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2002 articles 1987 articles

New light on the 'Sforziada' frontispieces of Giovan Pietro Birago

M. L. Evans


D. H. TURNER'S interest in the Milanese miniaturist Giovan Pietro Birago dated from his cataloguing of the detached full-page miniature of the Adoration of the Magi from the renowned Sforza Hours, which entered the British Museum in 1941, published in the Catalogue of Addittons to the Manuscripts 1936-1945. Many years later. Turner selected both the Sforza Hours and the Grenville Library Sforziada, with its frontispiece by Birago, for the exhibition 'Renaissance Painting in Manuscripts' held in 1983-4. During the run of this exhibition a previously unknown calendar leaf from the Sforza Hours was brought to the attention of British Library staff and was purchased by the Department of Manuscripts. Turner encouraged the publication of the calendar leaf by the present writer in a recent issue of The British Library Journal (vol. xii (1986), pp. 21-7). He was also instrumental in the preparation of this essay on the Sforziada although, sadly, he did not live to see it completed.

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