His masterpieces are kept in Florence, Naples, Venice, Torino, Paris, London, Vienna, New York
El Greco, portrait of don Giulio Clovio Croata, 1570-1571, kept in Naples, Italy, in Museo di Capodimonte. Dimensions: 84x62 cm In his hands is his most favorite book, "Officium Virginis", decorated by himself, now kept in the Pierpon Morgan Library in New York.
Julije Klović - Giulio Clovio, selfportrait, arround 1573, Florence, Uffizi Gallery Diameter of the selfportrait: 11.5 cm!
Julije Klović, or Don Giulio Clovio de Croatia (1498-1578), is regarded as the last great representative of the classical European miniature. His works decorate many famous galleries: Uffizi in Florence, Museo di Capodimonte in Naples, Biblioteca Marciana in Venice, Galleria Sabanda in Torino, Bibliothek der Albertina in Vienna, Louvre in Paris, Towneley Public Library and Pierpont Morgan Library in New York (which is in possession of "Officium Virginis", 228 pages, his most famous and the best masterpiece, containing 30 valuable miniatures by his hand), the British Museum and Soane's Museum in London, Windsor Castle (Royal Library). His pupil was El Greco, who portrayed him in his work "Expelling merchants from the temple" (together with figures of Rafael, Michelangelo and Tizian, appearing on the bottom left of that work), now kept in The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (The Willam Hood Dunwoody Fund).
Among his friends let us mention Michelangelo. Klovic used to sign himself as
GEORGIVS JVLIVS CLOVIVS CROATA
His grave is situated near Michelangelo's Moses in the the church of S. Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, and bears an inscription "Pictor de Croatia".
Fantastic exhibition in Klovićevi Dvori, Zagreb, Croatia of works of art of
Julije Klović - Giulio Clovio Croata November 8, 2012 - January 20, 2013
Guilio Clovio: The Rape of Ganymede (drawn after Michelangelo) Black chalk, 192 x 260 mm Royal Collection, Windsor
Inscription above the grave of don Julije Klović: DOMNO IVLIO CLOVIO DE CROATIA
Julije Klović - Giulio Clovio Croata
Najveći minijaturist renesansnoga razdoblja Juraj Julije Klović (1498.–1578.) u svoje je doba stekao glas i poštovanje najvrsnijeg umjetnika. Ta slava, s kojom je neraskidivo povezano i ime njegove domovine, traje stoljećima. Što više, često se spominje kao jedan od najvećih sitnoslikara svih vremena. Prema predaji, toliko je bio vrstan minijaturist da je na noktu palca mogao naslikati cijelu Posljednju večeru. Taj najpoznatiji svjetski umjetnik iz Hrvatske, koji se na nekoliko svojih minijatura potpisao Julio Clovio de Croazia, u Hrvatskoj je prisutan s tek tri djela iako su njegovom rukom iluminirani brojni molitvenici, lekcionari i časoslovi koje su naručivali najugledniji ljudi njegova doba. Tada, a i danas oni se čuvaju kao najveće dragocjenosti. Nekoć su nad njima bdjeli naručitelji, a danas se ljubomorno čuvaju u trezorima najpoznatijih svjetskih knjižnica i muzeja. Javnosti, zapravo, nisu dostupni danas kao ni onda kad su nastali. Njihovo posuđivanje izvan mjesta na kojima se čuvaju nije uobičajeno.
Stoga je izložba Jurja Julija Klovića, koju uz tridesetu obljetnicu svog uspješnoga djelovanja priređuje Galerija Klovićevi dvori, pravi pothvat. Za posudbu Klovićevih djela iz europskih i svjetskih riznica, Klovićevi dvori su morali osigurati specijalne i vrlo rigorozne uvjete izlaganja i čuvanja. Jer je riječ o dragocjenostima koje se čuvaju u trezorima. Udovoljivši tim najstrožim kriterijima Galerija Klovićevi dvori, koja u svom nazivu nosi ime tog proslavljenog minijaturista, prvi put će hrvatskoj, ali i svjetskoj javnosti, podastrti sitnoslikarski opus Jurja Julija Klovića. Naime, upravo je Zagrebu i Hrvatskoj pripala čast da po prvi puta na jednom mjestu objedini veliki dio opusa ovog slavnog slikara manirizna.
