Founded by Catherine the Great: the Russian National Library with ten miniature pages from the most beautiful manuscripts in their collection

Treasures from the National Library of Russia

Paris (France); Constantinople (Turkey) and others — 9th-19th cemtury

Treasures from the National Library of Russia

Treasures from the National Library of Russia

Paris (France); Constantinople (Turkey) and others — 9th-19th cemtury

  1. The National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg was established by Catherine the Great (1729-96) in 1795

  2. It survived the Russian Revolution and remained defiantly open during the grueling Siege of Leningrad

  3. This rich library is represented here by ten of the finest specimens of medieval illumination that are housed in its collections

Kassette Schätze der Russischen Nationalbibliothek

Gospel Lectionary of Saint Petersburg

Mark the Evangelist

This thousand-year-old miniature exhibits the return to more classical forms that occurred in the Byzantine world during the 9th and 10th centuries, which was a result of the Empire’s resurgent status as the richest and most powerful state in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Russian Tsars saw themselves as the protectors of Orthodox Christianity as well as the inheritors of Byzantine artistic traditions. As a result, Russia possesses some of the greatest collections of Byzantine art worldwide.

Treasures from the National Library of Russia

Alternative Titles:
  • Kassette Schätze der Russischen Nationalbibliothek
Treasures from the National Library of Russia – National Library of Russia (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Treasures from the National Library of Russia – National Library of Russia (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Treasures from the National Library of Russia – National Library of Russia (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Treasures from the National Library of Russia – National Library of Russia (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Treasures from the National Library of Russia – National Library of Russia (St. Petersburg, Russia)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Established in 1795 as the Imperial Public Library, the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg has undergone numerous transformations and has endured hardships alongside the Russian people. After fifteen years of construction, its official opening was delayed by the invasion of Napoleon in 1812, during which the more valuable collections had to be evacuated. It managed to survive the Russian Revolution, albeit with diminished status, and remained defiantly open during the grueling Siege of Leningrad. Today, it is one of the world’s greatest research libraries and houses an impressive collection of medieval manuscripts, including many of Byzantine origin.

Treasures from the National Library of Russia

The National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg is both the oldest public library in Russia and its first national library. The library was established by Catherine the Great (1729-96) in the year 1795, and was built upon the collections of the Załuski Library, the first public library in Poland, which were seized and brought to St. Petersburg by the Russian Army in the wake of the Partitions of Poland, aside from many manuscripts that were looted and sold by Russian soldiers for their own profit. Most of the collection was returned by the Soviet Union in 1921, but much of this was destroyed in World War II. The library’s extensive manuscript collections were primarily added during the 19th century, either acquired by the library or donated to it, and today it houses Russia’s largest collection of medieval illuminated manuscripts, including some of the earliest specimens of the Old and New Testaments, as well as the Quran. In addition to its aim of creating a comprehensive collection of Russia’s printed output, it also has a premiere collection of manuscripts. Some of these pictures are made available to the Western public for the first time in this collection, e.g. a depiction of the Solovetsky Monastery, the title page from a manuscript of Russian hymns.
This rich library is represented here by ten of the finest specimens of medieval illumination that are housed in its collections:
1. John the Evangelist / Beginning of the Gospel of John
Purple Evangeliary, Gr. 53, fol. 329v/330r
Byzantium, 9th, 13th-14th, 17th centuries
Format: 30 x 19.8 cm (Landscape)

  1. Christ’s Birth
    Book of Hours, Rasn. Q. v. I. 8, fol. 57v/58r
    France, Paris, early-15th century
    Format: 31 x 21.7 cm (Landscape)

  2. Mark the Evangelist
    Gospel Lectionary of Saint Petersburg, Gr. 21, fol. 5v
    Byzantium, 9th and 10th centuries
    Format: 25.5 x 33 cm

  3. Initial Page "B"
    Psalter, Lat. Q. v. I. 67, fol. 7r
    France, Paris, 1218-1242
    Format: 15.3 x 21.7 cm

  4. Crucifixion and Descent from the Cross
    Missale Remense, Lat. Q. v. I. 78, fol. 26r
    France, Reims, 1285-1297
    Format: 16.2 x 23.3 cm

  5. Luke the Evangelist
    Book of Hours of Mary Stuart, Lat. Q. v. I. 112, fol. 13r
    France, Paris, 2nd half of the 15th century
    Format: 17.7 x 25 cm

  6. Prowess and Nobility
    Letters between Anne of Brittany and Louis XII, Fr. F. v. XIV. 8, Bl. 20v
    France, early 16th century
    Format: 18.9 x 29.4 cm

  7. Shah Listens to the Teachings of a Sufi
    Gami, Lawaih, Dorn 256, fol. 10v
    Persia, ca. 1570
    Format: 21.8 x 33.3 cm

  8. The Solovetsky Monastery
    Life and Works of Saints Sossima and Sawwati
    Solov. 175/175, fol. 16v
    Moscow, Trinity Sergiev Monastery, 1623
    Format: 19 x 30.5 cm

  9. Title Page
    Old Russian Church Hymns
    Hirmologion, NSRK F. 607, fol. 1v
    Russia, 19th century
    Format: 22 x 34.4 cm

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Kassette Schätze der Russischen Nationalbibliothek
Date
9th-19th cemtury
Illustrations
10 miniatures
Content
Ten leaves from important manuscripts from the National Library of Russia
Kassette Schätze der Russischen Nationalbibliothek

Letters Between Anne of Brittany and Louis XII

Prowess and Nobility

Anne of Brittany was idealized by royal propaganda during her own lifetime and presented as a perfect queen, a personification of peace, and the union of France and the long-independent and powerful Duchy of Brittany. She was described as being witty and well-read by contemporary sources, commissioning some truly magnificent illuminated manuscripts.

The Queen was also known for her fierce temper and independent will, ruling as duchess in her own right. She is shown here enthroned and holding court, her soldiers waiting outside. Labelled with the French words for “Prowess” and “Nobility”, she is depicted as an educated noblewoman with quill in hand, composing one of a fictional series of letters between her and her second husband, Louis XII.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Treasures from the National Library of Russia“

Kassette Schätze der Russischen Nationalbibliothek
Treasures from the National Library of Russia – National Library of Russia (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Treasures from the National Library of Russia – National Library of Russia (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Treasures from the National Library of Russia – National Library of Russia (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Treasures from the National Library of Russia – National Library of Russia (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Treasures from the National Library of Russia – National Library of Russia (St. Petersburg, Russia)
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Kassette Schätze der Russischen Nationalbibliothek

1 volume: 10 leaves under passe-partouts: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Coron Verlag – Gütersloh, 2007
Limited Edition
1995 copies
Binding
Box
Commentary
1 volume
Language: German
Price Category: €
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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