ARISTOTLE ETHICS, SIGNED BY SCRIBE ALTADELL

MS 111
MS Short Title ARISTOTLE ETHICS, SIGNED BY SCRIBE ALTADELL
Text
  1. ARISTOTELES: NICOMACHEAN ETHICS. TRANSLATED BY LEONARDO ARETINO BRUNI
  2. ARISTOTELES (PS): ECONOMICS. TRANSLATED BY LEONARDO ARETINO BRUNI
  3. LEONARDO ARETINO BRUNI: ISAGOGICA
Description MS in Latin on vellum, Napoli, Italy (or perhaps Catalonia, Spain), ca. 1458-1459, 188 ff. (ff. 4-6 later additions), else complete, 30x22 cm, single column, (18x12 cm), 25-28 lines in a strong humanistic book script with many calligraphic flourishes by the Spanish scribe Gabriel Altadell, incipits and explicits in red for all books and prefaces, except two, running headings and capitals in red, 114 3-&4-line initials in burnished gold, 1 3-line painted initial in red, 17 large initials in burnished gold with full and partial border decoration of elaborate white-vine scrolls against blue, green, red and burnished gold grounds, filled with putti, monkeys, dogs, dragons, hybrid beasts and exotic birds, some with burnished gold dots surrounded with black penwork, by one of the artists who worked on the Hours of King Alfonso. Arms of the Copons family of Catalonia on f. 9r.
Binding Spain, ca. 1900, vellum over board, sewn on 3 thongs, with gilt floral border, inlaid in centre of the upper cover a calf panel from the former binding with a wreath ornament gilt, on the lower cover a gilt monogram MB.
Context 7 other MSS signed by the same scribe are known.
Provenance 1. The Copons family, Catalonia (from 1458/59); 2. Marques of Barbara, Barcelona (until 1968); 3. William H. Schab, New York, Cat. 46(1968):1; 4. Commodore Tammaro de Marinis, Firenze (from 1968); 5. Bruce Ferrini, Akron, Ohio, Cat. 2(1989):4. Deaccession October 2010.
Commentary

3 half- and full-page colophons, on ff. 8, 160 and 171, in humanistic capitals, Gothic book script and Greek capitals, with extensive, elegant and exaggerated flourishes. All signed by Altadell, who is known for showing off his abilities as a scribe.

Aristoteles’ (384-322 BC) Ethika was dedicated to his son Nichomachus, while his other work on ethics is known as the Eudemian Ethics. They cover much the same topics, instructions how to achieve happiness and human virtues by intellectual activity, as well as by moral intention and virtue of character.

Exhibited University of Oslo. Domus Bibliotheca, 6-15 May 1996: European medieval manuscripts from The Schøyen Collection.
Place of origin Spain (or Italy)
Dates ca 1458 - 1459 AD

Location