Ilona Berkovits, Illuminated Manuscripts from the library of Matthias Corvinus (1964): Extract. pp. 9-53


The Bibliotheca Corviniana

Expressing as it does the humanist spirit which pervaded the court of Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490), the Corvinian Library was a magnificent symbol of the Hungarian Renaissance. Historians of literature have for long occupied themselves with it, and it is still a favourite subject for research; but countless pertinent questions remain unanswered.

It is unfortunately no longer possible to reconstruct the original library, for a considerable number of manuscripts have been lost or destroyed, but many of its splendid items are preserved in various parts of the world. They may be found in libraries in Berlin, Besancon, Brussels, Cambridge, Cheltenham, Cracow, Dresden, Erlangen, Florence, Göttingen, Holkham Hall, Jena, Leipzig, London, Milan, Modena, Munich, New York, Olomouc, Paris, Parma, Prague, Rome, Salzburg, Stuttgart, Venice, Verona, Vienna, Warsaw, Wolfenbüttel and Zagreb, as well as in Hungary. Various contemporary records provide evidence that Matthias was the chief rival of the Italian humanist princes in his passion for collecting books, and that he preserved in his library several thousands of valuable, richly decorated hand-written volumes. The humanist Bartholomaeus Fontius, the King's Italian librarian, wrote that the collection in the Corvinian Library was superior to that of every other princely library, and thus stimulated even the famous banker-dictator of Florence, Lorenzo Medici, who had already founded the Laurenziana Library there, to follow King Matthias's example. After the death of Matthias and during the subsequent period of Turkish occupation in Hungary, the items of this famous library were scattered and for the most part destroyed.1

There are now in existence about one hundred and sixty-five authentic manuscripts which have been identified beyond dispute. The majority of these----43 codices and two incunabulae----are preserved in Hungary. Nothing could illustrate more graphically the ruin and dispersion of the library than the fact that a century ago there were very few illuminated manuscripts from King Matthias's Library in Hungary; since then their number has gradually increased as a result of gifts and purchases. Thus in 1877, the Turkish sultan Abdul Hamid II donated to Budapest University Library 35 manuscripts looted from Hungary----including 11 authentic Corvinian codices. Sixteen authentic illuminated manuscripts from the Corvinian Library were transferred in 1933 from the Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek to the collection of the Széchényi Library at Budapest in compliance with the so-called Venice Agreement.

It is hardly feasible to deal with the Corvinian Library or its various illuminated manuscripts without devoting some study, however brief, to the personality of Matthias Corvinus, without some consideration of his age and its social aspects; nor should we omit to point out the factors that promoted the development of Hungarian Renaissance culture during his reign. |10 

MATTHIAS CORVINUS AND RENAISSANCE CULTURE

Matthias was a youth when he had to create order out of anarchy in Hungary; he was faced with the necessity of suppressing the rebellious oligarchies of the nobles, building up a centralized monarchy, and securing the defensive borders of the country against the steadily increasing threat of Turkish attacks. By organizing a powerful army of mercenaries he put an end to his dependence on the oligarchs for the services of their troops. In his contest with the feudal aristocracy he selected the members of his court, his new prelates, bishops and officials, partly from the less powerful landed nobles and petty gentry, partly from the bourgeoisie, even from among the serfs.2 He threw himself into European politics in which he played a lively and active part, waging wars against Austria and Bohemia. And from the beginning he exhibited a growing interest in the humanities. Like the Italian Renaissance princes, he recognized that by surrounding himself with scholars and artists his reign acquired a superb brilliance.

Some historians tend to connect the beginnings of Hungarian Renaissance culture with the King's second marriage, in 1476, to Beatrice of Aragon, daughter of the reigning prince of Naples. However, the roots of Hungarian humanist learning can be traced to the era of Matthias's father, Governor Johannes Hunyadi, the valiant general who defeated the Turks, and to the period of the Hungarian King Sigismund of the House of Luxembourg (1387----1437). As a young sovereign, influenced no doubt also by his experience in the field of literature, Matthias turned against mediaeval ecclesiastic miniature painting which was still fostered by admirers of old Gothic art. Certain illuminated manuscripts are in themselves confirmation of this point. There is a Missal now preserved in Rome which was prepared in 1469 in Vienna by Georgius Cathedralis. One of the miniatures in it shows King Matthias in all his royal splendour, kneeling before Christ rising from the dead. Matthias, who was striving to collect an extensive library and at that time may have already conceived the idea of establishing a workshop for copyists and illustrators of books in Buda, nevertheless immediately passed on this codex as a gift to the Hungarian monk, Thomas of Hungary.3 The fact of this gift is disclosed in one of the notes in the Missal; obviously this work, carried out in an archaic style, in the ecclesiastical spirit of mediaeval Gothic art, was not to the taste of Matthias who favoured Renaissance art. Moreover, this miniature was expressly intended to emphasize Matthias's deeply religious nature and his loyalty to the Church, whereas Matthias at all times rejected any interference by the Pope into Hungarian ecclesiastic affairs; he went so far as to appoint bishops himself from among his own followers. The prelates themselves spread humanist learning and, following the King's example, became passionate collectors of books, as for instance Dominicus Kálmáncsehi, Provost of Székesfehérvár, to whom we shall revert later. |11 

To strengthen his rule, Matthias had to break down the feudal aristocracy's aspirations to power and to create a modern centralized state apparatus. In pursuit of this aim he embarked upon projects likely to gain support from the lesser nobility and the bourgeoisie. Renaissance thinking and politics, developed to such a high standard in Italy, proved to be the most suitable means for the purpose.

Italian humanism and the flowering of Renaissance art that went with it became a model for other countries in which a humanist culture was later developed. Humanists gathered around universities and schools as well as about the courts of various sovereigns, all of them bent on cementing central monarchic power. Hungarian humanism, too, served the interests of royal power and the policy of centralization; its zealous advocates were for the most part foreigners and members of the ecclesiastic intelligentsia who usually rose to occupy high offices.

The foundation of Matthias's famous library at Buda was chiefly due to the influence which Johannes Vitéz exerted over the King. Vitéz was the founder, organizer and guide of Hungarian humanism; as archbishop of Esztergom, even as late as the first decade of Matthias's reign, he was still a power behind the scenes directing the course of Hungarian history.

Johannes Vitéz came to the court of Sigismund of Luxemburg in early youth (1433), when the King was at the zenith of his success. For all the numerous kingdoms in Sigismund's realm, Buda, with its glittering court, sumptuous palace and gay-coloured throng of foreigners, remained the centre of the empire. As a modest clerk in the chancellery, the young priest Vitéz basked in the radiance of European supremacy and played his part, albeit passively, in the political circle which controlled all Europe. His individuality, literary talent and distinguished style may be discerned in the text of several royal deeds dating from that period.4 At that time Italian humanists had already presented themselves at the court of Sigismund: Ambrogio Traversari, Antonio Loschi and Francesco Filelfo had all dedicated their works to the emperor. The arrival of the eminent Italian humanist, Pier Paolo Vergerio, marked the beginning of Hungarian humanism, for he was the first Italian humanist to stay for several decades in Hungary, where he became very friendly with Johannes Vitéz.

It is important, however, to recognize behind these first stirrings of Hungarian humanism the social contradictions of Sigismund's age. While the forces of humanism were responsible for bringing the culture of the Renaissance to this country and for spreading progressive ideas here, these same forces were used by the King and the ruling classes as a weapon against popular revolts threatening the Church, against the Hussite movements. Sigismund had a high regard for scholars, science and art, but he was at the same time a merciless and cruel tyrant. It was certainly no accident that while he brought foreign artists back with him from his tours abroad, and during his reign |12 a university was functioning at Ó-Buda, [Oldest part of Buda; northwest district of present-day Budapest.] many Hungarian students enrolled at foreign universities and there were Hungarian artists working in other countries. It is significant that Sigismund became acquainted with Pier Paolo Vergerio at the Synod of Constance, where the Hungarian king made his appearance as Holy Roman Emperor, attended by the excellent professors of O-Buda University, to sit in judgment on John Huss. During this period a number of foreign scholars visited Hungary; in 1424 Buda even welcomed the court poet of the French king, Alain Chartier, whose speech against the Hussites has come down to posterity in three manuscripts----one preserved in Florence, the other two in Paris.

As a result of his friendship with Vergerio, Johannes Vitéz's ardour for science and the arts steadily increased. This may explain how he came to send his nephew, Johannes Csezmiczei, better known as Janus Pannonius, whose talents were revealed at an early age, to the celebrated humanist school of Guarino at Ferrara in Italy. Realization of his own unattainable desires was to be made possible for his youthful kinsman whom he deliberately trained to become a humanist; nor was he disappointed, for Janus Pannonius was so brilliantly gifted and achieved success so quickly that he became a humanist of European renown. But the education of Janus Pannonius at Ferrara had other consequences too; Vitéz, in all probability quite consciously, thereby started to establish new spiritual connections between Ferrara and Hungary. Over a period of several decades Ferrara was to exert a powerful influence on Hungarian intellectual life and to become an important factor in Buda book-painting and the development of the Corvinian Library.

As the friend, counsellor, and scribe of Johannes Hunyadi, Vitéz drew the great general's attention to Italy, and Hunyadi came into contact with Italian humanists. When Poggio Bracciolini sent his latest works to Hunyadi, in the accompanying letter (1448) he persuaded the governor to continue his studies.5

During the reign of the Hungarian King Ladislaus V (1452----1457) Vitéz carried on systematically the work he had taken up earlier. As chancellor of the thirteen-year old monarch, he strove to improve the humanist level of the court. Already in the second year of his reign (1454) the young king was asking the King of Naples for books. "With full confidence," he wrote to Alphonsus, "I therefore present to Your Majesty my request to be sent a few books from those in Your Majesty's possession, such as are worth reading on the outstanding deeds of Roman leaders and sovereigns of other peoples, or which discuss the endeavours of the ancients thoroughly and seriously. . ."6

When Matthias ascended the throne of Hungary, the centre of the country's intellectual life was Várad (today Oradea, Rumania), where Johannes Vitéz, Bishop of Várad, had fashioned his court after the ideals of humanism. He received humanists |13 from other countries and employed foreign artists; his musician was the Frenchman Petrus Gallicus. Copyists and miniaturists were kept busy at his court, so that in creating a humanist atmosphere there should be no lack of books, the most important food for intellectual activity. Of the library of Vitéz----the first large Hungarian library before the Bibliotheca Corviniana----there exists today only a small fragment which gives little idea of the grandeur of the original old collection. Contemporary accounts which have fortunately survived can certainly not be disregarded as mere exaggerations inspired by humanist enthusiasm. When Janus Pannonius became Bishop of Pécs (1459), he wrote one of his finest poems in farewell to Várad, and in it he alluded to Vitéz's splendid library "so full of many famous books from antiquity." The renowned humanist bookseller of Florence, Vespasiano da Bisticci, mentioned that it was one of Vitéz's chief concerns to build up a library in which every branch of science was represented. Vitéz was presumably sent regular supplies of books from Italy, not only by booksellers and humanists with whom he carried on a lively correspondence, but also by Janus Pannonius.7

Numbers of copyists and miniaturists were at the same time employed at his court in Várad. They copied the works of Tertullian and Victorinus; and later, when Vitéz was appointed Archbishop of Esztergom, those of Ptolemy and Regiomontanus. Nevertheless fewer than thirty of Vitéz's books have come down to us.8 Hardly any of the works of his great contemporaries have been found; the books of such humanists as Guarino, Vergerio, Poggio, Enea Silvio Piccolomini, Janus Pannonius, Argiropilo, Trapezuntius and many others----who had been his correspondents and had dedicated their works to him----have all been scattered about the world, have disappeared or perished. In addition to one work each by Plautus, Pliny, Tacitus, Demosthenes, and Cur-tius Rufus, Cicero and Livy were represented by several volumes. At the same time, the ecclesiastical rituals and prayer books of the Bishop of Várad and the Archbishop of Esztergom have also been lost. It seems likely that the library of Vitéz suffered worse destruction than did the Corvinian Library. Part of it was amalgamated with the Corvina and perished with it; the other part became the loot of Vitéz's successor, Beckens-loer, Archbishop of Esztergom. Later this disloyal Johannes Beckensloer joined Matthias's enemy, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III, taking with him not only the treasures of the Esztergom diocese, but also the manuscripts belonging to Johannes Vitéz. These volumes from Vitéz's library, which were destroyed, constitute a major gap in the fragmentary relics of ancient Hungarian culture.

