The work of art of the Michelangelo of illuminated manuscripts
Commissioned by Philip II of Spain to Giulio Clovio, known to his contemporaries as the Michelangelo of illuminated manuscripts. Among his best known works are the Atlas of Charles V and the Farnese Book of Hours.
Charles V is commonly considered a great ruler, if for no other reason than that he could state that in his realm the sun never set. Twelve of his victories are the subject of a series of luxurious miniatures. The mighty deeds of Charles V exalted as political and military triumphs in the miniatures include events casting dark shadows on the emperor’s fame.
In December 1815 it was purchased from a Monsieur Trochon of the rue Caumartin in Paris by Samuel Woodburn, London; before 1817 it was sold to Thomas Grenville; after his death in 1846 it was received by the British Museum as part of the Grenville Library, 1847; transferred to the Department of Manuscripts of the British Library in 1890
- Images courtesy of the British Library