The Model Book of Calligraphy – An Illuminated Masterpiece (1591 – 1596)

Wonderful illuminations that mix handwriting, art and colour

In the 1590s, Joris Hoefnagel (1542 – 1600) illustrated Georg Bocskay’s (died 1575) manuscript of calligraphy whilst working as court artist to Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II.

Hoefnagel, a self-taught artist from the Netherlands, added illuminations to Bocskay’s vast selection of contemporary and historical scripts, completed some three decades earlier (1561-62) when the Hungarian was secretary to Rodolf II’s grandfather, Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I.

The result is the Mira calligraphiae monumenta (The Model Book of Calligraphy) (ca. 1591), a lush collection of fine art and graphics.

 

The Model Book of Calligraphy (Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta) Georg Bocskay Joris Hoefnagel

Periwinkle, Apple, and Lizard; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 – 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575); Vienna, Austria; 1561 – 1562; illumination added 1591 – 1596; Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 16.6 x 12.4 cm (6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.); Ms. 20, fol. 1

 

The Model Book of Calligraphy (Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta) Georg Bocskay Joris Hoefnagel

Mayfly, Red Campion, and Pear; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 – 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575

The Model Book of Calligraphy (Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta) Georg Bocskay Joris Hoefnagel

Love-in-a-Mist, Sweet Cherry, and Spanish Chestnut; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 – 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575); Vienna, Austria; 1561 – 1562; illumination added 1591 – 1596; Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 16.6 x 12.4 cm (6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.); Ms. 20, fol. 3

The Model Book of Calligraphy (Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta) Georg Bocskay Joris Hoefnagel

Fly or Blister Beetle, Willow Bellflower, Gourd, and Bindweed; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 – 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575); Vienna, Austria; 1561 – 1562; illumination added 1591 – 1596; Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 16.6 x 12.4 cm (6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.); Ms. 20, fol. 4

The Model Book of Calligraphy (Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta) Georg Bocskay Joris Hoefnagel

Gillyflower, Mayfly, Fly, and Snail; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 – 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575); Vienna, Austria; 1561 – 1562; illumination added 1591 – 1596; Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 16.6 x 12.4 cm (6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.); Ms. 20, fol. 5

The Model Book of Calligraphy (Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta) Georg Bocskay Joris Hoefnagel

Caterpillar, Dog-Tooth Violet, Pear, and Apricot; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 – 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575); Vienna, Austria; 1561 – 1562; illumination added 1591 – 1596; Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 16.6 x 12.4 cm (6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.); Ms. 20, fol. 6

The Model Book of Calligraphy (Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta) Georg Bocskay Joris Hoefnagel

Fly, Caterpillar, Pear, and Centipede; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 – 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575); Vienna, Austria; 1561–1562; illumination added 1591–1596; Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 16.6 × 12.4 cm (6 9/16 × 4 7/8 in.); Ms. 20 (86.MV.527), fol. 7

The Model Book of Calligraphy (Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta) Georg Bocskay Joris Hoefnagel

Spider, Love-in-a-Mist, Potter Wasp, and Red Currant; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 – 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575); Vienna, Austria; 1561 – 1562; illumination added 1591 – 1596; Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 16.6 x 12.4 cm (6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.); Ms. 20, fol. 9

The Model Book of Calligraphy (Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta) Georg Bocskay Joris Hoefnagel

Damselfly, French Rose, Spanish Chestnut, and Spider; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 – 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575); Vienna, Austria; 1561 – 1562; illumination added 1591 – 1596; Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 16.6 x 12.4 cm (6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.); Ms. 20, fol. 10

The Model Book of Calligraphy (Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta) Georg Bocskay Joris Hoefnagel

Wainscot, French Rose, Wasplike Insect, English Daisy, and Caterpillar; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 – 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575); Vienna, Austria; 1561 – 1562; illumination added 1591 – 1596; Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 16.6 x 12.4 cm (6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.); Ms. 20, fol. 11

The Model Book of Calligraphy (Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta) Georg Bocskay Joris Hoefnagel

Insect, Daffodil, European Columbine, and English Oak Acorns; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 – 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575); Vienna, Austria; 1561 – 1562; illumination added 1591 – 1596; Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 16.6 x 12.4 cm (6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.); Ms. 20, fol. 12

The Model Book of Calligraphy (Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta) Georg Bocskay Joris Hoefnagel

Medlar, Poppy Anemone, and Pear; Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 – 1600), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575); Vienna, Austria; 1561 – 1562; illumination added 1591 – 1596; Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 16.6 x 12.4 cm (6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.); Ms. 20, fol. 13

Shop: Fine-art prints of Joris Hoefnagel’s gorgeous art can be ordered in our shop – here.

Via: Getty