Propaganda for the King of Naples with Pacino di Bonaguida's magical illumination

Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato

Toscany (Italy) — 1335–1340

Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato

Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato

Toscany (Italy) — 1335–1340

  1. This highpoint of Gothic book art was made between 1335 and 1340 for King Robert of Anjou (1275–1343)

  2. In the text, the King of Naples is exhorted to unify Italy under his crown and end the Avignon Papacy

  3. The Florentine master Pacino di Bonaguida (ca. 1303–47) is responsible for the magical illumination of the work

Regia Carmina di Convenevole da Prato

Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato

Personification of Faith

Kneeling with a crusader’s shield and holding up a large book inscribed with verses, this female figure is the personification of Faith, one of several allegorical figures in this work. Her deep blue dress is an allusion to the Virgin Mary and she is depicted with handsome but plain features and hair that falls naturally down past her shoulders. Faith’s silver shield is adorned with intricate tendril swirls and the gold trim of her dress is also created with great detail.

Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato

Alternative Titles:
  • Regia Carmina
  • Das Lobgedicht auf König Robert von Anjou
  • Panegyric of Robert of Anjou
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The Song of Praise of King Robert of Anjou, also known as Regia Carmina, was made in Italy between 1335 and 1340. The work is a highpoint of Gothic book art and is furnished with 47 miniatures. Nearly every page of the work is adorned with exciting, fantastical depictions and the application of gold leaf and silver.

Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato

The Regia Carmina is a song of praise about the Italian King Robert of Anjou that is presented in a Gothic manuscript. The work is probably the most excitingly illuminated manuscript produced by Italian Gothic illuminators. It contains 47 full-page miniatures that sparkle and glow with gold and silver. The codex is truly a kingly feast for the senses of each beholder. In the text of the manuscript, the King of Naples is exhorted to unify Italy under his crown, to end the Avignon Papacy, and to bring the power of the church back to Rome.

The King of Naples

Robert of Anjou enjoyed high esteem from his people. The son of Charles II of Naples and Mary of Hungary obtained the epithet “the Wise” during his time on the Italian throne. This name is thanks to his exceptionally active contribution to the patronage of scholarship and art. He patronized Francesco Petrarca, who he crowned a poet, and Giovanni Boccaccio, as well as artists like Tino di Camaino, Simone Martini, and Giotto di Bondone. The king’s exceptional song of praise is one of the outstanding masterpieces that his library housed.

Influential Book Master

The manuscript was very likely composed by Convenevole da Prato. He was a notary public and professor of logic, grammar, and rhetoric and was named as the first Latin teacher of Francesco Petrarca. Petrarch began a close friendship with his teacher, as has emerged from written descriptions of the famous poet. The Florentine master Pacino di Buonaguida is responsible for the magical illumination of the work. He made numerous gorgeous altarpieces, miniatures, and illuminations and counted among the most gifted masters of Italian Gothic book art.

Valuable Book Decoration

The king’s song of praise is adorned with 47 large miniatures and numerous additional decorative elements. Hardly any other codex in the Gothic style can measure up to the inconceivably rich miniatures of this work. The full-page miniatures show depictions of Robert of Anjou on his throne against a deep royal blue background affixed with golden lilies. There are depictions of **angels and saints to see, and of Jesus Christ, who is surrounded by golden rays and exotic animals and fabulous figures. Each page of the book contains such fantastical illuminations. The valuable codex is found today in the British Library in London.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Regia Carmina
Das Lobgedicht auf König Robert von Anjou
Panegyric of Robert of Anjou
Size / Format
60 pages / 49.0 x 35.0 cm
Date
1335–1340
Style
Gothic
Language
Illustrations
47 miniatures
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Regia Carmina di Convenevole da Prato

Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato

Portrait of Robert d’Anjou

Seated before a glimmering field of gold lilies and deep royal blue, we see Robert d’Anjou, 14th century Italy’s greatest hope for unification and the end of the Avignon Papacy. Created as a tribute to Robert by hopeful Italian admirers, this splendid Italian Gothic miniature shows the beloved monarch in profile, even detailing the lines in his aging face.

The fact that this is only one of numerous manuscripts devoted to King Robert indicates the central position he held in 14th century Italian politics. Holding an orb and a scepter with the fleur-de-lis, Robert’s shoes are elaborated with a fine pattern, as are the cushions of his throne. This is an outstanding example of Italian Gothic, a magnificent but short-lived style of medieval illumination.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato“

Regia Carmina di Convenevole da Prato
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Regia Carmina by Convenevole da Prato – Royal 6 E IX – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
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Regia Carmina di Convenevole da Prato

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
ArtCodex – Modena
Limited Edition
999 copies
Binding
Leather with gold decoration
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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