The highpoint of the famous chronicler: countless overflowing miniatures in arguably the most beautifully illustrated Swiss chronicle

Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling

Lucerne (Switzerland) — 1513

Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling

Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling

Lucerne (Switzerland) — 1513

  1. The most beautiful illustrated Swiss chronicle and the highpoint of the career of Diebold Schilling (ca. 1460-1515)

  2. The illustrations artfully depict a sprawling plethora of people, landscapes, and buildings of all kinds

  3. The text is not the focus but merely accompanies the imagery, perhaps the richest of the Middle Ages

Luzerner Chronik des Diebold Schilling

Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling

Punishment of Hans Hegenheim

With gorgeous colors and making skillful use of perspective, this unusual miniature does not portray a trial by ordeal but rather a form of corporal punishment called “schwemmen”. According to the text above, a youth named Hans Hegenheim was convicted of theft in 1470 and as punishment was bound with a rope, thrown into the Reuss River, and pulled behind a boat from Peterskapelle to Reusbrücke. He survived, was considered to have atoned for his crime, and went on to live a long life.

Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling

Alternative Titles:
  • Luzerner Chronik des Diebold Schilling
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The Lucerne Chronicle by Diebold Schilling is the most beautiful illustrated chronicle from Switzerland and represents the highpoint of the career of the famous writer and chronicler Diebold Schilling. The masterful illustrations show a sprawling variety of scenes from political, religious, and social life in the Middle Ages and allows the text of the book to step into the background.

The Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling

The Swiss chroniclers of the Late Middle Ages published a series of popular chronicles that have familiarized posterity with the political, religious, economic, and social life of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The most prominent work of this kind is the Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling the Younger. The text covers the history of the confederacy from its formation up to the year 1513. The time period of 1474-1513 is noted in particular. Relationships of political dependence stand in the foreground. The relationship of the confederates to the great powers and of the Holy Roman Emperors to the empire are debated through 443 pages. From that, only a small amount of space was used for text, which is outweighed by the impressive miniatures of the illustrated chronicle.

Two Masters of their Discipline

The text of the Lucerne Chronicle was composed by Diebold Schilling the Younger and some of the illumination is attributed to him. Schilling came from a family of some of the most experienced and talented authors of the Middle Ages. His uncle, who bore the same name, composed the world-famous Great Burgundy Chronicle. The young Diebold Schilling, who studied law in Basel, worked as a notary in Lucerne in 1479 and later went to the court of the Sforza in Milan. During this time, he began work on his illustrated chronicle of Luerne, which was probably commissioned by the authorities of Lucerne. The exact commissioner is not known. The work was completed in 1513 and was presented at a ceremonial meeting to the city council of Lucerne. The second and no less talented illuminator has remained anonymous. His miniatures differ from Schilling’s in their brushwork and color choice. This painter appears to be more experienced and already strongly influenced by Renaissance painting, while Schilling’s illustrations still stem from the unsophisticated Late Medieval style.

The Most Splendid Work of its Kind

One can safely say that the Lucerne Chronicle is the most splendidly decorated codex of the Late Middle Ages. There is no other work in which the illustrations are more meticulously and richly designed. Pictures of the most vivid colors and detail are to be found on every page. The text does not stand in the middle, as was typical, instead the text merely accompanies the image composition. Again and again, one turns to two page illustrations without text, albeit with Gothic framing, banderoles, or transcriptions that enhance the monumental effect of the images. The illustrations, which are penned in a wide variety of low-keyed colors and outlined in black, depict a sprawling plethora of people, landscapes, and buildings of all kinds. In the first volume of the chronicle, for example, the ceremonial act of presenting the work to the city council is depicted. This colorful method of depicting life at that time makes the work an enjoyable source for every historically interested reader.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Luzerner Chronik des Diebold Schilling
Size / Format
680 pages / 39.5 x 28.5 cm
Date
1513
Language
Illustrations
443 pages with illuminations in Gothic and Renaissance style
Artist / School
Luzerner Chronik des Diebold Schilling

Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling

Execution of Peters von Hagenbach (1474)

Peter von Hagenbach was an Alsatian knight, military captain, and bailiff in the service of Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy, a great enemy of the Swiss. He was the first commander held responsible for war crimes that "he as a knight was deemed to have a duty to prevent." Aside from depicting his beheading, this scene wonderfully details contemporary clothing and armor.

Hagenbach is kneeling before a priest holding a wooden crucifix, his hands folded in prayer, a red cap pulled over his eyes. The brightly-colored executioner, who puts a consoling hand on his shoulder, is a Landsknecht mercenary – a term coined by Hagenbach and perhaps a nod to some poetic justice being served. His great sword, like the rest of the weapons, shines with silver leaf.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling“

Luzerner Chronik des Diebold Schilling
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling – Hs.S.23 – Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne, Switzerland)
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Luzerner Chronik des Diebold Schilling

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Faksimile Verlag – Munich, 1977 / 1981
Limited Edition
980
Binding
Bound in tooled leather and decorated, like the original, with brass fittings, central rosettes and clasps. All double leaves were sewn by hand on six cords. The headband was stitched by hand at the top and bottom ends of the book using blue and white hemp thread.
Commentary
1 volume (724 pages) by Peter Rück, Gottfried Boesch, Carl Pfaff, Pascal Ladner, Eduard Studer and Alfred A. Schmid
Language: German
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