Locked away from her enemies for 40 years: an encouraging masterpiece by Simon Bening, created for the tragic Queen of Spain

Rosary of Joan the Mad

Bruges (Belgium) — Around 1521

Rosary of Joan the Mad

Rosary of Joan the Mad

Bruges (Belgium) — Around 1521

  1. Simon Bening made this gem containing the prayers and mysteries of the Rosary for Queen Joanna I of Spain (1479–1555)

  2. This Flemish manuscript is written in Spanish and features 16 masterful full-page miniatures

  3. Joan's enemies used her hot temperament as a pretext to imprison her for the last 40 years of her life

Rosario de Juana La Loca

Rosary of Joan the Mad

Avian Marginalia

The text of this page is so neatly written that one would believe that it was printed, and the mastery of the scribe is almost equal to that of the artist, the great Simon Bening, who at the very least designed the marginalia on this page for an apprentice if he did not complete it himself. Aside from the crane and other happy birds in the branches of this glimmering golden frame, there is a murder scene: an owl, one of the most advanced birds of prey, ripping open the throat of another bird.

Rosary of Joan the Mad

Alternative Titles:
  • Rosario de Juana La Loca
  • Rosenkranz Johannas der Wahnsinnigen
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Imageof
Regular price without login (like new)2,790 €
Login for a Better Price!
  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The great master of Flemish manuscript art of the 16th century, Simon Bening, finished for the royal patron Joanna I of Castile this wonderful, 1525 treasure of art. Throughout the 40 pages, the prayers and 15 Mysteries of the Rosary – extraordinarily in Spanish – are collected together with their adjoining miniatures. They belong to the greatest productions, which were produced in the 16th century. Grandiose hymns unite with impressive figures and depictions, with wonderful landscapes and perspective areas. In its totality, the Rosary of Joan the Mad will be sure to excite today’s collector.

Rosary of Joan the Mad

The great master of 16th century Flemish manuscript art, Simon Bening, finished for the royal patron Joanna I of Castile this wonderful, 1525 treasure of art. Throughout the 40 pages, the prayers and 15 Mysteries of the Rosary – extraordinarily in Spanish – are collected together with their adjoining miniatures. They belong to the greatest productions, which were produced in the 16th century. Grandiose hymns unite with impressive figures and depictions, with wonderful landscapes and perspective areas. In its totality, the Rosary of Joan the Mad will be sure to excite today’s collector.

The Destiny of the Patron

The patron of this private book treasure was the Catholic Queen, Joanna I (1479–1555), who carried with her the byname the Mad. Her tragic and impressive life fascinates even to this day. As the Queen of Castile, Joanna governed an enormous empire, that spanned from Naples/Sicily, all of Spain, and the heretofore discovered territory of the New World (South and Central America). She was married to Philipp the Fair from Austria, with which they had their son Emperor Maximilian I. Through this marriage, the Kingdoms of Austria and Spain were connected into a powerful Habsburg-Empire. Joanna’s name is also connected with many important figures of her time. Her brother Don Juan married Philipps’s sister, Margaret of Austria, and Joanna’s son would rule a global empire as Emperor Charles V. Her byname was received due to her hot temperament and her jealousy, which would leave the Queen with neuropathy. Her life concluded after more than 40 years of imprisonment in the castle of Tordesillas in Valladolid.

The Great Miniaturist of his Time

As the artist of the miniatures and the design of the Rosary Book – suitable indeed for a Queen – the great miniaturist of his time was commissioned. In Bruges, a center of manuscript art, Simon Bening (1483–1561) was known as the most successful and most famous miniaturist of the 16th century and as one of the most important representatives of his trade. Bening’s customers were among the most important patrons. Especially famous is his Book of Hours for the Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg, or his works for Emperor Charles V. The undisputed master of 16th century European manuscript art primarily made valuable books of hours, but also genealogical trees, e.g., the family tree of the royal houses of Portugal and Spain.

The Impressive Miniatures

The Rosary Book for Joanna the Mad contains 16 whole page miniatures, which are divided between two different collections in Cambridge and Boston today. They are each surrounded by a narrow frame with decorative elements, which imitate a gilded picture frame. An especially ostensible miniature of the highest quality depicts the impressive three-dimensionality of the hymns. Either before architectural or landscape backgrounds, each scene is varied by the depth of the room like a panel painting. Also depicted in light colors are the 15 Mysteries of the Rosary with adjoining biblical scenes: the Annunciation to the Crown of Thorns, Castigation and Bearing of the Cross, up to the Resurrection. The scene of Mary’s Visitation is an example of the wonderful depictions laid in a fantastic landscape with delicate flowers and a massive, Flemish-looking building next to water with a wonderful blue sky in the background. Aside from the miniature pages, the text pages are artistically designed. Bright borders with generally natural depictions of plants, small animals, and insects surround the Spanish prayers. Light red strawberries, delicate blue violets, birds, butterflies, and grasshoppers populate the edges in grandiose style, and numerous initials adorn the text. All visual representations are richly gilded and lend the royal Rosary its noble aura.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Rosario de Juana La Loca
Rosenkranz Johannas der Wahnsinnigen
Size / Format
40 pages / 11.0 x 9.0 cm
Date
Around 1521
Language
Illustrations
16 full-page miniatures, in addition to numerous initials illuminated in gold by Bening
Artist / School
Rosario de Juana La Loca

Rosary of Joan the Mad

Ascent to Golgotha

“And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the “Place of a Skull”, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha” (John 19:17). The agonizing and humiliating journey of Christ to the hill where he is to be crucified is presented here in a splendid miniature by the famous master Simon Bening. It is a perfectly balanced composition characterized by bright colors and gold brush strokes.

Christ’s oppressors are depicted in the dress of either 16th century mercenaries or Turks, likely a reflection of contemporary anxieties about the Turkish menace to Europe. The Virgin Mary, in a blue cloak and gold halo, is weeping openly, while Mary Magdalene holds up an image of Christ, possibly the Shroud of Turin. Christ appears bloody but resigned to his destiny.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Rosary of Joan the Mad“

Rosario de Juana La Loca
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Rosary of Joan the Mad – Ms. 257|Ms. Med. 35 – Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge, United Kingdom)   / Boston Public Library (Boston, United States)
Imageof

Rosario de Juana La Loca

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Patrimonio Ediciones – Valencia, 2004
Limited Edition
999 copies
Binding
Red velvet with silver clasps
Commentary
1 volume (146 pages) by Ana Dominguez Rodríguez and Pilar Treviño Gajardo
Languages: Spanish, English, 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.
Regular price without login (like new)2,790 €
Login for a Better Price!
  1. Matching Works
  2. Matching Background Articles

Matching Works

Petites Prières of Renée de France

Petites Prières of Renée de France

Stolen in 1994 and missing to this day: the beautiful prayer book of a French princess

Experience More
Breviary of Martin of Aragon

Breviary of Martin of Aragon

A royal breviary completed in two phases: one of the most densely and beautifully illuminated manuscripts of the Spanish Gothic

Experience More

Matching Background Articles

Publisher