Rođen u Grižanama u Hrvatskom primorju, Juraj Julije Klović još je kao osamnaestogodišnji mladić otišao u Italiju gdje stupa u službu kardinala Domenica, a potom kardinala Grimanija. No, život će ga za kratko odvesti u Mađarsku gdje radi za kralja Ljudevita II. Slijedit će zatim njegova kraća svećenička životna epizoda tijekom koje ime Juraj mijenja u Julije. Naposljetku će se vratiti u okrilje novoga mecene i stupiti u službu kardinala Alessandra Farnesea u Rimu. Kod njega dolazi u dodir s vodećim umjetnicima toga doba – Michelangelom, Vasarijem i Brueghelom koji su također uživali u kardinalovoj mecenatskoj naklonosti. Sâm Klović Farneseu je preporučio mladoga El Greca koji mu se istinski divio te izradio dva Klovićeva portreta.
Na žalost mnoga su Klovićeva djela izgubljena. Rani mu radovi nisu poznati, a na prva zabilježena djela nailazi se poslije 1526. godine. Jedno od najvažnijih iz toga razdoblja je kodeks „Evangeliarium Grimani“ čije iluminacije s likovima evanđelista i prizorima iz Kristova života te nizom inicijala i raskošno ukrašenih frizova ukazuju na mletačke i rimske utjecaje, ali u nekim detaljima i na Dürerove. Danas se čuva u glasovitoj biblioteci Marciani u Veneciji, a biti će prezentiran na izložbi u Klovićevim dvorima isto kao i kodeks „Libro d'Ore“ koji se danas čuva u British Library u Londonu. Ovaj je kodeks Klović iluminirao za Stuarta de Rothesayja i s njim započinje briljantni niz iluminacija koji će svoj vrhunac doživjeti u remek-djelu „Officium Virginis“ rađenom za kardinala Farnesea (danas u Pierpont Morgan Library u New Yorku). Taj kodeks kod nas je poznat kao Časoslov Farnese i u obliku faksimila pohranjen je u HAZU, a prigodom ove izložbe ugledati će svjetlo galerije. U njemu se nalazi 28 većih minijatura s prizorima iz Staroga i Novoga zavjeta, dvije minijature liturgijske tematike te bogata dekoracija margina i okvira. Riječ je o kodeksu, iluminacije kojeg su ogledalo slikarstva Klovićeva vremena. Treći kodeks, “Rylands Latin“, na izložbu stiže iz The John Rylands Library of Manchester, a Klovićeva djela na papiru, originalni crteži, posuđeni su iz čuvenih europskih institucija: Musée du Louvre, The British Museum, Royal Collection Windsor Castel te Galleria degli Uffizi.
Juraj Julije Klović – Michelangelo minijature, hrvatski sin i svjetski umjetnik, dolazi svojim djelima u Galeriju Klovićevi dvori koja će prigodom izložbe ponuditi i neka otkrića, Klovićeve sitnoslike koje se još uvijek ponekad pojavljuju na svjetskom tržištu umjetnina. Klovićeva izložba bit će jedinstven, neponovljivi umjetnički doživljaj i kulturni događaj, kojim će Galerija Klovićevi dvori slavljenički obilježiti tridesetu obljetnicu svoga djelovanja.
The greatest miniaturist and illuminator of the Renaissance period, Juraj Julije Klović (1498-1578), won in his time the reputation of and the respect due to a consummate artist. This fame, with which the name of the country of his birth is inseparably connected, has lasted for centuries. Indeed, he is often mentioned as one of the greatest painters of miniatures of all times. According to tradition, his dexterity in the miniature was so great that he was able to paint the whole of the Last Supper on a fingernail. The Croatian artist who is best known in the world, who signed some of his miniatures Julio Clovio de Croazia, is physically present in Croatia with only three works, although many prayer books, lectionaries and breviaries commissioned by the greatest dignitaries of his age were illuminated by his hand. As they were then, so they are today cherished as some of the greatest of treasures. Once they were watched over by those who had commissioned them, and today are jealously guarded in the vaults of the best known museums and libraries of the world. In fact, the public has just as little access to them today as it did when the works were created. It is most unusual for them to be sent out on loan from the places in which they are kept.
