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Type of Item
Instruments for the Restoration of Astronomy
Tycho Brahe (1546–1601) was a Danish astronomer who built the best observatory in Europe and set a new standard for accurate celestial observations in the era before the invention of the telescope. His noble birth enabled him to pursue his true interests in the humanities and the sciences, particularly astronomy. He became adept at designing scientific instruments and making observations during his early travels in Europe. Upon his return to Denmark he won favor with King Frederick II, who provided him with monetary support to continue his astronomical researches ...
Bible (Old Testament) of the Ratisbon Dominican Order
This manuscript forms the first volume of a Latin Bible formerly in the possession of the Dominican Order at Ratisbon (now Regensburg). It comprises several books of the Old Testament as well as interpretations of biblical terms. The manuscript contains unusual miniatures by the noted German Renaissance painter Berthold Furtmeyr (active 1460–1501). Furtmeyr and his followers were important contributors to the ancient Ratisbon School of Illumination. An artist of great renown, Furtmeyr illuminated many impressive works, including this manuscript, the Furtmeyr Bible, the Salzburg feast missal in five volumes ...
The Portraits of the Fugger Family
In 1593, members of the famous Fugger family commissioned the Augsburg engraver Dominicus Custos (circa 1550–1612) to create this ambitious collection of family portraits. Using existing portraits as his models, Custos finished a first edition of the portraits in 1593. After his death, his sons-in-law, Lukas Kilian (1579–1637) and Wolfgang Kilian (1581–1662), expanded and updated the collection, replacing the portraits of some members of the family with new engravings depicting them in older age. This new edition was published in 1618. This copy was purchased by the ...
German Old Testament
This two-volume manuscript of a Southern German translation of the Old Testament was written by the professional scribe Georg Rorer from Ratisbon (Regensburg) around 1463, perhaps for the monastery of Rottenbuch in Bavaria. The first volume contains all the books of the Old Testament from the Book of Genesis (with the first part of the Book of Genesis up to 24:19 missing) to the Second Book of Kings, as well as the psalter. The first chapters of the Gospel of Matthew (1:1–5:44) were accidentally bound into ...
The Secret Book of Honors of the Fugger Family
The history of the Fugger family can be seen as an unparalleled success story of the German Renaissance. Starting as weavers in the second half of the 14th century, the family quickly evolved into successful merchants, bankers, and noblemen, culminating in Jakob Fugger the Wealthy (1459–1525) and Anton Fugger (1493–1560). They are considered to have been the wealthiest persons of their time, even though the family business was almost bankrupted by its loans to the Hapsburgs in the 1560s. The Fugger dynasty still exists today as a noble ...
Freising Gospel Book
This Carolingian gospel exemplifies the position of Bavaria as a meeting point of different artistic traditions. The text and the choice of prologues correspond with those in older Salzburg manuscripts and can be traced back to an Italian prototype. The marvelous manuscript, written during the episcopate of Anno of Freising (854–75), has in the margins of its leaves numerous critical notes on the text, including a series of Greek variants. Other influences can be observed in the decoration, which consists of interlace initials, an 18-page canon sequence, and four ...
This famous and impressive Carolingian gospel probably was written in the scriptorium of Mainz in the first quarter of the ninth century. Its decoration comprises canon tables in the form of arcades painted in red, green, greyish blue, violet, yellow, and ochre, with their architectural frames decorated with floral and geometrical patterns. The portraits of all four of the evangelists, probably executed by two different painters, are preserved. The canon tables and two of the portraits (those of Matthew and John) apparently were modeled after the so-called Ada Gospels, now ...
The Furtmeyr Bible
This magnificent manuscript adorned by the Regensburg Renaissance painter Berthold Furtmeyr (active 1460–1501) is a German Bible containing, from the Old Testament, the books from Genesis to Ruth. A second volume of the Bible, which was commissioned by Ulrich Stauff zu Ehrenfels (died 1472) and his wife Clara Hofer von Lobenstein, is assumed to have existed but unfortunately has not been preserved. After illuminating the so-called London Bible, his oldest surviving masterpiece, Furtmeyr began decorating what is now known as the Furtmeyr Bible between 1465 and 1470. He did ...
Georg Gottlieb Plato (1710–77) was the son of Johann Christoph Wild from Regensburg, Germany. He gave up the Wild family name and adopted the name of Plato, after his patron, Johann Heinrich Plato, an official of the rank of counselor in Regensburg. Johann Heinrich furthered the education of the younger man, who studied pharmacy and medicine before embarking on a career as a lawyer in Regensburg and later becoming a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Georg Gottlieb Plato’s two-volume illustrated record of his collection of mollusk ...
Book of Prayers
This book of prayers from the Benedictine monastery at Metten originally was intended for silent worship. The manuscript contains ornaments, tendrils, drolleries, and a series of illustrations framed by initials by the noted German Renaissance painter Berthold Furtmeyr (active 1460–1501). These miniatures depict scenes from the life of Christ and events involving the saints, as recounted in various legends. Furtmeyr and his followers were important contributors to the ancient Ratisbon School of Illumination. An artist of great renown, Furtmeyr illuminated many impressive works, including this manuscript, the Furtmeyr Bible ...
Book of Attire of the Court of Duke William IV and Albert V of Bavaria, 1508 - 1551
The first part of this manuscript, which originally was compiled and used as a heraldic reference by the chancellery of the estates of Bavaria, contains a partial copy of the so-called Hofkleiderbuch (Book of attire). It features finely executed illustrations of military and civil costumes, liveries, and war ensigns in use between 1508 and 1551 at the court of the Bavarian dukes, William IV (born 1493, reigned 1508–50) and his son, Albert V (born 1528, reigned 1550–79). The second part of the manuscript primarily shows a variety of ...
