The J. Paul Getty Museum

Vidal Mayor

Object Details

Title:

Vidal Mayor

Artists/Makers:

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

Place:

Northeastern Spain, Spain (Place Created)

Date:

about 1290–1310

Medium:

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

Object Number:

Ms. Ludwig XIV 6 (83.MQ.165)

Dimensions:

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

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Object Description

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Not only is the text an important historical document but it is luxuriously illuminated with hundreds of historiated and decorated initials.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.

Provenance
Provenance
-

Created for James I of Aragon, Spanish, 1208 - 1276
Source: Three pieces of vellum pasted inside the upper cover state that the manuscripts belonged to James I, King of Aragon. There is no confirmation of this claim, but it is by no means inherently unlikely.

-

Possibly Peter III of Aragon, Spanish, 1239 - 1285

- 1898

Don Luis Franco y López, Spanish, 1818 - 1898

1898 -

Family of Don Luis Franco y López, Spanish, 1818 - 1898, sold by the son of the Alkalde von Saragossa to an English dealer.

- 1906

Charles Fairfax Murray, 1849 - 1919, sold to Charles William Dyson Perrins, 1906.

1906 - 1958

Charles William Dyson Perrins, English, 1864 - 1958 [sold, The Dyson Perrins Collection, Part I, Sotheby's, London, December 9, 1958, lot 8, to H.P. Kraus.]

1958 - 1962

Hans P. Kraus, Sr., American, born Austria, 1907 - 1988, sold to Dr. Peter and Irene Ludwig, after 1962.
Source: Catalogue 100: 35 Manuscripts, H. P. Kraus, New York, 1962

1962 - 1983

Dr. Peter Ludwig, German, 1925 - 1996 and Irene Ludwig, German, 1927 - 2010, sold, to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.

Provenance Remarks: This is the only known manuscript of a compilation, with commentary, of the laws of Aragon which King James I, the Conqueror, ordered Vidal de Canellas to write at a Cortes held in Huesca in 1247. It may have been completed by his successor, Pedro III (c.1239-1285) who came to the throne of Aragon in 1276.

Exhibitions
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
Illuminated Gothic Manuscripts (January 20 to April 5, 1987) (fols. 96v-97)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 20 to April 5, 1987
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; fols. 175v-176; fols. 179v-180; fols. 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 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. 72v-73; fols. 169v-170)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 11 to June 1, 2003
The Glory of the Gothic Page (December 16, 2003 to March 7, 2004) (fols. 96v-97)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 16, 2003 to March 7, 2004
Images of Violence in the Medieval World (December 21 2004 to March 13, 2005) (fols. 169v-170)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 21, 2004 to March 13, 2005
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 (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
Out of Bounds: Images in the Margins of Illuminated Manuscripts (September 1 to November 8, 2009) (fols. 8v-9)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 1 to November 8, 2009
Jews and Christians in the Altarpieces of the Kingdom of Aragon (February 18 to May 30, 2010) (fols. 243v-244)
  • Museum of Biblical Art (New York), February 18 to May 30, 2010
Gothic Grandeur: Manuscript Illumination 1200-1350 (December 13, 2011 to May 13, 2012) (fols. 195v-196)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 13, 2011 to May 13, 2012
Chivalry in the Middle Ages (July 8 to November 30, 2014) (fols. 169v-170)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 8 to November 30, 2014
Touching the Past: The Hand in the Medieval Book (July 7 to September 27, 2015) (fols. 229v-230)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 7 to September 27, 2015
Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts (January 22 to June 26, 2016) (fols. 243v-244; fols. 254v-255)
  • 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. 243v-244)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 30 to April 8, 2018
Artful Words: Calligraphy in Illuminated Manuscripts (December 18, 2018 to April 7, 2019) (fols. 96v-97; fols. 223v-224)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 18, 2018 to April 7, 2019
Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance Art (November 19, 2019 to February 16, 2020) (fols. 242v-243)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 19, 2019 to February 16, 2020
Painted Prophecy: The Hebrew Bible through Christian Eyes (March 10 to June 22, 2020) (fols. 179v-180)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 10 to June 22, 2020
Bibliography
Bibliography

Mourin, Louis. "L'édition critique du Vidal Mayor." Scriptorium 12 (1958), pp. 110-113.

