collections

The Model Book of Calligraphy (1561–1596)

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Pages from a remarkable book entitled Mira calligraphiae monumenta (The Model Book of Calligraphy), the result of a collaboration across many decades between a master scribe, the Croatian-born Georg Bocskay, and Flemish artist Joris Hoefnagel. In the early 1560s, while secretary to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, Bocksay produced his Model Book of Calligraphy, showing off the wonderful range of writing style in his repertoire. Some 30 years later (and 15 years after the death of Bocskay), Ferdinand’s grandson, who had inherited the book, commissioned Hoefnagel to add his delightful illustrations of flowers, fruits, and insects. It would prove to be, as The Getty, who now own the manuscript, comment, “one of the most unusual collaborations between scribe and painter in the history of manuscript illumination”. In addition to the amendments to Bocksay’s pages shown here, Hoefnagel also added an elaborately illustrated section on constructing the letters of the alphabet which we featured on the site a while back.

If you are interested in hanging any of these from your walls then we have them available to buy in our new online shop!.

Dragonfly, Pear, Carnation, and Insect
Dragonfly, Pear, Carnation, and Insect — (BUY AS A PRINT)
Opium Poppy, Bladder Campion, and Broad Bean
Opium Poppy, Bladder Campion, and Broad Bean — (BUY AS A PRINT)
Caterpillar, Pear, Tulip, and Purple Snail
Caterpillar, Pear, Tulip, and Purple Snail — (BUY AS A PRINT)
Poppy Anemones, Caterpillar, Fig, and Quince
Poppy Anemones, Caterpillar, Fig, and Quince — (BUY AS A PRINT)
Basil Thyme, Poppy Anemone, and Myrtle
Basil Thyme, Poppy Anemone, and Myrtle — (BUY AS A PRINT)
European Columbines and Sweet Cherry
European Columbines and Sweet Cherry — (BUY AS A PRINT)
Tulips, Fly, Kidney Bean, and Bean
Tulips, Fly, Kidney Bean, and Bean — (BUY AS A PRINT)
Dianthus and Almond
Dianthus and Almond — (BUY AS A PRINT)
Medlar, Poppy Anemone, and Pear
Medlar, Poppy Anemone, and Pear — (BUY AS A PRINT)
Spider, Love-in-a-Mist, Potter Wasp, and Red Currant
Spider, Love-in-a-Mist, Potter Wasp, and Red Currant — (BUY AS A PRINT)
Fly, Caterpillar, Pear, and Centipede
Fly, Caterpillar, Pear, and Centipede — (BUY AS A PRINT)
Water Gnat, Martagon Lily, Yellow-Bellied Toad, and European Screw Shell
Water Gnat, Martagon Lily, Yellow-Bellied Toad, and European Screw Shell — (BUY AS A PRINT)


Buy these images as prints in our new online shop