Saturday, September 18, 2010

Corvinian manuscripts at the Laurenziana

Couple of weeks ago I wrote about new research on the Bibliotheca Corviniana, and mentioned a few digitized manuscripts not listed on the Bibliotheca Corviniana Digitalis website.

Now I would like to call attention to another wonderful resource, the digitized manuscripts at the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence. You can read an overall description of the manuscript collection of the library here, while the following description of the digitization comes from the website of the project:

"The project foresees the complete digitization of 3,900 manuscripts belonging to the Plutei collection and of the 18th century catalogues which describe them. On conservation grounds it will be possible that a limited number of manuscripts will not not be digitized. The project is scheduled to finish by December 2010."

The library holds over 30 codices which were originally ordered by King Matthias. Many of these manuscripts were still unfinished at the time when news of the king's death reached Florence (1490). The volumes have been incorporated into the Medici collections. It seems that most of them were only fully decorated and finished for Pope Leo X, at around 1513. Most of these volumes were illustrated by Attavante degli Attavanti. These manuscripts thus never made it to the library at Buda - but colophons, dedicatory inscriptions and other data indicate that they were originally copied for Matthias. There are also a few other Corvinian manuscripts in the library, which got there at various points. Unfortunately the most important Corvinian manuscript in Florence, the three-volume Bible of King Matthias (Plut.15. 15-17), has not been digitized. Illuminated by the brothers Gherardo and Monte di Giovanni and by Attavante, the unfinished volumes entered the collection of Lorenzo de' Medici around 1490, just like the Marsilio Ficino volume illustrated below.

Plut.73.39, M. Ficino: De triplici vita, fol. 80r.
Dedicated to Matthias, with his emblems in the margins
The coat of arms of Matthias painted over with the Medici coat of arms.
Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana

You can browse these beautiful manuscripts from the Corvinian library in the website of the Laurenziana library (the database requires Java to run). I am listing the digitized manuscripts which have been identified as intended for the Bibliotheca Corviniana (the list is based on the one compiled by the Bibliotheca Corviniana Digitalis project):

Plut.12.09; Plut.12.10; Plut.13.06; Plut.14.05; Plut.14.06; Plut.14.22; Plut.16.04; Plut.16.18; Plut.16.32; Plut.17.30; Plut.18.03-05; Plut.19.01; Plut.19.06; Plut.20.15; Plut.21.14; Plut.21.18; Plut.23.04; Plut.24.04; Plut.26.08; Plut 35.37; Plut.51.13; Plut.65.36; Plut.67.22; Plut.68.19; Plut.73.04; Plut.73.39

(Enter the call numbers in the search form as given in this list, otherwise your search might not work.)

You can read about Corvinian manuscripts in Florence in the following two publications:

Angela Dillon Bussi, "Ancora sulla Biblioteca Corviniana e Firenze," in: Uralkodók és Corvinák - Potentates and Corvinas, Anniversary exhibition of the National Széchényi Library,  2002, Budapest, 2002;  published first in: Primo incontro italo-ungherese di bibliotecari (Budapest, 9-10 novembre 2000), Budapest, Istituto italiano di cultura, 2001. The Hungarian version of the study is available online.

Ernesto Milano, "I codici corviniani conservati nelle Biblioteche italiane," in: Nel segno del corvo: libri e miniature della biblioteca di Mattia Corvino re d'Ungheria (1443-1490). Modena : Il Bulino, 2002, 65-93.

(the link points to PDF version of whole book)
Happy browsing!

1 comment:

  1. I am now providing links to over 100 fully digitized Corvinian manuscripts
    on my website