Vidal Mayor

Object Details

Title:

Vidal Mayor

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Vidal de Canellas (Spanish, active Aragon, Spain 1236 - 1252)

and probably Michael Lupi de Çandiu (Spanish, active Pamplona, Spain 1297 - 1305)

and Michael Lupi de Çandiu (Spanish, active Pamplona, Spain 1297 - 1305)

Culture:

Spanish

Date:

about 1290 - 1310

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment bound between wood boards covered with modern green morocco

Dimensions:

Leaf: 36.5 x 24 cm (14 3/8 x 9 7/16 in.)

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In 1247, with the reconquest of Spain from the Moslems virtually complete, King James I of Aragon and Catalonia, Spain, decided to establish a new systematic code of law for his kingdom. He entrusted the task to Vidal de Canellas, bishop of Huesca. The Getty Museum's manuscript, the only known copy of the law code still in existence, is a translation of Vidal de Canellas's Latin text into the vernacular Navarro-Aragonese language (in that language, the book is called Vidal Mayor in reference to the author). The manuscript's scribe was Michael Lupi de Çandiu, who identifies himself in an inscription and who also may have translated the text.

Not only is the text an important historical document but it is luxuriously illuminated with hundreds of historiated and decorated initials. Although written and illuminated between 1290 and 1310 in one of the major urban centers in northeastern Spain, the elegant style of the painting reveals an intimate link with contemporary French illumination. This stylistic connection demonstrates the increased movement of both artists and manuscripts from one European court to another.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (July 1 to September 30, 1984) (fols. 135v - 136)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 1 to September 30, 1984
Gothic Manuscript Illumination: 1250-1375 (January 16 to March 13, 1985) (fols. 72v - 73)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), January 16 to March 31, 1985
Secular Manuscripts (October 21, 1986 to January 4, 1987) (fols. 72v - 73)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), October 21, 1986 to January 4, 1987
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Illuminated Secular Manuscripts (July 17 to September 30, 1990) (fols. 72v - 73)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 17 to September 30, 1990
Convivencia (September 10 to December 15, 1992) (fols. 113v - 114; 175v - 176; 179v - 180; 243v - 244)
  • The Jewish Museum, (New York), September 10 to December 15, 1992
Harmonies of Heaven and Earth: Musicians and Instruments in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (January 25 to April 10, 1994) (fols. 84v - 85)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), January 25 to April 10, 1994
Illuminated Secular Manuscripts (January 24 to April 9, 1995) (fols. 72v - 73)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), January 24 to April 9, 1995
Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript illumination (December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998) (fols. 169v - 170)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998
Out-of-Bounds: Marginal Imagery in Illuminated Manuscripts (April 7, 1998 to July 5, 1998) (fols. 8v - 9)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 7 to July 5, 1998
Picturing the Medieval Family (May 4 to July 18, 1999) (fols. 206v - 207)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 4 to July 18, 1999
Five Hundred Years of Manuscript Illumination (February 11 to June 1, 2003) (fols. 169v - 170)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 11 to June 1, 2003
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 2003 to March 7, 2004
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The Crown of Aragon: Power and Image from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age (12th - 17th centuries) (January 11 to April 17, 2006) (fols. 72v - 73)
  • Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia, January 11 to April 17, 2006
Medieval Beasts (May 1 to July 29, 2007) (fols. 135v - 136)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 1 to July 29, 2007
The Decorated Letter (2007) (November 13, 2007 to January 27, 2008) (fols. 72v - 73)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 13, 2007 to January 27, 2008
Zaragoza & Aragon (June 5 to September 15, 2008) (Fol. 1)
  • La Lonja de Mercaderes, (Zaragoza), June 5 to September 15, 2008
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 1 to November 8, 2009
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  • Museum of Biblical Art, (New York), February 18 to May 30, 2010
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von Euw, Anton, and Joachim M. Plotzek. Die Handschriften der Sammlung Ludwig. 4 vols. (Cologne: Schnütgen-Museum der Stadt Köln, 1979-1985), vol. 4 (1985), pp. 63-77.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 74, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 2nd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), p. 74, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 74, ill.

Touwaide, Alain. "Visions du monde médiéval à travers les manuscrits enluminées du J. P. Getty Museum (Malibu)." Scriptorium 45, no. 1 (1991), pp. 298-302.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 73, ill.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Illuminated Manuscripts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 56-57, entry by Adam S. Cohen.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 74, ill.

Lilly, Melinda. Peasant (Vero Beach: Rourke Publishing LLC, 2003), pp. 16-17, ill.

Vinas, Agnès and Robert Vinas. Le Livre des Faits de Jaume le Conquérant (Perpignan: S.A.S.L. des Pyrénées-Orientales, 2007) pp. 28-29, 32-33, 104, 113, 254-55, 288, 291-93, 322-23, 328-29, 342-43, and 377.

Morrison, Elizabeth. Beasts: Factual & Fantastic (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum; London: The British Library, 2007), pp. 24, 26-27, 72-73, figs. 16-17, 59, ill.

Echeverría, Jesús Delgado, ed. Encrucijada de culturas, exh. cat. (Zaragoza Ayuntamiento: Ibercaja, 2008), pp. 73-90.

Gauvard, Claude. "La Femme Adultère." In Éternelles coupables. Les femmes criminelles, de l'Antiquité à nos jours. Myriam Tsikounas, ed. (Paris: Éditions Autrement, 2008) pp. 31-33, fig. 16.

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Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Looking at Illuminated Manuscripts: Exploring a Manuscript Page

Learn the different parts of a medieval manuscript page and create illuminated manuscripts with your class.

Visual Arts

3-5; 6-8; 9-12

Single Class Lesson