Monday, February 2, 2015

Mira calligraphiae monumenta

Georg Bocskay and Joris Hoefnagel - Mira calligraphiae monumenta (1590?)

Getty Publications link (with downloadable pdf)

In 1562 calligrapher Bocskay created a book to show off his skills - thirty years later the Holy Roman Emperor had Hoefnagel illustrate it.  The result is this fantastic work combining elaborate alphabets with finely detailed nature studies (possibly an inspiration for Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus?) but even better to my mind are the illustrated letters that Hoefnagel did on his own that are included here as an extra.  The Getty edition contains essays on the work and creators along with identification of the plants and animals (though admittedly I haven't yet read all this which is why I'm not sure about the work's date of completion).  Oh and yes one of those pages provided the cover for the Public Domain Review's Selected Essays.