"King Matthias was a greatly gifted and very learned man of independent spirit, strong and born to govern; a prince with an extraordinary personality and a decided inclination for authority, a man of such remarkable individuality that he was able to assimilate, in a manner peculiar to himself, the Renaissance aspirations awakened in his |14 soul by Vitéz and Janus Pannonius, in this way achieving results which far surpassed the original intentions of his instructors." Thus wrote János Csontosi, one of the first Hungarian Corvina scholars at the close of the 19th century. 9

And again, some twenty years ago, an eminent Hungarian historian of Hungarian literature drew the following vivid portrait of Matthias Corvinus: "He has been called a tyrant and he has been called just; many plotted against his life, but many lamented the passing of his reign; his foreign policy has been censured, his flair for diplomacy has been praised; his wars have been condemned, his generalship and capacity for organizing armies have been extolled. He has been recognized as a typical Renaissance sovereign and the first modern ruler. His powerful personality has endured, nay, provoked all shades of evaluation. During his lifetime and after his death he evoked both adulation and revolt. Pride was a fundamental trait of his character, and his chief pride was to find the justification for his deeds in himself."10

In the first decade of his reign, Matthias in fact shared the authority of the crown with Vitéz and Janus Pannonius. Apart from the King these two were the mightiest in the land. In lifting the court atmosphere to consistently higher standards the young King was guided by the learning of these two great humanists. Besides Johannes Vitéz, Janus Pannonius also became the King's favoured confident during these years. As chancellor, his influence over Matthias increased steadily day by day. Janus Pannonius threw himself into court activities, but he none the less missed the invigorating humanist atmosphere of Italy which was so conducive to creation. His native background was too narrow for the conception of humanist works or to bring his poetry to its true flowering. He lacked most of the books he needed for study. This he mentioned in a later letter addressed to Marzio Galeotto while excusing himself for his alleged neglect of the sciences: "----owing partly to my other business, partly to the circumstance that I could not obtain the necessary books in this barbarian country, nor did I find an appreciative audience which might have spurred on my ambition to learn."11

Feeling like this, Janus Pannonius naturally tried to stimulate the young King's liking for humanism and books, and to encourage his idea of founding a rich library. He also passed on to Matthias his passion for Ferrara; the young King's first ties with Italian humanism were associated with Ferrara, which assumed an important role in the development of education at the court of Buda. Numerous young Hungarians visited Ferrara, instead of Padua or Bologna. Hungarians were attracted not only by Guarino's humanist school, but also by the workshops of eminent Ferrara painters: Michele Pan-nonio and Giorgio di Domenico de Ungaria12 worked in Ferrara, and the Vicar General of the Carthusian monastery, where Borso d'Este's marvellous codices were produced, was a Hungarian named Andreas Pannonius.

As Vasari wrote that "many Florentines lived at the court of Matthias,"13 the |15 sources of Hungarian humanism were formerly thought to be traceable to Florence. Relations to Florence were undeniably close; Florence was the seat of the "Academia Platonica," and the seeds of neo-Platonic philosophy fell on fertile soil at the Hungarian court. However, the illumination of books in the spirit of the Renaissance but carried out as a court activity, can scarcely be connected with Florence. Book-painting was soon industrialized at Florence and became an art-export that reached all parts of Europe. Medici himself placed his massive orders with Vespasiano da Bisticci, the bookseller who deluged the market throughout Europe and who supplied to his own prince two hundred manuscripts in two years. The great Florentine illuminators, Cherico, Gherardo, Monte di Giovanni del Fora, and Attavante also served the cause of art-export and they too supplied several magnificent works to Matthias Corvinus.

Renaissance book-painting dependent on a sovereign's personal patronage flourished rather at Milan, but still more profusely at Ferrara and Naples. It stands to reason that the world-famous library of Ferrara, in one of Italy's most impressive princedoms and the illumination done at the court there, could not leave Matthias unaffected. Guarino's pupil, the learned humanist Leonello d'Este, was already a Renaissance ruler in the true sense of the word. He was surrounded by a host of philosophers, scholars and artists, his palace and treasures were celebrated and his library was almost unequalled in his time. The best miniature painters, Jacopino d'Arezzo, Giorgio d'Alemagna, Gu-glielmo Giraldi, Magnanino, Matteo di Pasti da Verona and Marco dell'Avogaro worked at his court. The famous riches of the court of Ferrara attracted crowds of foreign artists. The miniaturists of Milan were the first to arrive at Ferrara, among them Guiniforte da Vimercate. During the brief nine-year reign of Leonello d'Este manuscripts of growing magnificence were produced. His successor, Borso d'Este, maintained in his court the high standards set up by Leonello. During his reign the art of Ferrara rivalled the best in Italy: for many decades Ferrara illumination equalled that of Florence and Naples. The illuminated manuscripts owned by Borso d'Este were a spur to Matthias's ambition, an example of what he also might acquire.

1465 was a memorable date in the history of Hungarian humanism; it was the year of Janus Pannonius's renowned ambassadorship in Italy. As the powerful Bishop of Pécs, the chancellor of Matthias Corvinus who had triumphed over the Turks, the illustrious poet, escorted by three hundred stalwart horsemen, naturally created a sensation and greatly enhanced Matthias's fame and reputation. According to Vespasiano da Bisticci, "never before had a more worthy ambassador come to Italy from a faraway land with more horses and greater pomp."14 Janus Pannonius's mission, carried out with such splendour, was concerned with state affairs, but at the same time it served to strengthen the link between the Italian humanists and the Hungarian court. He came into personal contact with members of the academies of Florence and Rome, with |16 Pomponius Laetus, Marsilius Fidnus, Bartholomaeus Fontius and Argiropilo. It was on this occasion that he brought back with him his humanist friend, Marzio Galeotto, who had already visited Hungary in 1461, and now became a member of the King's retinue as librarian "praefectus Bibliothecae Budensis"

At Ferrara he met, among others, Andreas Pannonius and Tribrachus of Modena, the poet laureate of Borso d'Este. As Vicar of the Carthusian monastery, Andreas Pannonius maintained a connection with the Hungarians staying in Ferrara; he also acted as patron to the Hungarian youths who were studying there. The fact that he had been one of Johannes Hunyadi's soldiers and had attended the baptism of Matthias in Kolozsvár (today Cluj, Rumania) gave a romantic aura to his personality. All this is known from his work entitled Libellus de Virtutibus, dedicated to Matthias in 1467. (Vatican Library, Cod. lat. 3186.)

The celebrated ritual and choral books of the Carthusian monastery were magnificent pieces of Ferraran illumination. They came from the hand of Guglielmo Giraldi, Borso d'Este's excellent miniaturist. Borso d'Este's famous four-volume Bible, one of the most monumental achievements of Renaissance illumination, was also made in the Carthusian monastery, and the temporal miniaturists of Ferrara, Taddeo Crivelli, Guglielmo Giraldi, Franco de Russi, Giorgio d'Alemagna, Marco dell'Avogaro and Jacopo Filippo d'Argenta vied with each other in painting its leaves.15

Andreas Pannonius must have introduced Janus Pannonius to the workshops where the manuscripts were made and illuminated, during a subsequent stay in Ferrara. Janus Pannonius must have brought back with him the legendary fame of Borso d'Este's chronicles and mentioned them to Matthias. While on his mission abroad he bought books with passionate enthusiasm. Vespasiano da Bisticci gave the following account of his purchases : " Volendo fare una degna libraria, comprò a Koma tutti i libri che poteva avere, così greci come latini, d'ogni facuità. Venuto in Firenze, fece il simile, di comprare tutti i libri greci e latini, che poteva avere, non guardando ne a pretto ne a nulla ; ch'era liberalissimo. Nella partita lasciò parecchie centinaia di fiorini, per fare libri latini e greci che gli mancavano... Ordinò a Firenze quello che voleva che si facesse, e partissi, e andò alla via di Ferrara, e tutti i libri che trovò, comprò. . . " ["Wishing to collect a worthy library, he purchased all the books he could in Rome----Greek books as well as Latin works, in all fields of study. He did likewise in Florence, liberally, without consideration of price or anything. He left several hundred florins in the workshop in order to have Latin and Greek books he did not possess made for him . . . He ordered everything he wanted to have made in Florence and, leaving for Ferrara, purchased all the books he could . .."] 16

Thus Janus Pannonius spared no cost to acquire every available book, not only for himself, but also for Vitéz, for King Matthias, the library of Buda, and perhaps even for the future university of Pozsony (today Bratislava, Czechoslovakia). Today it is impossible to tell which manuscripts he procured. The library of Janus Pannonius was almost completely destroyed. Most likely the remnant was amalgamated with the |17 Corvinian Library; about twelve Corvinian manuscripts may come from the library of Janus,17 and they are mostly undecorated. The volumes purchased for the Buda library should perhaps be looked for among the older, less profusely decorated Corvinian codices and the more simply illuminated volumes imported from Florence. Matthias's miniaturists later added coats-of-arms and a certain amount of decoration to a number of these volumes; 36 manuscripts produced before the years from 1470 to 1472 were subsequently richly elaborated in this way.18

Some traces of the link with Ferrara were evident at the court of Matthias in the 1470's. It was the Ferrara physician Antonio Torquato who prepared Matthias's horoscope in 1470, and ten years later another doctor from Ferrara, Ruguacci, followed his example. Both works have been lost.19 A Ferrara humanist, Lodovico Carbo, in 1475 dedicated one of his works, which was illuminated by Ferrara artists, to Matthias. One of Matthias's Italian copyists, Sigismundus de Sigismundis, also came from Ferrara, and the eminent Ferrara painter, Ercole de Roberti, also paid a visit to Hungary once.

All these data provide evidence of a continuous and uninterrupted relationship with Ferrara, in addition to other Italian influences.