Accordingly the exhibition of Juraj Julije Klović, which is being prepared by the Klovićevi dvori Gallery to mark the thirtieth anniversary of its successful activity, is a remarkable enterprise indeed. For the loan of Klović’s works from the treasuries of Europe, Klovićevi dvori had to provide special and very rigorous conditions of exhibition and safekeeping. These are in fact precious items that are kept in safes and vaults. Having met these extremely stringent criteria, Klovićevi dvori Gallery, which bears the name of the famed miniaturist in its title, is able to put before the Croatian – and indeed world – public the miniature painting oeuvre of Juraj Julije Klović for the first time. For it is to Zagreb and Croatia that goes the honour of showing, for the first time, a large part of this famed painter of Mannerism assembled in a single place.
Born in Grižane, in the Hrvatsko primorje region of the northern Adriatic, Juraj Julije Klović went while still only eighteen to Italy, where he entered the service of Cardinal Domenico, and later of Cardinal Grimani. But life took him briefly to Hungary where he worked for King Ludovic II. Then came a short period as a cleric, during which he changed his name from Juraj to Julije. Finally he was to return under the protection of a new patron, and entered the service of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese in Rome. At the cardinal’s court he came into contact with the leading artists of the time – with Michelangelo, Vasari and Brueghel, who also enjoyed the cardinal’s favour. Klović himself recommended to Farnese’s attention the young El Greco, a sincere admirer of his, who did two portraits of the miniaturist.
Unluckily, many of Klović’s works have been lost. His early works are not known, and the first works recorded are met with after 1526. One of the most important of the period is the Evangelarium Grimani, the illuminations of which with the figures of the evangelists and scenes from the life of Christ as well as a series of initials and opulently decorated friezes reveal the influence of Venice and Rome, but in some details of Dürer also. Today it is kept in the famed Marciana Library in Venice, and will be shown at the exhibition in Klovićevi dvori just like the codex Libro d’Ore / Book of Hours, today held in the British Library in London. Klović illuminated this codex for Stuart de Rothesay, starting with it a brilliant series of illuminations that reached their peak in the masterpiece Officium Virginis, created for Cardinal Farnese (today in the Pierpoint Morgan Library in New York. This codex, known in this country as the Farnese Breviary, is kept in the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in facsimile form, and will see gallery light in this exhibition. It contains 28 large miniatures with scenes from the Old and the New Testament, two miniatures of liturgical subjects and opulent decoration of the margins and frames. This is a codex the illuminations of which are an epitome of the painting of Klović’s period. The third codex, the Rylands Latin, comes to the exhibition from the John Rylands Library of Manchester. Klović’s works on paper, original drawings, are borrowed from leading European institutions: the Louvre, the British Museum, the Royal Collection of Windsor Castle and the Galleria degli Uffizi.
Juraj Julije Klović – the Michelangelo of the Miniature, a native son of Croatia yet artist of the world, is coming with his works to Klovićevi dvori Gallery, which, during the exhibition, will offer some discoveries as well, Klović miniatures that are still occasionally to be found on the world art market. The Klović exhibition will be a unique, unrepeatable artistic experience and cultural event, with which Klovićevi dvori Gallery will triumphantly mark the thirtieth anniversary of its work.
