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Doge’s Commission


Master of the Trees (‘Maestro degli Alberi’); artist
; production


Viscount Fitzwilliam


illuminated manuscript


other; type of text


first quarter of 16th century


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i parchment flyleaf + 52 fols. (foliated 33-86), 227 x 148 mm (168 x 110 mm), 25 long lines, ruled in brown ink.

BINDING: Nineteenth century, red morocco over pasteboards, gold-tooled with lion of St Mark at centre of upper and lower covers, gilt edges (bound with MS 188, items 1-2 and 4-9).

CONTENTS: fols. 33r-84v Commission granted by Doge Andrea Gritti (1523-1529) to Filippo Basadonna for the command of ships going to Beirut, dated 28 March 1523, with Incanto delle galie from fol. 69r; fols. 85r-86v Capitulary to the Commission.

DECORATION: Full-page frontispiece incorporating the beginning of the text, a miniature of the Virgin and Child flanked by St Louis of Toulouse (?) and St Philip, with Filippo Basadonna kneeling in prayer before them, beneath a panel of grey with the opening of the text in gold epigraphic capitals: NOS ANDREAS GRITI DEI GRATIA DVX VENETIARVM ET CAET., surrounded by a full inhabited border of solid blue panels with foliate motifs in green and gold, framed in gold, housing roundels with the Lion of St Mark (upper bar), landscapes (inner and outer bars), and a trompe-l’oeil flattened scroll attached with ribbons to the inner frame of the border bearing the arms of Basadonna (fol. 33r).

ORNAMENTATION: Two gold initials [N, 4 ll. and C, 2 ll.] on grounds of solid colour with silver foliate motifs (fol. 33r); ornamental initial [P, 2 ll.] for the start of the Incante (fol. 69r); alternate red and blue foliate initials [2 ll.] for chapter divisions (fols. 33r-68v); plain initials [2 ll.] for lesser divisions (fols. 69r-84v); display capitals (fols. 85r-86v).

Place (legacy):

Italy, production, region
Venice, place


illumination; whole


parchment; support
gold; medium




bequeathed; 1816; Fitzwilliam, Richard, 7th Viscount


Commission made for Filippo Basadonna


Fitzwilliam, Richard, 7th Viscount; previous owner
Basadonna, Filippo; original owner


secundo folio; balistarios xv


James, Montague Rhodes, Dr. 1895. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum.Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Pressp. 396-97

Morgan, Nigel. Panayotova, Stella. Reynolds, Suzanne. 2011. A Catalogue of Western Book Illumination in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Cambridge Colleges. Part Two. Vols. 1-2: Italy and the Iberian Peninsula.London: Harvey Miller Publishers
cat. no. 83

Zuccolo Padrono, G. M.. 1972. Sull'ornamentazione marginale di documenti dogali del XVI secolo.
Source Title: Bollettino dei Musei Civici Veneziani 17 () : 3-25

p. 16, fig. 18 (incomplete shelfmark)


Object Number: MS 188 item 3
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 182165; input: 2011-03-28; modified: 2017-04-03)


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