Meditationes

Meditationes

The first illustrated printed book from Italy and a real bestseller: the meditations of a Spanish cardinal and abbot

  1. Juan de Torquemada (1388–1468) was a Spanish cardinal and abbot of the Monastery of Subiaco

  2. The text at hand is not his most famous, but is the most sought-after by bibliophiles

  3. It was published on December 31st, 1467 in Rome by the German printer Ulrich Han (ca. 1425 – ca. 1478)

Meditationes

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Meditationes

This codex represents both a historical landmark in the history of book printing as well as a fascinating synthesis of the arts. It is the first book to be printed in Italy, the work of a German who was part of the first generation of printers to spread across Europe and thus export Gutenberg’s invention. Spaces were left open for woodcuts and custom initials to be added according to the patron’s wishes, making it a transitional work.

Meditationes

A true milestone of the Italian Renaissance: the first illustrated printed book from Italy. Carlos Romero de Lecea has pointed out of this was "not the most well-known nor the most important work (of its author), but the most sought after by bibliophiles of all times", referring to this first edition, which was a genuine 15th century best-seller. Its author was no less than Juan de Torquemada (1388–1468) a Spanish cardinal and abbot of the Monastery of Subiaco. His Meditations were published on December 31st, 1467 by the German printer Ulrich Han (ca. 1425 – ca. 1478) in Rome. The printing press of Johannes Gutenberg (ca. 1400–68) had only recently been brought to Italy by Arnold Pannartz (d. ca. 1476) and Konrad Sweynheim (d. 1477), specifically to Subiaco Abbey, which was administered by Juan de Torquemada, the patron of this printed work. The printer, Ulrich Han, used a form of hybrid script that blended Gothic and Roman letters and like many incunabula (pre–1501 printed books) left blank spaces open for an illuminator to add customized historiated initials. These appear alongside 31 colored woodcuts, which reproduce the now-lost paintings of the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.


Available facsimile editions:
Meditationes – Inc. 1148 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1998
Limited Edition: 3160 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Meditationes

Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1998

Publisher: Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1998
Limited Edition: 3160 copies
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
Price: Login here!
You might also be interested in:
Koran of Muley Zaidan
Koran of Muley Zaidan
Mosque of the Al-Badi Palace, Marrakech (Morocco) – 1599

A masterpiece of Islamic illumination for Sultan Muley Zaidan: an extraordinary Moroccan manuscript from El Escorial

Experience More
Liber scivias
Liber scivias
Monastery of Rupertsberg (Germany) – ca. 1175 The lost original manuscript was copied by hand between 1927 and 1933 by nuns in Abbey of St. Hildegard

Lost in World War II: one of the main works by the famous abbess and visionary Hildegard von Bingen with her theological-cosmological findings

Experience More
Filter selection
Publisher