Breviculum Seu Electorium Parvum

Ramon Llull
Despite being acknowledged as the first great Catalan language writer, Ramon Llull (1232-1316) continues to be associated, even today, in the history of science with the image of an esoteric and enigmatic “bearded philosopher” and “illuminated doctor” who dedicated his life to trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. His influence on subsequent scientific thought was much more important than it may seem at first glance. One early event proved very significant in this regard: the acceptance of his teacher application by the University of Paris, an institution that in 1310-1311 allowed Ramon Llull to publicly teach at the College of Arts — something astounding for a lay person without a teaching degree. Among his first disciples, an interesting figure stands out: Thomas Le Myésier, who was a canon in Arras and served as a physician at the court of Mahaut, Countess of Artois, mother of Queen Consort. To him we owe, among other things, the creation of a magnificent and much admired codex — a manuscript kept since 1807 at the Baden State Library in Karlsruhe.

Magnífico códice admirado por su factura pero, sobre todo, porque quería ser y puede ser, aún hoy, un compendio y resumen del pensamiento luliano. Efectivamente, el Breviculum es una compilación esquemática de escritos lulianos con doce antepuestas espaciosas miniaturas, que ocupan cada una de ellas la entera página del códice y en las que de una manera concisa y clara se dibuja la vida y se plasma en figuras y esquemas la doctrina del pensador mallorquín. Se trata de un singular documento del primer lulismo creado y establecido por Le Myésier en Francia. El aplicado discípulo quería comunicar así la verdadera dimensión y valor intelectual del magisterio de Ramon Llull. Por su origen y calidad artística este lujoso manuscrito, en fino y costoso pergamino, es además, uno de los más valiosos testimonios de la pintura francesa en el primer cuarto del siglo XIV.

The author and his work
Thomas Le Myésier had the codex compiled with the intention of promulgating Llull’s thought at the French royal court.

A long life in a short series of vignettes
It is worth noting that what is represented here are not some legendary hagiographical scenes but rather life events of a contemporary man, leading us to believe that the work created by him surpasses, in form and content, the time in which it was conceived and accomplished.

Llull as a “liberator of the truth”
The core of this pictorial does not consist of the illustrations but rather of the allegorical miniatures, which present Llull’s philosophical system in a very peculiar way.

The illuminator: A Mahaut court painter?
It would be daring and completely inappropriate to try to determine the specific authorship of this iconographic series, but we can point out that illumination of manuscripts was not necessarily a specialization that ruled out any other artistic occupation.

The 14th century original conserved at the Baden State Library in Karlsruhe.

Codex St. Peter perg. 92.

Format: 345 x 280 mm.

90 pages with 12 full-page miniatures.

On special aged parchment paper.

Collected, folded and hand-sewn.

Leather binding on board.

Historical, artistic and paleographic study volume.

Presented in an elegant case.

Print run of 995 copies, numbered and authenticated by notarial act.