Musée No:325.161

Musée No:325.161

Regular price £25.00
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Illustration From The Model Book Of Calligraphy

Artist: George Bocskay & Joris Hoefnagel

Date:1561-1596

Georg Bocskay and Joris Hoefnagel never met, but they collaborated (or more likely competed) on a masterpiece: Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta. In the 1500s, as printing became the most common method of producing books, intellectuals increasingly valued the inventiveness of scribes and the aesthetic qualities of writing. From 1561 to 1562, Georg Bocskay, the Croatian-born court secretary to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, created the Model Book of Calligraphy in Vienna to demonstrate, or may be show off, his technical mastery of the immense range of writing styles known to him.

About thirty years later, Emperor Rudolph II, Ferdinand's grandson, commissioned Joris Hoefnagel to illuminate Bocskay's model book. Hoefnagel added fruit, flowers, and insects to nearly every page, composing them so as to enhance the unity and balance of the page's design. It was one of the most unusual collaborations between scribe and painter in the history of manuscript illumination.

Hoefnagel gave many of the objects he illustrated a three-dimensional quality by illustrating their shadows on the page. The stems of some plants he illustrated appeared to pierce the page, with the stalk appearing on the reverse of the page to complete the illusion. Hoefnagel's careful images of nature also influenced the development of Dutch still life painting.

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