The unique Toruń facsimile copy of the manuscript of Heinruch von Vesler's "Apokalypse". The manuscript was ordered by Luder of Braunschweig, the great master of the Teutonic Order during the years 1331 - 1355, and was thus first stored in the Order's library in Malbork.

The manuscript (catalogue number Rps 64/III) stored within the archives the Library of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń contains a rhymed version of the Apocalypse of John, the last book of the New testament. It was written on parchment in German by Heinrich von Hesler (ca. 1270 - 1374) of Thuringia, in the first half of the 14th century. The text is intertwined with comments written by medieval theologians and author's own interjections. The manuscript has 160 pages (30 x 21.5cm each), which are richly illustrated with 35 gilt miniatures. The painter remains unknown, although it Is theorised he was of Czech origin. The pages are binding consists of two desks wrapped in embossed skin, and is held by two brass clasps. The manuscript lacks 12 pages, which were either cut out or tom out (traces are reserved in this copy). There were miniatures present on all of these pages; one of them possibly the most beautiful full-page miniature, taken from the Stuttgart copy is presented individually. Along with a vision of the Kingdom of God and the power of evil, the illustrations portray knights who fight and convert, acting on behalf of the future of the church en Earth. They remain the oldest examples of artists presentation of Order ideology.

The manuscript was ordered by Luder of Braunschweig, the great master of the Teutonic Order during the years 1331 - 1335, and was thus first stored in the Order's library in Malbork. After the Thirteen Years' War (1454 - 1466) it was transported to the Teutonic Order library in Tapiawia. On the 8th of October 1541 it was taken to and stored in the newly created Albrecht Hohenzollern's Castle Library in Krolewiec. There it remained until World War II. Near the end of the war, for safety reasons, the manuscript was brought along with other precious books to the town of Karwina, near Paslek, wchich in 1945 became part of Poland. In 1947, these remains of the Krolewiec collection were taken from Paslek and placed in The University Library in Torun. Apart ftom the aforementioned manuscript, two ither copies of this series survived until today. The older copy is kept in Wurttembergische Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart, while the second, younger one, is also stored in the University Library of Torun.

 

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