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Detailed record for King's 24

Author Virgil ; Pseudo-Ovid
Title Bucolica (ff. 1-16v); Georgica (ff. 17-58), with argumenta; Aeneis (ff. 58v-244v), with argumenta and verse preface, omitting 2:567-588 ('The King's Virgil')
Origin Italy, Central (Rome)
Date Between 1483 and 1485
Language Latin
Script Humanistic cursive
Scribe Square capitals used as display script in a four-colour sequence, attributed to Bartolomeo Sanvito.
Decoration 17 miniatures with large historiated or decorated initials and full borders, with all'antica elements including putti, candelabrae, swags, cornucopiae, dolphins, sphinxes, masks, trophies and heraldic decoration, in colours and gold, at the beginning of texts or books (ff. 1, 17, 26v-27 [miniature f. 26v, accompanying border f. 27], 37, 47v, 59, 73v, 88, 101v, 115, 131v, 148v, 164, 178, 193v, 210v, 227v). Smaller decorated initials with foliate, animal, and/or all'antica decoration, in colours and gold. Square capitals used as display script in a four-colour sequence, attributed to Bartolomeo Sanvito.
Dimensions in mm 285 x 180 (192 x 105)
Official foliation ff. 245 (+ 2 paper flyleaves at the beginning, and 1 at the end)
Collation i-v10 (ff. 1-50), vi8 (ff. 51-58), vii-xxiv10 (ff. 59-238), xxvsix (ff. 239-244).
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Consul' Smith binding of Venetian sprinkled calf; the covers with added gilt-stamped insignia of George III; marbled endpapers; gilt edges.
Provenance Made for Ludovico Agnelli, apostolic protonotary and bishop of Cosenza (reigned 1497-1499): his arms, surmounted by the black hat of an apostolic protonotary, his device of a lamb (ff. 1, 17, 59).
? Probably Zaccaria Sagredo (b. 1653, d. Venice, 1729), Venetian collector of paintings, prints and drawings, purchased for 2,000 Venetian lire, and sold to Smith: 18th-century inscription in Italian (f. 245v).
Joseph Smith (b. 1673/4?, d. 1770), book collector and patron of the arts: inscribed 'Smith' (2nd flyleaf [f. ii]); his binding; listed in his catalogue (see Bibliotheca Smithiana seu catalogus librorum Josephi Smithii Angli per cognomina authorum dispositus (Venice: Pasquali, 1755), p. D); sold to King George III, along with the bulk of Smith's library and art collection, in 1762.
King George III (b. 1738, d. 1820).
Given to the British Museum by King George IV in 1823 as part of the library of King George III.
Select bibliography Alessandro Palma di Cesnola, Catalogo di manoscritti italiani esistenti nel Museo Britannico di Londra (Turin: Roux, 1890), no. 304.

George F. Warner and Julius P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King’s Collections, 4 vols (London: British Museum, 1921), III: Description of the King’s Manuscripts and Indexes to both Collections, p. 9, pl. 123.

Fritz Saxl and Hans Meier, Verzeichnis astrologischer und mythologischer illustrierter Handschriften des lateinischen Mittelalters, ed. by Harry Bober, 4 vols (London: Warburg Institute, 1916-1966), III: Handschriften in englischen Bibliotheken (1953), pp. 142-44.

James Wardrop, The Script of Humanism: Some Aspects of Humanistic Script 1460-1560 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963), pp. 32, 51, pl. 34.

José Ruysschaert, ‘Miniaturistes «romaines» sous Pie II’, in Enea Silvio Piccolomini Papa Pio II: Atti del convegno per il quinto centenario della morte e altri scritti raccolti da Domenico Maffei (Siena: Accademia senese degli intronati, 1968), pp. 245-82 (p. 279-80 n. 219).

Jonathan J. G. Alexander and Albinia C. de la Mare, The Italian Manuscripts in the Library of Major J. R. Abbey (London: Faber and Faber, 1969), pp. 106 n. 2, 107, 109.

Frances Vivian, Il Console Smith: mercante e collezionista, Saggi e studi di storia dell'arte, 14 (Vicenza: Neri Pozza, 1971), pp. 84 n. 9, 92, pls 94-97.

Jonathan J. G. Alexander, The Decorated Letter (London: Thames and Hudson, 1978), p. 114, pl. 38.

Robert D. Williams and Thomas S. Pattie, Virgil and his Poetry through the Ages (London: British Library, 1982), p. 137, no. 78, first and last colour plates [Exhibition catalogue].

Renaissance Painting in Manuscripts: Treasures from the British Library, ed. by Thomas Kren (New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1983), p. 104, pl. 13e.

Pierre and Jean Courcelle, ‘Le Manuscrit de Londres: B.M., King's 24’, in Lecteurs païens et lecteurs chrétiens de L'Énéide: 2. Les manuscrits illustrés de L'Énéide du Xe au XVe siècle (Paris, 1984), pp. 255-61.

Ulrike Bauer-Eberhardt, ‘Lauro Padovano und Leonardo Bellini als Maler, Miniatoren und Zeichner’, Pantheon: Internationale Jahreszeitschrift für Kunst, 47 (1989), 49-82 (no. 63, pl. 18).

