History Archive > Chronicon Pictum (1300)

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Chronicon pictum, Marci de Kalt, Chronica de gestis Hungarorum [Illustrated Chronicle, Mark of Kalt's Chronicle About the Deeds of the Hungarians]

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Date: 1300

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Description

The Chronicon Pictum (Latin for illustrated chronicle, English: Illuminated Chronicle or Vienna Illuminated Chronicle, Hungarian: Kepes Kronika also referred to as Chronica Hungarorum, Chronicon (Hungariae) Pictum, Chronica Picta or Chronica de Gestis Hungarorum) is a medieval illustrated chronicle from the Kingdom of Hungary from the second half of fourteenth century. It represents the international artistic style of the royal courts in the court of Louis I of Hungary. The chronicle was written by Mark Kalti (lat. Marci de Kalt) shortly after the year 1358, with the last of the illuminations being finished between 1370 and 1373.

The chronicle was given by the Hungarian king Louis I to the French king Charles V, when the daughter of Louis, Catherine, was engaged to Charles's son Louis I, Duke of Orleans. The chronicle was then given to Dorde Brankovic in 1456, where it was copied, and later lost, possibly spending some time in Turkish possession. The chronicle reappears in the first half of the 17th century in royal archives of Vienna by unknown means, which is why it is also referred as the Vienna Illuminated Chronicle. The manuscript is now kept in the National Szechenyi Library in Budapest (Orszagos Szechnyi Konyvtar, Budapest).

The 147 pictures of the chronicle are great source of information on medieval Hungarian cultural history, costume, and court life in the 14th century. Many miniatures seen inside this chronicle are painted with gold. The artistic value of the miniatures are quite high, if we compare similar miniatures from other parts of Western Europe from the same time.

All miniatures showing Attila the Hun are disrupted or even rubbed out (especially the last, showing Attila's death); this cannot be due to the time as all other miniatures and text are preserved well. The miniatures make use of symbolism, i.e. "primus ingressus" ('first incoming') is with a camel, while the "secundus ingressus" ('second incoming') is with a white horse, probably meaning that entering the Carpathian Basin the first time was not a successful or was a culturally diverted act (as the camel is a "diverted" horse and white horse is the "pure quality"). The text of Latin is without error and is representing a high quality.

References:

Prazak, Nechutova, Bartonkova (1988). Legendy a kroniky koruny Uherske (Legends and chronicles of Hungarian crown). Prague: Nakladatelstvi Vysehrad. pp. 340346.

Podhradczky Jzsef (1838) [1365]. Chronicon Budense (in Latin). Buda. A more readable Latin text, with notes in Latin

Gereb Laszlo (1993). Kepes Kronika (in Hungarian). Magyar Hirlap and Maecenas. ISBN 963 8164 07 7. Hungarian translation at the Hungarian Electronic Library.

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Publication Information

Publisher: [Manuscript]

Language(s):

Latin

Pages: 147

Contributor(s):

Source(s):

ISBN-10: N/A

Date Added: 2019-04-09

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