Rhyme of the Conquest of Granada

Rhyme of the Conquest of Granada

Spain — Between 1482 and 1502

A gift for the Catholic Monarchs: a historiographical poem on the Reconquista by Pedro Marcuello

  1. The Aragonese poet Pedro Marcuello composed a historiographical poem about the Reconquista

  2. The historic events, the Catholic Monarchs, and the author himself are recorded in this gift to the Spanish royals

  3. Finished in 1502, the elegant manuscript was presented to Queen Isabella I (1451–1504) in 1503, shortly before her death

Rhyme of the Conquest of Granada

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Rhyme of the Conquest of Granada

Beginning in 1482, the Aragonese poet Pedro Marcuello composed a historiographical poem about the re-conquest of the Iberian Peninsula under the Catholic Monarch Ferdinand and Isabella. The literary work was recorded in a gorgeous manuscript as a gift to the selfsame royal couple. Here, the historic events as well as the Catholic Monarchs and the author himself are wonderfully illustrated and recorded. An impressive testimony to Spanish history, literature, and art!

Rhyme of the Conquest of Granada

At the beginning of the year 1482 in the Emirate of Granada, riots and small battles broke out between Moors and Christians. The Iberian Peninsula had been conquered by the Muslims in the 8th century. Moorish rule, which also strongly influence Spanish culture, had to accept an increasing loss of power leading up to the 15th century. The struggles of the year 1482 was finally widened into a war by the intervention of King Ferdinand, who would seal the famous Reconquista – the re-conquest of the Iberian peninsula from the Moors – and therewith the end of Muslim hegemony in Spain. As an endpoint to this significant chapter in Spanish history, the Treaty of Granada was signed on November 25th, 1491.

The Historic Events in Verse

These events belong among the highpoints of the rule of the Catholic Monarchs: Ferdinand of Aragon (1452–1516) and Isabella of Castile (1451–1504). This splendid manuscript arose during the years 1482–1502 in their honor with a poem about the conquest of Granada. After the death of the royal couple, this precious literary-cultural work of art presumably came into the possession of their daughter Johanna the Mad and finally made its way to the Palace Library of Chantilly, France.

The Author and his Work

The author of the poem concerning the historical events occurring during the rule of the Catholic Monarchs was Pedro Marcuello, an Aragonese poet. With this work, he created an accolade of historiographical significance to the rulers and their accomplishments. It was probably even intended as a precious gift and was presented to them in the year 1503 – shortly before the death of Isabella. Aside from the Catholic Monarchs with baby Johanna in-between them, the author himself is continuously depicted, sometimes even with his daughter. 58 full-page miniatures in the Gothic style with the first echoes of the Renaissance decorate and illustrate the Spanish story. This pictorial adornment is completed with splendid gold leaf and numerous historiated initials.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Rimado de la Conquista de Granada
Devocionario de la Reyna Doña Juana a quien llamaron la Loca
Gedicht von der Eroberung Granadas
Cancionero de Pedro Marcuello
Size / Format
296 pages / 21.5 × 14.5 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
Between 1482 and 1502
Language
Illustrations
58 full-page miniatures and numerous decorated initial letters
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Rhyme of the Conquest of Granada – 604 (1339)-XIV-D-14 – Bibliothèque du Château (Chantilly, France)
Edilan – Madrid, 1995
Limited Edition: 1500 copies
Detail Picture

Rhyme of the Conquest of Granada

Yoke and Bundle of Arrows

This page presents the emblem of the Catholic Monarchs and their co-monarchy uniting Spain into a single kingdom, serving as the heraldic device for the descendants of Ferdinand and Isabella for centuries. It referenced the legend of the Gordian knot as well as the classical metaphor for unity: a single arrow can be easily broken, but they are unbreakable if tied together. Its Spanish name El yugo y las flechas is also an allusion to their names: “Y” for Ysabel and “F” for Fernando.

Rimado de la Conquista de Granada
Single Page

Rhyme of the Conquest of Granada

Presentation Miniature

Under a Spanish banderole reading “the very excellent princes of Castile and Aragon”, an architectural frame serving as a window for the beholder shows the enthroned Catholic Monarchs receiving a book. The young man in blue by their side is Don Juan, Prince of Asturias, while the ladies are likely their daughters, the princesses, although their ages are vague.
This codex in unusual in that it has three presentation miniatures, two with both monarchs and one with just Queen Isabella. However, the fact that the presenter is dressed in red and black trimmed with gold instead of the brown cloak of a monk indicates that it is the author, Pedro Marcuello, presenting the work at hand. Meanwhile, a small dog sleeps next to him on the floor, oblivious to all.

Rimado de la Conquista de Granada
Facsimile Editions

#1 Rimado de la Conquista de Granada

Edilan – Madrid, 1995
Rhyme of the Conquest of Granada – 604 (1339)-XIV-D-14 – Bibliothèque du Château (Chantilly, France)
Rhyme of the Conquest of Granada – 604 (1339)-XIV-D-14 – Bibliothèque du Château (Chantilly, France) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Edilan – Madrid, 1995
Limited Edition: 1500 copies
Binding: Full leather
Commentary: 1 volume (453 pages) by Estrella Ruiz-Gálvez y Priego
Language: Spanish
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: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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