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Jewel of Flemish Gothic Miniature: Ilona Andrássy’s Book of Hours

31. May 2019 — 30. September 2019
SNM – Múzeum Betliar, Betliar
Curators: Július Barczi, Dušan Buran

This exhibition features a Late Gothic illuminated manuscript from the end of the 15th century - the most valuable item from the estate of Ilona Andrássy (1917 - 1990). This marvelously decorated miniature book with parchment sheets was accidentally found just a few years ago among personal correspondence, albums and other documents in an ancient chest of drawers. It contains 15 Biblical scenes painted in a special technique of grisaille by an unknown Flemish illustrator.

In addition to objects connected with the life of the last owner, visitors will have a unique opportunity to get to know in greater detail the context of this miniature codex. At the beginning it will be the context of the manuscripts for personal devotion known as the book of hours. Ilona Andrássy's Book of Hours is naturally the center of this exposition. It was completely digitized at the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava. Therefore, along with the original there will be the possibility to virtually go through the most valuable parts of this manuscript and thus to admire its decorations in a way that was not possible for the generations that came before us.

Another context is the abundant tradition of Flemish painting of the 15th and 16th centuries, represented by several paintings from the SNG collections, including the famous triptych from Banská Bystrica, originally from the workshop of Jan Mertens Jr. of Antwerp. Ilona Andrássy's Book of Hours is primarily connected with Betliar Chateau and its art collections. The last section of this exhibition will provide a brief view of the historical library in Betliar and some of its heretofore unknown treasures.

*The exhibition was created by the SNM - Betliar Museum and the SNG Bratislava.


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