- Chronicon Pictum
The Chronicon Pictum (English: Illuminated Chronicle or Vienna Illuminated Chronicle, Hungarian: Képes Krónika 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 fourteenth century. It represents the international artistic style of the royal courts in the court of Louis I of Hungary.
The illuminated decoration of the manuscript was performed in the Kingdom of Hungary before 1360 and it provides knowledge of Hungarian life, historical traditions, and legends.
Its full name is: Chronicon pictum, Marci de Kalt, Chronica de gestis Hungarorum, that is Illustrated Chronicle, Mark of Kalt's Chronicle About the Deeds of the Hungarians.
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 Western Europe from the same time. The characters are drawn with detail and with knowledge of anatomy. Even the eyeballs are painted, which can only be checked through microscope. It is a fact that 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 are using a lot 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.
For unknown reasons, the chronicle was stored in Vienna, Austria, where it was found in the 19th century; this is why it is also referred as "Vienna Illuminated Chronicle". The manuscript is presently kept in the National Széchényi Library in Budapest (Országos Széchényi Könyvtár, Budapest).
- A digitized version of the Chronicon itself
- A list of illustrations from the Chronicon on Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.