Breviary of Emperor Frederick III


Bavarian State Library

Bavarian State Library
Munich, Germany

Vienna, around 1475/80
Parchment, illuminated by the Master of the Breviary of Frederick and his aides.
The name of the otherwise anonymous artist derives from the illuminations of this German language breviary of Emperor Frederick III, in which he was heavily involved. He is considered as one of the most important Viennese illuminators of the second half of the 15th century. In his oeuvre he melts more traditional Bohemian models of style with most uptodate engravings and woodcuts.
Fol. 1v – 2r: The breviary opens with a double page representing Emperor Frederick III with his three sons, Christoph, Maximilian and Johann, in front of Saint Christopher and Christ on one side and Empress Eleanor, the Portuguese wife of the Habsburg emperor, with her two daughters, Helena and Kunigunde, in front of Mary and Saint Augustine on the next page. Although the breviary was illuminated only around 1475/80, both Eleanor († 1467) and all children of this couple, also those who died young, are depicted. Only two of them were still alive at the time of production of the manuscript: Kunigunde, who married Duke Albrecht IV of Bavaria in 1487, and Maximilian who later became Emperor Maximilian I.


  • Title: Breviary of Emperor Frederick III
  • Date Created: 1475/1480
  • Location: Vienna
  • Publisher: Bavarian State Library
  • External Link: Browse completely
  • Medium: Parchment
  • Weitere Angaben: illuminiert vom Meister des Friedrichsbreviers und Gehilfen
  • Signatur: Cgm 68

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