Friday, May 18, 2012


A color illustration of a man by a tree, interrupted by a doodle of a face.We recently digitized one of our nicest humanist manuscripts: a copy of Terence's Comoediae sex cum argumentis produced in Ferrara in 1462, just a few years prior to the introduction of the printing press in Italy. You can see it in its digital glory, or come in and feel the vellum for the full sensory experience.

A manuscript page beginning with a single ornamented initial.
 We have another 15th-century Terence that is worth looking at for comparison: Comodiae (Strassburg: Johann Gruninger, 1496). While the manuscript has a simple design connoting a quiet dignity, with many annotations in a contemporary hand, the printed copy from 1496 is far more extravagant and theatrical. Not only does it contain dozens of hand-colored woodcuts and ample rubrication, it also has a prankster's doodles (date unknown) throughout.

A color illustration at the bottom of a printed page. Several doodles decorate the margins and the illustration.
The manuscript is Codex MS 001999, and the book is Incun 125

No comments :

Post a Comment