Corpus Christi College Oxford

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A very British Renaissance

A new television series, A very British Renaissance starting on BBC2 on Friday 21 March, features items from the College library which were filmed on site in September 2013.

This three-part series, presented by art historian Dr James Fox (A History Of Art In Three Colours, British Masters), explores the British Renaissance.  It promises to go beyond the familiar names to explore the work of painters Nicholas Hilliard and John Bettes, architects such as Robert Smythson, the poet and intriguer Sir Thomas Wyatt, code maker Sir Thomas Tresham, and John Thynne, the builder of Longleat.

Corpus will feature in Episode 1 through our portrait of Nicolaus Kratzer, and CCC MS 152, commonly known as Kratzer’s notebook.  Kratzer was astronomer to Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey, and was probably resident at Corpus whilst engaged in lecturing for Wolsey. The portrait, a copy of the Hans Holbein original which hangs in the Louvre, looks down from the library stairs.  MS 152, which dates from the 1520s, is a compendium of writings on sundials and other scientific instruments, collated by Kratzer during his time in Bavaria.  It passed to the mathematician and astrologer John Dee, and was bequeathed to the College by Brian Twyne (CCC 1594).


CCC MS 152 f. 11v one of Nicholas Kratzer's drawings

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