(active in 1410s)

Konrad Kyeser: Bellifortis

Manuscript (K 415)
Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest

Bellifortis ("Strong in War") is the first fully illustrated manual of military technology, dating from the start of the 15th century. It summarises material from classical writers on military technology. Konrad Kyeser (1366–after 1405), a German military engineer, wrote his treatise between 1402 and 1405 when he was exiled from Prague to his hometown of Eichstatt. The work survived in a single original presentation manuscript on parchment at University of Göttingen, bearing the date 1405, and in numerous copies, excerpts and amplifications, both of the text and of the illustrations, made in German lands.

The picture, shown here, is from the introduction (folio 5v) of the Bellifortis. The rider on the picture is Sigismund, King of Hungary (1387-1437). All pages of the introduction represent a rider symbolizing one of the planets.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.