Liber Iesus


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Illuminated Facsimiles

Liber Iesus

Alternative titles
Jesus Book – Libretto del Iesus.
Physical features
Codex on parchment, dimensions 198 x 138 mm, 14 folios.
Eighteenth-century binding in carton boards with yellow parchment cover.
Made in Italy, at the Milanese court of Duke Ludovico Maria Sforza, also known as Ludovico il Moro (b. 1452, d. 1508). Last decade of the 15th century, between the birth of his son Massimiliano Sforza (b. 1493, d. 1530) and the fall of Ludovico in 1499.
The Liber Iesus was commissioned by Ludovico Maria Sforza for the education of his son Massimiliano. Together with the Treatise on Grammar – which Ludovico commissioned on the same occasion – it would have served the young prince to learn the rudiments of the Latin language and the moral, religious and civic virtues indispensable for the education of a future duke.
In the 18th century the codex was acquired by the collector Don Carlo Trivulzio (b. 1715, d. 1789), joining the library that the ancient Milanese Trivulzio family had started collecting since the 15th century. On the first pastedown is the ex libris of the Biblioteca Trivulzio.
Present repository
In 1935 the Comune di Milano acquired the Biblioteca Trivulzio, which became the Biblioteca Trivulziana del Castello Sforzesco. The Liber Iesus is still preserved there today, under the shelfmark MS Triv 2163.
ChristianityPrivate devotional booksLiterature.
Carme (f. 2r); Latin alphabet, orationes, moralising admonition (ff. 3r-4v); caption of the miniature depicting the meeting of Massimiliano Sforza with Maximilian I (b. 1459, d. 1519), King of the Romans and future Emperor (f. 5v); caption of the miniature of the lunch scene (f. 7v); caption of the miniature of the hunting game scene (f. 10r); psalmus et orationes (ff. 10v-12v).
Italian, Latin and German.
Humanistic minuscule.
Giovanni Battista Lorenzi.
4 full-page miniatures (ff. 1v, 6r, 8r, 9v); coat-of-arms of Ludovico il Moro, supported by two putti (f. 3r); 3 figurated initials (ff. 3r, 3v); 1 vignette miniature (f. 4v); initials decorated in gold on a red or blue ground.
The miniatures are the work of at least two hands, for which various attributions have been made over the years – including Andrea Solari (b. ca. 1470, d. 1524), Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (b. 1466, d. 1516), Cristoforo de Predis (b. 1440, d. 1486) and Giovan Pietro Birago. The most accredited hypothesis is that the artists are Boccaccio Boccaccino (b. ante 1466, d. 1525) and the Master of the Epithalium of Giasone del Maino.
Italian Renaissance.
External links
Grafiche in Comune – Biblioteca virtuale della grafica e dell’illustrazione libraria del Comune di Milano (digitised manuscript) – Manus Online – Manuscripts in Italian libraries (detailed description).

Data sheet compiled by Illuminated Facsimiles®



Grammatica Sforza. Grammatica del Donato e Liber Iesus

Distribution – The publisher has released in one edition the facsimiles of MSS Triv. 2163 and Triv. 2167, which are therefore part of the same print run and are sold together – accompanied by a single commentary volume and issued in the same slipcase.
Publisher – Franco Cosimo Panini Editore (Modena, 2016), by concession of the Comune di Milano – Biblioteca Trivulziana del Castello Sforzesco. The facsimile was produced in collaboration with the Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana – Treccani.
Series – La Biblioteca Impossibile – authoritative and valuable collection of facsimiles dedicated to the Renaissance, inaugurated in 1995 by Franco Cosimo Panini Editore.
Limited edition – The facsimile is published in a unique limited edition of 699 copies for worldwide distribution. The publisher guarantees that no further copies will be made.
Type of reproduction – Full-size colour reproduction of the entire 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.
Binding – The binding corresponds to that of the original document as it appears at the present moment. Trimming and composition of the leaves reproduce the profile and structure of the original document.
Commentary – Commentary volume in Italian edited by Jonathan J.G. Alexander, Pier Luigi Mulas, Marzia Pontone.
Slipcase – The triple compartment slipcase contains the two facsimiles of the MSS Triv. 2163 and Triv. 2167 and the commentary volume.
Certificate of authenticity – The certificate with the copy number is authenticated by the publisher and the Biblioteca Trivulziana.
ISBN – 978-88-570-1169-1.

Copyright photos Franco Cosimo Panini Editore

About The Author

Franco Cosimo Panini Editore