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The Book of Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis) from the Research Library (Znanstvena knjižnica) at Zadar

Ana Šitina   ORCID icon ; Department of History of Art, University of Zadar

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (2 MB) str. 267-282 preuzimanja: 883* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Šitina, A. (2014). Časoslov Blažene Djevice Marije (Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis) iz Znanstvene knjižnice u Zadru. Ars Adriatica, (4), 267-282. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Šitina, Ana. "Časoslov Blažene Djevice Marije (Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis) iz Znanstvene knjižnice u Zadru." Ars Adriatica, vol. , br. 4, 2014, str. 267-282. Citirano 29.11.2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Šitina, Ana. "Časoslov Blažene Djevice Marije (Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis) iz Znanstvene knjižnice u Zadru." Ars Adriatica , br. 4 (2014): 267-282.
Šitina, A. (2014). 'Časoslov Blažene Djevice Marije (Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis) iz Znanstvene knjižnice u Zadru', Ars Adriatica, (4), str. 267-282. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 29.11.2020.)
Šitina A. Časoslov Blažene Djevice Marije (Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis) iz Znanstvene knjižnice u Zadru. Ars Adriatica [Internet]. 2014 [pristupljeno 29.11.2020.];(4):267-282. Dostupno na:
A. Šitina, "Časoslov Blažene Djevice Marije (Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis) iz Znanstvene knjižnice u Zadru", Ars Adriatica, vol., br. 4, str. 267-282, 2014. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 29.11.2020.]

The illuminated Book of Hours dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary which was originally held in the former Paravia Library is today located at the Research Library in Zadar. Unfortunately, no information exists about this manuscript. It is bound between covers made of wood veneer and sheathed with black leather. It consists of 156 folios which contain the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the book of hours dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the book of hours dedicated to the Holy Spirit, Holy Cross, a portion of the office for the dead, seven funerary psalms and various prayers for specific occasions. The text is written in a single column on folios made of vellum (8 x 11.4 cm). It is written in literary Latin, in the Italian-style Gothic script. The text is written in black ink which dominates the manuscript while the rubrics are in red. The text begins with a calendar of which only January, February, November and December remain. The painted decorations feature in the initials and in the margins; there are no stand-alone illustrations filling an entire text-free page. The manuscript has three types of illuminated initials: litterae historiate, litterae dominicalis and litterae ferialis. Of those, there are six litterae historiatae, the subjects of which follow the aforementioned offices contained in the text. Each decorated littera historiata is located within the text, which is framed by a wide border filled with a decorative rinceaux-type band, the main element of which is ivy enhanced with interwoven flower motifs. The Litterae dominicales were rendered so as to form stylized floral shapes and elements dominated by an intense blue, red, green and yellow colour. Initials which resemble stylized flowers are framed on both sides by an L-shaped vegetal scroll which is most commonly composed of multi-coloured blue and red flowers, leaves, and gold and black “fruits”, that is, the motif of a sun disc with rays. The Litterae ferialis were depicted in two ways, either in red and blue or in gold and blue. If the letter is blue, the decoration and the dense graphic ornament are in a contrasting colour such as red, and vice versa, the latter sometime accentuated with tiny gilt details. Each initial is accompanied by a littera arabescata with a small undulating graphic ornament descending from the litterae ferialis along the text. The Book of Hours contains only four Litterae dominicales (fols 15v, 28r, 31r and 38v). Most pages feature a littera dominicalis and a littera ferialis. Litterae arabescatae, which descend from the ornamental bases of the litterae ferialis, consist of three spiral scrolls with a necklace-like sequence of motifs such as birds, flowers, and peculiar huts with volute-like ornaments which resemble pagodas, and these are then interspersed with other, much smaller motifs, for example crosses, flowers and beads. Decorative margins found on the pages with the illuminated litterae historiatae display features of a sporadic Mannerist influence in the newly established refinement of the classical Renaissance, but also a solidity which is in contrast to the lush late Gothic drôleries which had dominated before. For example, on in the decorative margin on folio 59v there is a masked head. With regard to the painted initials inside the litterae historiatae, certain details, such as the rendering of volume with emphasized black outlines, the positioning of the bodies and similar designs, demonstrate compatibility with a number of contemporaneous examples of manuscript illumination which have been preserved in Croatia. In the first place are the illuminated manuscripts from the Treasury of Split Cathedral such as the image of king David in the initial B in the fifteenth-century Psalterium Romanum (ms 633, fol. 5, Cathedral Treasury, Split). Compared to the Renaissance manuscript illuminations at Zadar, it can be noted that the figural illuminations, the litterae historiate, in this Book of Hours are stylistically closest to the Missal of Abbot Deodato Venier. In her article Manoscritti miniati di area veneta e padana nelle biblioteche della Croazia: alcuni esempi dal XIII. al XVI. secolo, F. Toniolo linked the marginal decoration of the Zadar Book of Hours to the type used by the Venetian miniaturist Benedetto Bordone, to whom Susy Marcon too attributed the Zadar codex. However, F. Toniolo pointed out that she was not convinced that this miniaturist decorated it himself, stating that it is more likely that it was the work of a different illuminator from his workshop. She then compared the Zadar Book of Hours with a work of a miniaturist who has been named The Second Master of the Grifo Canzoniere (Il Secondo Maestro del Canzoniere Grifo) after a collection of poems composed by the court poet Antonio Grifo, in which he decorated several pages. She compared the Zadar Book of Hours with fol. 233 of the Grifo Canzoniere, which depicts the Triumph of Anteros and Venus Genetrix surrounded by a marginal decoration similar to the one at Zadar. The miniaturist who illuminated the Zadar Book of Hours must have interacted with or worked within the circle of artists whose works Toniolo identifies as the comparative material for the Zadar illuminations, which can be immediately observed at first sight. For example, the marginal decoration is typically Venetian, and similar to the type used by Julije Klović (Giulio Clovio), Girolamo da Cremona, Benedetto Bordone and other minaturists who worked in this circle. However, if one compares figural illuminations, only a number of differences can also be noted. Although the proposed definition of this circle of manuscript illuminators is highly likely, in my opinion, the issue of the miniaturist responsible for the Zadar codex remains open to debate. Since there is no information about the manuscript, and given that this is an easily portable object, it is difficult to say whether it was produced locally or brought to Zadar. Based on the stylistic and comparative analysis presented in this article, I suggest that this Book of Hours may have originated in the manuscript illumination circles of Ferrara or even Lombardy, and I argue that the workshop in question demonstrates either the strong influence of the Venetian school or the fact that some of its minaturists maintained connections with the Venetian lagoons.

Ključne riječi
Ferrara manuscript illumination; Venice manuscript illumination; book of hours; Renaissance; Zadar

Hrčak ID: 130742



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