During the librarianship of Marzio Galeotto, the Corvinian Library, keeping pace with the steady strengthening of the humanist spirit at court, was growing ever richer. The spirit of developing Hungarian humanism was greatly fostered by the circle of foreign scholars working at the University of Pozsony founded in 1467: Gatti, Brandolini, Ilkus, and Regiomontanus, who dedicated their writings to Matthias; Regiomontanus, for instance, dedicated Ephemerides Budenses to the King in 1467; and one year later Martin Ilkus dedicated his work written at Buda to Matthias. At the same time Regiomontanus dedicated his work written at Esztergom, tabulae Directionum, to Vitéz. Not long after this, Buda was looking forward to the arrival of Argiropilo, Bartholomaeus Fontius, and other Italian humanists. The grand project of Johannes Vitéz and Janus Pannonius for transplanting Italian humanist learning to Hungarian soil was thus about to be realized. But at this point the country was shaken by the storm which followed Vitéz's conspiracy (1471).

Johannes Vitéz was the teacher of two great men: a humanist poet and a king. He was successful with both. Janus Pannonius became an acknowledged poet of his age, while Matthias became the embodiment of the Hungarian Renaissance ruler as conceived and desired by Vitéz. Matthias was Vitéz's pupil, but in the end the disciple surpassed his master. Overshadowed by the strong-willed, highly gifted young sovereign, Vitéz, an aging man, gradually lost his power, and the influence of Janus Pannonius, the humanist poet invested with the bishopric of Pécs, was also on the wane. At the close of the 1460's Matthias's western policy failed, and an Austrian-Polish-Czech alliance was formed against him. Casimir, the son of the Polish king, a direct descendant |18 on the maternal side of the Hungarian kings Sigismund and Albert, and a cousin of King Ladislaus V of Hungary, was pretender to the Hungarian throne. The oligarchs who had forfeited their power under Matthias's rule wanted to put Prince Casimir on the throne, and Johannes Vitéz put himself at the head of the revolt. Thus Vitéz wanted to drive King Matthias from the throne which he had himself helped to make secure. But the pupil stood his ground; he crushed the revolt, sent Vitéz to prison, and then handed him over to the new Archbishop of Esztergom, Beckensloer, a foreigner. At the court of Beckensloer the old humanist died within a few months. Janus Pannonius, who had also taken part in the revolt, met his death in a castle belonging to the Bishop of Zagreb while fleeing to Italy.

The progress of Hungarian humanism was badly halted by the shock of Vitéz's conspiracy. The tragic fate that overtook Johannes Vitéz, the humanist prelate politician, and Janus Pannonius, one of the finest humanist poets, turned Italian humanist opinion against Matthias. The expected Italian scholars did not come, and those who lived here, Vitéz's friends and the professors of the University of Pozsony, left the country. Vespasiano da Bisticci expressed his aversion to Matthias Corvinus with noticeable asperity: "E morti i due prelati, molti uomini degni che v'avevano fatto conducere, si partirono ; e spensonsi tutti i singulari uomini, male remunerati da quel principe, di quello che meritavano le loro virtù." ["The two prelates are dead, many eminent men who have done worthwhile things are gone, and scattered are all the outstanding men who, in return for their virtues, were treated ill by that prince."] 2O

Matthias has, however, been justified by the very vigour he showed in the face of conspiracy, and which furnished proof of his capacity to reign. For some time after putting down the revolt he looked with anger on the humanists who had denied him---- in his work dedicated to the King, Lodovico Carbo clearly alluded to these developments----but he could not bring himself to reject Italy and Italian humanism. Alone and unassisted he set himself the task of making a reality out of Vitéz's and Janus Pannonius's dreams for Buda. Even his correspondence he managed himself. After Vitéz's plot he usually drafted his letters himself and various documents that have been preserved provide evidence that he read and corrected copies before signing. Soon he busied himself with efforts to bring a long cherished plan to fruition : he wished to marry Beatrice, daughter of the King of Naples and sister-in-law to the Prince of Ferrara. In the spring of 1474 he sent ambassadors to Naples to ask for the hand of Beatrice in marriage. At this time there were still permanent Italian counsellors staying in Buda, filling the gap that must have been left by the loss of Johannes Vitéz and Janus Pannonius. Two important confidential officials at Matthias's court came from Ferrara : the court physician, Francesco Fontana, who was often appointed to diplomatic missions, and Giustiniano Cavitelli, a former diplomat of Prince Ercole of Ferrara. Also Lucas Lupus from Milan, Gabriele Rangoni from Verona, |19 Mariottus Senilis, Giovanni Leoncio and other humanists lived at the court. Marzio Galeotto's successor was a young diplomat called Taddeo Ugoletti who, from the year 1465, was entrusted with important diplomatic missions.

In this period Matthias organized his library on an extensive scale. Obviously it was in an attempt to counteract the hostile attitude of Vespasiano da Bisticci that the King established a workshop at Florence for his own copyists. Four copyists were permanently employed there, as recounted in the preface to Salvianus' De Providentia, by the Vienna humanist Brassicanus.21 The Florence workshop was superintended by Naldus Naldius, who later wrote a bulky epic poem on the Corvinian Library.

In the meantime feverish activities were in progress at Buda and Visegrád alike. The aim in view was to raise Buda and Visegrád to the level of the courts of the European Renaissance rulers. Building went on in both places almost until the close of Matthias's reign. Around 1476 the Corvinian Library must have assumed impressive proportions. In all probability at least one third of the library was already in existence then, since half of the preserved volumes, of which there are over one hundred and sixty in all, were written before the year 1476. The first printing press in Hungary was established in Buda in 1473; a German named Andreas Hess printed the Chronica Hungarorum which he dedicated to his patron, László Karai.22 Hence, while Matthias founded a workshop for copying books in Florence, a printing-press was in operation at Buda; therefore there must also have existed at the same time in Buda a workshop for illuminators and miniature painters.

Parallel with this extensive and rapidly developing Renaissance court culture, social unrest was also on the increase; the situation of the serfs, hard in any event, was undoubtedly further aggravated by the increased state taxes imposed by Matthias.23 In the second half of his reign Matthias evidently recognized the truth of the situation, but he nevertheless continued to provide lavish and extravagant support for Italian humanists and artists. It might prove interesting to study----an inquiry into the texts of the Corvinian manuscripts might supply some guidance----how far the people approved of their sovereign's attitude, and whether while extolling their princes they did not harbour a certain feeling of resentment.

Thus when the Princess of Naples set foot on Hungarian soil in December 1476, she found in the Hungarian capital a brilliant royal court rivalling the courts of Italian Renaissance rulers and at which pomp and splendour only increased as the years went by. After his second marriage King Matthias adopted the name of Corvinus. The Italian humanist historian Bonfini, who came to the court in 1486, "proved," by means of detailed humanist comments, and by referring to the raven in the Hunyadi family's coat-of-arms, that the King's ancestor was the Roman Valerianus Corvinus, whose family descended in straight line from Jupiter himself. |20 

AUTHENTIC MANUSCRIPTS OF FOREIGN ORIGIN FROM THE FIRST PERIOD OF THE CORVINIAN LIBRARY IN HUNGARY

Of the Corvinian manuscripts preserved in Hungary those collected in the first period of the library and illuminated abroad will be dealt with first. Matthias's library also contained codices from earlier times, manuscripts from preceding centuries; these are preserved in other countries, in libraries in Erlangen, Leipzig, Munich, Rome and Vienna. In Hungary itself there is only one authentic Corvinian manuscript which was produced abroad long before the reign of Matthias: Boccaccio's celebrated work entitled De casibus virorum illustrium which, on the evidence of the explicit, was copied in Florence in 1422 by an Augustan student, the monk, Frater Baptista of Narni, for Johannes de Fleschoballis de Florentia.24 This volume is merely illuminated with a few unassuming initials (Fig. 1). There is also in this country a manuscript which was prepared here by someone in the entourage of Johannes Vitéz.

There was working at the court of Vitéz in Várad as early as 1455 a copyist named Briccius de Polanka who copied for him the book of Tertullian entitled Apologeticus.25 Most likely Commentarii in Ciceronis librum de inventione by Victorinus (OSZK Clmae 370) was also written here; presumably one of Vitéz's earliest acquisitions (Plate XLII), it was later transferred to the Corvinian Library, as confirmed by the ornate Corvinian cover (Plate XLVIII). This manuscript may have been copied about 1460, for Vitéz concluded his emendations on September 27, 1462. Vitéz's own handwritten note may be found on folio 94b: "Deo gratias. Emendaui quantum fieri potuit et finiui Cibinij 27. Septembris 1462 o. Jo." The handsome, coloured frontispiece of the volume was executed in the Gothic style of miniature art favoured in Hungary, being profusely decorated with Gothic leaves and gaily coloured little birds. Among the Corvinian manuscripts preserved in Hungary there is only one instance of Gothic ornamentation akin to the illumination of Victorinus's work, the decoration of Canones, the work of an eminent German astrologer, Regiomontanus, which was dedicated to King Matthias (OSZK Clmae 412). Regiomontanus, a friend of Vitéz, was professor at the academy of Pozsony. The artistic style of the title page shows that this work dedicated to Matthias was illuminated at Florence (Plate XXI). It is not impossible that this copy and the illumination of the title page had been ordered by Janus Pannonius in Florence. The rest of the volume, however, was most likely prepared entirely in Hungary, and folio 3a was illuminated by a Hungarian miniature painter----presumably a member of Vitéz's retinue----who employed simple Gothic patterns of foliated scroll and initials (Fig. 27). No further volumes illuminated in that kind of Gothic design have been found among the Corvinian manuscripts in Hungary.

By now the view has been generally accepted that in the first period of the Corvinian |22 Library----prior to Matthias's marriage to Beatrice----the decoration on the Corvinian manuscripts was much simpler. This goes to show that, when making his purchases, Matthias was influenced by the contents of a volume rather than by its decorative value.

Careful study of the contents of those Corvinian manuscripts which have survived26 leads to noteworthy conclusions. Apart from some scientific works, a few books on geography, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, architecture and strategy, the manuscripts are largely made up of works by the classical writers of antiquity which fill 57 volumes. The writings of contemporary humanists are represented by 24 volumes. Of mediaeval theological treatises, tracts by scholastics occupy altogether nine volumes; the number of works on religion and liturgy amounts to no more than 11. It is worth noting that most of the latter were prepared in the 1480's. On the other hand, the number of works by early Christian writers is scarcely smaller than that of the work of the classical writers, being no less than 43. These statistics of the Corvinian manuscripts that have survived furnish striking proof that the study of the culture and art of classical antiquity was greatly preferred to the contemporary teachings of the 15th-century Renaissance scholars. At the same time another remarkable phenomenon may be observed. The scholars who in this way turned to the past read not only classical writers, but also early Christian works. The return to early Christian writers was in the first place promoted by ecclesiastical circles, presumably to counterbalance the cult of the antique pagan world. It is, however, quite certain that other reasons may also have contributed to bringing about this revival. Partly owing to the fact that they can be classified together chronologically, the humanists did not greatly differentiate between the classics of antiquity and early Christian Church writings, but regarded the latter as a later development of classical literature. With the Fathers of the Church, learning rested on classical education; their style, too, possessed classical polish. Apart from the attraction of language and form, they roused the interest of the humanists---- with whom they had a certain spiritual kinship----by their debates on the ideas and traditions of antiquity. The Fathers of the Church were held in high esteem by many humanists who studied their works in the hope of recovering the original pure sources of faith; this was frequently a compulsive interest with them, the result of conscious opposition to the obsolete ideas and inflexible methods of scholasticism.27

As a result of this return to the early Christian writers, a curious phenomenon became discernible which noticeably affected the whole of Italian miniature painting. The 15 th century witnessed in Italy the appearance of an entirely new style in the illumination of codices with so-called white foliated scroll ornamentation. This design consistently retained its austere character although it developed parallel with the sumptuously glittering decorations of the Renaissance which were scattered with vases and horns of plenty and sometimes sparkled with gems. We are told by Paolo D'Ancona, the eminent scholar of Florentine miniature painting, that this style was created in the workshop of Vespasiano da Bisticci, |24 the Florence bookseller. There is no doubt that it was first encountered on the title pages of Florentine manuscripts, but it spread all over Italy, and was employed as extensively in Umbria as in Ferrara and Naples. Insignificant features of individual style enable various local schools to be differentiated, but only by exceptionally practiced eyes and highly experienced experts.

