Sunday, 22 September 2019

The Name of the Rose (1986) - An Addendum

Since writing the previous post, I had another look on YouTube, and found a clip of the film in which Baskerville and Adso first visit the Library. All the manuscripts appear in the first 2 minutes of this 4½-minute clip:


This scene includes a few more shots of open manuscripts, mostly the same as the ones seen in the scriptorium scene.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts in The Name of the Rose (1986)

Sean Connery, as William de Baskerville, inspecting a manuscript
I ended the previous post with a modern copy of a medieval manuscript, that had been made as a prop for the film The Name of the Rose [Wikipedia], based on Umberto Eco's book about a medieval manuscript, library, and murder mystery. I later decided to have a look at the film to see if I could see the facsimile manuscript's appearance. I don't have a copy of the full movie, but there is a scene (full of inaccuracies and anachronisms) available on Youtube (embedded below) set in the monastery's scriptorium, and just for fun I decided to take a series of screenshots, to see how many of the manuscripts included in the scene are identifiable.

[The 4½-minute scene should play if if click this YouTube link, with the usual options to pause, watch full-screen, etc.; but you don't have to watch it in order to understand what follows]


Here is an overview of the scriptorium, as seen when the heroes of the story (the Franciscan William de Baskerville, played by Sean Connery, and his young protégé Adso of Melk, played by Christian Slater) first enter the room:

Saturday, 14 September 2019

A Fake in Detroit

[Source]
My recent post about 19th- or early 20th-century miniatures and initials added to medieval manuscripts seemed to be popular, so I will do a series of blogs about other illuminations that I believe to be either entirely modern, or "improved" in the post-medieval period.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Kay Sutton (1943–2019)

Kay outside the Musée Cluny, Paris, in 2007
Many readers of this blog will have known, or at least known of, Kay Sutton, who died yesterday. Having been diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, and undergone successful chemotherapy, the disease returned untreatably a few months ago.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

The Brölemann Price-Code: A Partial Decipherment?


A recent post caused me to look again at the question of the price-code use by at least one of the Brölemanns, and found in their manuscripts.

In my much older post about the Brölemann catalogues, I wrote that If enough examples could be collected, it ought also to be possible to decipher the Brölemann price-code. From the images we have, it is apparent that x=0, and other numbers are represented by cd,  l, q, s, t, and u.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Ernst Detterer's Copy of the De vita activa et contemplativa


In a footnote to the previous post I mentioned that Ernst Detterer owned a 29-leaf portion of a 15th-century Italian copy of Prosper of Acquitaine (now re-attributed to Julianus Pomerius), De vita activa et contemplativa, on paper, of which one leaf is at the Newberry Library:
[Source]

Saturday, 24 August 2019

An Unnoticed Arrivabene Leaf at the Newberry Library

Chicago, Newberry Library, Case MS 137, no. 7 (detail)
In May last year I visited the Newberry Library and spent a stimulating morning looking at leaves and cuttings (one of which I subsequently discussed here). One of the finest I saw is a large paper 15th-century Italian Humanistic leaf, with an illuminated bianchi girari initial, shown above. As the heading tells us, this initial "C" introduces Eusebius of Caesaria's De praeparatione evangelica, Book I [Wikipedia].

The heading is written in very elegant epigraphic capitals, in lines of blue, red, olive green, and dark purple inks. These colours, alternating in this order, are characteristic of the famous Paduan scribe Bartolomeo Sanvito (also discussed in this blogpost).

Here is an example of a heading by Sanvito, using the same colours in the same sequence, but with the addition of lines of gold (another of his favoured colour-sequences):
Escorial, MS F.IV.11 (detail)
Sanvito's coloured capitals were so admired by contemporaries that he was often commissioned to add them to books whose main text was written by other scribes, and so although the main text of the Newberry leaf did not look to me like his hand, I wondered if the heading in epigraphic capitals might be by him.