Psalter of Frederick II, 1335

Psalter of Frederick II, 1335


Author:  Multiple scribes

Language: Latin

Date: 1335

Price: $299.99

History/Description: "Psalter of Frederick II" is a remarkable illuminated psalter, decorated in the Byzantine style, commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II of Sicily (1194–1250), for his third wife, Isabella of England (1214–41). By design and execution, the manuscript illuminations combine the color palette of Byzantium with the stylistic rendering of the plasticity of the human body, which was common to the Italian school of the period. Probably executed at the scriptorium in Acri, a hill town in Calabria, the manuscript is decorated with a full-page initial letter, encompassing scenes of the Nativity. The Nativity scene is by far the most splendid illumination in the book, along with eight large illuminations from the life of Christ. It is embellished with large decorated initial letters, which are colored in red, blue, green, and shades of brown, as well as historiated initial letters, ornamental initial letters, and numerous small format illuminations, reflecting on passages from the Old and New Testaments. The text is written in red and black, and has rubricated and blue initial letters throughout. The production of the book reflects the complex period in which it was created. The iconography of many of the images has German sources. The calligraphy is in the style of Italian “rotondo,” and the illuminations show Byzantine influences that are reflected in the architecture, plus the drapery of the clothes, and the dark faces with deeply set eyes of the figures. This splendid manuscript, made for the queen of the Holy Roman Empire, was composed to reflect the gold and bright enamels of the art of the mosaic, and also reveals Italian taste, tempered by elements of Byzantine classicism.

Reproduction Details: The hardcover books are made with two pieces of real wood on the inside. The leather is a 4 oz cowhide, from a small supplier in New York state. The Glue we use to attach the leather to the wood is made at our facility, and is a period correct wheat glue. Along the spine, we use a modern perfect binding, with modern glue, to make the binding last longer. We also add three layers of mull cloth to the outside of the perfect binding, drying in between each layer, a traditional way to make the binding stiff, strong, and resilient.

Note: All of our facsimiles are made to order. Please allow 4-6 weeks for notification of shipment.

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