Don Guilio Clovio Croata decorated the Farense Hours with his miniatures, painted in the period of 1537-1546:
Clovio, and the Farnese Hours
Although the painter Giorgio Giulio Clovio (1498–1578) spent most of his life in Italy, he was born in Croatia: his given name has not been recorded, but was probably Juraj Julije Klović. Clovio first came to Italy at the age of 18, arriving at Venice, where he spent several years in the service of Cardinal Domenico Grimani and the Cardinal’s nephew Marino Grimani. During this period, he visited Rome for the first time, where he met (and studied with) the renowned GiulioRomano. In 1523, Clovio left Venice for Buda, to work at the court of Louis II, the king of Bohemia and Hungary-Croatia. After Louis’s death at the battle of Mohács in 1526, Clovio returned to Rome, where he entered the service of Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio, and where he resumed contact with Giulio Romano, and studied the work of Michelangelo.
During the 1527 sack of Rome, Clovio had the misfortune to be captured and imprisoned by the ‘the Constable Bourbon’s banditti’ and apparently vowed to devote his life to religion should he be allowed to escape. Later that year he moved to Mantua, where he entered the Benedictine Abbey of St. Ruffino. Not long afterwards, he was released from his vows, owing to the intervention of his former patron Marino Grimani, who had become a Cardinal in 1527: even so, Clovio apparently continued to follow a somewhat monastic lifestyle. He remained in Grimani’s service until about 1538, after which he was lured back once again to Rome, where he is supposed to have spent nine years completing his masterpiece, the paintings that decorate the so-called Farnese Hours.
In this manuscript, commissioned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, and completed in 1546, Clovio painted twenty-six lavishly-detailed full-page miniatures, and illuminated a few dozen more pages with elaborate border-decorations. The present images reproduce sections of the latter type of painting. The two images above, and the four that follow below, are details which juxtapose sections of both the left and right-hand borders from pairs of facing pages: click on these details to see them in the context of the relevant page-spreads as scanned from my copy of the 2001 facsimileedition of the Hours published by the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, in association with Akademische Druck-u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) of Graz, Austria. The manuscripts’s calligraphic text was written by Francesco Monterchi, secretary to Pier Luigi Farnese, Alessandro’s father.
In his will, Alessandro stipulated that the Hours be kept at the Palazzo Farnese in perpetuity, and that the manuscript should never be sold or given away by his heirs or successors. The first of these conditions had been broken by the turn of the eighteenth century, by which time the Hours had descended to Francesco Farnese, the seventh duke of Parma and Piacenza, who kept the manuscript in the cabinet of the ducal gallery at Parma. Francesco’s son Don Antonio died without issue, and the book then passed, by way of his niece, into the possession of the Bourbon kings of the two Sicilies, who kept it at their court in Naples. Alessandro’s second stipulation was only broken at the very end of the nineteenth century, when it was sold in Vienna by the half-brother of the deposed Bourbon king, Francis II. The Frankfurt-based firm of J. & S. Goldschmidt later aquired the volume, and sold it to John Pierpoint Morgan in 1903, for the sum of Ł22,500. Today, it is housed in the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.
Clovio was greatly esteemed by his contemporaries. Vasari devoted a chapter in the second edition of his Vite to Clovio, praising him as a ‘piccolo e nuovo Michelangelo.’ Vasari described the Farnese Hours at length, claiming that it seemed to him a divine rather than a human production (che ella pare cosa divina e non umana). Other painters sought to meet Clovio: in 1553, Pieter Bruegel the Elder collaborated with him during his sojourn in Rome. And in 1570, Clovio petitioned his patron to let ‘a young man from the island of Candia [Crete]’ stay at the Farnese palace: this was Domenikos Theotokopoulos, El Greco. One of the earliest surviving works of El Greco’s is his portrait of Clovio, in which the older artist is portrayed holding the Farnese Hours…
Clovio’s postumous reputation has suffered, in part, owing to the fact that the best of his work has been kept enclosed between the covers of small books, away from public view. Beyond that, his style has been criticised as hyper-elaborate & over-ornamented, and it has even been suggested that his example ‘contributed largely to the decadence of the charming art of miniature-painting,’ I would have to admit that I find some of his miniatures, more especially the full-page scenes, a little too crowded for my taste, but elsewhere, conversely, some of his page-decorations are among the most beautiful I have seen.
Croatian Post and Julije Klović, wishing you a Merry Christmas!
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