27 leaves and fragments, housed in three different collections, are all that survives of a work known as the ‘Cocharelli Codex’ that was made in Genoa in Northern Italy between 1330 and 1340. The original manuscript included two richly illuminated Latin texts, the first a treatise on the vices and virtues and the second an account of historical events that happened during the reign of Frederic II (r. 1198–1250), King of Sicily. A prologue to these texts explains that they were compiled by a member of the Cocharelli family based on tales recounted by his grandfather Pietro Cocharelli (who is thought to have been active between 1269 and 1337).
This volume comprises 15 of the surviving parchment leaves, most of which are decorated with full- or half-page illustrations. The images portray a variety of subjects, many functioning as representations of the seven vices. One scene, for example, depicts the Fall of the Rebel Angels into a large gaping hell-mouth, illustrating the sin of pride (image no. 2). Two others illustrate gluttony, showing men eating at a lavish banquet and drinking in a tavern (image nos. 4 and 5). The leaves also contain representations of major historical events, including the Sack of Tripoli by the Sultan of Egypt in 1289, and the death of Philip IV of France (r. 1285–1314).