Eberhard König, born in Grebenstein, Germany, in 1947. Ph.D. from University of Bonn. Professor of Art History at the Freie Universität Berlin.
KB Fellow (1 September 2011 – 31 January 2012)
Three Countries, Three Cultures of Praying, viewed from the Books of Hours in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague
Some words of explanation: in general, the collections of the great world libraries – with the exception of the Vatican Library and the very few in the United States – concentrate on collections from their own countries and cultures. This is one of the reasons that the very special Dutch Getijdenboek is largely excluded from discussions about Books of Hours.
Contrary to other great world libraries, the impressive collection in The Hague brings together splendid examples of manuscripts from the most diverse regions. This should be the point of departure of a study that examines these riches, while trying to connect them to the knowledge of what is kept elsewhere.
The scope of the project is two-fold: to increase the knowledge of what is kept in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, and to use it as a window to the production and use of books in the 15th century. The main focus will be on the differences between French manuscripts (from Paris, Tours and elsewhere), those produced in the Burgundian lands, mostly from the Southern Netherlands, and books from the Northern Netherlands, a few of which were in Latin, and most of which were in Dutch.
The research therefore will be orientated to a more thorough study of the important factors of the collection in The Hague, and what the manuscripts kept there can say about the character and differences of the books, of the art they stand for, and finally the mentality and spirituality they served and expressed.
E. König, Französische Buchmalerei um 1450. Der Jouvenel-Maler, der Maler des Genfer Boccaccio und die Anfänge Jean Fouquets, Berlin 1982.
E. König, Das liebentbrannte Herz. Der Wiener Codex und der Maler Berthélemy d’Eyck, Graz 1996.
E. König and H. Tenschert, Biblia Pulcra. Die 48zeilige Bibel von 1462. Zwei Pergamentexemplare in der Bibermühle. Mit einem Census der erhaltenen Exemplare, Bibermühle 2005.