The Art of the Pen: Calligraphy from the Court of the Emperor Rudolf II
Author: Lee Hendrix, Thea Vignau-Wilberg
Publisher: J. Paul Getty Museum
Release Date: June 05, 2003
The court of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II produced nothing more amazing than the Mira colligrophioe monumenta, a flamboyant demonstration of two arts-calligraphy and miniature painting. The project began when Rudolf's predecessor commissioned the master calligrapher Georg Bocskay to create a model book of calligraphy. A preeminent scribe, Bocskay assembled a vast selection of contemporary and historic scripts. Many were intended not for practical use but for virtuosic display. Years later, at Rudolf's behest, court artist Joris Hoefnagel filled the spaces on each manuscript page with images of fruit, flowers, insects, and other natural minutiae. The combination of word and images is rare and, on its tiny scale, constitutes one of the marvels of the Central European Renaissance. The manuscript is now in the collections of the Getty Museum. Forty-eight of its pages are reproduced in this book, containing samples of classic italic hands; historical, invented, and exhibition hands; Rotunda, a classicizing humanist script based on Carolingian miniscule; classically based scripts; and Gothic blackletter and chancery.