This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.
Open Content images tend to be large in file-size. To avoid potential data charges from your carrier, we recommend making sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network before downloading.
Not currently on view
Letter to Johann von Eich and Historia de duobus amantibus
Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Italian, 1405 - 1464)
France (Place created)
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment bound between pasteboard covered with red leather
Leaf: 17.6 × 11.4 cm (6 15/16 × 4 1/2 in.)
This manuscript is part of a long tradition of medieval romance literature and the Renaissance passion for letter writing. It contains two texts written in Latin by Eneas Silvius Piccolomini (1405-1464) before he became pope, while he was working in Vienna at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor. The first of his texts is a long letter to a friend describing life at court in frank terms. The illustrations to this text include two that may depict contemporary rulers. The second text (in Latin titled Historia duobus amantibus) is the story of an adulterous passion between Euryalus, a member of the court of the Holy Roman Emperor, and Lucretia, an Italian noblewoman. The story is based on a real relationship and is illustrated with narrative miniatures of events described in the text. The six spaces left for events following the consummation of the relationship remain blank, having never been painted.
Although the artist of the manuscript is unknown, the miniatures are characterized by a psychological sophistication and spatial complexity. Each figure is given a distinctive face, creating the sense of a series of portraits, and the characters react to each other and their surroundings in ways that contribute to the flow of the narrative. The figures are rather heavy and solid, yet painted in jewel-like tones and with a light touch, giving the miniatures an unusual luminosity.
A Treasury of Fifteenth Century Manuscript Illumination (March 26 to June 16, 2002) (fol. 1)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 26 to June 16, 2002
Five Hundred Years of Manuscript Illumination (February 11 to June 1, 2003) (fols. 14v - 15)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 11 to June 1, 2003
Images of Violence in the Middle Ages (December 21 2004 to March 13, 2005) (fols. 20v - 21)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 21, 2004 to March 13, 2005
The Medieval Bookshelf: From Romance to Astronomy (January 24 to April 9, 2006) (fols. 14v - 15)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 24 to April 9, 2006
French Manuscript Illumination in the Middle Ages (January 23 to April 15, 2007) (fol. 1)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 23 to April 15, 2007
Rare Finds: Ten Years of Collecting Manuscripts (February 12 to April 20, 2008) (fols. 14v - 15)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 12 to April 20, 2008
Fashion in the Middle Ages (May 31 to August 14, 2011) (fols. 24v - 25)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 31 to August 14, 2011
Chivalry in the Middle Ages (July 8 to November 30, 2014) (fols. 39v - 30 and fols. 7v - 8)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 8 to November 30, 2014
Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts (January 22 to June 26, 2016) (fol. 1 and fols. 14v - 15)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 22 to June 26, 2016
Outcasts: Prejudice and Persecution in the Medieval World (January 30 to April 8, 2018) (fols. 20v-21)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 30 to April 8, 2018
Winn, Mary Beth, and Antoine Verard. Anthoine Vérard: Parisian publisher 1485-1512 : prologues, poems, and presentations (Genève: Librairie Droz, 1997), p. 475.
"A selection of 2001 museum acquisitions." Apollo 154, no. 478 (December 2001), p. 29, ill.
Classen, Albrecht, ed. Violence in Medieval Courtly Literature, A Casebook (New York and London: Routledge, 2004), p. 16, fig. 1.3, cover ill.
Classen, Albrecht, ed. Discourses on Love, Marriage, and Transgression in Medieval and Early Modern Literature (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2004), cover ill.
The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 77, ill.
Kren, Thomas. French Illuminated Manuscripts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), pp. xxii, xxiii-xxiv, xxix, 89-93, ill.
König, Eberhard. "35 Studenbücher aus Paris und den französischen Regionen im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert." Leuchtendes Mittelalter n.s., 6. No. 8 (2009), pp. 144-45.
Schindler, Robert. "Das Manuskript 74 G 27 der Köninglichen Bibliothek in Den Haag" In 100 Bilder der Weisheit: Priginalgetreue Faks.-Ed. der Bilderhandschrift Ms 74 G 27 der Koninglichen Bibliothek der Niederlande in Den Haag (Simbach am Inn: Verlag Müller und Schindler, 2009), pp. 116-18.
Schindler, Robert. "Die bebilderte Enea Silvio Piccolomini-Handschrift des Charles de France: Ein Beitrag zur Buchmalerei in Bourges und zum Humanismus in Frankreich." Ph.D. diss (Freien Universität Berlin, 2009), passim.
Scott, Margaret. Fashion in the Middle Ages (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011), pp. 35, 40, 112, fig. 23.
Schwam-Baird, Shira. "The Letters of Lucretia and Euryalus in Text and Image: An Illuminated Manuscript of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini's Story of Two Lovers." Medieval Perspectives 22 (2011), pp. 126-44, figs. 1-7.
Schindler, Robert. "The Illuminator of W.205." Journal of the Walters Art Museum 68-69 (2010-2011), pp. 121-22, figs. 5,7,9.
Péter, E. Kovács. Zsigmond király Sienában (Budapest: Corvina, 2014), p. 163, fig. 32.