Panegyric in Honor of King Robert of Anjou

Panegyric in Honor of King Robert of Anjou Facsimile Edition

Florence (Italy) — First half of the 14th century

Medieval propaganda at its best: 30 magnificent miniatures and eulogistic poetry honoring the powerful politician and patron of the arts Robert the Wise, King of Naples

  1. Robert of Anjou (1275–1343), King of Naples, was a well-respected ruler known as Robert the Wise

  2. A poem of praise dedicated to him was written ca. 1320 by Convenole da Prato (ca. 1270–1338)

  3. 30 masterful miniatures from a Florentine workshop in a style influenced by Taddeo Gaddi adorn the text

Panegyric in Honor of King Robert of Anjou

  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Panegyric in Honor of King Robert of Anjou

The Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale in Florence holds a richly decorated copy of the famous Panegyric in Honor of King Robert of Anjou, created in a Florentine workshop not too long after the autograph was written. Robert of Anjou, also known as the Wise, was one of the most praised figures of his time. As King of Sicily, he was considered by many to be the greatest political leader of his time and an exemplary figure who would finally unify Italy. Originally written around 1320 by the Italian author, notary and teacher of Petrarch, Convenole da Prato, and dedicated to King Robert, this panegyric is not only adorned with ornamental golden initials and floral borders, but also with 30 large and partly full-page miniatures that are wonderful examples of the captivating art of the Florentine Trecento.

Panegyric in Honor of King Robert of Anjou

A panegyric is a lofty poem of praise, in this case, written to laud Robert of Anjou (1275–1343), King of Naples, also known as Robert the Wise. He was the central figure of Italian politics during his lifetime and came closer than anyone to uniting the peninsula into a single realm. He was nicknamed “the peace-maker of Italy”, resisting the claims of the German emperors and the kings of Aragon. He also transformed the city of Naples from a dirty seaport to an elegant medieval city. It was written ca. 1320 by Convenole da Prato (ca. 1270–1338), an Italian author, notary, ambassador, and teacher to the famous humanist Petrarch (1304–74). The poem is accompanied by 30 masterful miniatures originating from a Florentine workshop in a style influenced by Taddeo Gaddi (ca. 1290–1366). One particularly famous double page depicts Christ in Majesty: the deity is enthroned and holding the terrestrial globe with the three known continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa with the Virgin Mary depicted in prayer on the opposite page. King Robert was remembered by Petrarch as a man of culture and a generous patron of the arts, Boccaccio (1313–75) described him as “unique among the kings of our day” and “a friend of knowledge and virtue.”

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Lobgedicht auf Robert von Anjou
Regia Carmina
Regia Carmina: Panegirico in onore di Roberto d'Angiò
Size / Format
140 pages / 37.0 × 24.0 cm
Origin
Italy
Date
First half of the 14th century
Style
Illustrations
30 large, partly full-page miniatures, countless ornamental and partly gilded decorative initials, including various fleuronnée initials, as well as colorful floral borders

Available facsimile editions:
Panegyric in Honor of King Robert of Anjou – Banco Rari 38 – Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (Florence, Italy) Facsimile Edition
De Agostini/UTET – Rome/Turin, 2004
Limited Edition: 330 copies
Detail Picture

Panegyric in Honor of King Robert of Anjou

Angevin Knight

This fully armed knight is dressed in blue armor with a helmet crowned by a golden fleur-de-lys, which also adorns his shield, as well as his surcoat and his horse’s caparison, which are both red. The open visor of his helmet exposes a bearded face looking coolly and directly at the beholder, as does his horse, whose eyes appear bloodshot and bellicose. A very similar image from the British Library’s manuscript Royal 6 E IX is still used today as part of the province of Prato’s coat of arms.

Regia Carmina: Panegirico in onore di Roberto d'Angiò
Single Page

Panegyric in Honor of King Robert of Anjou

Portrait of Robert of Anjou

Appearing opposite of a sorrowful female figure personifying Italy who cries out for its unification, Robert is seated on a bench throne holding an orb in one hand and a scepter topped with a fleur-de-lys in the other. His beautifully patterned red robes, trimmed with gold, are contrasted by the lapis lazuli background depicted with a pattern of golden fleur-de-lys, which are inscribed with his numerous virtues.

Through these inscriptions, Robert is hailed by his hopeful Italian admirers as 14th century Italy’s greatest hope for unification and the end of the Avignon Papacy. Unlike nearly identical images from contemporary manuscripts of this panegyric, Robert is depicted here with a beard instead of being clean shaven.

Regia Carmina: Panegirico in onore di Roberto d'Angiò
Facsimile Editions

#1 Regia Carmina: Panegirico in onore di Roberto d'Angiò

De Agostini/UTET – Rome/Turin, 2004

Publisher: De Agostini/UTET – Rome/Turin, 2004
Limited Edition: 330 copies
Binding: Blue velvet
Commentary: 1 volume by Lorenzo Tanzini
Language: Italian
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.
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