Created for Emperor Ferdinand I: a beautifully designed overview of the sophistication of Northern Renaissance calligraphy

Model Book of Calligraphy

Vienna (Austria) — 1596

Model Book of Calligraphy

Model Book of Calligraphy

Vienna (Austria) — 1596

  1. A fine survey of various scripts and decorative elements from the final and most splendid period of manuscript production

  2. The manuscript was created for Emperor Ferdinand I (1503-64) and was later owned by Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612)

  3. Initially created by Georg Bocskay (d. 1575), it was later illuminated by Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1601)

Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta

Model Book of Calligraphy

Idealized Nature

Here we see that this gorgeously executed manuscript is so much more than a calligraphic model book – it is also a fantastic specimen of the Northern Renaissance that blends naturalism and idealism with shadows suggesting a light source from the background. The frog’s green and black camouflage is depicted with a sheen indicating that it is wet while it sits alongside a blue lily. Meanwhile, a dragonfly with hairy legs lands upon the long stem of a freshly sliced pear.

Model Book of Calligraphy

Alternative Titles:
  • Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta
  • Kalligraphiebuch
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Finely executed calligraphy is one of the salient features of illuminated manuscripts. By the 16th century, it was a true art and numerous scripts had been developed, which allowed patrons to customize even the lettering in their commissions. Created for Emperor Ferdinand I, this is a wonderful model book showing not only various scripts, but also gorgeous examples of typical masterful elements.

Model Book of Calligraphy

This manuscript consists of two parts: the first part is a model book displaying examples of various scripts created by Georg Bocskay (d. 1575) for Emperor Ferdinand I (1503-64). The illuminations by Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1601) were added after Bocskay's death and consist of masterful floral and faunal décor. The second part consists of a constructed alphabet executed by an anonymous scribe, which was also illuminated by Hoefnagel. The decision to bind the two parts together was probably made by Hoefnagel and the Emperor. The work was later owned by Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612), an avid patron of the arts and learning. The script and the illuminations in both sections are of the highest quality and the work represents a gorgeous survey of the sophistication of the Northern Renaissance.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta
Kalligraphiebuch
Size / Format
pages / 16.6 × 12.4 cm
Date
1596
Language
Content
The first part is a model writing book, while the second part consists of a constructed alphabet.
Artist / School
Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta

Model Book of Calligraphy

Ten Commandments and Maypole Dance

This black dyed page presents the calligrapher with a lavish opportunity to show off his great skill. Only a true master would be entrusted with gold ink, which stands out wonderfully against the black parchment. The iron-copper solution used to dye the pages was itself expensive and difficult to create, and as such is extremely rare.
Above the text, a cloud appears to explode with a cacophony of light and thundering trumpets as Moses receives the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets. This scene from the Old Testament is contrasted by the pagan bas-de-page miniature, which shows an expansive landscape in which people dance around a maypole before a field of colorful tents and is presented as though painted on the side of a Roman sofa.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Model Book of Calligraphy“

Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Model Book of Calligraphy – Ms. 20 (86. MV. 527) – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
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Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta

1 volume: This facsimile is not complete.
Publisher
Faksimile Verlag – Luzern, 1993
Limited Edition
290 copies
Commentary
1 volume by Lee Hendrix, Thea Vignau-Wilberg, Regula Krahenbuhl
Language: German
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