Completed by his grandson: fantastic Spanish illumination with French and Flemish influences

Zúñiga Book of Hours

Spain — 15th century

Zúñiga Book of Hours

Zúñiga Book of Hours

Spain — 15th century

  1. This treasure from the famous library of the royal El Escorial Monastery blends Spanish, French, and Flemish illumination

  2. Juan de Zúñiga (1459–1504), last master of the Order of Alcántara, had his great grandfather's manuscript completed

  3. The talent of the Castilian artists responsible for the work is obvious in the fineness of each of the miniatures

Zúñiga Book of Hours

Alternative Titles:
  • Libro de Horas de los Zúñiga
  • Zuniga-Stundenbuch
Zúñiga Book of Hours – Vitr. 10 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Zúñiga Book of Hours – Vitr. 10 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Zúñiga Book of Hours – Vitr. 10 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Zúñiga Book of Hours – Vitr. 10 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Zúñiga Book of Hours – Vitr. 10 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Zúñiga Book of Hours – Vitr. 10 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The so-called Zúñiga Book of Hours is one of the treasures of the famous library of the royal El Escorial Monastery. The Spanish nobleman and last master of the Order of Alcántara, Juan de Zúñiga, had the manuscript, which was already begun by his great-grandfather, completed by a Castilian artist. This artist oriented their artistic decoration of the splendid manuscript on fantastic Flemish and French templates and created impressive miniatures as a result. A total of 19 miniatures and a marvelously decorated calendar adorn the manuscript’s 508 pages and make it a worthy testimonial to the great patronage of Juan de Zúñiga in the late 15th century!

Zúñiga Book of Hours

The so-called Zúñiga Book of Hours is one of the treasures of the famous library of the royal El Escorial Monastery. The Spanish nobleman and last master of the Order of Alcántara, Juan de Zúñiga, had the manuscript, which was already begun by his great-grandfather, completed by a Castilian artist. This artist oriented their artistic decoration of the splendid manuscript on fantastic Flemish and French templates and created impressive miniatures as a result. A total of 19 miniatures and a marvelously decorated calendar adorn the manuscript’s 508 pages and make it a worthy testimonial to the great patronage of Juan de Zúñiga in the late 15th century!

An Art-Loving Knight

Juan de Zúñiga (1459–1504) was a Spanish noblemen from the honorable house of Zúñiga. As the last master of the Order of Alcántara, he participated in the so-called Reconquista in the years 1482–1492, including the recapture of Grenada. Additionally, Juan de Zúñiga took on the office of Archbishop of Seville. His engagement as a great patron of art makes him particularly interesting. He not only composed a Historia de los Reyes Godos y de las Órdenes Militares himself, but above all, Juan de Zúñiga assembled gifted artists around him at Gata, Villanueva, and Zalamea de la Serena and thus founded a literary and artistic court in Castile similar to those of the Italian humanists.

Perpetuating a Family Treasure

Juan de Zúñiga had the manuscript completed, which had already been begun by his great grandfather Diego López de Zúñiga in 1390. It reached the El Escorial Library, which is famous for its treasures, as a gift from the Zúñiga family to King Philip II of Spain. A gifted Castilian artist was responsible for the artistic décor of the precious book of hours. He employed both Flemish as well as French stylistic features, making use of the contemporary masterpieces of illumination as templates, and thus was able to create a unique style with his own Spanish character.

Ornament and Figure in Impressive Combination

This Castilian miniaturist created 19 full-page miniatures on the 508 pages measuring 25.6 x 19 cm. The beginnings of the individual prayers and chapters are encompassed in broad decorative frames. Exuberant ornamentation adorns the broad frames and the floral décor is alive with angels, flowers, and small animals. Additionally, countless decorative initials are spread across the entire manuscript. The fine painting of the miniatures, in which, inter alia, the faces of the figures are insightfully characterized, makes the painter’s outstanding talent apparent. Altogether, it results in such impressive and splendidly-colorful décor. Additional ornaments of spandrel images and Bas-de-page miniatures are integrated into the frames, e.g. a depiction of the events of Christmas in the manger in Bethlehem. The Zúñiga Book of Hours additionally contains a calendar with gorgeous, typical illustrations concerning the cycles of the farmers’ year. The respective zodiac signs complete these depictions.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Libro de Horas de los Zúñiga
Zuniga-Stundenbuch
Size / Format
508 pages / 25.6 x 19.0 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
15th century
Style
Gothic
Language
Illustrations
19 full-page miniatures
Artist / School

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Zúñiga Book of Hours“

Libro de Horas de los Zúñiga
Zúñiga Book of Hours – Vitr. 10 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Zúñiga Book of Hours – Vitr. 10 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Zúñiga Book of Hours – Vitr. 10 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Zúñiga Book of Hours – Vitr. 10 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Zúñiga Book of Hours – Vitr. 10 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
Zúñiga Book of Hours – Vitr. 10 – Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
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Libro de Horas de los Zúñiga

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 2003
Binding
Full leather with generous tooling
Commentary
1 volume by Ruiz Asencio and José Manuel
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.
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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