Census of the Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS NEWBERRY LIBRARY
Ms. 95Parch. (fine Italian preparation), ff. II (modern parchment) + I (contemporary parchment) + 159 + I (contemporary parch.) + II (mod. parch.), the back flyleaf is inverted, modern pencil foliation on the verso bottom, 278 × 193 (196 × 120) mm., 33 long lines, 1-198 208 (-8th), plain vertical catchwords, signatures severely cropped, ruled in drypoint, written by one person in a humanistic script. Decoration attributable to Ambrogio da Marliano: f. 1, a well-executed 14ߚline gold initial with a profile bust of Petrarch dressed in a purple hood and crowned in laurel, on a blue ground with white vinestem, green and gold infilling, white dots; a white vinestem (sprouting leaves) decoration covers 3/4 of the border, framed by gold bars, on the outside margin a putto holds two garlands, on the bottom margin two putti support a wreath with the arms of Filippo Borromeo; f. 35, a 7ߚline gold initial on a blue ground, with white vinestem decoration similar to f. 1, the inside corners end in three pen designs with rayed orbs and oak leaf; f. 87, a 7ߚline gold initial with decoration similar to f. 35; f. 88, a 5ߚline gold initial on a tri-colored (blue, red, green) rectangular ground with white vinestem and ending in pen and gold flourishes; 2ߚline blue initials with red pen beading and harping throughout, alternating with 2ߚline red initials with purple beading and harping; proper names written in the margin by the scribe and the text is corrected frequently by an early reader. Binding, brown calf over paper boards by Frost, Newberry Library, 1973; the previous binding was the characteristic green Archinto parchment which has left a stain on the flyleaves. ff. 1-87, Petrarch, De vita solitaria , title "Clarissimi poetae laureati Francisci Petrarcae de (ocio religioso is cancelled) vita solitaria liber primus", inc. (Prologue) "Paucos homines novi ... seu domi sedentibus apparendum est"; f. 2v; (Bk. I) "Quid vero nunc prius ex me speres ... urbibus solitudo tibi loquatior videatur"; f. 34v, (Bk. II) "Clarissimi poetae laureati Francisci Petrarcae de (ocio religioso is cancelled) vita solitaria liber secundus", f. 35, "Sentio tamen adhuc aliquid deesse ...", expl. "... bene suades, recte consulis, verum dicis" (ed. Martellotti, in Petrarca, Prose , 286-590; text lacks chapter on Romualdus; ms. described by B. L. Ullman in "Petrarch’s De vita solitaria", Studies in the Italian Renaissance [2nd. edition, Roma, 1955], 159, 165 and 169). ff. 87-159v, Petrarch, De otio religioso , title "Clarissimi poetae laureati Francisci Petrarcae de ocio religioso liber tertius (sic)", inc. "Dignum erat o felix Christi familia ...", expl. "... videte, gaudete pro me flaete et mei memores valete. O felices si vos ipsos et bona vestra cognoscitis. Τελοσ" (ed. Rotondi, 1-106).
2nd. f.: nisi rationemORIGIN
Written in Milan, Italy, ca. 1460-4, for Count Filippo Borromeo (d. 1464); his arms on f. 1, with initials CO and FI for Comes Filippus, a unicorn salient argent, gorged with a coronet or, in dexter chief the Visconti viper irradiated; in 1465 the same scribe wrote the commentary of Servius in Ippolita Sforza’s copy of Virgil, now Valencia University 780 , and he also wrote the Caesar in U. Hoepli sale, Milan, 5-6 June 1935, lot 25 and Sotheby sale 17-19 Feb. 1947, lot. 426. The illumination is attributable to Ambrogio da Marliano who is known to have worked for Vitaliano Borromeo in 1461-2. (see A. C. de la Mare, "Scrittura e manoscritti a Milano al tempo degli Sforza", in Milano nell’età di Ludovico il Moro [Milano, 1983], p. 404, footnote 30). PROVENANCE
Owned by Count Carlo Archinto of Milan (1669-1732) whose bookplate with the motto "Archintea Laus" is on the first back flyleaf recto; bought from L. S. Olschki in 1901 by E. E. Ayer who gave it to the Newberry Library in December 1920. BIBLIOGRAPHY
Ullman, no. 21; De Ricci, p. 573, no. 324356; De Ricci, Suppl., 147, no. 324356; Jasenas, p. 35, no. 24, pl. 18 (of f. 1). Dutschke, Census, no. 31, pp. 104-106.
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