Crafted in Florence between 1477-1478, the Bible of Federico da Montefeltro is one of the most beautiful codices in Federico da Montefeltro's library, and it can be considered a great celebration of the art of illumination. Indeed, this magnificent work embodies the peak of development of the culture of the figurative arts in Italy and Europe in the fifteenth century.
A Work of Monumental Proportions
This Bible was produced at a time when the practice of printing with movable types was spreading fast. The book differs from the usual codex in its remarkable size and in the number of illuminated leaves (thirty-five of which are of a truly painterly character).
The scribe of this Bible was Ugo Comminelli da Mézières, while the work of illumination, executed in Florence in just two years (1477-1478), is by Francesco di Antonio del Chierico, an illuminator who had reached the peak of fame at that time, and who was generously ‘loaned’ to the Duke of Urbino by Lorenzo de’ Medici.
Alongside these illuminations by Francesco, the book also features the work of other historically renowned illuminators, such as Attavante degli Attavanti, Francesco Rosselli, and, in all likelihood, Davide Ghirlandaio (the brother of the more well-known Domenico Ghirlandaio).
The Influences of Renaissance Masters
In these Bible works we find many ‘echoes’ of the immense heritage of the figurative arts of fifteenth-century Florence, and notably also of the major artists of the Tuscan Renaissance.
Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, turned the capital of his small duchy into one of the most imposing cultural centers of the Italian Renaissance. He called to his court architects and artists such as Luciano Laurana, Melozzo da Forlì, Giusto di Gand, and Piero della Francesca.
He also founded one of the largest libraries of the times, where dozens of scribes transcribed books which were then sent to the Florentine workshop of Vespasiano da Bisticci to be embellished by master illuminators.
We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Bible of Federico da Montefeltro": Bibbia di Federico da Montefeltro facsimile edition, published by Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, 2005Request Info / Price