Li Miraculi de la Madonna

Li Miraculi de la Madonna Facsimile Edition

Venice (Italy) — March 2nd, 1496

A Venetian incunabulum in vernacular Italian testifying to the veneration of the Virgin Mary and the miracles attributed to her

  1. A vernacular Italian text is adorned by 25 printed graphics, some of which repeat, and small initials

  2. The codex indicates that it was printed in Venice on March 2nd, 1496, but does not specify by whom

  3. This early print is a testimony to the popular veneration of the Virgin Mary and the miracles attributed to her

Li Miraculi de la Madonna

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Li Miraculi de la Madonna

The Virgin Mary was a popular figure for veneration in the Middle Ages, and many miracles were attributed to her. This early printed codex depicts various Marian miracles in 25 woodcuts and is distinguished by its unusual character, including a table at the end of the codex explains the 62 miracles, which are divided into 62 chapters. Neither the author nor the publisher are identified in the book, which merely states it was printed in Venice on the 2nd of March 1496, although researchers have their theories. This rare book, only two copies of which are known to exist today, represents both a testimony to the veneration of the Virgin Mary and the emergence of the metal movable-type printing press in late medieval Europe.

Li Miraculi de la Madonna

There are only in two surviving copies of this beautiful, strange, and odd book, an incunabulum (pre-1501 printed book) containing 62 Marian miracles, one in the Fundazione Cini in Venice and this specimen from the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid. At the beginning of the 20th century, Leo S. Olschki (1861–1940), an Italian publisher of Prussian-Jewish origin, wrote in his Livres inconnus des bibliographes that this copy was in the collections of the Biblioteca Melzi, then owned by Louise di Soragna Melzi, in Milan. The Italian text by an anonymous author is adorned by one large and numerous small initials as well 25 woodcuts, some of which repeat such as the image from the title page which is reused at the beginning of the text, but is presented within an historiated architectural border. The codex is a truly fascinating example from the genesis of book printing.

Identifying the Publisher

The codex indicates that it was printed on March 2nd, 1496 but does not specify by whom. However, researchers have attributed Li Miraculi de la Madonna to the workshop of Simón de Gabis, also known as de Bevilaqua, a printer from Pavía who rarely used his real name in his prints. After being active in Vicenza from 1487 to 1491, during which time he undertook six printing projects, de Gabis moved his shop from the mainland of the Veneto to its island capital of Venice in 1492. There he worked through the end of the century creating fascinating works like the specimen at hand.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Die Wunder der Madonna
Size / Format
88 pages / 20.2 × 14.5 cm
Origin
Italy
Date
March 2nd, 1496
Language
Illustrations
25 images of the Virgin Mary, 1 xylographic initial and several initials
Content
62 Tales of miracles of the Virgin Mary
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Li Miraculi de la Madonna – I/2776 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain) Facsimile Edition
Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 2007
Limited Edition: 3160 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Li Miraculi de la Madonna

Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 2007

Publisher: Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 2007
Limited Edition: 3160 copies
Binding: Binding of parchment on wooden cover Cloth-lined presentation case with gold engraved leather spine
Commentary: 1 volume
Language: Spanish
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
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