The ornate manuscripts of the 14th century which required so much time and work for their execution were epic in their illustrative character, for they were covered with tiny miniatures containing figures which served as a complementary explanation of the text. The new style, on the other hand, was purely decorative in the first place. It was a normal sequence of events when the spread of humanist learning was followed by an increase in the production of books. In the book trade it was to the interest of the booksellers to produce as many books as possible as fast as was practicable. Therefore the production time of manuscripts had to be considerably reduced. Those who wished to acquire education and learn about the writers of antiquity bought manuscripts chiefly for their contents. People with modest means therefore endeavoured to find unilluminated volumes where a blank space was left in the place of the initial letter at the opening of each chapter.

Some of these volumes without any illumination may also be found among the manuscripts of the Corvinian Library; for instance, Poeta christianus which includes the writings of Dio Cassius, translated by Baptista Guarino who dedicated his work to Niccolo d'Este, Duke of Ferrara (OSZK Clmae 423) (Fig. 2). That the manuscript, notwithstanding its simple execution, was in the Corvinian Library is shown by its ornate Corvinian cover. The lower part of the title page has been cut out, therefore it is not impossible that Matthias's coat-of-arms had been painted there and removed later. The very fact that this manuscript contained the work of Guarino, a Ferraran who was the friend of Janus Pannonius, suggests the idea that the volume may have originally belonged to Janus Pannonius. The volume containing the work of Cyrillus, Bishop of Alexandria, does not now contain any illumination either (OSZK Clmae 358) (Fig. 3); originally it must have been more ornate, but both its decorations and initials were cut out later. Matthias possessed several manuscripts which had been unadorned when purchased in Italy, but which were later illuminated with shields and miniatures in Buda. That is how simple volumes produced in the workshops of Florence booksellers found their way into the Corvinian Library. With a few exceptions the Corvinian codices were invariably luxuriously executed. In the first period of the library, however, illumination was determined by the new style of Italian miniature art mentioned above.

As we have already explained, this new style of Italian miniature painting was predominantly decorative in character. The frontispiece and various pages of the text were richly illuminated, the text framed in border designs. In addition, any outstanding initials within the chapters were also adorned. Unlike 13th and 14th century miniature art which abounds |26 in figures and themes, this style exhibits a decidedly calligraphic tendency, the new designs following the old traditions of illumination. Motifs were revived which, after a persistent recurrence from the 9th to the 12th centuries, had since fallen into oblivion. When 15th century humanist learning turned to the past, the texts of early Christian ecclesiastical literature were copied or transcribed from 10th, 11th and 12th century manuscripts, and the ornamental elements of a calligraphic nature found in them were revived in a new form, the interlaced foliated scroll decorating the margins. At the same time the characters of the old manuscripts were also adopted.

The intricate spiral motifs of white foliated scroll employed in early Romanesque miniature art were brought back to life enriched by extremely complicated forms, painted with delicate strokes of the brush in infinite variety on red, blue, or green priming. The rapid spread and acceptance of this style may have been due to faster execution than was possible with the miniatures which featured a multitude of themes painted in a wider range of colours and more shading, although interlaced foliated scroll designs also demanded great skill, excellent training, and an artistic technique. Presumably miniaturists used patterns when composing the intricate border design of foliated scrolls, thus facilitating and accelerating their work.

It must be remarked that more than half of the 43 Corvinian manuscripts preserved in Hungary are in the decorative style, though there is one where the design used for illumination is completely uniform, visibly prepared from the same pattern. Despite their similarity in style of illumination, these 23 volumes of the Corvinian Library display great variety. There are among them simple specimens, obviously produced for commercial purposes, leaving on the title page a blank space for the future owner's crest, for the buyers of manuscripts were mostly prelates and nobles who, instead of their names, had their coats-of-arms painted on the title page as ex libris. Among Matthias's manuscripts there are also several volumes illuminated with an interlaced design, in which the King's shield was painted by a miniaturist in Buda. Besides the works illuminated with a simple foliated scroll, the Corvinian manuscripts preserved in Hungary include some most imaginatively conceived leaves of brilliant colour: the foliated scroll is interspersed with minute portraits cunningly inlaid, varied with playful putti, gorgeous butterflies with brightly gleaming wings, and a rich variety of gaily coloured birds. In most of these manuscripts the decorative work is generally carried out in the artistic style of the 1460's. Hence these works belong to the first period of the Corvinian Library, that is, to the years between 1458 and 1476.

As this style of illumination developed, it became, in Italy, sometimes fused with rich floral designs and decorated with miniatures. At the centre of court miniature painting, in Ferrara, and even in Naples, manuscripts were produced where a less elaborate interlaced border design was used as a marginal decoration around splendidly ornate Renaissance miniatures. The early manuscripts of Matthias which are preserved in Hungary were |28 illuminated in what is known as the simple style, though often this style can by no means be regarded as simple, for these volumes bear witness to refined taste, wide knowledge, and artistic activity of a high level.

The majority of the manuscripts in Hungary which are illuminated with white foliated scroll, 16 altogether, come from Florence. In some places they are plain, in others they display the interlaced ornamental style associated with the Italian Renaissance. The exact date of their origin can hardly be determined; in general----as mentioned before----their artistic style points to the 1460's, therefore they cannot be discussed in chronological order. They must be considered together with works to which they bear some kinship.

First to be dealt with is De historia plantarum, the work of Theophrastus, that great scholar of antiquity, for it is the only volume among the Corvinian manuscripts now extant which has been verified as coming from the workshop of the celebrated humanist bookseller of Florence, Vespasiano da Bisticci. This is proved by the remarkable inscription on the inner page of the first endpaper: "Vespasianus librarius florentinus fecit fieri florentiae." The manuscript is preserved in the Budapest University Library (Cod. lat. 1). The title page displays the style of illumination prevailing in the 1460's; in execution it does not belong to the range of simple and cheap commercial goods. On the contrary, the unknown artist strove to satisfy a refined taste by a distinguished but moderate use of rich decoration. The manuscript has a double title page which also shows the artist's endeavour to reach a high standard. On folio Ib of the end parchment all data referring to the work and the name of the translator who had put the Greek text into Latin is inscribed within a delicate green garland adorned with tiny golden thalers (Fig. 4). On the opening title page the text is illuminated on three sides and decorated by a gorgeously elaborate initial (Plate I). The miniature painter refrained from decorating the outer margin of the text. Turkish characters written in pure gold may now be seen there recording the Turkish sultan's donation. The elaborately framed crest of Matthias is at the bottom, in the middle of the lower edge of the page; this was already the work of one of the King's heraldic painters in Buda. The illumination of the manuscript shows the rich and highly developed elaborations of the interlaced style. The series of white interlaced foliated scroll is enriched by a parallel line in gold, with a profusion of playing children and coloured birds. The generous amount of figurative design also confirms unsparing efforts towards a unique standard of craftsmanship. In all probability Matthias bought the volume direct from Vespasiano da Bisticci, presumably before Vitéz's conspiracy, for the Florentine bookseller thereafter assumed a decidedly hostile attitude to King Matthias.

The volume entitled Pseudo-Clement's Itinerarium, also restored to Hungary as a present from the Turkish sultan, is no less splendid than the manuscript produced in the workshop of Vespasiano da Bisticci. This item from the Corvinian Library (EK Cod. lat. 3) has been proved to have belonged to Johannes Vitéz, whose handwriting and emendations |30 are clearly discernible; the painting of Matthias's coat-of-arms was done later. The Itinerarium is illuminated still more abundantly than the codex from Vespasiano da Bisticci described above, although originally there was no painted title page on the inner leaf of the endpaper. The painting was done much later, at the close of the 15th, or the beginning of the 16th century. In both style and execution, the illumination of the endpaper differs from contemporary work produced at the Hungarian court; its remarkable design incorporates some peculiarities of Hungarian miniature art which were very little known before the later date (Fig. 5). Moreover, on several pages there are initials decorated with a design of interlaced foliated scroll. Thus on folio 2a of the manuscript the decoration of the initial capital C is fused into the foliated design running along the inner margins of the page (Fig. 6). In the course of centuries this manuscript has been badly damaged, particularly the ornamental title page at the beginning of the text, on which the marginal decoration is mutilated at the lower edge. Nevertheless, among all the Corvinian manuscripts illuminated with interlaced foliated scroll which are preserved in Hungary, this is the most outstanding item. Moreover, it is the only manuscript in which one large initial actually encloses a veritable miniature painted like a picture. The text was originally in Greek and is attributed to Pope Clement I. Somewhere around 400 A. D. it had been rewritten and translated into Latin by Rufinus who dedicated his work to Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia, referred to in the text as Pope. Behind the gleaming golden T, Gaudentius, in blue vestments and a pale yellow robe, is holding a large golden key in his hand and receiving the manuscript from the early Christian martyred writer Rufinus of Aquileia, who is attired in pale carmine robes and a blue cloak lined with green. The miniaturist painted a halo, the prerogative of saints, not only around the head of Rufinus, but also around the head of Gaudentius, who was referred to as Pope. The margins of the title page are illuminated on three sides, with a broader and richer band of decoration than that on the title page of Vespasiano da Bisticci's codex. The design consists of two parallel lines of foliated scroll intricately arranged in patterns of white and gold, while the red and blue ground of the white tendrils is richly decorated with tiny white dots arranged in groups of three. This design is relieved by the inclusion of a variety of small brightly coloured birds. The frame of the crest, composed of interlaced foliated scrolls in gold, is held by four little winged putti. The ornamental foliage has been enriched by new realistic motifs; at the outer edge of the upper marginal illumination, a choice bouquet of life-like flowers forms the closing motif (Plate II).

