The legends of King Arthur in the context of the Renaissance: 289 fascinating pen drawings created at the court of the Visconti

Tavola Ritonda

Italy — 1446

Tavola Ritonda

Tavola Ritonda

Italy — 1446

  1. This Renaissance manuscript sets the famous Arthurian legends in the context of North Italian court culture

  2. It is dated to the 20th of July, 1446 and probably originated from the court of the Visconti in Milan

  3. 289 pen and ink drawings, probably from the hand of Bonifacio Bembo (1420-82), distinguish the Italian manuscript

Tavola Ritonda

Tavola Ritonda – ms. Palatino 556 – Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (Florence, Italy)
Imageof
Price Category: €€€
Edition available
Price: Login here!
  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

This impressive Italian manuscript from the year 1446 brings the famous tales of the Arthurian sagas to come back to life: texts concerning the adventures of Lancelot and Tristan and the search for the Holy Grail are assembled here – unique for this tradition in Italy – with gorgeous pen and ink drawings probably illustrated by Bonifacio Bembo. It is a significant art-historical and literary attestation of its epoch!

Tavola Ritonda

The manuscript ms. Palatino 556 of the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze is also known as Lancillotto or Tristano Palatino. It probably originated in the circle of the Visconti, the princes of Milan, perhaps at the behest of Pier Maria Rossi (1413-1482), the Duke of Berceto and Corniglio and Marchese of San Secondo, and is dated the 20th of July 1446. The Italian text on 242 pages was presumably written by the copyist Zuliano degli Anzoli.

The Knights Lancelot and Tristan

The content of the text – as the Italian title of the manuscript already indicates – orbits the knights of Arthur’s Roundtable. In doing so, tales from the famous Arthurian sagas are taken up, the adventures of Lancelot and Tristan among them. Countless adventures are interwoven with the stories about the lovers Tristan and Isolde and Lancelot and Guinevere in the heroic medieval epics around the search for the Holy Grail and the Knights of the Roundtable. These tales were widespread during the entire Middle Ages and were continuously appended and modified. Thus, the manuscript offers a vivid witness to North Italian court culture.

The Grandiose Illustration Cycle

Alongside this exceedingly interesting literary content, the other content of the codex is still enchanting: the manuscript is lavishly adorned with 289 pen and ink drawings, which wonderfully illustrate the stories. These make the manuscript a unique attestation to the Italian Tristan tradition and are based on the example of North French miniature painting. The drawings probably originate from Bonifacio Bembo (1420-1480), an Italian painter and miniaturist, who was a court painter for the Sforza in Milan, inter alia.

Codicology

Size / Format
242 pages / 27.5 x 20.0 cm
Origin
Italy
Date
1446
Language
Illustrations
289 drawings
Artist / School

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Tavola Ritonda“

Tavola Ritonda
Tavola Ritonda – ms. Palatino 556 – Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (Florence, Italy)
Imageof

Tavola Ritonda

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana - Treccani – Rome, 2009
Limited Edition
750 copies
Binding
Red velvet
Commentary
1 volume (352 pages) by Daniela Delcorno Branca, Marzia Faietti, Annette Hoffmann, Piera Giovanna Tordella, Adriana Di Domenico and Roberto Cardini
Price Category: €€€
Edition available
Price: Login here!
  1. Matching Works
  2. Matching Background Articles

Matching Works

Rose Novel for King François I

Rose Novel for King François I

Created and magnificently illuminated for the King of France: the ups and downs of a young man's journey in love

Experience More
Il Fior di Virtù + Waldseemüller map

Il Fior di Virtù + Waldseemüller map

Two masterpieces: the "Flowers of Virtue" and the first card labeled "America"

Experience More

Matching Background Articles

Publisher