Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta Note Card Folio
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 this Model Book of Calligraphy in Vienna to demonstrate 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. Because of Hoefnagel's interest in painting objects of nature, his detailed images complement Rudolph II's celebrated Kunstkammer, a cabinet of curiosities that contained bones, shells, fossils, and other natural specimens. Hoefnagel's careful images of nature also influenced the development of Netherlandish still life painting. In addition to his fruit and flower illuminations, Hoefnagel added to the Model Book a section on constructing the letters of the alphabet in upper- and lowercase.
- 12 note cards and 12 envelopes
- Note cards measure 5 3/8" x 6"
- 2 each of 6 subjects
- Item #: 978-0735340954
By contrasting the geometric symmetry of the dragonfly laid out in the center of the page with the more curvilinear, asymmetrical shapes of the pear and carnation below, Joris Hoefnagel created a sense of balance in this illumination. From the diaphanous quality of its intricately patterned wings to the textures of its hard, glossy body and delicate, feathery legs, he based the dragonfly's form on careful observation of nature. While the dragonfly appears to be laid out like a stiff scientific specimen, Hoefnagel imbued the imaginary insect on the right with life and movement as it gently alights on the carnation. The pear, with its fuzzy skin suggested by the use of tiny brushstrokes, casts a shadow, creating the illusion of a real pear placed on the page.
- 5" x 7"
- Perfect bound 75 blank white interior pages
- Made in the USA
- Item#: SBHMC