FEATURES – Codex on parchment, 140 x 105 mm, 348 pp.
ORIGIN – Italy: Padua.
CHRONOLOGY – 14th century: 1304-1309 ca. The oldest Italian Book of Hours known today.
PATRONAGE – Francesco da Barberino.
GENRE – Christianity; Private devotional books; Literature; Treatises / Secular books.
CONTENTS – Together with the canonical prayers, the Officiolum contains an allegorical treatise on Hope, an original work by Francesco da Barberino.
LANGUAGE – Italian; Latin.
SCRIPT – Gothic.
DECORATION – Full-page and half-page miniatures; many initials, often refined and elaborate; decorations with branches of leaves, in color and gold. With its rich array of miniatures, the Officiolum represents the first documentary evidence of the suggestion and fascination of Dante’s Inferno on the readers of the Divine Comedy. In fact, Francesco da Barberino appears to be the first author to have mentioned Dante Alighieri‘s Comedy, between the end of 1313 and the beginning of 1314, in an autographed gloss to his work Documenta Amoris; and the Officiolum (a few years older), for the numerous allegorical representations it contains and which clearly recall Dante’s suggestions, is the extraordinary testimony of the success that the work of the Supreme Poet had right from the start, perhaps while it was still in the writing process.
ARTIST – The miniatures are made by illuminators active in Romagna and Veneto. Francesco da Barberino personally intervenes in the production of the drawings.
STYLE – Gothic.
Data sheet: Illuminated Facsimiles