Book launch of the facsimile edition of the Kalmáncsehi Breviary

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On October 14, 2021, a press conference was held at the Research Institute for National Strategy to present the facsimile edition of Domonkos Kálmáncsehi’s travel codex, a breviary and missal bound together, which is now treasured in New York (The Morgan Library & Museum, MS G 7), published by the Institute in honour of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in collaboration with Schöck ArtPrint Kft. This magnificently elaborated publication presents the most beautiful, richly gilded and decorated pages of the codex in their original size. The facsimile collection will be accompanied by a volume of studies, two of whose authors, Judit Lauf and Edina Zsupán, are research associates of our library (MTA-OSZK Res libraria Hungariae Research Group, Eötvös Loránd Research Network, Fragmenta Codicum Workshop). Judit Lauf examines the codicological and liturgical-historical characteristics of the codex, Edina Zsupán explores the relationship between the decoration and the royal bookmaking workshop in Buda, while the third author, Árpád Mikó, art historian and director of the Institute of Art History of the Eötvös Loránd Research Network, Research Centre for the Humanities, summarizes the career and constructions of Domonkos Kálmáncsehi in the light of new data, and analyses the decorations from iconographical point of view.

Edina Zsupán gave a highly successful lecture at the celebratory press conference: she summarized the research results to be published in the book of studies, and at the same time she presented the complex process of the creation of the decoration, the many sources – including engravings – from which a book painter from Buda composed the illumination. 


Domonkos Kálmáncsehi (1432–1503) was the Grand Provost of the St. Mary's Companion Chapel of Székesfehérvár for about twenty years, between 1474 and 1495. He was appointed Bishop of Nagyvárad in 1495, Bishop of Transylvania in 1501 and Archbishop of Kalocsa in 1502. In addition to his ecclesiastical dignitaries, he also played an active role in the life of the royal court, being entrusted with financial and diplomatic duties. In his bibliophilia he was a worthy follower of his first ruler, Mátyás Hunyadi. Four codices from his library have survived: the present missal with the breviary, another breviary – now in the OSZK –, a prayer book (Paris, BnF) and another missal (Zagreb, Archdeocese Library). The latter bears the coat of arms of the Bishop of Zagreb, Osvát Laki Thúz. All the codices were made in Hungary and are particularly beautifully decorated manuscripts and outstanding relics of the Hungarian Middle Ages.