The wedding of the Pope's daughter: a spectacular testimony to the union of the Borgia and Este families

Spectacula Lucretiana

Rome (Italy) — Circa 1515

Spectacula Lucretiana

Spectacula Lucretiana

Rome (Italy) — Circa 1515

  1. Composed for the 1502 wedding of Lucrezia Borgia (1480–1519) with Alfonso d’Este (1476–1534) Duke of Ferrara

  2. 50 poems celebrate the participating personalities and the splendor of the festivities

  3. Giovanni Battista Valentini (ca. 1450–1515) dedicated the text to Pope Alexander VI (1431–1503), father of the bride

Spectacula Lucretiana

Spectacula Lucretiana – MSS/130 – Biblioteca Valenciana Nicolau Primitiu - Monasterio de San Miguel de los Reyes (Valencia, Spain)
Spectacula Lucretiana – MSS/130 – Biblioteca Valenciana Nicolau Primitiu - Monasterio de San Miguel de los Reyes (Valencia, Spain)
Spectacula Lucretiana – MSS/130 – Biblioteca Valenciana Nicolau Primitiu - Monasterio de San Miguel de los Reyes (Valencia, Spain)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology
Short Description

The collection of poems with the title Spectacula Lucreziana represents a unique attestation of the festival culture of the Italian Renaissance. Composed for the wedding of Lucrezia Borgia, the favorite daughter of Pope Alexander VI, with Alfonso d’Este from the ruling house of Ferrara, the 50 poems in Latin celebrate and praise the glory of the participating personalities and the splendor of the festivities. The author of the poems is the Italian humanist Giovanni Battista Valentini, known by the name Cantalicio, who was active at numerous courts and dedicated the Spectacula Lucreziana to Pope Alexander VI. The manuscript presented the splendor of the Renaissance not only in the words of the poet, but also above else in their magnificently artistic furnishing. Exuberantly designed with gold and bright colors, ornamental garlands and initials make the manuscript a true treasure of the Italian illumination of the Renaissance.

Spectacula Lucreziana

The collection of poems with the title Spectacula Lucreziana represents a unique attestation of the festival culture of the Italian Renaissance. Composed for the wedding of Lucrezia Borgia, the favorite daughter of Pope Alexander VI, with Alfonso d’Este from the ruling house of Ferrara, the 50 poems in Latin celebrate and praise the glory of the participating personalities and the splendor of the festivities. The author of the poems is the Italian humanist Giovanni Battista Valentini, known by the name Cantalicio, who was active at numerous courts and dedicated the Spectacula Lucreziana to Pope Alexander VI. The manuscript presented the splendor of the Renaissance not only in the words of the poet, but also above else in their magnificently artistic furnishing. Exuberantly designed with gold and bright colors, ornamental garlands and initials make the manuscript a true treasure of the Italian illumination of the Renaissance.

The Favorite Daughter of the Infamous Borgia Pope

Lucrezia Borgia (1480–1519) was personality already known for her beauty in her own lifetime. The illegitimate daughter of Pope Alexander VI, with her beloved Vanozza de’ Cattanei, remains a fascinating figure to this day. The favorite daughter of the influential and infamous Borgia Pope married for a third time the heir of the Duchy of Ferrara, Alfonso d’Este. This marriage, which testified to the alliance between two powerful families, was celebrated with all pomp and effort at the turn of the year 1501/1502 in Rome. Celebrations lasting several days accompanied the event. Public games, magnificent processions with splendidly adorned wagons, and theatrical performances stood in the plan alongside the official ceremonies. Today, all of this still transmits an impression of the Renaissance in Rome, the seat of the papacy and the location of important historical events.

Poems as Testimony of the Events

The proceedings of the wedding were recorded in an anthology of 50 poems in Latin. A poem was dedicated to every element of the extravagant festivities, such as the arrival of the delegation from Ferrara or the five comedies enacted. The author of the poems was Giovanni Battista Valentini, also known by the name Cantalico (ca. 1450–1515). This Italian humanist, born in the Italian city of Cantalice ca. 1450, was active at numerous courts. He maintained, among others, connections with the Medici and with the influential and powerful Borgia family, who reached the highpoint of their power with the ascension to the Throne of St. Peter by Pope Alexander VI. It was to this very same pope that Cantalicio dedicated his Spectacula Lucreziana.

The Splendor of the Renaissance on 36 Pages

The manuscript of the Spectacula Lucreziana is housed today in the Monasterio San Miguel de los Reyes in Valencia. This monastery is one of the most magnificent testimonials of the Renaissance architecture in the southern Spanish city and served – like the famous Escorial of King Phillip II – as a Hieronymite monastery and tomb of the royal family. The manuscript probably arose shortly after the festivities for the marriage in 1501/1502. It was considered by contemporaries and eye witnesses to be the best and most detailed description of the extravagant and ostentatious festivities for this occasion. This pageantry was also suitable for the furnishing and design of the manuscript. As a historical and literary testimonial of unique worth, the collection of poems is adorned all over with golden historiated initials, decorative garlands, coats of arms, and brightly-colored floral ornamentation. The title page already conveys an impression of the magnificence of the Italian Renaissance manuscript. The Spectacula Lucreziana by Cantalicio – 36 pages as the essence of papal magnificence in Rome ca. 1500!

Codicology
Size / Format
36 pages / 25.0 × 17.0 cm
Date
Circa 1515
Language
Artist / School
1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Spectacula Lucretiana“

Spectacula Lucretiana Facsimile

Spectacula Lucretiana – MSS/130 – Biblioteca Valenciana Nicolau Primitiu - Monasterio de San Miguel de los Reyes (Valencia, Spain)
Spectacula Lucretiana – MSS/130 – Biblioteca Valenciana Nicolau Primitiu - Monasterio de San Miguel de los Reyes (Valencia, Spain)
Spectacula Lucretiana – MSS/130 – Biblioteca Valenciana Nicolau Primitiu - Monasterio de San Miguel de los Reyes (Valencia, Spain)
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Spectacula Lucretiana Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Scriptorium – Valencia, 2010
Limited Edition
290 copies
Binding
Leather with gold engraving
Commentary
1 volume by Carmen Gómez Senent and José María Estellés
Language: Catalan
More Information
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: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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