A wedding present for the son of the King of Portugal: one of the most magnificent works of late medieval book art

Livro de Horas de la Condessa de Bertiandos

Portugal — 1515–1530

Livro de Horas de la Condessa de Bertiandos

Livro de Horas de la Condessa de Bertiandos

Portugal — 1515–1530

  1. Duarte, Duke of Guimarães (1515-40) was the tenth child of King Manuel I of Portugal (1469-1521)

  2. Antonio de Holanda (ca. 1480-1557) created a book of hours for him with 2,066 illuminations

  3. Secular and religious themes are presented alongside countless details from everyday life

Livro de Horas de la Condessa de Bertiandos

Serie Azul 1813, cofre 34 Academia das Ciências de Lisboa (Lisbon, Portugal)
Livro de Horas de la Condessa de Bertiandos
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Written ca. 1515-1530 in Latin, the Livro de Horas de la Condessa de Bertiandos was made for the Infante Duarte, son of Manuel I of Portugal, as a gift for his marriage to Isabel de Braganza. The text is written in two columns in an elegant Gothic script, which was then adorned by no less than 2,066 illuminations by the great master Antonio de Holanda. The art is distinguished by great attention to detail, excellent chromatic richness, and a naturalistic style with a Flemish influence. The manuscript is extremely important for the zoological information it offers. The illuminations represent lay motifs, especially flora and fauna (insects, fish, game animals, domestic animals, imaginary ...), in addition to the usual scenes from the Gospels, borders, and initials found in a book of hours. Ana de Bragança, Countess of Bertiandos, after whom the manuscript is named, donated the splendid masterpiece to the Academia das Ciencias de Lisboa in 1933.

Livro de Horas de la Condessa de Bertiandos

This manuscript was created for Duarte, Duke of Guimarães (1515-40), on the occasion of his nuptials with Isabel de Braganza in 1537. He was the tenth child of King Manuel I of Portugal (1469-1521) and the ninth for his second wife, María de Aragón (1482-1517), who was the sister of his first wife, Isabel de Aragón (1470-98). Although Duarte’s life was short, his spectacular book of hours is one of the most magnificent works of late medieval book art: its 236 pages are filled with 2,066 illuminations. It is the work of Antonio de Holanda (ca. 1480-1557), one of the leading miniaturists in 16th century Portugal about whom little is known other than he was from Holland, possibly trained by the great Alexander Bening (d. 1519) and thus brought the refinement of Netherlandish art with him to Portugal.

A Gorgeous Glimpse of the 16th century

This rich image program means that the work is pregnant with information on the customs, clothing, and details from everyday life in 16th century Iberia along with an endless number of flowers, fruits, insects, fish, wild game, domestic animals, trumpets and other musical instruments, boats, ladders, farming and nautical instruments, and hybrid forms. Religious iconography like the Holy Shroud is mixed in with these secular themes. Holanda introduced new techniques for lighting a scene and allowed the action to unfold before the eyes of the beholder. The exquisiteness and breadth of the monochromatic range leaves medieval limits behind. Finally, art was a family business and Antonio was the father of Francisco de Holanda, a court painter for King John III (1502-57), essayist, architect, and historian considered to be one of the most important figures of the Portuguese Renaissance.

Codicology

Size / Format
118 folios / 33.2 × 24.0 cm
Origin
Portugal
Date
1515–1530
Language
Script
Gothic Textualis Rotunda
Illustrations
2066 illuminations
Artist / School

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Livro de Horas de la Condessa de Bertiandos “

Livro de Horas de la Condessa de Bertiandos
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Livro de Horas de la Condessa de Bertiandos

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Limited Edition
999 copies
Binding
Gold tooled red leather
Commentary
1 volume
Language: Spanish
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.
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