Codex Vyssegradensis kodex

Pozice 1621
Článek 1284

Coronation Gospels of king Vratislav Codex Vyssegradensis (enthroned St. Wenceslas)

The Latin coronation Gospel Book of king Vratislav is considered the most important and most valuable manuscript kept in Bohemia; in 2005 it was ranked among national culture monuments of the Czech Republic.

It is a Latin Gospel Book written on 108 parchment sheets with dimensions of 320 x 415 mm with extremely rich iconography. Its visual components rank it among the most precious illuminated manuscripts of the second half of the 11th century in Europe. The biggest portion of the manuscript was written by one scribe. The plates of the manuscript are coated with fabric embroidered with green ornaments of leaves and flowers. The back plate of the Codex is also coated with fabric with a mandorla of Christ in Majesty sewn to it. In 2005, the Codex Vyssegradensis was classified as a national cultural monument of the Czech Republic.

The compilation of the Codex, also known as Coronation Gospels, started in the 1070s and was quickly completed on the occasion of the royal coronation of Vratislav II as the King of Bohemia held at the Episcopal Church at Prague Castle on 15 June 1085 and perhaps, it was passed to him during the ceremony.

Apparently, the King kept the Codex in his royal seat, Vyšehrad, after which the Codex got its name. In 1228, when there was another royal coronation in Prague, it may have been transferred to the Metropolitan Library of St. Vitus (there is a note De Wisegradmade in handwriting of the 13th century on the back endleaf). In the 17th century it was transferred from the Metropolitan Library to the Dlouhoveský family library. In 1613 it was probably still kept in the Prague Castle (the writing on f24 r. provides the name of the painter Daniel of Květná and the year 1613 – perhaps the painter renovated some images of the manuscript and participated in the restoration and additions to the decoration of St. Wenceslas Chapel in the St. Vitus Cathedral in 1612-1614). Presumably it was taken to Dlouhá Ves around 1619 to be saved from Calvinists. In 1728 it belonged to the Archbishop's Seminary library in Prague. Now it is located in the National Library in Prague under the signature XIV A 13.

The latest conclusions of the Czech literature on the subject assume that Codex Vyssegradensis was written and illuminated in the environment of Bavarian monastery school with additional motifs of Regensburg, Reichenau and Echternach schools of book illumination. The place of origin was probably the Regensburg scriptorium Emmerames, where the motifs for initials were connected to those of Tegernsee, typical also for the initials in Codex Vyssegradensis.

A faithful facsimile of the manuscript will be produced by Tempus Libri Ltd. and limited to 199 numbered copies. The price is set at 169.000 CZK incl. VAT.