The manuscript known as the Hungarian Angevin Legendary, made for Hungarian royal patrons, is an extraordinary relic of medieval book illumination; a luxurious codex worthy of a ruler. It was created in Bologna in the early 14th century by number of painters. Dispersed in four countries and six collections, the 142 richly gilded leaves recount the legends of fifty-eight saints at varying length. The miniatures are all clearly distinguishable and colorfully depicted. In the course of his twenty years of research the author examined almost all of the surviving leaves, including the largest sets in the Vatican Library and in the New York Morgan Library. The analysis of the codex has three levels: identifying the original criteria of saints selected, the presentation of the iconographic features of the respective legends, and the exposure of the recurrent image types on the leaves. One section of the book is an attempt to reconstruct the original appearance of the manuscript. Lastly, there is an investigation of the fate of the copies across centuries. Charts, tables, and drawings are included to help illuminate the structure and history of the codex.
Dr. Bela Zsolt Szakacs is the Head of the Department of Art History of the Pazmany Peter Catholic University and associate professor of the Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University, Budapest.
Foreword I. Introduction I. 1. Posing the question I. 2. Research history A survey of the professional literature The naming of the codex The origins of the codex - stylistic aspects The commissioning and further history of the codex Observations on content: iconography and hagiography I. 3. Calculation of the surviving material The Vatican Library The Hermitage The Morgan Library and other American collections The page in the Louvre I. 4. An assessment of the original material I. 5. Reconstruction of the legends II. A circle of saints II. 1. Missing sections Missing quires Saints missing from fragmentary quires II. 2. Sequence of images The guiding principle: the hierarchical order of saints The secondary principle: the calendar system of saints II. 3. Distribution - the selection process II. 4. Hierarchy of saints II. 5. A look around: other collections III. Analysis of the legends III. 1. Jesus, Mary and St John the Baptist III. 2. Apostles and evangelists The first group of apostles: the greater apostles St James the Greater The second group of apostles: the lesser apostles and the evangelists III. 3. Martyrs The first group of martyrs Three deacons: Stephen, Lawrence and Vincent Three military saints: Christopher, George and Sebastian Sts Cosmas and Damian The second group of martyrs Martyr bishops: Donatus, Stanislaw, Gerhard and Thomas Becket III. 4. Confessors The first group of confessors: popes, Church Fathers, bishops St Sylvester St Gregory the Great St Ambrose St Augustine St Jerome St Martin The second group of confessors: the Holy Kings of Hungary St Emeric, the prince St Ladislas, the king The third group of confessors: the monastic saints St Francis in the Hungarian Angevin Legendary The four folios of the cycle of St Francis The textual tradition: The Hungarian Angevin Legendary's place in the history of the sources The visual tradition: The Hungarian Angevin Legendary's place in the iconography of St Francis The visual system of the codex: The place of the cycle of St Francis in the Hungarian Angevin Legendary The fourth group of confessors Three bishops: Brice, Remy, Hilary Two hermits: Giles and Paul Two novel-like heroes: Alexis and Eustace III. 5. Female saints and virgins IV. Analysis of the image types IV. 1. Images of public life Ordination scenes Images of scholarly life Scenes of conversion The world of idols Tests of faith Images of baptism Liturgical scenes IV. 2. Images of the virtuous life IV. 3. The world of miracles IV. 4. Images of suffering IV. 5. Images of the Last Rites V. Conclusions V. 1. The process in which the codex was created V. 2 Analysis of the tituli Word usage in the tituli Misunderstandings and reinterpretations V. 3. Characteristics of the image types Construction of the image types The monotony of image types Historia, imago, devotional image V. 4. The lessons of the program The poetics of the cycles The focal points of the program Program and commissioner V. 5. The idea of the codex The codex, as an article of value Image and text Work and audience Appendix A) Tables B) Critical edition of the Latin inscriptions C) List of Abbreviations