The Isabella Breviary is the most precious treasure of the British Library. This amazing manuscript was conceived as the most luxurious Flemish breviary; Each page has been masterfully illuminated by the finest Flemish painters in order to get a manuscript of unparalleled beauty and magnificence.
The originality and strength of its miniatures make the Isabella Breviary a single codex. The Breviary, with a larger body of the Book of Hours texts, offers illuminating a range of issues broader and allows, therefore, greater creative freedom and variety of images. The six teachers who participated in the realization of the Isabella Breviary have put a special emphasis on scenes depicting the construction, destruction and reconstruction of Jerusalem and its temple and celebration scenes with musicians and singers led by David. There is no such cycle in any other contemporary manuscript.
The Master of the Dresden Prayer Book is the leading painter of the Breviary. Notable for the narrative expressiveness of his images, their ability to give life and movement to his scenes. It’s amazing ability to represent the characters gestures and expressive faces, underlining the significance of the main action of each episode. Gérard Horenbout, also known as the Master of James IV of Scotland, is the second largest contributor lighting Isabella Breviary. This brilliant miniaturist, also author of the Book of Hours of Joanna I of Castile, was the first Flemish illuminators to adopt elements characteristic of the Renaissance into his miniatures. Horenbout The scenes painted for this outstanding breviary out for the brilliant use of colors and the ability in the representation of textures and fabrics. The privileged hand Gerard David painted some of the most important miniatures in this breviary: the Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi, St Barbara …
The exuberant marginal decoration in the Isabella Breviary deserves special attention. It has a unique combination of modern borders that create the illusion of scattered flowers, acanthus leaves and entwined with a type of margins and unusual around 1490 with blue and gold leaves of acanthus, flowers, insects and birds branches. Isabella received the manuscript shortly before 1497, at the hands of her ambassador Francisco de Rojas to commemorate the double marriage of her children, infants Juan and Juana, the emperor Maximilian of Austria and duchess Mary of Burgundy, Margaret and Philip. A full-page miniature shows the coat of arms established jointly by Isabella and Ferdinand with a large eagle, the symbol of St. John the Evangelist. Under the arms of the two new couples also appear. The Isabella Breviary is of great historical importance because it reflects not only the artistic reality but also the hectic European political life of the late fifteenth century, in actual marriages meant international political alliances, territorial expansion …
Queen Elizabeth died in 1504 and no one knows what became of the codex in the following three centuries. It could have been plundered from El Escorial during the Napoleonic invasion. In the early nineteenth century bibliophile, banker and member of Parliament in England appears in the collection of John Dent,. The British Library acquired another private collector in 1852.
Amazing facsimile of the editorial Moleiro limited edition of 987 numbered and authenticated by a notary. 16 x 23 cm format. 1,046 pages beautifully illuminated. Bound in brown leather embossed.
Accompanied by a monograph study by Scot McKendrick (Head of the Department of History and Classical Letters of the British Library), Elisa Ruiz Garcia (Professor of Paleography and Diplomatic, Universidad Complutense de Madrid), and Nigel Morgan (Honorary Professor Emeritus of History Art, University of Cambridge). 352 pages with 290 illustrations.
We have a single copy that preserves the original packaging of the publisher, both the facsimile and the study book, and this one without unsealing.
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