Ornamentation almost entirely similar in style to this marginal illumination is encountered in other Corvinian manuscripts preserved in Hungary, for instance, in the material brought back from Turkey: the Cicero codices (EK Cod. lat. 2) (Plate III), and in the epic poem of Silius Italicus, the classical writer on the Second Punic War (EK Cod. lat. 8) (Plate IV). In these two Corvinian manuscripts marginal illumination of the title page is less elaborate than that seen in Pseudo-Clement's Itinerarium, but is carried out in an entirely |32 similar style; this similarity is so evident that all three manuscripts must be taken for the products of the same workshop, perhaps even from the same period, made by the same hands. The two latter have a more unassuming illumination, inasmuch as, instead of the initial miniatures, they contain only initial letters decorated with foliated scroll. The coloured ground of the white foliated design also lacks the groups of three white dots, but they are essentially examples of the same delicate, highly developed artistic work. The upper marginal illumination on the title page of the Cicero volume has been badly damaged; but a few of the ramifying tiny golden thalers can still be seen as confirmation that the design must have been rounded off with a life-like bunch of flowers resembling those on the title page of Pseudo-Clement's codex or in the closing motif of the lower marginal illumination in the Cicero codex, or again, with delightful freshness, figuring as the closing motif of the upper and lower marginal illumination in the Silius Italicus manuscript. Although the decoration of the margins and the initials in these two volumes is less elaborate, their marginal illumination displays a new wealth of motifs, including more ornate birds and butterflies; even the figure of a sitting stag occurs.

In a search for the workshop of the master who made these three manuscripts, it has been discovered that their style bears the closest affinity to Florentine miniature art, especially to the splendid marginal decoration of a manuscript preserved at the Biblioteca Comunale in Ferrara. This manuscript contains Strabo's work entitled De situ orbis as interpreted by Guarino.28Its marginal decoration is of a more elaborate standard than that seen in the three manuscripts in the Budapest University Library, but the style displays such close similarity that they must be regarded as the works of the same master or the products of the same workshop. This is shown not only by the border decoration on the Ferrara manuscript but also by the initial enclosing an imaginary portrait of Strabo, the author of the work, holding in his hand a large open book, his own work. Treatment of the figure, the features, and the carriage of the head, reveals a technical affinity with the painting of the portrait of Rufinus in the miniature of Pseudo-Clement's Itinerarium. Moreover, the same tiny, whitish fleecy clouds gleaming in the blue ground of the miniature above the heads of the figures appear also in the miniature in the Strabo manuscript where they glitter behind the author's head. The realistic bunches of flowers, now executed in a more advanced and elaborate manner but still closely related to that of the Budapest specimens, may also be found in the marginal illumination of the Strabo manuscript, forming the closing pattern of the upper and lower marginal decoration in the ornamental design that frames the text on three sides. The two parallel golden tendrils also form an angular network similar in design, with putti, birds and sitting stags again executed with superior skill but showing an unmistakable similarity to the three Corvinian manuscripts preserved in Budapest. A remarkable note in the Ferrara manuscript also indicates that the one-time owner of the ornate volume purchased it from the bookseller Vespasiano for 53 ducats.29 |33 

Another arresting circumstance in connection with the Strabo manuscript is that its magnificent title page is thought to be the work of the celebrated Florentine miniaturist Attavante and his school.30 Attavante illuminated several books for Matthias. Many of the Corvinian manuscripts preserved in other countries are the work of Attavante and his school, including their most outstanding achievement, the Brussels Missal. However, illumination of the Corvinian manuscripts was carried out in Attavante's mature years, in the second period of the Corvinian Library, chiefly in the 1480's. In all these important but less elaborate workshop products, the ornamental use of interlaced foliated scroll has been abandoned for Attavante's Florentine style abounding in floral Renaissance patterns, realistic ornamental elements, portraits and miniatures. As mentioned before, the Budapest Pseudo-Clement manuscript had earlier been owned by Johannes Vitéz, and must therefore have been produced before the death of Vitéz, that is, before the year 1472. In 1472 Attavante, who was born in 1452, had barely reached twenty. Attavante is also known to have worked as a youth in the workshop of Vespasiano da Bisticci. If the illumination of the Strabo manuscript in Ferrara is rightly attributed to Attavante and his school, then the three Budapest Corvinian manuscripts must be regarded as the early work of the youthful Attavante, for there can be no doubt that the illumination of the Strabo manuscript in Ferrara and that of the three Budapest Corvinian manuscripts----Pseudo-Clement's Itinerariurn, the Cicero, and the Silius Italicus volume----were the fruits of the same workshop, namely the workshop of the bookseller Vespasiano da Bisticci; therefore it can be assumed that they were painted by Attavante in his youth.

Several other Corvinian manuscripts of Florentine origin, illuminated with interlaced foliated scroll, are preserved in the Budapest University Library. In general, their decoration is not inferior to that of the above-mentioned Florentine Corvinian manuscripts, there being only shades of differences discernible in their style. Decoration akin to that of the Itinerarium may be found in the Corvinian codex of Tertullian (Cod. lat. 10) (Plate V), where, in addition to similar decorative elements, the red, blue and green priming of the white leaf and scroll design with the groups of three dots is also present. However, the codex of Tertullian lacks the life-like bunch of flowers rounding oif the design at the top and bottom edges of the page; the more common, stylized pattern o£ white leaves is seen instead. At the same time, illumination is enriched with fine figurative elements. There are little birds and putti, and the green garland encircling the crest in the middle of the lower marginal decoration is held by two large-winged, long-robed angels. Moreover, in the lower curve of the capital initial S ornamented with leaf and scroll, the boldly flowing profusion of white tendrils encloses a half-length portrait of the author showing two pages of his open book held in his left hand. However, whereas the delineation of the two authors in the initial of Pseudo-Clement's Itinerarium is realistic in style----the bearded face of Rufinus and the portrait of Pope Gaudentius display definite and characteristic individual traits----the |34 miniaturist who decorated the codex of Tertullian showed the author as an attractive youth and is painted in the idealistic spirit of Florence at the time of the Renaissance, with a striving for beauty, and showing perhaps the nearest approach to the style of Ghirlandaio.

This Tertullian codex is remarkable for containing----like Pseudo-Clement's Itinerarium ----a handwritten note by Johannes Vitéz, with exact date, on folio 178a: "Finiui transcurrendo Nitrie, die ij Juny 1468," proving that Vitéz had read the volume in the summer of 1468 at Nyitra. Hence this codex must have been produced in the 'sixties, before 1468, by an excellent miniaturist in Florence. The style of this miniaturist displays unmistakable affinity to the delicate, close-set white foliated design decorating two other volumes of the Corvinian Library which is seen only on the title page of these two manuscripts in the Budapest University Library. One contains Eusebius Pamphili's work entitled De evangelica praeparatione (Cod. lat. 6) (Plate VI), the other the works of Cornelius Nepos and Aurelius Victor: Scriptores historiae Augustae (Cod. lat. 7) (Plate VII). In both volumes the title page is framed by illumination on three sides, and the green garland encircling the coat-of-arms is held by two little winged putti. Both at the top and bottom, the marginal decoration is rounded off with plain white stylized leaf and scroll patterns instead of the realistic bouquet. The lightly interwoven white scroll, delicate as lace, is enlivened with vividly coloured birds. The initials are also elaborately decorated with the intricate, transparent web of the lacy white foliated design. The illumination of these two manuscripts, executed in the style of the most elaborate foliated scroll produced by Florentine Renaissance art, must presumably have also been painted towards the close of the 1460's and may be assumed to have come from the workshop of Vespasiano da Bisticci. Most nearly approaching the standard of these codices is a fine example of the Florentine manuscripts illuminated with white interlaced foliated scroll and painted with noble simplicity, the Corvinian codex of Iohannes Scholasticus (OSZK Clmae 344) (Plate VIII), which was transferred to the Corvinian Library from the library of Johannes Vitéz. The inscription on folio 189b of the manuscript, at the end of the text, bears witness to its having been made in the year 1470: "EXPLICIT FELICITER DEO GRATIAS AMEN 1470".--Underneath there is a handwritten note in red ink by Johannes Vitéz: "finiui legendo et signando die 26. septembris 1470. Jo." The codex is remarkable for containing within the framework for the crest at the lower margin not Matthias's coat-of-arms painted in Buda, but only a black raven holding a ring, on a dark-blue background, i.e. the family crest of the Hunyadis and not the shield of Matthias, King of Hungary. Moreover, as the crest is painted in the same pure gold as that of the illumination, it seems that both were painted at the same time, in Italy.

Another interesting Corvinian manuscript illuminated with interlaced foliated Florentine scroll, Eusebius Pamphili's Chronicle, is also preserved in the Budapest University Library (Cod. lat. 5) (Plate IX). Illumination of the title page is composed of the same patterns as those employed in the above-mentioned Corvinian codex of Eusebius Pamphili and that |35 entitled Scriptores historiae Augustae, kept at the Budapest University library and designated Cod. lat. 6 and 7, yet it shows clearly definable differences from the more typically uniform ornamentation of the two latter volumes. Matthias's crest is held by two putti and two angels. On the inner border of the page, besides little birds embellishing the leaf and scroll design, a long-robed little angel is seen and also a small half-length portrait of the author. It is striking that the artist refrained from placing the author's miniature portrait inside the initial E; it is hidden in the tracery of the leaves of the marginal illumination near the initial letter, and shows the author as a young man. In the lower marginal decoration, right and left ofthe putti holding the crest, he painted on each side a monk's head covered by a hood. In the illumination on the outer margins the interlaced white tendrils form a pattern of denser and more complicated texture. The author of the text was an early Christian historian whose work, contained in the volume, was interpreted by St. Jerome. In the tiny secular portrait beside the initial, the artist may have wished to show Eusebius himself, but his representation of the two hooded heads of monks, which is certainly not a typical motif of Florentine foliated scroll, is much less comprehensible. Did the miniaturist wish to intimate by the use of this motif that he was illustrating a work of ecclesiastical character and not the work of a humanist or a classical writer? Or was the copyist, perhaps the miniaturist himself, a monk? It would be difficult to answer these questions. In this connection Helga Hajdú has drawn attention to the fact that Eusebius's history of the world was rewritten by St. Jerome and completed by Prosper Tiro Aquitanus, who was a lay brother. There is proof of this in the explicit "Finit Cronica Eusebii, Hieronimi presbiteri et Prosperi." In her opinion one of the two heads undoubtedly represents St. Jerome, the other Prosper. But this pleasing supposition is contradicted by the circumstance that the iconography of St. Jerome was already well known at that time, so it is improbable that a miniaturist would have represented St. Jerome without the halo due to a saint, or made him look like some rather grotesque lay brother----unless it was a deliberate attempt to indicate anticlerical views----since there is no mention in the text of Hieronymus having been a saint. For my own part I have been unable to find any really close analogies to this marginal illumination among the series of illustrations attached to works concerned with Florentine Renaissance art.

