Life and Deeds of Saint Anthony the Abbot

Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Ms. Med. Pal. 143


+39 333 9860 410

Illuminated Facsimiles

Life and Deeds of Saint Anthony the Abbot

Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Ms. Med. Pal. 143

Alternative titles – Sant’Antonio Abate, la Vita e le Opere – Life and Writings of Saint Anthony the Great – Leben und Taten von Antonius der Große.
Physical features – Codex on parchment, dimensions 362 x 275 mm, 102 folios (204 pages).
Region of origin – France.
Dating – 15th century (1431-1437).
Patronage and owners – Jean de Montchenu (b. 1378, d. 1459), commendatory abbot of the Sant’Antonio di Ranverso Abbey, commissioned this codex for Gabriele Condulmer (b. 1383, d. 1447), who had just been elected pope with the name Eugene IV. The latter later donated the manuscript to the Medici family.
Holding institution – The codex has been part of the holdings of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana since the 16th century.
Genre – Christianity, Hagiographies.
Content – The manuscript contains an illustrated version of the life and miracles of St. Anthony the Great (b. 251, d. 356), compiled by Jean Macellard, sacristan of the monastery of Saint-Antoine de Viennois in Dauphiné. St. Anthony the Great – also called St. Anthony the Abbot or St. Anthony the Anchorite – is considered the founder of Christian monasticism and one of the greatest figures of early Christian asceticism. Among the sources Jean Macellard drew on for the compilation of the text are the Vita Antonii – a hagiographic work written by Athanasius of Alexandria (b. 294, d. 373) and published in c. 357 – and the sermons of St. Anthony, which describe various episodes in the saint’s life. All the sources used are reported on f. 102v.
Language – Latin.
Script – Gothic.
Decoration – The codex comprises 200 large miniatures, monochrome or lightly coloured in green, red, grey and gold. The illustrations are often accompanied by a caption taken from the textual source of the illustrated episode.
Illuminator – The author of the splendid miniatures is the Avignon painter Robert Favier, a refined exponent of the International Gothic style but about whose life we know very little. Favier was inspired by another of his earlier works: a Vita Sancti Antonii made for the Abbey of Saint-Antoine-en-Viennois and now kept at the Bibljoteka Nazzjonali in Malta.
Style – Gothic.

Data sheet: Illuminated Facsimiles

Egypt, Hermit, Einsiedler, Abbas, work, Werk


Publication title – Sant’Antonio Abate, la Vita e le Opere.
Type of reproduction – Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document.
Publisher – ArtCodex (Castelvetro di Modena, 2013).
Limited edition – The facsimile was produced and distributed in a limited edition of 999 copies numbered in Arabic numerals.
Writing support material – Special like-parchment paper processed according to the method patented by ArtCodex.
Binding – Vegetable-tanned red leather cover with gold decorations. The binding and sewing of the folios was done manually in accordance with the structure of the codex.
Commentary – Commentary volume in Italian, size 28 x 17.5 cm, 247 pages, 226 colour figures. Essays by Claudia Cappelletti, Maria C. Giorda, I. Giovanna Rao, Ada Labriola.
Certificate of authenticity – The certificate with the copy number is applied to the colophon of the facsimile and signed by Luciano Malagoli (ArtCodex) and Vera Valitutto (Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana).
ISBN – 978-88-6180-013-7.
The facsimile reproduces as close as possible the physical characteristics of the original document, with the aim to substitute it in the scientific research and in the libraries of the bibliophile collectors. Trimming and composition of the leaves reproduce the profile and structure of the original document. The binding might not correspond to that of the original document as it appears at the present moment.

Copyright photos: Illuminated Facsimiles

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