Resta Codex

Resta Codex

Italy — 15th–17th century

A treasure trove of impressive art: an album of works from Giotto to Raphael, from Leonardo Da Vinci to Botticelli

  1. Padre Sebastiano Resta assembled 281 drawings by great Italian masters in this 17th century album

  2. The artists range from the Trecento to Seicento, from Giotto to Raphael and Leonardo to Botticelli

  3. Rediscovered in the Library of Palermo, this manuscript is considered to be a treasure chest of graphic art

Resta Codex

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Resta Codex

The famous Resta Codex is surely one of the most important art historical treasures of the Italian Renaissance! Padre Sebastiano Resta, a gifted graphic collector of the 17th century, assembled 281 drawings by great Italian masters in this album. The line-up of artists represented here stretches from Trecento to Seicento, from Giotto to Raphael and Leonardo to Masaccio and Botticelli. Exciting notes and anecdotes from the hand of the collector supplement the precious drawings. Rediscovered in the Library of Palermo after being lost for a long time, the Resta Codex is considered to be a true treasure chest of graphic art during this time!

Resta Codex

The famous Resta Codex is surely one of the most important art historical treasures of the Italian Renaissance! Padre Sebastiano Resta, a gifted graphic collector of the 17th century, assembled 281 drawings by great Italian masters in this album. The line-up of artists represented here stretches from Trecento to Seicento, from Giotto to Raphael and Leonardo to Masaccio and Botticelli. Exciting notes and anecdotes from the hand of the collector supplement the precious drawings. Rediscovered in the Library of Palermo after being lost for a long time, the Resta Codex is considered to be a true treasure chest of graphic art during this time!

A Collected Album with Exciting History

The famous Resta Codex is stored today in the Biblioteca Ambrosia in Milan. This valuable album with drawings by Italian masters is named after its author: Padre Sebastian Resta (1635–1714). Resta was a gifted collector and great connoisseur of graphic art. He pasted anlarge number of drawings into notebooks in the course of his life. They comprise 3,500 drawings in 30 volumes altogether, the so-called Resta Codex is surely the most famous. Unlike most of the 30 albums, this one was never plundered and its contents divided among collections across the world. The Resta Codex was thought to be lost for a long time, until it was rediscovered in the Palermo Public Library.

The Drawing as an Unmitigated Access to the Artist

A selection of the 100 most beautiful sheets from the total of 281 in the Resta Codex assembles works presenting a wonderful overview of the treasure that unfolds here: drawings by the greatest masters of Italian art from the Trecento to the Seicento. Among the artists represented here are such great names as Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Massacio and many more. The drawings offer an unhindered inside view into the genesis of great works of art and into the idea world of these great masters. Resta furnished the pasted pages with notes, information, speculations, anecdotes, and other comments from his hand. The 234 pages of this codex, measuring 52 x 37.2 cm, enchant nearly every lover of Italian Renaissance art!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Resta-Codex
Codice Resta
Size / Format
234 pages / 52.0 × 37.2 cm
Origin
Italy
Date
15th–17th century
Language
Previous Owners
Sebastiano Resta (1635–1714)

Available facsimile editions:
Resta Codex – Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Milan, Italy)
Vallecchi – Florence, 2003
Limited Edition: 1000 copies
Detail Picture

Resta Codex

Architectural Study

This sketch of a port city by Titian incorporates numerous classically styled architectures. In the lower left corner, a statue of a woman with a basket on her head stands with its back to the beholder and looks out to the gate, which is flanked by mismatching towers. A man walks up the steps to the right and into an arcade where more figures watch the ships that sail through the harbor. The Z-shaped railing helps to create perspective and a sense of depth.

Codice Resta
Single Page

Resta Codex

Study of the Annunciation

This study of the Virgin Mary from a fresco of the Annunciation painted by Correggio ca. 1524-25 is missing the Archangel Gabriel on the left, who appears with two cherubs on a cloud. Although the holy burst of light behind Mary’s head has not yet been incorporated, her body posturing with her right hand over her heart reflects the image’s final version.

The fresco originally adorned the church of San Francesco in Parma. Vasari informs us that when its original home was demolished in 1546, the monks reinforced the section of wall behind it with iron bars, carefully cut it free, and moved it to another part of the monastery. It was later moved to the Annunziata church in Capo di Ponto and is now in the Galleria nazionale di Parma.

Codice Resta
Facsimile Editions

#1 Codice Resta

Vallecchi – Florence, 2003
Resta Codex – Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Milan, Italy)
Resta Codex – Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Milan, Italy) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Vallecchi – Florence, 2003
Limited Edition: 1000 copies
Binding: True-to-original leather binding with gold embossing. Printed on special paper created only for this volume by Cartiere Miliani di Fabriano.
Commentary: 1 volume by Gianfranco Ravasi
Languages: English, Italian
1 volume: This facsimile is not complete. Partial reproduction of the original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
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