The Younger Titurel (Fernberger-Dietrichstein Manuscript)


This codex, called the Fernberger-Dietrichstein Manuscript after its later owners, contains the second part of the very lengthy chivalric legend of Arthur and the Holy Grail. It is based on the Titurel fragments by Wolfram von Eschenbach (circa 1170−circa 1220), who was considered the author of the Jüngerer Titurel (Younger Titurel), which was widely read in the Middle Ages. Recent scholarship holds that Albrecht von Scharfenberg (active 13th century) wrote this work in the style of Wolfram von Eschenbach. This manuscript is particularly important for its unusually rich illumination with 85 gouache miniatures, some using gold, among them 29 full-page pictures. The scenes of courtly and knightly life make the codex a document of great cultural importance. Stylistic features of the miniatures point to Austria, possibly Tyrol, as its place of origin; influence from Bohemia and particularly from northern Italy is evident. The manuscript was long in private hands. In the 16th and 17th centuries it belonged to the Fernberger family in South Tyrol, who used it as a family album.

Last updated: September 25, 2015