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Mariegola della Scuola di Santa Maria della Misericordia

Item Information

Mariegola della Scuola di Santa Maria della Misericordia
Former owner:
Zagayski, Michael
Former owner:
Duschnes, Philip C.
Archivio di Stato di Venezia
Manuscripts, Latin (Medieval and modern)
Bookplates (Provenance)
Booksellers' labels (Provenance)
Velvet bindings (Binding)
Boston Public Library
Rare Books Department
Collection (local):
Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts
ItalyEmilia-Romagna (region)Bologna (province)Bologna
86 leaves : parchment, ill. ; 360 x 265 (212 x 165) mm.
Terms of Use:
No known copyright restrictions.
No known restrictions on use.
Notes (ownership):
Provenance: the manuscript was part of the Scuola's collection until the confraternity was dissolved in 1803, at which point it passed into the collection of the Archivio di Stato in Venice. Beginning in 1879, the manuscript was on permanent display in the Archivio's Sala Diplomatica Regina Margherita and was described in print several times. In the late 1940s, the Archive's exhibit was taken down for safekeeping, at which point several of the manuscripts disappeared under unknown circumstances, including the mariegola. By the time the manuscript surfaced in the 1950s, it had been taken apart, most of the bifolia separated, and the leaves rebound out of order, with many leaves -- including the opening folio -- lost. Bound in blue silk, the portion of the manuscript that would later become BPL Ms. f. Med. 203 was owned in the 1950s by Polish war refugee and famed collector Michael Zagayski in New York (his bookplate was inside the front cover). The manuscript passed to dealer Philip Duschnes (his plate inside rear cover), who sold it to BPL in 1960.
Provenance: the illuminated opening leaf is known to have been owned for some time by Roman art dealer Vittorio Forti, but has since vanished. The second leaf of the manuscript was sold at Christie's in 1994 to dealer Sam Fogg, who sold it in turn to a private collector; its location is also unknown. The four leaves at the Toledo Museum of Art were purchased in Italy in "the mid-twentieth century" by Stanley Friedman, whose widow donated them to the Museum in 2001. Four leaves from 1392 and two leaves from the later section remain unaccounted for (see quire diagram above).
Notes (citation):
For published description see: Berkovits, I. A Budapesti Egyetemi Könyvtár Dante-Kódexe s a XIII. és XIV. századi velencei miniaturafestészet története (Budapest, 1928), pp. 61-63.
For published description see: Canova, G. M. "Manoscritti miniati veneti nelle biblioteche di Cambridge e Boston (Mass)." in Arte Veneta 29 (1975), pp. 97-104, see fig. 2 and p. 104, note 7. Consult curatorial file for further references.
Ms. codex.
Origin: the original manuscript of 31 leaves (followed by a blank final flyleaf) was written in Bologna in 1392 for the use of the scuola (confraternity) of Our Lady of Mercy at Valverde, a spiritual and charitable brotherhood that also practiced self-flagellation. The manuscript was reconfigured in the early fifteenth century to make room for an additional 22 leaves, a reconfiguring that entailed inserting two quires of eight between f. 30 and what was then f. 31 (which then became f. 47 and is now TMA 2001.13c); additionally, seven bifolia were inserted between TMA 2001.13c and its then-conjoint, which was written upon in 1505 and is now BPL f. 50.
Secundo folio (formerly f. 49): ... tuti li frari ...
In Italian.
Notes (object):
Collation: parchment codex, fol. i + ii (parchment) +86 + ii (parchment) leaves ; 1¹⁰⁻³ 2¹⁰⁻³ 3¹⁰⁻² 4⁸ 5⁸⁻² 6¹⁶⁻¹ (original collation of ff. 51-86 indeterminable).
Layout: one column, 22 to 30 long lines; bounding and ruling lines in blind.
Script: written in a Gothic rotunda, with fifteenth-century additions by various humanistic hands, in brown ink with red rubrics (chapter numbers effaced at the time of the ca. 1950 binding, not legible under ultra-violet light but retained in the TMA leaves).
Decoration: 2-line historiated initials throughout alternating pale pink or purple with acanthus into margins with gold balls, birds, animals, grotesques, historiated with saints and other figures, many of which illustrate the particular statute that follows, twenty-eight in all (of forty-two, according to Cheney; ff. 22v, 23 and 24 decorated in a slightly later floriate style). The 1392 decoration and miniatures have been attributed to Giustino del fu Gherardino da Forli (fl. ca. 1380, see Christie's 1994 catalogue), but given that this manuscript is known to have been completed in 1392, this attribution may be incorrect. Lyle Humphrey, who has studied the mariegola extensively, has attributed the decoration of the Mariegola to the Bolognese circle of Nocolò di Giacomo.
Binding: until the 1950s, bound in brown calf, presumably late fourteenth or fifteenth century, described by Edward Cheney in 1867 as "the original dark calf, ornamented with brass clasps and knobs." (Cheney, p. 17). From the 1950s to 2015, mis-bound in blue velvet over pasteboard with modern paper pastedowns and flyleaves with a watermark of three crescents. Rebound with the leaves restored to their correct order, 2012.
Table of Contents:
1. ff. 1-21v: Mariegola of 1392 (regulations of the confraternity) [original incipit, now lost: Al nome de dio ... ] [BPL portion begins imperfectly in the middle of Ch. 3, lacking the first two leaves] ... tuti li frati ... / ... Intendando chel ... [ends imperfectly in the middle of Ch. 42, lacking three final leaves] [original explicit, now Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) 2001.13c verso: ... Lo qual signor vive et regna in secula seculorum. Amen.]
2. ff. 22-50: additions of dated statutes, 1401-1505 [begins imperfectly, lacking several leaves] ... iqual son in la dicta ... / ... Movcv die xxviii Martii ... / ... et deliberatum fuit./Joannes Iacobus de michaelibus/ Secret. consilii script. et in fidem subscript. f. 50v: blank.
3. ff. 51-86v: blank register intended for confratelli, ruled and rubricked but unsigned; ff. 51-75v: lines for S[er]; ff. 76-86v: lines for M[eser].
Call #:
MS f Med 203