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Nature Illuminated: Flora and Fauna from the Court of Emperor Rudolf II (Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum) Hardcover – July 10, 1997

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Nature Illuminated: Flora and Fauna from the Court of Emperor Rudolf II (Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum) + The Art of the Pen: Calligraphy from the Court of the Emperor Rudolf II + An Abecedarium: Illuminated Alphabets from the Court of Emperor Rudolf II (Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The most important legacy of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II is the Mira calligraphiae monumenta, a manuscript comprised of illuminated pages of calligraphy. Around 1561 a master calligrapher wrote the text as proof of his preeminence among scribes. After his death, a master illustrator was employed to illuminate his writing, and the outcome is a rare combination of words and images in small-scale drawings--considered one of the wonders of Renaissance Europe. This book culls different plates from the collection that are each unique, consisting of lavishly executed text in Roman and Hebrew letters accompanied by realistic and detailed drawings of plants, animals, and insects.

From Library Journal

Demeude's preoccupation with letters has led him to bring together illuminated initials and ornamental characters from 12 centuries of alphabets and typography, ranging from 8th-century sacred manuscripts to 20th-century mass-produced postcards. Included are samples from over 100 alphabets created by such artists as Durer, Holbein, Daumier, and Kate Greenaway. The animated letters may be draped with the human form, used to offer historical or biblical scenes, or entwined with naturalistic scenes. While the accompanying historical notes and essays are succinct, the visuals will be of the most value as a study collection. The Getty's diminutive (51/4" x 71/4") volumes contain reproductions and notes on calligraphy and miniature paintings from a work commissioned by the court of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II during the 16th century. Currently in the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Mira calligraphiae monumenta (Model Book of Calligraphy) is the combined effort of master calligrapher Georg Bocskay and court artist Joris Hoefnagel. Considered one of the most precious books of the European Renaissance, it represents the transition from medieval European manuscript illumination to the emergence of the floral still life genre of the early 17th century. Nature Illuminated contains reproductions of 41 manuscript pages with meticulous studies of flora and fauna. An Abecedarium contains 38 illuminated reproductions of Roman capital and Gothic lowercase letters. These unique titles are best suited to specialized art and design collections.?Judith Yankeilun Lind, Roseland Free
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: J. Paul Getty Museum; 1 edition (July 10, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892364726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892364725
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. Bryant on May 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you want to see colorful manuscipts that show a varity of medieval insects, plants, flowers, fruit, sea shells, initials, designs, and even a few animals, then this is the book for you. There are 41 full color manuscripts to choose from. At the end of the book, are discriptions of each manuscript, listing the medieval name for each. Example: The identifications of specimens proceed from top to bottom and from left to right. Common names have been provided whenever possible. In the case of the insect identifications, British English common names have been used, since most of the specimens represented do not exist in the United States. Where a different American common name is known, it has been included following the British Name, seperated by a slash. The names of higher taxonomic groups (families and orders) have been printed in roman type, while genus and spicies names appear in italics.Folio 1 Rotunda script in "trace letters"Vinca minor L,: Common periwinkleMalus domestica Borkh,:Common appleLacerta(?):LizardFolio 5 Antiqua scriptMatthiola incana (L.) R. Br.: GillyflowerEphemeroptera: MayflyDiptera Cyclorrhapha Heleomyzidae (?):FlyPulmonata Helicidae Cepaea sp.: Garde SnailEnd Example.A great sorce of Medieval Nature.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By vxg on February 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have never seen such an amazing compilation of manuscripts and calligraphic examples. I was blown away. The only problem is that the dang pages are so small!! It seems like some detail is lost. This is a big problem for anyone who wants to master some the writing techniques. The Mira calligraphea is the same dang size so no help there either. If anyone knows where I can find larger views please let me know!!!! vinson.gracia@gmail.com
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pio on March 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book for those who appreciate beauty in nature. I find that just paging through the gorgeous artwork of natural objects and flowing calligraphy is very soothing. The book is smaller than I expected but its content does not disappoint. Makes a wonderful gift for special friends. I bought my copy for myself but I might buy others in future as gifts for friends.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Arbutusrose Hermann on July 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
For such a small book, this is crammed with new ideas for both calligraphy and drawing from Nature. You have to look close, and have an idea of how techniques can be applied, but this book will serve as an inspiration for my work for years to come!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Bora YILMAZYIGIT on January 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Years ago, when I was primary school (1960)2nd class student our teacher made us a special note -book: Everybody wrote an alphabet and every friend painted them whith natural ornament. I remember that years. This book is illuminated us with conservative knowledge. It's a pattern for humans and for our child. Ewerything in the world can place in same frame. Thank you Emperor Rudolf II and AMAZON.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bukkene Bruse VINE VOICE on April 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"Nature Illuminated" is wonderful collection of illuminated manuscripts from the Getty's extensive holdings. Perusing these pages shows that the chasm between (representative) art and science is really not so great.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alison Cole on January 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For anyone into botantical embroidery and illuminated manuscripts - this book is sure to please. Page after page of stunning botanical drawings accompanied by beautifully written texts. An inspiration for those in the decorative arts. Highly Recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Mehl on February 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful little book. The illustrations as well as the "calligraphiae" are like nothing I have ever seen.
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Nature Illuminated: Flora and Fauna from the Court of Emperor Rudolf II (Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum)
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