Manuelian Style, which emerged above all in architecture, is the book art of Leitura Nova. Originating between 1504 and 1552, the manuscript unfurls over its 90 pages the history of its time. There are itemizations of the singular administrative regions of the Kingdom, including the corresponding islands belonging to the Kings of Portugal, with rights and legitimations of the king and his manager. Thus, the individual regions, commodities, cities, villages, abbeys, hospitals, and other institutions are enumerated, but donations, privileges, and rights were also put into record. This historically interesting information is furnished with wonderful title pictures, which were executed by the greatest Portuguese manuscript artist of the time.

A Kingly Read

The so-called New Reading of Manuel I impresses with its sumptuous and royally appropriate presentation. Even the impressive format of 53 x 40 cm lends further importance to the work. The 43 title pages are designed in the most lavish miniature paintings. The pages with text in the middle section are enclosed within a wide frame, whose figure is gilded. Floral ornaments, depictions of animals, and the most beautiful blossoms and fruit serve as embroidered borders for the background of the scenic depictions and references to the Kingdom of Portugal and its ruler, Manuel I. In the upper part of the frame are coats of arms supported by angels, framed by two images of Armillary spheres. The King Manuel I himself is presented within a portrait. In the bottom part of the frame, one finds a bas-de-page miniature, with figurative depictions with difference scenes. The paintings abound with color and magnificent embroidery with gold. As for the artists of this wonderful world of pictures, Antonio de Holanda, Alvaro Pires, and Antonio Godinho have been identified, all of whom were great miniaturists of the 16th century. Alvaro Pires was a court painter and was cherished as an artist, and Antonio de Holanda is the artist behind the Book of Hours of Manuel I, thereby connecting him even further to the famous Portuguese King. In its totality, the historically significant content and the especially artistic design places the Leitura Nova of Manuel I as a high point of Portuguese manuscript art of the 16th century. For those who interest themselves in the history and art history of Portugal, this manuscript offered a deep look into the important period of Manuel I’s Portugal.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Leitura Nova de D. Manuel I de Portugal
Leitura Nova Manuels I. von Portugal
Leitura Nova de D. Manuel I de Portugal
Leitura Nova di D. Manuel I di Portogallo
Leitura Nova de D. Manuel I de Portugal
Leitura nova de Dom Manuel I de Portugal
Size / Format
90 pages / 53.0 × 40.0 cm
Origin
Portugal
Date
16th century
Language
Illustrations
43 splendid frontispieces illuminated with gold
Patron
King Manuel I of Portugal (1469–1521)
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Leitura Nova of Manuel I of Portugal – Patrimonio Ediciones – Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo (Lisbon, Portugal)
Patrimonio Ediciones – Valencia, 1997
Limited Edition: 250 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Leitura Nova de D. Manuel I de Portugal

Patrimonio Ediciones – Valencia, 1997

Publisher: Patrimonio Ediciones – Valencia, 1997
Limited Edition: 250 copies
Commentary: 1 volume by Maria José Mexia Bigotte Chorão and Sylvie Deswarte-Rosa
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.
Facsimile Copy Available!
Price Category: €€
(1,000€ - 3,000€)
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