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Title:

Hyginus, De Astronomia

Maker(s):

Hyginus; author
; production

Collection:

Fitzwilliam, Richard, 7th Viscount

Category:

illuminated manuscript

Name:

manuscript

Date:

circa 1470 circa 1480

Period:

fifteenth century, second half

Description:


In Latin


Ills.: Fols. 4r, 6r, 9r, 10r, 11r, 13r, 14r, 15r, 17v, 20r, 22r, 30r, 31r, 33r

Paper (watermarks, Briquet no.17, cf. Briquet 2655), ii modern paper flyleaves + i contemporary paper flyleaf + 63 fols. + iii contemporary paper flyleaves + ii modern paper flyleaves, 217 x 145 mm (aprox. 145 x 77 mm), 26 long lines, ruled in hard point, catchwords, five leaves lost after fols. 1, 7, 20, 24 and 25

BINDING: 1992, white pigskin over oak boards, rebound at the Fitzwilliam Museum by Robert Proctor, remains of contemporary binding, alum tawed skin stained pink over pasteboards, preserved with manuscript

SECUNDO FOLIO:

SCRIPT:

CONTENTS
fols. 1v-63r Hyginus, De Astronomia, Bk III (fols. 1v-34r) and Bk II (fols. 36r-63r)

DECORATION
Thirty-three pen and ink drawings of the constellations and Zodiac signs, captioned by the scribe, tinted in ochre, blue and green, with the positions of stars marked in red, in Bk III: fol. 2r Arctophilax; fol. 3r Corona; fol. 4r Engonasin; fol. 5r Lyra; fol. 6r Olor; fol. 7r Cepheus; fol. 8r Andromeda; fol. 9r Perseus; fol. 10r Heniochus; fol. 11r Ophiulcus; fol. 12r Sagitta; fol. 13r Aquila; fol. 14r Delphin; fol. 15r Equus; fols. 15v-16r Deltoton and Aries; fol. 17r Taurus; fol. 17v Gemini; fol. 19r Cancer; fol. 20r Leo; fol. 21r Scorpius; fol. 22r Sagittarius; fol. 23r Capricorn; fol. 24r Aquarius; fol. 25r Pistrix; fol. 26r Lepus; fol. 29r Orion; fol. 28r Canis; fol. 29r Prochion; fol. 30r Argo; fol. 31r Centaurus; fol. 32r Ara; fol. 33r Hydra; fol. 34r Piscis.

ORNAMENTATION
Alternate red and blue penwork initials [2 ll.].

PROVENANCE
Leonora Gonzaga (1493-1570), ownership inscriptions: La Ill[ustrissi]ma S. Leonora de Gonzaga mia pare (fol. 1r) and Leonora de gon (recto of first contemporary paper flyleaf at end); seventeenth-century inscriptions on fol. 1r including three monograpms, N EATSEB, N EOTSB R and ISABEL, the word Miliabella, and a price: ‘questo Libro uale F 32. di me Giuseppe Scotti’; eighteenth-century ownership inscription, ‘Mauricio Aymi’ (recto of first contemporary paper flyleaf at end); purchased for the Museum from Jacques Rosenthal of Munich (Catalogue 27, no. 2) in 1901.

COMMENTS



Production
Place (legacy):

Italy, production, region
Mantua, place

Technique:

tinted drawing; sepia

Material(s):

paper; support
ink; medium

Dimension(s):

height
width

Acquisition:

bought; 1901; Rosenthal, Jacques

Provenance:

Leonora Gonzaga (1493-1570), ownership inscriptions: La Ill[ustrissi]ma S. Leonora de Gonzaga mia pare (fol. 1r) and Leonora de gon (recto of first contemporary paper flyleaf at end); seventeenth-century inscriptions on fol. 1r including three monograpms, N EATSEB, N EOTSB R and ISABEL, the word Miliabella, and a price: ‘questo Libro uale F 32. di me Giuseppe Scotti’; eighteenth-century ownership inscription, ‘Mauricio Aymi’ (recto of first contemporary paper flyleaf at end); purchased for the Museum from Jacques Rosenthal of Munich (Catalogue 27, no. 2) in 1901.