The most profusely illuminated Corvinian manuscripts were produced in the 1460's, for instance, the volumes containing the work of Polybius (OSZK Clmae 234) and the Comedies of Plautus (OSZK Clmae 241), which, in addition to their richly decorated title pages, are adorned with several initials formed of interlaced foliated motifs. On the title page of the Polybius manuscript (Plate X), there is a large initial and three sides of the text are enclosed by a very elaborate, richly interlaced border decoration abounding in motifs. Among the interlacing of the lines of foliated scroll there are numerous playing children and, at the lower edge of the leaf, a large sitting deer as well as a |36 grazing one. On the title page of the volume containing Plautus's comedies, the marginal illumination is slightly less elaborate (Plate XI); executed in the somewhat simplified style of typical Florentine book-painting, the illumination of the title page falls into two parts. Starting from the initial 1 at the top, only a narrow leaf design runs along the inner and upper borders. Independently of this decoration, a separate interlaced foliated scroll may be seen at the bottom edge of the page, with the crest encircled by a garland of leaves in the middle. At the lower edge of the wreath of leaves the miniaturist painted two putti. Although the illumination of the Plautus volume is less elaborate than that of the Polybius manuscript, the title pages of the two manuscripts show a good deal of affinity in style and were probably produced in the same workshop. Both volumes are large in size and in the scale of their decoration; in artistic workmanship they are nevertheless much inferior to the Corvinian manuscripts already discussed. Compared to the extremely delicate, excellent works produced in the workshop of Vespasiano da Bisticci, and also to those that may be ascribed to the youthful Attavante, the illumination of the Polybius manuscript and the Plautus comedies, in spite of being composed of similar decorative elements, is clumsier and creates the impression of mediocre artistic achievement.

The National Széchényi Library contains Corvinian codices in which the text and illumination executed on simpler lines was done by a Florentine humanist, not later than the 1460's; the signature of the scribe may be seen on folio 176a of the codex (Clmae 160) containing the work of Curtius Rufus, the great classical writer, on Alexander the Great: "Escripsit Florentie petrus cenninius Anno Dominj 1467 VII. idus aprilis." Petrus Cenninius was a great friend of Bartholomaeus Fontius, the Florentine humanist----one of Matthias's librarians----and kept up a lively correspondence with him. In one of his works Naldus Nal-dius mentioned Cenninius as an eminent poet. That he also made, copied, and painted a humanist codex was nothing exceptional in those days. Petrus Cenninius came from a family of artists. His father, Bernardo Cennini, was a Florentine goldsmith and engraver who, together with his sons, established the first printing press in Florence.31 Regarding Petrus Cenninius, a record, impossible to check, has it that his name frequently figured in the account books of Matthias, since then unfortunately lost, because it was he who was commissioned by the King to pay large amounts of several thousand florins to copyists in Florence.32 Today we know five Corvinian codices which were copied and supplied with elaborate or unpretentious illumination by Petrus Cenninius. One of them is the Flavius Blondus codex now at the episcopal seminary in Győr,33 which was finished on the 15th of July, 1467. The codex by Julius Frontinus entitled Stratagemata, preserved at present in the Czartoryski Museum in Cracow, was finished one month earlier; at the end of the text Petrus Cenninius gave his name in two distiches.34 The handwriting of Petrus Cenninius can also be identified in the codex of Basilius Magnus (OSZK Clmae 415), and the volume containing Asconius Pedianus's commentary on Cicero may also be attributed to him35 (OSZK Clmae 427). His |37 handwriting can be recognized also in a book made in Hungary which was among the manuscripts returned by Abdul Hamid II, but the title page is missing, the initials have been cut out, and there is no trace to justify its being considered an authentic Corvinian manuscript. This is the codex De duodecim Caesaribus by Suetonius Tranquillus (EK Cod. lat. 13).36

As we can see from the manuscript containing Curtius Rufus's history of Alexander the Great (OS2K Clmae 160), Petrus Cenninius painted white interlaced foliated scroll in the usual Florentine style of illumination. Three sides of the page are decorated, the garland of leaves encircling the crest is held by two putti and a brightly coloured little bird may be discovered among the interlaced tendrils (Plate XII). The volume also contains four initials adorned with interlacements. The title page of the Basilius Magnus volume (OSZK Clmae 415) is simpler, although on three sides the page is framed by illumination with foliated scroll, but no putti or birds can be found among the interwoven tracery of the design. One peculiar motif is nevertheless encountered: from among the flowing white tendrils emerges a vase motif, also in white (Plate XIII). The initial, a golden letter painted on a ground of two colours after the usual fashion of Florentine book-painting is also of a more unassuming character. Several similar initials may be seen in this volume. On the title page the crest of Matthias, painted in Buda, deserves closer attention. Under the crest of Matthias, that of Johannes Vitéz, the former owner of the manuscript, is clearly discernible. The illumination ot the title page in the Asconius Pedianus codex (OSZK Clmae 427) can be classed with the most modest specimens. From the initial, the foliated scroll branches off to the inner and upper margins of the leaf. Originally no ornamental garland was painted around the blank space left for the owner's crest at the lower edge of the title page. This deficiency was later corrected by a Buda miniaturist and heraldic painter employed by Matthias (Plate XIV). Despite the less elaborate title page, both this manuscript and the above-mentioned Basilius Magnus volume contain several small-size golden initials painted on a two-colour ground. The illumination of the title page in the Flavius Blondus Corvinian codex of Győr shows a strong resemblance to that of the Asconius Pedianus manuscript, with the difference that in the latter, Cenninius painted an ornate foliated design on the lower margin around the blank space destined to hold the crest (Fig. 7).

The plainly decorated title page of the Chalcidius (Altividius) Corvinian manuscript entitled De immortalitate animae (OSZK Clmae 418) (Fig. S) is also executed in the unpretentious Florentine style of illumination employed by Petrus Cenninius.

As pointed out before, there was a fashion in the 15 th century for illumination based on motifs of interlaced foliated scroll, animals, and laughing, playing urchins, nor was this prevalent only in Florence, but also in other important centres of art in Italy. The Corvinian manuscripts preserved in Hungary also include a few volumes containing illumination with interlaced foliated patterns produced in some other parts of Italy. For instance, Edith Hoffmann contends that Quintilianus's work entitled |38 Institutiones oratoriae (OSZK Clmae 414) may be regarded as Umbrian work, most likely produced in the 1460's. Laughing children are seen at the bottom of the slightly wider marginal ornamentation of foliated scroll in white; one of the putti has seized a big, brightly coloured bird by the throat. The crest of King Matthias has been erased from the title page, therefore identification of the volume as an authentic Corvinian manuscript rests only on the brown leather cover. According to a note in the book, in 1525 the volume was the property of Brassicanus, the eminent humanist then staying in Buda, who wrote the name of the author, the word Quintilianus, on the label pasted over the place where Matthias's crest had been. In the middle of the upper marginal illumination there is a small portrait of a fair-haired youth, while at the outer edge of the marginal decoration a man reading a book may be seen (Plate XV). The softer lines outlining the design and the features of the fair-haired youth and the reading man point clearly to the link with Umbria.

Another Corvinian manuscript, Bessarion's De ea parte evangelii etc. (OSZK Clmae 438), may also have been produced in Umbria or Emilia. This manuscript was formerly in the Benedictine library at Göttweig; in 1936 it was purchased and brought back to Hungary. Here, too, the title page is framed by illumination with interlaced foliated scroll in white (Plate XVI). Below, in the middle, gleams a splendid crest of King Matthias painted in Buda, underneath which traces of a strange shield with the heraldic figure of a cardinal's hat are clearly discernible. In all probability the manuscript was originally prepared for the author of the text, Cardinal Bessarion, who died in 1472 at Ravenna. The scribe's name, "Leonardus Iob," may be found on folios 17a and 26a. Hungarian history of art puts the origin of this title page between the years 1454 and 1470 and regards it as a product of some Florentine workshop.37 Chiefly because of the more open texture of the thick white tendrils, we on our part believe it differs from Florentine work, so that we prefer to class it with Umbrian or Emilian products. This assumption would seem to be supported by the softer features of the small masculine head painted in the upper corner of the outer margin. In the outer marginal illumination, the crest of the Hunyadi family, a black raven holding a golden ring, is seen in a round medallion with a blue ground. Whether the crest was also painted in Italy or added later in Hungary cannot be decided with any certainty.

Also identified among the Corvinian manuscripts preserved in Hungary are works from Naples, decorated in white with an early type of interlaced foliated scroll design. We must first mention the Tacitus codex (EK Cod. lat. 9), the luxurious marginal illumination of which has so far been taken for Florentine work in all the Hungarian literature on this subject. Earlier, this codex, too, had been in the possession of Johannes Vitéz, and on folio 131b the following record may be read in Vitéz's writing: "Jo.[annes] Ar.[chiepiscopus] Legi transcurrendo 1467. sed mansit inemendatus." Matthias's coat-of-arms |40 was painted into the codex later, on the title page which is richly decorated on all four sides with a design of white interlaced foliated scroll. The foliated decoration of the capital initial is interwoven with the marginal illumination (Plate XVII). Two narrow ribbons of gold run between the interlaced tendrils; these are occasionally intertwined at the outer edge. At the lower edge, in the middle, the crest of Matthias is surrounded by a circular pattern composed of interlaced golden scroll, held up by two floating putti. A small child blowing a horn, also two gorgeous birds and a running hare may be seen at the outer edge. Contrary to earlier suppositions this codex is now thought by us to have been produced in Naples and not in Florence, for it displays a distinct relationship to the decorative style of an excellent Naples miniaturist, Gioacchino di Giovanni de Gigantibus, several of whose works are well known. One of them is in the Paris National Library: the splendid title page of Bessarion's commentary on Plato. From the year 1471 Gioacchino di Giovanni de Gigantibus was the court artist of Ferdinand of Aragon in Naples; the work preserved in Paris he prepared for his master in 1476.38 This manuscript was illuminated a decade later than that of the Tacitus volume in Budapest, and was naturally in a much more luxurious style, with ingenious, varied and brilliant motifs. Unmistakable signs of correspondence can nevertheless be detected in the marginal illumination of the two manuscripts, not only because of the similarity of the interlaced circular motif in gold which in both manuscripts frames the crest, but also because the freely floating little putti holding the frames of the crests bear also some resemblance to each other. In face, carriage and pose of the arms, the little putti are particularly alike, and on both title pages they have round their necks strings of red corals which, according to popular belief in Italy, protect people from harm and bring good luck. The Tacitus codex in Budapest exhibits a marked affinity to other identified works of Gioacchino di Giovanni de Gigantibus, and also to other works produced in the artist's style, such as Caesar's history entitled Commentarii de hello Gallico at Naples and the illumination of St. Hieronymus's Epistolae.39 Here, too, beside the interlaced foliated scroll the floating little putti holding the frame of the crest display the most striking likeness. The two Naples manuscripts are also far more elaborately and profusely illustrated than the Tacitus volume, but they were produced at a much later date. The illumination of the Tacitus codex may be supposed to have been the fruit of Gioacchino di Giovanni de Gigantibus's youthful efforts; for our part, we are content for the time being with the statement that it was indubitably painted in Naples.

