You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips



Detailed record for Harley 3305

Author Aristotle, translated by Leonardus Brunus Aretinus
Title Ethica
Origin Italy, N. (Milan)
Date c 1435-1440
Language Latin
Script Humanistic
Artists In the style of the Master of the Vitae Imperatorum
Decoration 11 historiated initials in colours and gold, 1 at the beginning of the prologue and of each book (ff. 2, 5v, 16v, 24v, 37v, 49v, 62, 70v, 84, 96, 107v). Blue initials with red pen-flourishing and red initials with purple pen-flourishing. Rubrics in red.
Dimensions in mm 280 x 205 ( 180 x 115)
Official foliation ff. 121 (+ 1 unfoliated paper and 1 parchment flyleaf at the beginning + 2 unfoliated parchement and 1 paper flyleaf at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of gold-tooled red leather; marbled endpapers.
Provenance Jacobus de Ardicijs [Iacopo d'Ardizzone, Iacopo son of Ardizzone], perhaps to be identified with Iacopo d'Abbiate, chamberlain to Duke of Milan Filippo Maria Visconti (b. 1392, d. 1447) (see Zaggia 1993): inscription recording the gift of this manuscript by him to Ińigo Dávalos on 27 April 1440: 'Iste librer [sic] datus fuit mihi ynico de davalos per spectabilem iacobum de ardicijs ducalem camerarium die iouis xx vii aprilis Anno M cccc xxxx' (f. 121v).
Ińigo López Dávalos [d'Avalos] (d. 1484), from 1442 commander of the Spanish troops in Naples and Great Chamberlain of Naples in service of Alfonso V [Alfonso el Magnánimo] (b. 1396, d. 1458), King of Aragon and Naples (as Alfonso I, from 1442): his arms (ff. 2, 5v (and the initials 'I' and 'N'), 70v, 84) (see the inscription above); Dávalos probably received this manuscript when he accompanied Affonso V during his captivity at the court of Filippo Maria Visconti in Milan (1435-1440).
Ownership inscription made illegible by overwriting, beginning with 'A...', 17th century (f. [ii] verso).
Added cerses 'Hinc fugetur mondo. Súc dimitte libellú (?). /Ni dabitur furca collo tenenda tua', 17th century (f. 1r).
John Gibson (fl. 1720-1726), dealer; sold to Edward Harley on 13 February 1723/4 (see Diary 1966; Wright 1972).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley '13 die Februarij, A.D. 1723/4' (f. 1).
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d. 1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for Ł10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes f. 1 is a parchment flyleaf.
Horizontal catchwords; ruled in hardpoint.
Ińigo Dávalos also owned Add. 15246, which has his arms on ff. 28v, 29 (Wright, 1976, 467, n. 21). For Add. 15246, see Albinia de la Mare article in A.S. Osley, Calligraphy and Palaeography. Essays presented to Alfred Fairbank on his 70th birthday (London: Faber and Faber, 1965), pp. 55-68, and, on Dávalos, p. 62 n. 34).
The Master of the 'Vitae Imperatorum' was active in Lombardy in the first half of the 15th century. On his career, see Bollati 2004, pp. 587-89.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3305.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), II: 1723-1726, p. 273 n. 2.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 53, 125, 162.

Cyril Ernest Wright, 'Manuscripts of Italian Provenance in the Harleian Collection in the British Museum: Their Sources, Associations and Channels of Acquisition', in Cultural Aspects of the Italian Renaissance. Essays in Honour of Paul Oskar Kristeller, ed. by C. H. Clough (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1976), pp. 462-84 (p. 467).

Paul Oskar Kristeller, Iter Italicum: Accedunt Alia Itinera: A Finding List of Uncatalogued or Incompletely Catalogued Humanistic Manuscripts of the Renaissance in Italian and other Libraries 7 vols (London: Warburg Institute; Leiden: Brill, 1963-1997), IV (1989), p. 168.

Massimo Zaggia ‘Appunti sulla cultura letteraria in volgare a Milano nell'etŕ di Filippo Maria Visconti’, Giornale storico della letteratura italiana, 170 (1993), 161-219 (p. 181) and 321-82 (p. 338)

Dizionario biografico dei miniatori italiani: Secoli IX-XVI , ed. by Milvia Bollati (Milan: Sylvestre Bonnard, 2004), pp. 587-89.
Last revised: 27 February 2013

* * *
Historiated initial

f. 5v
Historiated initial
Historiated initial

f. 16v
Historiated initial
Historiated initial

f. 24v
Historiated initial

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back