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Virgil, Works (MS. Ricc. 492)

Known as “Virgilio Riccardiano” this manuscript bears a closing inscription by the famous scribe Niccolò Riccio (nicknamed “Spinoso”) who worked for Vespasiano da Bisticci and his workshop.

The 88 miniatures in the lower section of the folios (which have been attributed to Apollonio di Giovanni and his assistants) illustrate Aeneas’ travels. In them, one can easily detect allusions to Florentine artworks of the time, especially the Magi Chapel, which Benozzo Gozzoli painted in the Palazzo Medici in 1459.

References to the 1439 Council of Florence, the fall of Constantinople in 1453, and contemporary chronicles are also obvious in the monuments and the Eastern clothes depicted in these illustrations. These miniatures thus serve as a visual narrative at once rich in innuendos as well as allegories and firmly rooted in the history of its own time.

Illuminations decorate the very first page of Virgil’s Bucolics and Georgics, whereas the Aeneid is only decorated until the end of Book 3. Illuminations on ff. 93-98 are only partially colored, whereas the ones on ff. 101-104 (showing men at work in some busy workshops) are only sketched.

This digital facsimile has been realized by Art Codex – Atelier del Codice Miniato


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