Book of Treasures

National Library of Russia, St Petersburg




Shelf mark: Fr. F. v. III, 4.
Date: ca. 1230-1294.
Size: ± 310 x 220 mm.
298 pages and 115 miniatures.
Bound in brown leather with mosaic motifs.
Leather case.
Full-colour commentary volume (500p.), by V.N. Zaitsev (Director of the National Library of Russia, St Petersburg), L.I. Kisseleva (National Library of Russia, St Petersburg), I.P. Mokretsova (State Research Institute for Restoration (GosNIIR)), W.B. Clark (Marlboro College) and G.Z. Bykova, V.N. Kiréyeva (State Research Institute for Restoration (GosNIIR)).
Unique and unrepeatable first edition, strictly limited to 987 numbered and authenticated copies.
ISBN: 978-84-88526-52-6


Shelf mark: Fr. F. v. III, 4.
Date: ca. 1230-1294.
Size: ± 310 x 220 mm.
298 pages and 115 miniatures.
Bound in brown leather with mosaic motifs.
Leather case.
Full-colour commentary volume (500p.), by V.N. Zaitsev (Director of the National Library of Russia, St Petersburg), L.I. Kisseleva (National Library of Russia, St Petersburg), I.P. Mokretsova (State Research Institute for Restoration (GosNIIR)), W.B. Clark (Marlboro College) and G.Z. Bykova, V.N. Kiréyeva (State Research Institute for Restoration (GosNIIR)).
Unique and unrepeatable first edition, strictly limited to 987 numbered and authenticated copies.
ISBN: 978-84-88526-52-6





Commentary volume

Book of Treasures National Library of Russia, St Petersburg


Contents:

The editor to the reader

Foreword
V.N. Zaitsev (Director of the National Library of Russia, St Petersburg)

Codicological and palaeographic study of Li Livres dou Tresor by Brunetto Latini
L.I. Kisseleva (National Library of Russia, St Petersburg)

Artistic and iconographical traits of the St Petersburg manuscript
I.P. Mokretsova (State Research Institute for Restoration (GosNIIR))

The animal chapters in the Saint Petersburg Li Livres dou Tresor
W.B. Clark (Marlboro College)

Technical research and manuscript restoration
I.P. Mokretsova, G.Z. Bykova, V.N. Kiréyeva (State Research Institute for Restoration (GosNIIR))

ISBN: 978-84-88526-53-3






Description

Book of Treasures National Library of Russia, St Petersburg


Encyclopaedia by Brunetto Latini (circa 1230-1294), a Florentine politician, poet, historian and philosopher, teacher and friend of Dante's. Written in French during the author's exile in France (1260-1267). It consists of three books: the first begins with the biblical history, the history of Troy, Rome and the Middle Ages, followed by a natural history: a comprehensive compilation of information about astronomy and geography. It also addresses certain animal and bird species in depth. The second book concerns ethics: it features the thinking of modern and classical moralists, and studies the vices and virtues that characterise humanity. The third book, the most original part of this work, deals with matters related to politics and the art of government which is, according to the author, the most important and noblest of all sciences.

The miniatures in this codex are extremely rich and varied. The artist's boundless imagination fills the margins of the 18 folios with countless arabesques and drolleries which constitute one of the most highly developed, most interesting and earliest series of this genre in the history of the European miniature. There are also countless beasts, grotesque and peculiar figures, dwarves up to all sorts of tricks, acrobats doing balancing acts and juggling, musicians playing trumpets, flutes, violas, tambourines, organs and bagpipes. Birds, hares, fawns, lions and hounds hunting boars, and even the creation of Eve are depicted too.

The penstrokes are truly masterful. The postures and movements are often attractive and noble. The illustrations of natural history employ traditional layouts dating back to Romanesque bestiaries.



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