Against the Avignon Papacy, for Italian reunification: the splendidly illustrated work dedicated to Robert the Wise, King of Naples

Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou

Southern Italy — Around 1340

Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou

Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou

Southern Italy — Around 1340

  1. An outstanding illuminated manuscript of the 14th century gives insight into medieval concepts of rulership

  2. It criticizes the Avignon Papacy and praises the King of Naples (1275-1343), called the Wise, as the only one who can unite Italy

  3. Equipped with 43 large-format miniatures of gold and silver, the work is also a testimony to the splendor and self-perception of kingship at the time

Das Lobgedicht auf Koenig Robert von Anjou (Luxury Edition)

Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou

The Judgement of Paris

Styled as a medieval feast, this ancient story is central to both the Trojan War as well as the mythological foundations of Rome. It is included in this work as an allusion to King Robert’s ambition to unite all of Italy under his banner. Paris is shown kneeling before the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, all of whom tower over the mortal. Aphrodite is shown accepting the apple from him gracefully, but the displeasure of the other two goddesses is clearly written on their stern faces.

Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou

Alternative Titles:
  • Regia Carmina
  • Das Lobgedicht auf König Robert von Anjou
  • Panegyric of Robert of Anjou
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The Poem of Praise for Robert of Anjou simultaneously represents one of the most outstanding illuminated manuscripts of the 14th century, as well as an inside view into medieval concepts of good government. Produced for Robert of Anjou, King of Sicily, it features 43 large-format miniatures that are richly endowed with engraved gold and silver as well as various kinds of historiated initials. The text extols King Robert as the only one who can unite Italy and end the endemic wars waged among its powerful city-states, in addition to criticizing the "Babylonian Captivity" of the Avignon Papacy. As a result, this manuscript is of prime importance for historians of both art and politics.

Poem of Praise for Robert of Anjou

The Poem of Praise for Robert of Anjou, King of Naples (1278 -1343) is in the safe keeping of the Austrian National Library and is one of the most important documentations concerning the medieval conception of good government and at the same time also one of the most outstanding examples of illumination from the 14th century.

Decor Worthy of a King

This extraordinary codex was illustrated by 43 large-format miniatures, richly endowed with engraved gold and silver, on 72 pages altogether. The partially full-page miniatures make an impression with their monumental format of handwriting (48.5 x 34.4 cm); 29 Florentine initials and 8 opaque initials on a gold background complement this fantastic layout. A kaleidoscope of almost the entire medieval/early-modern educational canon is covered. Thus, the manuscript is a testimony to the extravagant intellectual and artistic effort which was expended for the sake of depicting the Kingdom of Robert of Anjou. Some of the handwriting also indicates that Robert himself commissioned production of the manuscript.

The Content – Manifesto and Legacy

The Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou portrays the King as the ideal ruler, who is alone able to keep Italy under rule. This was a period of time during which Italy is torn apart: Robert shall, as the future ruler, bring the affairs of Italy in order. The author laments that Italy does not have a king like other states; likewise he denounces the absence of the Popes of Rome during their “Babylonian” exile in Avignon (1309 -1376).

A Splendiferous Kaleidoscope of the 14th Century

The codex contains two richly illustrated parts. The more extensive first section covers the Poem of Praise (regia carmina) for King Robert of Anjou, which is a praise of the ruler and in usual fashion it represents an effusive poem, which celebrates the addressee as the rescuer of the church and the ideal king of all Italy.

43 Glimmering Miniatures

The miniatures represent the “ideal” government state of Robert: allegories of Italy and the Italian city-states as well as virtues, which praise the King as an ideal ruler. The Italia (the female personification of Italy) or mythological characters from antiquity come before the throne of Robert praying for their country. The King sees himself as the chosen one, ordained by God to fulfill the task of uniting all of Italy. Accordingly, the holy court of God is compared to his own in several splendid miniatures.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Regia Carmina
Das Lobgedicht auf König Robert von Anjou
Panegyric of Robert of Anjou
Size / Format
72 pages / 48.5 x 34.4 cm
Date
Around 1340
Style
Gothic
Language
Illustrations
43 large formatted miniatures on 72 pages, richly endowed with engraved gold and silver
Das Lobgedicht auf Koenig Robert von Anjou (Luxury Edition)

Poem of Praise for Robert of Anjou

Patron Portrait

This double-page at the beginning of the manuscript establishes the purpose of the text – to promote Robert of Anjou, King of Naples, as the savior of Italy. On the recto page, we see the image of a beautiful but sorrowful female figure dressed in pink with dark blue sleeves and accents with gold leaf. She is the personification of Italy, which cries out for a strong leader to unite it.

Robert is depicted in profile on the verso page 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 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.

2 available facsimile edition(s) of „Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou“

Das Lobgedicht auf Koenig Robert von Anjou (Luxury Edition)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Poem of Praise for King Robert of Anjou – Cod. Ser. n. 2639 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
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Das Lobgedicht auf Koenig Robert von Anjou (Luxury Edition)

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 2008
Limited Edition
80 copies
Binding
The Luxury Edition – worldwide limited to 80 copies only – is protected by a cover made of deer leather. On the edges of the front cover four golden fleurs-de-lys – the sign of the Anjou family – are attached, in the center is the golden emblem of the Anjou family. Two clasps complete the luxurious decor. Facsimile is presented in a blue velour cassette.
Commentary
1 volume by Karl G. Pfändtner
Language: German
More Information
All folios are cut according to the original.
Regular price without login (like new)3,890 €
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Das Lobgedicht auf Koenig Robert von Anjou (Normal Edition)
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Das Lobgedicht auf Koenig Robert von Anjou (Normal Edition)

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 2008
Limited Edition
300 copies
Binding
Cover made of deer leather with blind embossing
Commentary
1 volume by Karl G. Pfändtner
Language: German
More Information
All folios are cut according to the original.
Regular price without login (like new)1,980 €
Login for a Better Price!
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