Associated
Person(s):

Gonzaga, Leonora di; owner
Scotti, Giuseppe; owner
Aymi, Mauricio; owner
Rosenthal, Jacques; owner

Notes(s):

De Astronomia, or Poeticon astronomicon, commonly attributed to Gaius Julius Hygiuns (c.64 BC–17 AD), enjoyed considerable popularity with Humanist scholars and bibliophiles in the late fifteenth century, mainly as a digest of classical mythology rather than a guide to the constellations. Its first printed edition, without illustrations, was published in Ferrara in 1475. This manuscript may have been produced around the same time, probably in Mantua, at the court of the Gonzaga who had a strong interest in astronomy and Zodiacal astrology. The watermarks point to Ferrara and Mantua c.1473-1480. Later, it belonged to Leonora Gonzaga (1493-1570), the eldest daughter of Francesco II di Gonzaga (1466-1519), Marquis of Mantua, and Isabella d’Este (1474-1539), daughter of the Duke of Ferrara, Ercole I d’Este (1431-1505). The choice of paper and ink drawings, instead of parchment and full illuminations, suggests that the Fitzwilliam manuscript was made for the personal use of an enthusiastic reader rather than commissioned as a grand presentation copy. It contains only Bks II and III (in reversed order) out of the Astronomica’s four books and thirty-three out of the forty-two drawings usually accommodated in these two books. It has no drawings in Bk III and has lost (with the five leaves missing after fols. 1, 7, 20, 24 and 25) the illustrations of Draco, Cassiopeia, Virgo, Pisces and Eridanus, and the texts of Arctophylax, Andromeda, Scorpio, Pistrix, and Lepus. The text either omits the Greek quotations or transliterates them in Latin, often inaccurately.

Inscription:

secundo folio; arctophilax

Exhibition(s):

Treasures of the Fitzwilliam Museum. 2005 - 2005
Organiser: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Cambs.), UK
Catalogue number: 158

Splendours of Italian Illumination: Romanesque - Gothic - Renaissance. 1989 - 1990
Organiser: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Cambs.), UK
Venue: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Notes: unpublished handlist of an exhibition held in the Adeane gallery, October 1989 - February 1990
Catalogue number: 70

Documentation:

, The Fitzwilliam Museum1982. Treasures of the Fitzwilliam Museum.Cambridge (Cambs.): Pevensey Press
cat. no. 158

Wormald, F.. Giles, P.M.. 1982. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Additional Manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Musuem Acquired between 1895-1979 (excluding the McClean Collection).England: Cambridge University Pressp. 192-94

Saxl, F.. Meier, H.. 1953. Catalogue of Astrological and Mythological Illuminated Manuscripts of the Latin Middle Ages.London:
III, I, liii, 328, 439-40

Byvanck, A.W.. 1949. De platen in de Aratea van Hugo de Groot.
Source Title: Mededelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen, afd. Letterkunde 12 2 () : 169-135

Duits, R.. 2005. Celestial Transmissions: An Iconographical Classification of Constellation Cycles in Manuscripts (8th-15th centuries).
Source Title: Scriptorium 59 () : 147-202

Parts(s):

MS 260.f.8r; De Astronomia
MS 260.f.9r; De Astronomia
MS 260.f.13r; De Astronomia
MS 260.f.15r; De Astronomia
MS 260.f.19r; De Astronomia
MS 260.f.20r; De Astronomia
MS 260.f.22r; De Astronomia
MS 260.f.30r; De Astronomia
MS 260.f.34r; De Astronomia

Accession:

Object Number: MS 260
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 82208; input: 2003-01-03; modified: 2012-08-28)

Permanent
Identifier:

http://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/82208





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