29th Nov, 2023 10:00

Books & Works on Paper

  Lot 36

Illuminated Mss. A Bishop-Saint. Historiated initial on vellum.[1490]

A Bishop-Saint. Historiated initial on a Bifolium from an Illuminated Antiphoner on vellum.

a bifolium, each leaf 516mm. by 375mm., with a large initial 'E' (opening 'Euge serve bone ...'; a responsory for Matins on the Common of one Confessor), image pink heightened with scrolling white tracery and terminating in acanthus-leaf sprays, enclosing a portrait-in-profile of a mitred bishop, holding a crozier and a book and wearing a blue robe with liquid gold fleur-de-lys, all before a soft blue background, entire initial on burnished gold ground with border decoration of coloured organic sprays and gold bezants enclosing a scroll with inscription 'R[espons]i' in margin, 5 large initials in blue or red with contrasting penwork and infill (one enclosing coloured flower), 6 lines of text with music on 4-line red staves, early modern '42' and '47' on rectos, image 120mm. by 110mm.,

*** The painter of this miniature, with his finely modelled facial features and expressive hands with long and thin fingers, has been identified as the most celebrated illuminator of Renaissance Florence, Attavante di Gabriello Attavanti (1452-1520) or perhaps one of his collaborators. Another leaf from this antiphoner is in Les Enluminures cat.1, 1993, no. 14; and initials, trimmed to their edges, but most probably from the same series of volumes, are in New York, Fioratti Collection (A.Garzelli, Miniatura Fiorentina del Rinascimento, 1985, ii, fig.846); Hindman, Ferrini and Fogg, Medieval &Renaissance Miniature Painting, 1988, no.18; and Christie's 24 November 1993, Lot 6.

Provenance: Sotheby's. Western Manuscripts And Miniatures 06 July 2010

Sold for £3,750

Includes Buyer's Premium


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