Prayer Book for Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg

Prayer Book for Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg

Nuremberg and Halle (Germany) — 1537

German Renaissance alongside Mannerism in book illumination: 42 full-page miniatures by the famous Gabriel Glockendon for a powerful prince of church

  1. One of the most powerful princes of the church during the Renaissance was also a great patron of the arts

  2. This prayer book is a masterpiece of the German Renaissance and exhibits a tendency toward the Mannerist style

  3. It has 42 full-page miniatures by Gabriel Glockendon (ca. 1515 – after 1585) and 73 ornamental initials by Georg Stierlein

Prayer Book for Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (3)
Description
Prayer Book for Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg

As one of the most powerful prince-electors of the Reformation, Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg (1490–1545) commissioned a 200-page prayer book that originated in Nuremberg and Halle between 1536 and 1537 and thematized the salvation history from the Annunciation to the Entombment of Christ. The wonderful manuscript enchants the beholder with 42 full-page miniatures by the illuminator Gabriel Glockendon and 73 ornamental initials by the scribe Georg Stierlein. With its tendency toward playful details in garments and architecture as well as atmospheric landscapes with lonely rivers and bold rock formations, its Mannerist style is decidedly modern.

Prayer Book for Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg

A pompous prayer book for Albrecht von Brandenburg (1490–1545), one of the most powerful prince-electors of the Reformation, was made between 1536 and 1537 in Nuremberg and Halle. The 200-page parchment manuscript originated from a collaboration between the illuminator Gabriel Glockendon (ca. 1515-after 1585) and the scribe Georg Stierlein and captivates with 42 full-page miniatures, wonderful marginal décor, and 73 ornamental initials. A total of five depictions accompanying the Passion invite the beholder to meditate on the suffering of Christ, which is presented in expressive scenes.

Artists of Distinction

Only a few documents today give us any information about the life of Gabriel Glockendon, the son of the famous Nuremberg illuminator Nikolaus Glockendon (ca. 1490/5–1533/4). It is believed that he took over the workshop after his father’s passing. As a passionate collector and patron of the arts, Albrecht von Brandenburg employed Georg Stierlein in Halle and thus had his own scribe.

Unique Décor Meets Refined Layout

The salvation history from the Annunciation to the Entombment of Christ are found in miniatures brimming with ideas. Glockendon’s tendency towards the Mannerist style, which finds expression in numerous details, is clearly recognizable. Thus, not only are the figures’ articles of clothing furnished with elaborate lace and frills, but the architecture is also astonishingly devised. Atmospheric landscapes with leafless trees, fantastic fortresses, and imposing mountains serve as a setting. As though these primary scenes were not diverse enough, the painter supplements them through additional, no less extensive typological scenes in the background. This creative layout with an additional depiction on the border makes the prayer book a unique masterpiece of illumination.

Inspiration from the Past

Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg must have really admired this text, because he commissioned it more than once. Actually, there are two older manuscripts, whose text- and miniature-program are identical with that by Glockendon and Schierlein. They are a manuscript by Simon Bening (ca. 1483–1561) that originated ca. 1525/50 and another by Nikolaus Glockendon from 1533/34. Serving as the foundation for these three works is a German prayer book that was printed in Augsburg in 1521, which contained a translation of the Orationes et meditationes de vita Christi by Thomas von Kempen (ca. 1380–1471).

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Gabriel Glockendon: Gebetbuch für Kardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg
Size / Format
200 pages / 19.0 × 24.5 cm
Origin
Germany
Date
1537
Language
Illustrations
42 full-page miniatures and 73 ornamented initials
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Prayer Book for Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg – Codex 1847 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Bibliotheca Rara – Münster, 2008
Limited Edition: 99 copies in two parts (1-99 deluxe edition)

Gabriel Glockendon: Gebetbuch für Kardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg (Standard Edition)
Bibliotheca Rara – Münster, 2008
Limited Edition: 399 copies in two parts (100-499 standard edition)

Gabriel Glockendon: Gebetbuch für Kardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg
Coron Verlag – Gütersloh, 2008
Limited Edition: 998 copies
Detail Picture

Prayer Book for Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg

The Nativity

Usually a Nativity scene shows three Magi or a group of shepherds that have been assembled after the angel of the Lord appeared them, proclaiming the birth of the Savior. This unusual miniature shows the Baby Jesus in the golden mandorla surrounded by the Virgin Mary, Joseph, and four angels dressed like members of a choir. A mule and an ox have the privilege of being witnesses to the event. This masterful 16th century miniature represents the end of an era.

Gabriel Glockendon: Gebetbuch für Kardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg (Deluxe edition)
Single Page

Prayer Book for Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg

Joseph of Arimathea Before Pilate

After the Crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea appealed to Pontius Pilate for the corpse of Jesus Christ, which was granted. This appeal is presented here in a wonderfully atmospheric scene set before a late medieval cityscape, including a tower under construction. Garments, postures, and facial features are depicted with incredible detail and a splendid color palette in this miniature.

Joseph of Arimathea is kneeling in a gesture of supplication with hat in hand. Pontius Pilate stands imperiously with a hand on his hip wearing magnificent brocade and holding a scepter. In contrast to Joseph’s sympathetic expression and humble posture, Pilate’s entourage looks upon him with sneering and condescending expressions with their arms smugly crossed.

Gabriel Glockendon: Gebetbuch für Kardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg (Deluxe edition)
Facsimile Editions

#1 Gabriel Glockendon: Gebetbuch für Kardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg (Deluxe edition)

Bibliotheca Rara – Münster, 2008
Prayer Book for Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg – Codex 1847 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Prayer Book for Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg – Codex 1847 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Bibliotheca Rara – Münster, 2008
Limited Edition: 99 copies in two parts (1-99 deluxe edition)
Binding: The facsimile is presented in a luxurious case and the initials are executed in gold leaf.
Commentary: 1 volume by Dagmar Thoss
Language: German
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.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!

#2 Gabriel Glockendon: Gebetbuch für Kardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg (Standard Edition)

Bibliotheca Rara – Münster, 2008
Gabriel Glockendon: Gebetbuch für Kardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg (Standard Edition)
Gabriel Glockendon: Gebetbuch für Kardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg (Standard Edition) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Bibliotheca Rara – Münster, 2008
Limited Edition: 399 copies in two parts (100-499 standard edition)
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.

#3 Gabriel Glockendon: Gebetbuch für Kardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg

Coron Verlag – Gütersloh, 2008

Publisher: Coron Verlag – Gütersloh, 2008
Limited Edition: 998 copies
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.
Regular price without login (like new)1,450 
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