The remarkable volume, Saint Augustine's codex De civitate Dei, though the work of a Dutch master, was also produced in Naples (OSZK Clmae 121). The crest of King Matthias is absent as the title page is missing, yet the origin of the manuscript from the Corvinian Library is confirmed by its coloured, floral gilt edge, and ornamental binding. This large-size, bulky volume deserves special notice, for the scribe's |42 inscription may be found on the last leaf, on folio 431b: "Scriptum et completum: Ver Manus Petri de Middelburch. Q. Zeelandia: R. Q" This inscription permits the conjecture that Petrus de Middelburch was not only the scribe who copied the codex, but also the illuminator who painted its innumerable foliated decorations and initials. Several works of Petrus de Middelburch are known, and in the literature of this subject he is recognized both as a scribe and a miniaturist.40 In his Budapest volume the hand of another miniaturist can also be traced in the motifs of the floral decoration illuminating a few of the pages. Their style exhibits a striking relationship to the Agathias codex made for Queen Beatrice in Naples (OSZK Clmae 413). A study of the latter has induced Edith Hoffmann to surmise that illumination was carried out by Middelburch in Naples in the years between 1475 and 1485, after the marriage of Beatrice to King Matthias.

The manuscript is particularly valuable on account of the extraordinary richness of its illumination, unlike that seen in the Florence workshop products destined for the book-market. One hundred and fifty pages of the text are decorated with marginal illumination composed of white interlaced foliated motifs at the outer or inner edge (Fig. 10). This profusion of decoration supports the inference that the volume was made for a princely patron and not for the book-market. Nevertheless, astonishing as it may seem, the decorations themselves reveal that their painter, Petrus de Middelburch, undoubtedly used patterns. Accurate repetition of various motifs points to the application of the same pattern; only the ramifying foliated motifs applied at the top and at the bottom did the master paint or correct without a pattern. The narrow marginal interlaced foliated scroll painted from a pattern is similar in style to the kind of decoration which originated in Florence and Naples. However, the miniaturist illuminated the first page of the manuscript with a peculiar foliated scroll enriched by typical white flowers which are completely unknown in Florentine miniature art, and on this page he also painted a tiny green bird (Fig. 9). These motifs do not occur in any other place in the volume, therefore the master did not use a pattern for their execution. Thus this manuscript may safely be assumed to have been painted some time in the 1460's or early 1470's in Naples where the master who illuminated Queen Beatrice's Agathias codex later adorned eleven of its pages with additional initials and marginal painting composed of floral ornamentation. The artistic style of Petrus de Middelburch also exhibits a definite relationship to a similar type of initial decoration seen in other Neapolitan manuscripts; for instance, to the elaborate initials of Lorenzo Bonincontri's Historia regni and Titus Lucretius Caro's De rerum natura, both preserved in the University of Valencia.41 This copy of St. Augustine's De civitate Dei, now preserved in Hungary, may have been added to the Corvinian Library of Buda as a present from, or as part of, the marriage portion of Queen Beatrice.

There is another Corvinian manuscript in Hungary profusely illuminated with |44 white foliated scroll, the work of Curtius Rufus on the life of Alexander the Great entitled De rebus gestis Alexandri Magni (EK Cod. lat. 4). The title page of the work is framed on all four sides by delicate ornamentation composed of richly and intricately interlaced foliated scroll (Plate XVIII). The illumination is executed in a refined, austere style, entirely devoid of such vividly variegated motifs as gay children and coloured birds. For all its pure simplicity, this page must nevertheless be regarded as an outstanding achievement of Neapolitan miniature art. The marginal decoration is devoid of figurative motifs, and the rhythm of its delicate foliated ornamentation and the intricate lines of the scroll show affinity to the illumination of Pontano's De Obedientia, which is preserved in the Paris National Library, also a Neapolitan product. This work was copied by the scribe Rusticus in 1470 in the Royal Chancellery of Naples, therefore its illumination may be presumed to have been painted at the court of Naples. Hence most probably our manuscript, too, is an extremely delicate product from the miniature workshop of the Royal Chancellery in Naples. A fairly large version of the House of Aragon's crest may be seen in the centre of the lower marginal illumination. It is Edith Hoffmann's conjecture that the manuscript was produced in Naples in the years between 1471 and 1476.42 As to time of origin, we share her opinion; it may also be assumed that the volume reached this country in 1476 when Queen Beatrice arrived in Hungary. Incidentally, the Curtius Rufus chronicle is a faithful copy of the incunabulum published by the Venice printer Wendelinus de Spira around 1471. At the end of the manuscript volume the scribe copied Wendelinus's colophon, too,43 thus providing evidence that his work was produced after the year 1471.

Finally a less pretentious Corvinian manuscript must also be recognized as having come from Naples. Caesar's De hello Gallico preserved at the Budapest University Library (Cod. lat. 11) contains several simple, delicately painted initials with interlaced foliated scroll (Fig. 11). The opening pages of this volume have been lost, therefore it has no ornate title page bearing the crest of Matthias. The identity of the manuscript as an item from the Corvinian Library is confirmed by the gilt edge diversified with coloured ornamentation seen in all Corvinian volumes. The copyist's name is known from the text to be found on folio 212a: "Marinus Tomacellus scribi fecit amicis suis aeque ac sibi. Angelus scripsit."44 As stated by László Mezey, Marinus Tomacellus, the purchaser mentioned in the text, was employed by the King of Naples, consequently the initials which students of this subject have until now taken for Florentine work must henceforward be regarded as Neapolitan products. Loss of the title page, which was presumably even more ornate, makes it extremely difficult to give an exact date to the illumination, but we can assume that it was done in the 1460's. Perhaps the manuscript came to be added to the Corvinian Library at the beginning of the 1470's or, at the latest, as a wedding present for Queen Beatrice.|46

The last volume to be mentioned in the series of manuscripts to be found in Hungary, dating from the first period of the Corvinian Library and illuminated with interlaced foliated scroll, contains the work of Lodovico Carbo, professor of the University of Ferrara, entitled Dialogus de Matthiae regis laudibus in praise of Matthias (MTA Cod. lat. 2). By his alliance with Beatrice of Aragon, Matthias actually became closely related to the court of Ferrara; links with Ferrara were thus strengthened and gradually became even closer all through the 1480's. Lodovico Carbo's work glorifying the Hungarian king was written in 1475 immediately prior to Matthias's wedding. There can be no doubt that Carbo wrote this eulogy to promote Matthias's union with the Princess of Naples, most likely at the order of his master, the Duke of Ferrara, or his wife Eleonora, Beatrice's sister. The political weight of Carbo's writing is shown in the Ferraran professor's lines alluding to Matthias's ambition to become the sovereign of the Holy Roman Empire. "Would that the day might come when we can hail Matthias as the King and Emperor of the Romans! This would be appropriate to his father's merits and his own. . . Oh, what an address we shall then deliver to celebrate the occasion!"45 The marginal illumination of Lodovico Carbo's work which is of smaller size was conceived in the decorative style of Ferrara miniature art (Plates XIX and XX). The ornamentation, composed of slightly sturdier interlaced white foliated scroll, frames the page on all four sides; the design is kindred to that seen in the border design of the illuminated title page of Seneca's volume from the Corvinian Library which is preserved in Munich and which must also have been produced in Ferrara.46

This brings us to the end of our description of the manuscripts preserved in Hungary which may be assumed to have been added to the Corvinian Library in the first period of the Buda collection.47 These manuscripts demonstrate that at the opening of the 1470's most of the volumes purchased in Italy had ornamental title pages illuminated with interlaced foliated scroll. This does not mean that in the first period of the library Matthias did not possess any contemporary works decorated with floral designs. As pointed out before, the manuscript of Regiomontanus (OSZK Clmae 412) is the only specimen preserved in Hungary from the first period of the library which possesses a title page illuminated with outstanding good taste with a delicate Florentine floral design (Plate XXI). Its beautiful, rich and harmonious marginal decoration composed with almost geometrical regularity and diversified by tiny golden thalers, a multitude of lively children and brightly coloured birds, indicates that this is a representative work of Florentine miniature painting and is appreciated in Hungarian histories of art as a product from the workshop of Francisco d'Antonio del Cherico, the great Florentine miniaturist.48 In his later period Francisco d'Antonio del Cherico painted several manuscripts for King Matthias. The illumination of the title page in Regiomontanus's Canones is an example of the master's earlier, more restrained period. |48

Queen Beatrice arrived in Hungary in December, 1476. King Matthias, who was then at the pinnacle of power and was aspiring to the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, received his betrothed with opulent pomp and a display of glittering brilliance. Bonfini recorded that Beatrice and her retinue reached the country through Carinthia and Styria "in constant terror of marauding Turks who ravaged right and left on their way and would in all likelihood have been delighted to capture the whole travelling party."49 From the report of the ambassador from the Palatinate we also know that in the wedding procession King Matthias "on his white steed outshone everybody; all the jewels on the trappings of his horse were gold," and both his mantle and shoes were covered with pearls and gems. 5° The marriage of Matthias and Beatrice brought to an end the first period of the Corvinian Library of Buda and ushered in a period during which there was an amazing development of humanist art and spirit of humanism generally at the royal court.

AUTHENTIC MANUSCRIPTS OF FOREIGN ORIGIN FROM THE SECOND PERIOD OF THE CORVINIAN LIBRARY IN HUNGARY

Deep inside the palace stands a square hall,
Bold arches of the vaulted roof descend
On walls of rock-hewn stone and tiles.
Two windows tall admit the noon-tide sun;
The gleaming, coloured glass with pictures strewn,
All marvel who behold their perfect art.

This is how Naldus Naldius sang of Matthias's library in his epic poem which has come down to us in the manuscript preserved at Torun.51

In the second period of the Corvinian Library, foreign scholars and humanists became daily visitors and readers of the collection. The presence of Queen Beatrice not only enhanced the splendour of the court at Buda, but also promoted Renaissance learning. Italian artists and scholars came to stay here, enriching Hungarian humanism with the treasures of their art and intellect. Mamo Galeotto, too, returned to Hungary; he belonged to the inmost circle of the King's court and is referred to as the first librarian of the Corvinian Library, although no positive proof of this is available. The worthy Florentine humanist Bartholomaeus Fontius also worked at the Corvinian Library where it was his chief task to revise and edit the texts of the manuscripts produced in Buda, though he also copied manuscripts himself.52 The Parmese humanist Taddeo Ugoletti, |49 the tutor of Matthias's illegitimate son Johannes Corvinus (1473----1504), also acted as librarian of the Corvinian Library. At this period Matthias had already established a copyists' workshop in Florence supervised by Naldus Naldius and Taddeo Ugoletti who in one of his letters wrote the following lines to Matthias: "I shall take good care, Great King, that all the works you have ordered to be copied here should be sent to you in a short time."53

To satisfy the King's passion for collecting books, a steadily growing organization was kept in operation. The fame of the Corvinian Library began to spread well beyond the borders of the country. An Italian humanist, Giorgio Anselmo da Parma, extolled Matthias and his library in an epigram, emphasizing the merits of Taddeo Ugoletti who was obviously not only his compatriot but also a good personal friend of his.

Possessions in costly books, dear treasures, increase apace,
The invincible King's proud, royal work, 
Proud royal achievement; but also the scholar has had a share,
Taddeo's genius, which helped the King.54

Gorgeous manuscripts worth a fabulous fortune continued to arrive from Florence one after the other. The volumes were illuminated by the most eminent Florentine miniaturists of the age; in some of them the title page virtually lost its character of illumination and gave the impression of a brilliant masterpiece of miniature painting. All the luxuriance of Italian Renaissance art, with a variety of ornamental motifs most vividly and imaginatively conceived, covered the title pages of Matthias's collection. These manuscripts did not generally include their date of origin, but the majority were produced within a decade. Thus we can apply no accurate date of origin to the ornate volumes preserved in Hungary.

