Hungary's Week in Rome

This was a special week for Renaissance studies in Hungary. An extraordinary book of art, the Hungarian Angevin Legendary, Vat. lat. 8541, arrived on the web, as I pointed out in an earlier post. With it were two important illuminated missals associated with the lost Bibliotheca Corviniana, the library of Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490). One, Urb. lat. 110, was made for the king in 1488 and is known as the Missal of Matthias Corvinus. The other, Ross. 1164, was pointed out by and is known as the Franciscan Missal. Below is an image from Urb. lat. 110 of a silver-skinned Christ at the resurrection.
has written a blog post introducing the two missals and I am grateful to him for the information about this group.

Two fine French Renaissance manuscripts were also brought online, both of them French translations of Latin works. One is Reg. lat. 538, a translation of the Speculum Historiale, a medieval history of the world, by Vincent of Beauvais, and there is a wonderful image in it where the artist imagines Vincent calmly writing while research assistants or socciii struggle to keep up with his demands for more books. There's a bit more about it here. There is a similar codex at the British Library.
Also newly digitised is Reg. lat. 719, a translation by Pierre Bersuire from the Latin of Livy's History of Rome. The Bersuire book has a wonderful imaginary landscape of ancient Rome (below) as a medieval artist might imagine it with a river through a paradise of green that looks most un-Roman. Both these codices are principally of interest for their illuminations rather than their text.
Finally, I took note of a couple of more modern documents from Italy. A book of caricatures by Pier Leone Ghezzi (1674-1755), Ott. lat. 3113, marks out Ghezzi's extraordinary talent as a cartoonist. Look at the fleshy marchese at left in this image and you see his whole life of over-indulgence.
Also in my pick is a curious compilation, Reg. lat. 1468, of Italian family coats of arms (a thing which happens, by the way, to be called a "stemma" in Italian, which is not very logical, but that is the way it is). Here is an escutcheon which has three men's heads looking left on a mustard field. The different chin shapes are doubtless just a fancy of the artist.
In all, 64 new codices were digitized and published online on Digita Vaticana this week. Something else I sighted in this rush was a pair of large sheets from Vat. lat. 9848. It is no more than a wild guess, but these folios seems to be either sketches or tracings of monumental art, possibly from a Rome church. All that's online are these two sheets, recto and verso. Also new, but merely noted, is Ott. lat. 2919, a book of hours. [This is Piggin's Unofficial List 3.]

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