The Flemish school of Willem Vrelant in a splendid Italian manuscript for the daughter of King Philip V

Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis of Maria Antonietta of Savoia

Italy — Second half of the 15th century

Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis of Maria Antonietta of Savoia

Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis of Maria Antonietta of Savoia

Italy — Second half of the 15th century

  1. The paintings of this incredible manuscript are reminiscent of the Flemish school of Willem Vrelant (d. ca. 1481/82)

  2. Nonetheless, the manuscript has a uniquely Italian character: most of the saints presented are Italian

  3. This codex bears the name of Maria Antonietta of Spain, a Spanish Infanta and daughter of King Philip V (1683–1746)

Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis of Maria Antonietta of Savoia

Alternative Titles:
  • Officium Beate Marie Virginis
  • Offiziolo di Maria Antonietta di Savoia
  • Offizium der Madonna von Maria Antonietta von Savoyen
Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis of Maria Antonietta of Savoia – JB. II. 34 – Archivio di Stato di Torino - Museo dell'Archivio di Corte (Turin, Italy)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

This Italian manuscript from the second half of the 15th century is reminiscent of Flemish illumination in its elegant and artful décor. Nonetheless, the Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis has a uniquely Italian character in that the majority of the saints presented are specifically Italian. The manuscript finally came into the possession of Maria Antionietta of Savoy, the youngest daughter of King Philip V and the wife of the King of Sardinia-Piedmont, Victor Amadeus II of the House of Savoy.

Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis of Maria Antonietta of Savoy

This Italian manuscript from the second half of the 15th century is reminiscent of Flemish illumination in its elegant and artful décor. Nonetheless, the Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis has a uniquely Italian character in that the majority of the saints presented are specifically Italian. The manuscript finally came into the possession of Maria Antionietta of Savoy, the youngest daughter of King Philip V and the wife of the King of Sardinia-Piedmont, Victor Amadeus II of the House of Savoy.

An Italian Annunciation in the Flemish Style

A gorgeous depiction of the Annunciation is illustrated in the Officium: Mary, kneeling on a pillow in prayer, and the arch angel, who is delivering the good news with a banderole, are in an artfully-composed space with asymmetrical checkered floors, ornamented walls, and a green canopy over the lectern, before which Mary kneels. God the Father watches over the scene from the upper left corner of the image. Finally, a vase with two white lilies as a symbol of Mary’s virginity stands in the center of the room.

Filigree Ornamentation and Grandiose Miniatures

This miniature is exemplary of the grandiose visual décor of the Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis of Maria Antonietta of Savoy: 13 full-page miniatures, 13 historiated initials, and 172 decorative initials in red and blue inks also adorn the lavishly decorated manuscript. Alongside this miniature of the Annunciation, the gorgeous, haunting depiction of the Lamentation also makes the artistic influences from Flanders apparent. Although originating from Italy in the second half of the 15th century, the paintings are reminiscent of the Flemish school of Willem Vrelant.

A Spanish Infanta

The precious manuscript bears the name of one of its owners: Maria Antonietta of Spain (Span. Maria Antonia Fernanda, 1729–1785), a Spanish Infanta as the youngest daughter of Philip V. She became the Queen of Sardinia-Piedmont through her marriage to Victor Amadeus III of the House of Savoy and thus also gained possession of the Italian Officium. Victor Amadeus was the son of Carlo Emanuele III, Duke of Saxony and King of Sardinia-Piedmont. He was also the one to acquire the manuscript in 1764 from a cleric at the Church of St. Joire in Savoy.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Officium Beate Marie Virginis
Offiziolo di Maria Antonietta di Savoia
Offizium der Madonna von Maria Antonietta von Savoyen
Size / Format
238 pages / 19.5 x 15.0 cm
Origin
Italy
Date
Second half of the 15th century
Language
Illustrations
13 full-page miniatures, 13 historiated initials and 172 decorated initials in red and blue ink
Artist / School
Previous Owners

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis of Maria Antonietta of Savoia“

Offiziolo di Maria Antonietta di Savoia
Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis of Maria Antonietta of Savoia – JB. II. 34 – Archivio di Stato di Torino - Museo dell'Archivio di Corte (Turin, Italy)
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Offiziolo di Maria Antonietta di Savoia

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Imago – Castel Guelfo, 2005
Limited Edition
299 copies
Binding
Leather
Commentary
1 volume
Language: Italian
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.
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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