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General description of the manuscripts

Liber Iodiciorum

Toledo - Año 654 - Multiple copies

Also called “Recceswinth’s Code”. It is the last great compilation of laws of the Visigothic monarchy. It consisted initially of five hundred laws, of which at least one hundred were written by said monarch, to which new laws were added later. It is the first Visigothic code that affects the Visigoths as well as Roman-Hispanics and was used in the Christian kingdoms until it was replaced in 1150 by the Usatges of Barcelona in Catalonia and by the Code of the Seven Partidas by Alphonse the 10th (1252-1284) in Castile.

Libro de Horas de Fernando I

León - Mediados del S. XI - Bibl. Universidad, Santiago

Named before “Diurnal of Ferdinand the First”, it is considered as one of the jewels of the Pre Romanesque miniature. Although the capital letters show a great Mozarabic influence, the rest of the images, with svelte figures of great spirituality, announce already a new art, though maintaining the spirit of the previous Spanish miniature. It preserves at present 256 pages of 315 x 225 mm, written to a single column with between 22 and 34 lines per page.

LIBRO DE HORAS DE LUIS DE LAVAL

Francia - Second part of the 15th century - National Library of France, Paris

This manuscript in Latin, a large volume of 342 folios or 684 pages. with 1234 miniatures, of which 137 are full-page, made in the workshop of Juan de Colombe with the collaboration of the best French artists of the time, is the most beautiful and richly decorated book of hours of his time and can be considered as the best exponent of the French society of the late Middle Ages and the level of quality to which the art of Miniature arrived, in a work in which the best painters of that time participate.

LIBRO DE LOS TESTAMENTOS

Oviedo Cathedral - 1109/1112 - Oviedo Cathedral

It is a cartulary that includes the official documents of the Cathedral of Oviedo between the reigns of Alphonse the Second and Doña Urraca. Commissioned by the abbot Pelayo, it is considered as one of the most interesting manuscripts of the 12th century. It pays a great deal of importance to the images, something less often in that kind of codex. These are of great quality and present an avant garde style along the line of the Blessed and the Diurnal of Ferdinand the First, with a complete differentiation of the characters, in which the intention has been to reflect more the role they represent than their royal figure.

PENTATEUCO ASHBURNHAM

Scriptorium de Sevilla? - Siglo VII - National Library, Paris

Also known as the Bible of Tours because it was substracted from the library of its cathedral. There is a controversy about the origin of this manuscript, that has been considered as Visigothic from the 7th century, as a commission from Galla Placidia to the Imperial desk of Rome and even puts forward its probable origin in the north of Africa. It is the most ancient illuminated manuscript known in the west of Europe an it is considered as a precedent of the Blessed.

TUMBO ‘A’ DE SANTIAGO

Santiago de Compostela - Entre 1129 y 1255 - Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Also called “Book of Privileges”, it forms together with the Chronicle of Turkey and the Calixtino Codex a set of manuscripts of similar style originated in the “scriptorium” of Santiago de Compostela in the first half of the 12th century. Its miniatures have illuminated design with special attention to relief. They are already completely Romanesque but with many Hispanic reminiscences. Its first phase includes 24 king portrayals and othe royal characters. Towards 1180 the equestrian figures of Ferdinand the Second and Alphonse the Ninth were added in a very different style.

VITAE PATRUM

San Valerio del Bierzo - 902 - Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid

It is the oldest codex of which the completion date is known. This is a copy of a compendium of biographies of saints, collected in the seventh century by Saint Valerius del Bierzo in some monastery in the Valley of Silence, made by several copyists and completed in the year 902, during the reign of Alfonso III, By Armentary for the abbot Trasmundo who considered that the model to be followed by his monks was the life of the holy oriental fathers. It contains 263 folios of parchment with two columns decorated with beautiful uncials.

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