Damascenus: Sententiae

The manuscript is a spectacular relic of the conscious enhancement of the Corvina Library at the second half of the 1480s. In addition to the Corvinas made at the Buda workshop, King Matthias ordered several codices from the most excellent Florentine book-illuminating workshops, regardless of the costs. One of them is the Damascenus Corvina, a typical high-quality product of Attavante degli Attavanti. The binding, however, was made in Buda as a masterpiece of the Corvina bookbinder. As opposed to most codices within the group of leather bindings of markedly centralized layout, usually with the king’s coat of arms at the center, the composition of the Damascenus Corvina is entirely different: it is a five-circle structure decorated with fine carving, colorful painting and the usual rich gilding. It was perhaps the large size binding table that led the master to elaborate a composition that fills the area proportionally. (Edina Zsupán)

Source: The Corvina Library and the Buda Worskhop: [National Széchényi Library, November 6, 2018 –February 9, 2019] A Guide to the Exhibition; introduction and summary tables: Edina Zsupán; object descriptions: Edina Zsupán, Ferenc Földesi; English translation: Ágnes Latorre, Budapest: NSZL, 2018, p. 220

DATA SHEET

Shelfmark: Cod. Lat. 345.
Country: Hungary
City: Budapest
Keeper location: National Széchényi Library
Author: 1. Johannes Damascenus; 2. Anselmus Cantuariensis
Content: 1. Sententiae; 2. Opera
Translator: Burgundius Pisanus (Sententiae)
Writing medium: parchment
Number of sheets: 292. fol.
Sheet size: 351 × 238 mm
Place of writing: Florence
Illuminator: Attavante degli Attavanti
Place of illumination: Florence
Date of illumination: 1485‒1490
Crest: Blue double cross on burgundy background, open crown above the crest; the coat-of-arms was painted over King Matthais' coat-of-arms
Possessor, provenience: King Matthias Hunyadi; "Bibliotheca Tortti"; The Hungarian national library purchased it from Milan-based antiquarian Ulric Hoepli in 1886.
Binding: original gilded leather corvina binding; gauffered, gilded edge (probably in the late 1480s)
Language of corvina: Latin
Hungarian translation(s) of work(s) included in the corvina: 1. None; 2. Canterburyi Szent Anzelm összes művei : teológiai, bölcseleti írások / [a fordítást, a kommentárt és az utószót kész. Dér Katalin]; Budapest : Szt. István Társ., 2007