Life and Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi

Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Ms. Gaddi 112


+39 333 9860 410

Illuminated Facsimiles

Life and Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi

Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Ms. Gaddi 112

Alternative titles
Leggienda del Beato Messer Sancto Franciescho d’Assisi – Vida y Obras de San Francisco de Asís – Leben und Werk von Heiligen Franz von Assisi – Vie et Écrits de Saint François d’Assise.
Physical features
Codex on parchment, dimensions 285 x 215 mm, III-185-II folios.
18th-century brown half-leather binding.
Italy, 15th century (1427).
In the first half of the 15th century, the codex is in Florence, in the Convent of St. Onofrio of the Nuns of Foligno. Initially belonging to the Augustinian nuns – who settled there in 1316 – in the 15th century the Convent was entrusted to the Franciscan Tertiaries from Umbria, and for this reason it was called di Fuligno (of Foligno). The fact that it belonged to the Franciscan Tertiary Nouns can be deduced from the possession note on f. IIv: «Questo libro è delle donne di sancto Nofri dell’ordine di sancto Franciesco / decto Fuligno. Deo gratias». The manuscript subsequently belonged to the Florentine branch of the Gaddi family, but the circumstances – and thus the time – through which the transfer of ownership took place are unknown. In 1755, the Gaddi family sold the codex to the Grand Duke of Tuscany Francis of Lorraine (b. 1708, d. 1765), who immediately after its acquisition donated it to the Biblioteca Magliabechiana – the current Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (BNCF). In 1783, the manuscript became part of the endowment of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana.
Present repository
The manuscript is still preserved today in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, under the shelfmark Ms. Gaddi 112.
The manuscript contains various 13th-century Franciscan writings, vulgarised in the following century. Among them: Legenda Maior; Little Flowers of Saint Francis; Testament of Saint Francis; Rule of Saint Francis; Tractatus de Miraculis Saint Francisci; Life of Friar Juniper; Life of Friar Leo; Life of Friar Egidio.
Italian (Tuscan vernacular).
Littera antiqua, with text arrangement in two columns.
The transcription of the text is the work of a single scribe, who at the end writes: «O tu che leggi, priegha Iddio che mi perdoni e che io servi a llui» (O thou who readest, pray to God that he may forgive me and that I serve him).
32 miniatures executed in ink and watercolours, numerous watermarked initials in red and blue at the beginning of each chapter. The scenes illustrate mainly episodes from the life of St. Francis of Assisi (b. ca. 1181, d. 1226), but also some of his companions, including Bernard of Quintavalle (b. ?, d. 1241) – who was the first disciple of St. Francis – and Brother Juniper (b. ?, d. 1258).
The miniatures were executed by a single artist, who has remained anonymous. Only one miniature (f. IIv) was made by a later artist.

Data sheet: Illuminated Facsimiles®



San Francesco d’Assisi. La Vita e le Opere

Publisher – ArtCodex (Castelvetro di Modena, 2010), by concession of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana.
Limited edition – This facsimile was produced and distributed in a limited edition of 999 copies numbered in Arabic numerals.
Type of reproduction – Full-size colour reproduction of the entire original document. Trimming and composition of the leaves reproduce the profile and structure of the original document. The facsimile reproduces the physical characteristics of the original manuscript as closely as possible, with the aim of substituting it in scientific research and in the libraries of bibliophile collectors.
Material – Special aged like-parchment paper.
Binding – Handmade binding. Full-grain calf leather cover, upper board with cornerpieces and central medallion depicting the portrait of St. Francis. The binding might not correspond to that of the original document as it appears at the present moment.
Commentary – Commentary volume in Italian language, size 18 x 28 cm, 247 pages, 89 colour images accompanying the text. Edited by Claudia Cappelletti. Index and authors: Premessa (Don Mario Sensi); Francesco Bernardonis penitente (Don Mario Sensi); «Monasteri aperti» per donne aristocratiche: l’esempio delle Terziarie Francescane Regolari di Foligno (secc. XIV-XV) (Don Mario Sensi); Il manoscritto Gaddiano 112: scheda codicologica (I. Giovanna Rao); La decorazione del manoscritto Gaddi 112: analisi stilistica di un’opera della bottega di Bicci di Lorenzo (Laura Alidori-Battaglia); Bibliografia; Appendice; Documenti.
Slipcase – Wooden slipcase.
Certificate of authenticity – The certificate is attached to the colophon of the facsimile. It bears the copy number, and is authenticated by Luciano Malagoli (ArtCodex) and Maria Prunai Falciani (Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana).
Extra content – Reproduction and transcription into Italian of the cartula of the «benedizione a Frate Leone» (blessing to Friar Leo), preserved at the Sacro Convento of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi (Umbria, Italy). The original manuscript of this document was left by St. Francis to his confrere Friar Leo.
ISBN – 978-88-6180-009-0 (commentary volume).

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