Grimani Breviary, 16th century


This work can only receive the qualifications of exceptional, luxurious and spectacular. Neither before nor after was a similar work carried out.

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ISBN: 9788884026583 Categories: , ,
Reference: 842SAE Tags: Brand:


This work can only receive the qualifications of exceptional, luxurious and spectacular. Neither before nor after was a similar work carried out.

The Grimani Breviary was made for Cardinal Domenico Grimani (1461-1523), Patriarch of Aquileia from 1498 to 1517. It is a work belonging to the Ghent-Bruges miniature school. The latest studies on this codex establish Gérard Horencout, Alejandro Bening and Simon Bening as authors. As an interesting fact, it is noteworthy that one of the miniatures contains Santiago “Matamoros”, the Patron Apostle of Spain.

It was made in Ghent and Bruges between the years 1515 and 1520. Several of the most important artists of the time, including Simon Bening and Gerard David, contributed some of their best work to it.

The Grimani Breviary is one of the most important and complex codices made in the Flanders school. It is the largest, most luxurious and spectacular of the Flemish Renaissance codices.

It shows a large number of miniatures (120 full page) and its wonderful decoration is present in all 832 leaves, all of them illuminated in gold with a multitude of friezes and smaller figures.

It must have been commissioned as a great work of art that could compete with the famous The Rich Hours, later known as The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry, the work of the Limbourg brothers.

The best known and most famous part of the Breviary is the initial calendar. All his figures are characterized by the naturalism of the scene, in whose pages the artistic work and the masterful hand of Gerard Horenbout can be recognized.

The scenes that are placed in front of the calendar pages of each month are also framed by small scenes of contemporary life. There is a sequence of paintings that describe the social life of the Court and the bourgeoisie and the rural world, as well as the new stratification of European society in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

It has been especially those scenes (the magic of the snow in January, the Feast of the Lord’s banquet, the hunting scene, in the light of night, etc.) which served to arouse the admiration of the ambassadors or royal visitors who they could have access to the treasure of the Ducal Church of San Marcos, being later the most valuable object of the Marciana Library after the fall of the Republic of Venice.

In the second half of the 16th century, the codex was incorporated with a golden metallic ornamentation applied on the covers as well as pink velvet, as used in official books, because in this way they gave it more prestige and indicated the distinguished belonging of the construction site.

In the center of the front plate the profile portrait of Cardinal Domenico Grimani was applied in the form of a coin, and on the back plate the portrait of Antonio Grimani, duke from 1521 until his death in 1523, and father of Domenico himself. .

Features of this great facsimile edition:
A superb volume of 18.5 kg, format 21.5 x 28 cm (exterior 22.5 x 30 cm approx) of 835 folios (= 1,670 pages), bound in red silk velvet mounted on wooden blocks, hand-stitched with five strings, creation of two capitals, the cutouts in gold, with chiselling carried out manually with small needles. Two gold-plated bronze plates, in strict reproduction of the originals, velvet-lined leather locks for volume adjustment.

Presented in a display box with a wooden base and methacrylate cover, suitable to highlight the beauty of the work, and with side openings. It is accompanied by a small supplementary volume of studies on this exceptional artistic work.

Facsimile edition of 750 numbered and certified copies, published in 2009 in Rome by Salerno Editrice, of the original codex Ms. Lat. I 99 = 2138 preserved in the National Marciana Library in Venice. Sold out and discontinued edition.

Completely new, complete and in perfect condition.

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