Frances Vivian, The Consul Smith Collection: Masterpieces of Italian Drawing from the Royal Library, Windsor, Raphael to Canaletto (Munich: Hirmer, 1989), pp. 24, 43 n. 96.

Michael Gullick, Calligraphy (London: Studio Editions, 1990), pl. 22.

E. C. Erdreich, ‘Qui hos cultus… pinxerit’: Illumination associated with Bartolomeo Sanvito (c.1435-c.1512)' (unpublished doctoral dissertation, Johns Hopkins University, 1993), p. 390.

Christopher de Hamel, A History of Illuminated Manuscripts, 2nd edn (London: Phaidon, 1994), pp. 254, 256, pl. 239.

The Painted Page: Italian Renaissance Book Illumination 1450-1550, ed. by Jonathan J. G. Alexander (London: Prestel, 1994), pp. 13, 15, no. 43.

Antonie Wlosok, ‘Textkritische marginalien und allegorisierende Illustrationen im Vergilcodex 837 der Universitätsbibliothek in Valencia’, in The Classical Tradition in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: Proceedings of the first European Science Foundation Workshop on “The Reception of Classical Texts” (Florence, Certosa del Galluzzo, 26-27 June 1992), ed. by Claudio Leonardi and Birger Munk Olsen, Biblioteca de “Medioevo latino”: collana della “ Societa internazionale per lo studio del medioevo latino”, 15 (Spoleto: Centro italiano di studi sull’alto medioevo, 1995), pp. 75-109 (pp. 95-96, fig. 2).

Michelle P. Brown and Patricia Lovett, The Historical Source Book for Scribes (London: British Library, 1999), p. 112, pl.s on pp 26, 114, 117.

Matteo Venier, Per una storia del testo di Virgilio nella prima eta del libro a stampa (1469-1519) (Udine: Forum, 2001), pp. 4, 23.

Albinia C. de la Mare, ‘Marginalia and Glosses in the Manuscripts of Bartolomeo Sanvito of Padua’ in Talking to the Text: Marginalia from Papyri to Print, ed. by V. Fera, G. Ferraù, and S. Rizzo (2002), pp. 459-555, esp. 488, 506 n. 3.

Beatrice Bentivoglio-Ravasio, 'Sanvito (Sanvido, da San Vito), Bartolomeo' in Dizionario biografico dei miniatori Italiani: Secoli IX-XVI, ed. by Milvia Bollati (Milan: Sylvestre Bonnard, 2004), pp. 928-35 (p. 933).

Albinia C. de la Mare and Laura Nuvoloni, Bartolomeo Sanvito: The Life and Work of a Renaissance Scribe, ed. by Anthony R.A. Hobson and Christopher de Hamel, (Whitsbury: The Handwriting of Italian Humanists, 2009), no. 74 [with additional bibliography].


Images
* * *
 
Tityrus and Meliboeus

f. 1
Tityrus and Meliboeus
Detail

f. 1
Detail
Detail

f. 1
Detail
 
Detail

f. 1
Detail
Initial

f. 3
Initial
Initial

f. 10v
Initial
 
Text page

f. 13v
Text page
Initial

f. 15
Initial
Spring

f. 17
Spring
 
Detail

f. 17
Detail
Detail

f. 17
Detail
Detail

f. 17
Detail
 
Grape picking

ff. 26v-27
Grape picking
Initial

f. 27
Initial
Miniature of rural life

f. 37
Miniature of rural life
 
Rural life

f. 37
Rural life
Beekeeping

f. 47v
Beekeeping
Aeneas at Carthage

f. 59
Aeneas at Carthage
 
Trojan horse

f. 73v
Trojan horse
Detail

f. 73v
Detail
Aeneas

f. 73v
Aeneas
 
The Trojan Horse, and Aeneas

f. 73v
The Trojan Horse, and Aeneas
Entellus and Dares wrestling

f. 88
Entellus and Dares wrestling
Wrestling

f. 88
Wrestling
 
Initial

f. 88
Initial
Dido

f. 101v
Dido
Dido and Aeneas

f. 101v
Dido and Aeneas
 
Dido

f. 101v
Dido
Sicilian games

f. 115
Sicilian games
Games, and the Trojan fleet

f. 115
Games, and the Trojan fleet
 
The Underworld

f. 131v
The Underworld
The Underworld

f. 131v
The Underworld
Ascanius, and the Trojan fleet

f. 148v
Ascanius, and the Trojan fleet
 
Initial

f. 148v
Initial


f. 164
Venus and Aeneas

f. 164
Venus and Aeneas
 
Turnus and the Trojan camp

f. 178
Turnus and the Trojan camp
Council of the Gods

f. 193v
Council of the Gods
Initial

f. 193v
Initial
 
Pallas and Aeneas

f. 210v
Pallas and Aeneas
Funeral procession

f. 210v
Funeral procession
Initial

f. 210v
Initial
 
Funeral procession

f. 210v
Funeral procession
Aeneas and Turnus

f. 227v
Aeneas and Turnus
Initial

f. 227v
Initial
 

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