Illuminated manuscript
on parchment
17x26 cm, 199 folios

ISBN 88-86251-50-5

Price: 3.900,00

Book of hours of Alfonso d'Este

Illuminated manuscript on parchment, dated between 1505 and 1510, 17 × 26 cm, made up of 199 folios. The first 12 are dedicated to the calendar, 29 completely illuminated, with border, coat-of-arms, text and initials, 10 show small illuminations, while all the text, in lower-case Gothic script with regular characters, is decorated with gold initials. The 14 folios detached from the original codex and now kept in Zagreb are without the external border but have illuminated framed boxes in the centre. The binding is based on that of the Lisbon fragment, in Russian calfskin with gold frames on the sides and spine, dating back to the 18th century.

Alfonso i d’Este’s Book of Hours
This codex, known as ‘the last really extraordinary creation of the Ferrarese illuminators’, was commissioned by Duke Alfonso i to Matteo da Milano. It belonged to the Modena Library until 1859, when it was taken away by the Estense – along with the Bible of Borso and the Breviary of Ercole d’Este, which together made up a trilogy of illuminated masterpieces of the highest excellence – and conserved as patrimony of the House of Austria-Este in exile in Vienna. The body of the manuscript, without the 14 detached illuminations of Zagreb, was bought by the Armenian collector Gulbenkian for his Foundation, now in Lisbon.


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