Illustrated Readings on the Saints
This Latin manuscript containing readings for the feast days of selected saints features ten illustrations by the noted German Renaissance painter Berthold Furtmeyr (active, 1460–1501). The illustrations are framed by initials from the text. For stylistic reasons, scholars have dated these illuminations with tendrils to the last decade of the 15th century and ascribed them to the Ratisbon (present-day Regensburg) artist and his studio. Furtmeyr and his followers were important contributors to the age-old Ratisbon School of Illumination. An artist of great renown, Furtmeyr illuminated many impressive works, including ...
Early Bavarian Law
The Lex Baiuvariorum (Bavarian law) is the oldest surviving Latin document of any extent composed in Bavaria and the most important source for the early history of Bavaria. Containing the text of the first Bavarian statute book, it reflects, besides the history of the law, the economic, social, and cultural history of Bavaria under Agilolfingian rule in the sixth–eighth centuries. It focuses on criminal law, prescribing fiscal penalties for various infringements, and also deals with constitutional, civil, and procedural law. The preface reveals the high sources from which the ...
When the Last Stars Begin to Fade
The autograph of this hitherto unknown song by Franz Liszt (1811–86), Wenn die letzten Sterne bleichen (When the last stars begin to fade), was discovered in 2007 among the papers of Count Franz von Pocci (1807–76) in the manuscript department of the Bavarian State Library. Pocci, an ingenious caricaturist, poet, musician, composer, founder of the Kasperltheater, jurist, and master of ceremonies in the age of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, met Liszt on his concert tour through southern Germany in 1843. In Munich, Liszt stayed at the Hotel ...
The name commonly given to this work, Biblia pauperum (Paupers' Bible), does not reflect the true importance of this outstanding manuscript, which might be said to contain the summa of the religious knowledge of its time. The work was commissioned, together with another remarkable manuscript of the Rule of Saint Benedict, by Abbot Petrus I of the Benedictine Abbey of Metten in Bavaria and was completed in 1414–15. To carry out his demanding program of manuscript creation, the abbot engaged artists of note, who were well versed in the ...
The Rule of Saint Benedict, from the Abbey of Metten
Together with the Biblia pauperum (Paupers' Bible), Abbot Petrus I of the Benedictine Abbey of Metten in Bavaria commissioned another outstanding manuscript, known as the Mettener Regel (literally, The Metten Rule, referring to the rule of Saint Benedict as practiced at the Abbey of Metten) in both Latin and German versions. The abbot had the illuminators, whose style, as in the Biblia pauperum, shows signs of Bohemian influence, paint in color scenes from the life of Saint Benedict at the openings of the chapters. The model for the work was ...
15th-century Missal, with Notes and Initials
This musical manuscript at the Bavarian State Library is decorated with 15 initials with tendrils. The initials frame pictures and refer to the chorales of the church year. For stylistic reasons, scholars have dated these illuminations to the last decade of the 15th century and ascribed them to the illustrious Renaissance painter Berthold Furtmeyr (circa 1435/40–circa 1501) and his school. Furtmeyr and his followers were important contributors to the age-old Ratisbon (present-day Regensburg) school of illumination. An artist of great renown, Furtmeyr illuminated many impressive works, including this ...
Petrus Krüger’s Missal
This early 15th-century missal was written and illuminated by Petrus Krüger from Breslau for the abbot of Saint Emmeram, Ratisbon (present-day Regensburg). One of the original illuminations (folio 32v), however, has been largely replaced by a miniature that for stylistic reasons has been ascribed to the Ratisbon painter Berthold Furtmeyr (active 1460–1501). This miniature equals, in style and artistic quality, the picture pages in the Salzburg feast missal, Furtmeyr’s mature masterpiece. Apart from the Furtmeyr crucifixion group, the manuscript contains two other remarkable miniatures. The first portrays Abbot ...
For stylistic reasons, the nine miniatures in this missal depicting Jesus and his mother, the crucifixion, and Jesus rising from the tomb, as well as several initials with tendrils have been dated to the 1470s and ascribed to the school of the noted German Renaissance painter Berthold Furtmeyr (active 1460–1501). Folios 325–36 include musical notation, and there is a full-page image of the crucifixion on folio 338. Furtmeyr and his followers were important contributors to the ancient Ratisbon School of Illumination. An artist of great renown, Furtmeyr illuminated ...
This armorial was probably written and illuminated by different hands in Bavaria between 1466 and 1473. It contains heraldic devices of the Quaternions (Groups of Four, each representing different social groups of the Holy Roman Empire). It also illustrates the crests of (mostly) Bavarian princes, noblemen, territories, bishoprics, and prince-bishops. Despite its somewhat crude execution, it is a valuable resource for the heraldry of Southern Germany towards the end of the 15th century. By 1534 the manuscript had come into the possession of the counts of Ortenburg, near Passau; there ...
Mirror of Government
This magnificent manuscript was written by Leonhard Heff in Ratisbon (present-day Regensburg) and must have been produced — according to a note in the text — in or around 1476. Bound by the Ratisbon Black Friars, it later was transferred to the nearby Benedictine monastery of Saint Emmeram and from there to the Bavarian State Library. It contains the text of Speculum regiminis (Mirror of government) by Philippus de Bergamo (Giacomo Filippo Forèsti, 1434–1520), an Augustinian monk who was an expert on canon law, known for his great philosophical erudition, and ...