Chronicle of the World


In its original version, the Weltchronik (Chronicle of the world) of Jans Enikel (1230‒90) survives only in a few manuscripts, most of which contain a corrupted text in which Enikel’s Chronicle has been mixed with other world chronicles of the time. In the present manuscript the abridged text of Enikel’s work is interrupted by numerous excerpts taken from the Christherre-Chronik (Christherre chronicle). This metrical chronicle, written in two columns on 287 folios, which is incomplete with several leaves missing at the beginning and at the end of the codex, belonged to the Franciscan monastery in Munich until its dissolution in 1803. The Chronicle is illustrated with colored pen drawings, which usually are set in front of a neutral, rectangular color background, often directly on the parchment. In the production process two hands were involved. The depictions executed by the second hand (from leaf 22 recto onwards) reach well beyond the framework provided and often extend to the edges of the leaves. They are painted in bright colors and are characterized, in spite of the somewhat crude execution, by a great vivacity. They do not show any direct link with the older Bavarian-Austrian cycles of world chronicles. Stylistically as well these paintings represent, due to their connection to the international style of the early 15th century, a new phase in the tradition. The manuscript’s illumination may have been continued in 1420 after a brief interruption. At that time the text already had been copied and the first illustrations executed.

Last updated: November 16, 2017