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 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
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Detailed record for Additional 20916, f. 1

Title Cutting from an academic diploma of the University of Padua or possibly the lower margin of a title-page for a manuscript or Venetian incunable
Origin Italy, N. E. (Padua)
Date c. 1465 - c. 1470
Language Latin
Script Humanistic
Artists Signed by Franco dei Russi (born in Mantua, active from 1455-1482 in Ferrara, Padua, Venice and Urbino)
Decoration Miniature of the Triumph of an Academic in colours and gold. On a marble balustrade an academic procession is depicted as if it were the triumph of a hero of Antiquity. Against a hilly landscape a figure dressed as a doctor of Law or Humanities is seated on a chariot in the Classical style. Two putti tie owls (symbols of wisdom) to the chariot’s wheels while two others spur on the birds with a broom and club. Other putti follow the procession. One carries a shield bearing a bas-relief of two wrestlers painted in trompe l'oeil. On the projecting parapets are Hercules in combat with the Hydra (symbolising physical strength) and a philosopher writing on a scroll (symbolising intelligence). At their base is the artist’s signature in gold epigraphic capitals: 'Dii faveant / opus Franchi miniatoris'. In front of the balustrade a seated roe deer observes three frolicking rabbits.
Dimensions in mm 85 x 275
Official foliation Parchment cutting, foliated as '1'.
Form Parchment cutting in a double-sided window mount, kept in a box.
Binding N/A
Provenance Charles Stuart, Baron Stuart de Rothesay (b. 1779, d. 1845), diplomatist: his sale, 31 May 1855, lot 2249/2: purchased by the British Museum for £3.18 (lot no. inscribed on f. 1v).
Notes Italian cutting.
The present cutting is one of 33 leaves and cuttings purchased by the British Museum at the de Rothesay sale in 1855. It is boxed with Add. 20916, f. 2. To see this cutting in the Manuscripts Reading Room order Add. 20916, ff. 1-2.
Select bibliography Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1854-1860 (London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1875), p. 289.

Giordana Mariani Canova, La Miniatura Veneta del Rinascimento, 1450-1500 (Venice: Alfieri, 1969), cat. no. 25, pp. 26, 105-06, 145.

Giordana Mariani Canova, ‘Il Recupero di un Complesso Librario Dimenticato: I Corali Quattrocenteschi di S. Giorgio Maggiore a Venezia’, Arte Veneta, 27 (1973), p. 58.

J. J. G. Alexander, 'A Manuscript of Petrarch's 'Rime and Trionfi', in Victoria and Albert Museum Year Book 1970 (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1970), 27-40, pp. 32, 39 n. 25, fig. 8, reprinted in J. J. G. Alexander, Studies in Italian Manuscript Illumination (London: Pindar Press, 2002), pp. 142-68 (pp. 156-57, fig. 8).

The Painted Page: Italian Renaissance Book Illumination, 1450-1550, ed. by J. J. G. Alexander and others (Munich; New York: Prestel, 1994), cat. no. 113, p. 219 and fig. [exhibition catalogue].

Liturgia in Figura: Codici Liturgici Rinascimentali della Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, ed. by Giovanni Morello and Silvia Maddalo (Rome: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1995), p. 177.

Federica Toniolo, 'Franco dei Russi', in Dizionario Biografico dei Miniatori Italiani: Secoli IX-XVI, ed. by Milvia Bollati (Milan: Bonnard, 2004), pp. 240-41.

* * *
Triumph of an Academic

f. 1
Triumph of an Academic

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