Kraus, Hans P. A Rare Book Saga: The Autobiography of H.P. Kraus (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1978), p. 268.

"Manuscript Acquisitions: The Ludwig Collection." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 12, 1984, p. 304.

von Euw, Anton, and Joachim M. Plotzek. Die Handschriften der Sammlung Ludwig. 4 vols. (Cologne: Schnütgen-Museum, 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.

de Canellas, Vidal, A. Ubieto Arteta, J. Delgado Echeverra, J. A. Frago Garcia and M. del C. Lacarra Ducay. Vidal Mayor (Huesca: Excma. Diputación Provincial, Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses, 1989).

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.

Cabanes Pecourt, Maria de los Desamparados, Asunción Blasco Martínez, and Pilar Pueyo Colomino. Vidal Mayor: Edición, introducción, y notas al manuscrito (Zaragoza: Libros Certeza, 1996).

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.

Harris, Julie A. "Polemical Images in the Golden Haggadah (British Library, Add. Ms. 27210)." Medieval Encounters 8, nos. 2-3 (2002), p. 120, fig. 4.

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

Quintanar, Abraham. Text and Concordances of the Vidal Mayor (Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, 2005), CD-ROM e-book.

La Corona de Aragón: el poder y la imagen de la edad media a la edad moderna (siglos XII-XVIII), exh. cat. (Museu de Belles Arts de Valencia, January-April 2006), pp. 66, 54, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 67, 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.

Inglis, Erik. Faces of Power & Piety (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum; London: The British Library, 2008), pp. 42-43, 50, fig. 39.

Vinas, Agnès and Robert Vinas. El Llibre dels fets de Jaume el Conqueridor: versió en catalá modern de Josep Maria Pujol (Mallorca, 2008), pp. 29, 33, 104, 113, 133, 187, 254, 288, 292, 323, 328, 329, 344, 377, figs. 2.6, 3.1, 6.2, 6.6, 7.4, 11.6, 16.11, 18.5, 18.7, 21.1, 21.4, 21.5, 23.1, 25.6.

Sloan, Dolores. The Sephardic Jews of Spain and Portugal. Survival of an Imperiled Culture in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (Jefferson, NC, and London, 2009), p. 150 (fol. 180).

Nishimura, Margot McIlwain. Images in the Margins (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum; London: The British Library, 2009), pp. iv, 1, 2, 3, 21, 46, 49, 58, 62, figs. 2, 50, 63, frontispiece ill, ill.

Sciacca, Christine. Building the Medieval World (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum; London: The British Library, 2010), pp. 6-7, fig. 5.

Mann, Vivian B., ed. Uneasy Communion: Jews, Christians, and the Altarpieces of Medieval Spain, exh. cat. (Hong Kong, 2010), figs. 7, 8.

Scott, Margaret. Fashion in the Middle Ages (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011), pp. 23, 28-29, 30-31, fig. 13, 16, ill.

Lacarra Ducay, M. del Carmen. "El manuscrito del Vidal Mayor. Estudio histórico-artístico de sus miniaturas," In La miniatura y el grabado de la Baja Edad Media en los archivos españoles, ed. M. C. Lacarra (Zaragoza: Institucion Fernando El Catolico, 2012), pp. 7 – 44.

Patton, Pamela A. Art of Estrangement: Redefining Jews in Reconquest Spain (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012), pp. 57-59, 61-62, 115-117, fig. 32, 34, 60.

Fatás Cabeza, Guillermo. Fueros de Aragón miniados: las imágenes del Vidal Mayor (Zaragoza: Fundación Caja Inmaculada, 2014).

Keene, Bryan C. Toward a Global Middle Ages: Encountering the World through Illuminated Manuscripts. Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2019, pp. 177, 178, 182–89, 184, 186.

VDR Beiträge Zur Erhaltung Von Kunst- Und Kulturgut Heft 2/2019. Vol. 2. Petersberg, Kr Fulda: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2019.

Education Resources
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