This type of decoration is certainly a novelty in Francesco da Castello’s art. The Florentine manuscripts in the collections of the royal library of Buda could add inspiration. It is worth noticing that as opposed to the choirbooks made for the San Sisto monastery of Piacenza, the ornaments here are of gold and the cover paint is used for the background.
This manuscript is one of the four Corvinas returned to Hungary in 1869 as a donation by Sultan Abdul Aziz (also Saint Augustine: City of God, Polybius: History of Rome, Comedies by T. Maccius Plautus). (Edina Zsupán)
Shelfmark: Cod. Lat. 281. Country: Hungary City: Budapest Keeper location: National Széchényi Library Author: Georgius Trapezuntius Content: Rhetoricorum libri Writing medium: parchment Number of sheets: 121 fol. Sheet size: 366 × 273 mm Place of writing: Hungary (Buda?, Esztergom?) Date of writing: ca. 1470 Scriptor: Originating from the same scriptor as Wolfenbüttel, HAB, Cod. Guelf. 69. 9 Aug. 4o. Illuminator: Francesco da Castello Place of illumination: Buda Date of illumination: between 1488 and 1490 Crest: King Matthias' Hungarian and Bohemian royal coat-of-arms; Francesco da Castello, in the late 1480s Possessor, provenience: Abdülaziz, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire gave it as a present to Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria in 1869. Binding: no binding, only wooden boards; one patch from the original (purple) velvet corvina binding; painted-gilded edge, made in Buda (probably in the late 1480s) Language of corvina: Latin Condition: Restored: NSZL Dezső Sasvári 1940; Ágnes Kálmán-Horváth, 1989 Hungarian translation(s) of work(s) included in the corvina: None