The 12 splendid miniatures of this manuscript include rare realistic depictions of the famous Spanish polymath Ramon Llull

Ramon Llull's Electorium Parvum seu Breviculum

France — First half of the 14th century (ca. 1321)

Ramon Llull's Electorium Parvum seu Breviculum

Ramon Llull's Electorium Parvum seu Breviculum

France — First half of the 14th century (ca. 1321)

  1. Ramon Llull (d. 1315/16) was a mathematician, philosopher, logician, writer, and mystic

  2. This manuscript was commissioned in order to bring Llull’s teachings to the French court

  3. Its 12 miniatures are exemplary specimens of early Gothic art from Northern France

Ramon Llull's Electorium Parvum seu Breviculum

Alternative Titles:
  • Codex St. Peter perg. 92
  • Breviculum ex artibus Raimundi Lulli
  • Ramon Llull Breviculum
  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology
Short Description

Ramon Llull (ca. 1232 – ca. 1315/16) was a Spanish polymath from the Kingdom of Majorca who is regarded as one of the most important minds of his time whose genius continues to be appreciated today because some of his works have been rediscovered in recent years. This manuscript is one of the most beautiful and concise sources concerning his life and works. Commissioned by the Queen of France, it was created by one of Llull’s students, Thomas Le Myésier (d. 1336) and is believed to contain a remarkably accurate representation of the way Llull actually looked, which is almost unheard of in medieval art. The 12 miniatures in the manuscript are regard as some of the finest specimens of the early-Gothic style in France.

Ramon Llull's Electorium Parvum seu Breviculum

Aside from being the author of the first major work of Catalan literature, Ramon Llull (ca. 1232 – ca. 1315/16) was a mathematician, philosopher, logician, writer, and mystic from the Kingdom of Majorca. He was committed to the conversion of the Moors but used philosophy and theology to try and convince them to convert by choice rather than by force or intimidation. This splendid manuscript concerning his life and works contains twelve miniatures that are considered to be some of the finest specimens of French illumination in the early-14th century. Aside frombeing one of the most important sources on the famous Catalan philosopher, it is also one of the earliest secular biographies and its miniatures have captions like modern cartoons

Splendid Imagery

Most of the miniatures depict scenes from Llull’s life beginning with his religious epiphany in 1263 and ending in 1307 during his second trip to Tunis, where he debated with Muslim scholars. His lithe Gothic figure is dressed in a simple brown habit and he sports a full grey beard as the reader follows his travels and works. The rest of the miniatures are allegorical in nature and demonstrate principles from Llull’s philosophical teachings, including a beautiful miniature of he and Myésier presenting his works to a French Queen framed by a splendid Gothic architecture. Furthermore, because of Myésier’s close relationship with Llull and his supervision of the manuscript’s production, the miniatures are thought to be unusually accurate in their depiction of Llull’s physical appearance, which is exceptionally rare in medieval art.

The Journeys of a Royal Commission

The manuscript was created by Thomas Le Myésier (d. 1336), who was taught and mentored by Lull, and appears to have been made in northern France within a few years of his master’s death in 1316, probably ca. 1321. It was commissioned by the French Queen, probably Joan II of Burgundy (1292-1330), in order to bring Llull’s teachings to the French court of King Philip V (ca. 1293-1322). Since then, the manuscript has experienced a turbulent ownership history over the next five centuries during which time it passed through various hands. It first left Paris for Poitiers in the 16th century where it came into the possession of a canon of the Cathedral of St. Pierre. It is not documented what happened to the manuscript between 1582 and 1736, when it was sold by Freiburg jurist Joseph Anton Weigel to Ulrich Bürgi, the abbot of the Benedictine monastery of St. Peter in the Black Forest. Following the secularization of the monastery in 1806/07, it was absorbed along with the rest of the monastic library into the Court Library of the Grand Duke of Baden in Karlsruhe, which evolved into the modern Baden State Library.

Codicology
Alternative Titles
Codex St. Peter perg. 92
Breviculum ex artibus Raimundi Lulli
Ramon Llull Breviculum
Size / Format
45 folios / 34.5 × 28.0 cm
Origin
France
Date
First half of the 14th century (ca. 1321)
Style
Language
Script
Littera Parisiensis
Illustrations
12 large miniatures
Artist / School
Previous Owners
2 available facsimile edition(s) of „Ramon Llull's Electorium Parvum seu Breviculum“

Ramon Llull Breviculum Facsimile

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Ramon Llull Breviculum Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Millennium Liber – Madrid, 2020
Limited Edition
995 copies
Commentary
1 volume
Language: Spanish
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.

Raimundus Lullus – Thomas le Myésier, Electorium Parvum seu Breviculum (Leather Edition) Facsimile

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Raimundus Lullus – Thomas le Myésier, Electorium Parvum seu Breviculum (Leather Edition) Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Reichert Verlag – Wiesbaden, 1989
Binding
Leather binding
Commentary
1 volume by Walburga Büchel, Theo Pindl-Büchel, Gerhard Stamm, Felix Heinzer and Rolf Hasler
Language: German
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.
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