Our first task is to deal with the magnificent works from Florence.

Of the Florentine miniaturists, the celebrated Attavante degli Attavanti (1452---- 1517), reputed to have been a friend of Leonardo da Vinci, was the first to work by appointment for King Matthias; during the second period of the Corvinian Library he painted profusely illuminated works of glittering magnificence. Research here has revealed that in the second period of the library 31 of the Corvinian manuscripts already known to scholars were illuminated by Attavante or in his workshop; and 18 of these are the handwork of the great artist himself.55 Several of them are known as the outstanding treasures of foreign collections, for example, Martianus Capella's Corvinian manuscript preserved in the Marciana Library in Venice, or the famous item in the Brussels Library, the Corvinian Missal, also the Roman Breviary preserved in the Vatican Library. Hungarian libraries may pride themselves on housing three Corvinian manuscripts of that period illuminated by Attavante. |50 

In any event, Attavante's manuscripts are significant and representative achievements of the great artist and his workshop. Richly elaborated marginal illumination and portraits of various authors drawn with a unique gift for observation bear witness to Attavante's talent for imaginative decoration and his marked gift for characterization. His marginal decorations were bright and colourful, indicating his partiality for pomp and variety; the composition of his elaborate designs was based on acanthus leaves and gay flowers of delicate hue. To hosts of delightful putti, sparkling gems and ancient golden-bronze coins, the artist added, with light-hearted enthusiasm, the crests symbolizing the royal power of King Matthias, using them as ornamental motifs. As well as Matthias's large escutcheon divided into several fields, he inserted into the lower marginal border the Hunyadis' crest with the raven, and also the ancient Hungarian crest with white and red stripes, and the new Hungarian coat-of-arms with the patriarchal cross. The ancient crest of Austria is also encountered in his marginal decorations; also the Czech lion, the Dalmatian crest with its three lion-heads and the armorial bearings of Silesia which are dominated by a black eagle. Matthias's emblems were also used in miniature to demonstrate in symbolic fashion the Hungarian sovereign's virtues. Our present knowledge of the use of emblems in the period of humanism enables us to interpret these as follows: the bundle of sheaves stood for generosity, the dragon for courage, the bee-hive for diligence, the diamond ring for loyalty, the well for absorption, the barrel for thrift, steel and flint for strength and intellect, while the hourglass may have symbolized the passage of time and the ability of men to use their time well and actively.

The three Corvinian manuscripts illuminated by Attavante include the famous, magnificently decorated volume of Philostratus, the Heroica manuscript (OSZK Clmae 417) which used to be a greatly cherished item of the collection of the National Library in Vienna, also Damascenus's work entitled Sententiae which is adorned in an elegant, refined style (OSZK Clmae 345), and the Chrysostomus manuscript, Homiliae (OSZK Clmae 346), executed in a less elaborate manner. All three of these works by Attavante are fruits of the eminent master's mature period, the years from 1485 to 1490, and reflect all the opulence and splendour of the Florentine Renaissance and the rich variety of its decorative art.

As was usual in the case of very elaborate works, the Damascenus manuscript was provided with two title pages. The inside of the end page was decorated in the traditional delicate style, and was framed by gorgeous floral decoration in varied colours (Plate XXII). A large medallion contains the titles of the works in the volume, written in golden letters on a blue ground; the title page is illuminated with a broad marginal design and a large-sized initial letter enclosing the author's portrait. King Matthias's crest is seen at the lower edge of this title page in the middle of the marginal |52 illumination. On this title page the marginal illumination was divided by Attavante into sections with a red, green, or blue ground; then he put in small busts of pale, fair-haired saints with soft, lyrical features, one in each section, and surrounded them with rich foliated scroll abounding in gold-painted flowers. Moreover, apart from the dreamy-eyed saints and putti so characteristic of Attavante's art, the emblems of King Matthias are also woven into the marginal illumination (Plate XXIII). On the title page Damascenus, the author, is depicted inside the initial D (72 by 67 mm), holding a book in his hands in the traditional attitude. The portrayal, however, differs from the conventional pattern. With great artistic ability, Attavante suggested a subjective, introspective, delicate type of man. The exceptionally luxurious execution of the manuscript is shown by the fact that, in addition to two title pages, the volume has several, more exactly nine, pages where besides less elaborately coloured initials, the outer or inner edges are illuminated with a tastefully composed design of foliated scroll and vase motifs (Fig. 12). The Damascenus manuscript was greatly appreciated at the court of King Matthias, as we can see from the magnificent gilded cover it was given, one of the finest among the volumes of the Buda Corvinian Library (Plate XLVII).

Although Attavante himself painted only the wide marginal illumination of the initial title page, in artistic construction and elaboration this manuscript nevertheless ranks with the finest achievements of the great master. The same applies to the illumination of the Breviary preserved in the Vatican Library (Urb. lat. 112) and the manuscript of Philostratus's work in the Széchényi Library.

The Philostratus manuscript is one of the most strikingly handsome items of Matthias's library, belonging as it does to the most richly illuminated group of manuscripts. The book contains the works of Philostratus Flavius, the Athenian sophist who lived in Rome in the 3rd century, and those of his nephew of the same name, and has a written dedication to King Matthias and a preface by Antonio Bonfini. The Latin translation was done by Bonfini in 1487----during the siege of Wiener Neustadt----therefore this splendid manuscript must have been produced in the last years of Matthias's reign, between 1488 and 1490. This manuscript (OSZK Clmae 417) also has two title pages. Aiming at the most luxurious execution, Attavante refrained from placing the inscription on the inner side of the endpaper within the customary, highly decorative medallion framed by a simple pattern of foliated motifs; instead he painted this page with the same passion for luxurious detail as he lavished on the initial title page.

Attavante's treatment entirely deprived both the inner side of the end page and the initial title page of their parchment character. The inner side of the endpaper was completely covered with red, and the parchment of the initial title page was covered with cobalt-blue, on which the title and the words of the text shine out, written in gold paint. On the end page the artist put the title in gold letters, and introduced a rich |53 architectonic design into the profusely elaborated marginal frame, which he illuminated with gold foliated designs painted on the red ground. On the initial title page he painted a capital initial letter in the text (118 by 90 mm) which is also enclosed by rich decoration. Both on the endpaper and in the marginal illumination of the initial title page he painted the crest of King Matthias. He adorned the endpaper with vases, playful putti, arms, gems, pearls and emblems, and imitated antique coins by inserting a portrait of King Matthias in the form of a gold medal amidst similarly medal-like portraits of Roman emperors, including Nero, Hadrian, and Claudius, and that of the Empress Faustina. However, he did not paint any emperor of Rome on the inner margin of the leaf, as the counterpart of Matthias, but instead he painted Apollo and Marsyas after the cameo in the collection of Lorenzo Medici preserved in the National Museum of Naples. Above the frame enclosing the text of the title, a child and a bear stand on a marble pedestal while underneath the frame there is a mythological scene on a black background, a fight between centaurs, drawn with masterly skill (Plate XXIV).

The style of the architectonic design which frames the title text----notwithstanding its simpler constituent forms----exhibits a close relationship to the design of the similarly conceived title frame in the Breviary in Rome, as does also the painting of the mythological theme, which gives the impression of a relief. The small child playing with a bear on a marble pedestal in the foreground of the elaborate design of the Philostratus manuscript is also closely related to the small child playing with a monkey on a marble floor in the foreground of the design on the Roman Breviary. 56

On the initial title page in the Philostratus manuscript the ornamental frame of the leaf, divided into blue and red sections, has been decorated by the artist with a gold pattern formed of the same acanthus leaves as those employed on the endpaper. In the middle of the upper marginal illumination, on both sides of the Hunyadis' crest with the raven, there is a fantastic centaur bearing a putto on its back, while in each of the two motifs at the inner and outer margins of the page there is the portrait of a sage. The smaller portrait on the inner side, that of a long-bearded scholar, presumably represents Philostratus himself; on the outer side, the larger portrait of a white-haired, cleanshaven scholar in black apparel, holding a book, is believed to be a likeness of Bonfini. Up to now it was generally held that in the oval painting (118 by 90 mm), inserted into the initial N adorned with precious stones and pearls, the author had perpetuated King Matthias in memory of his victory over Vienna, showing him as a mere boy standing in his triumphal chariot under the walls of Vienna, leaning with his right hand on his escutcheon. The triumphal chariot is drawn by two pinioned captives and two white horses, each with an armoured rider (Plate XXV). An Italian miniaturist, Giovanni Antonio Cattaneo de Mediolano, who worked in Hungary later, adopted the same style of delineation in the Corvinian manuscript of Averulinus now preserved in Venice.

[pp.54-107 omitted]


Footnotes (not proofed)

1.  Fontius, Bartholomaeus: Epistolarum libri III, lib. II. ep. XII. Addressed to Matthias. Florence, 1489. Published in Juhász, László: Bibliotheca Scriptorum Medii Recentisque Aevorum, saec. XV-XV1, 1931. - Irodalomtörténeti Közlemények, 1902, pp. 16-17. - Concerning the destruction of the library, see Csapodi, Csaba: "Mikor pusztult el Mátyás király könyvtára?" [When Did King Matthias's Library Perish?] A Magyar Tudományos Akadémia könyvtárának Közleményei - Publications Bibliothecae Academiae Scientiarium Hungaricae. No. 24. Budapest, 1961.

2.  A magyar nép története [The History of the Hungarian People], Budapest, 1953. 3rd ed., pp. 79-82.

3.  For picture of the miniature in the manuscript see Tietze, H.: Die illuminierten Handschriften der Rossiana in Wien-hainz [Beschreibendes Verzeichnis der illuminierten Handschriften in Österreich]. Leipzig, 1911, p. 18, No. 31. - Hevesy, p. 76, Plate XI. - Mátyás király Emlékkönyv. Edited by Imre Lukinich. Budapest, 1940, Vol. I, p. 447.

4.  Fraknói, Vilmos: Vitéz János esztergomi érsek élete [The Life of Johannes Vitéz, Archbishop of Esztergom]. Budapest, 1879, p. 13. - Horváth, Henrik: "La cour de Buda sous le roi Sigismund." Nouvelle Revue de Hongrie, LVII, 1937, pp. 230-237.

5.  Ábel, Jenő: Adalékok a humanizmus történetéhez Magyarországon [Contributions to the History of Humanism in Hungary]. Budapest, 1880, pp. 158-159.

6.  Letter published by Károly Ráth in Győri Történelmi és Régészeti F'ú'zetek, 1863, Vol. II, p. 45.

7.  See Huszti, József: Janus Pannonius. Pécs, 1931. 8, p. 189. - Vespasiano da Bisticci: Vite di uomini illustri del sec. XV. Firenze, 1859, p. 227. ---- On one occasion Janus Pannonius, when visited in Italy by a Hungarian messenger, wrote a short letter to say he could not send any books: "Librum nunc nullum mitto, maximé quia improvisus me nuncius offendit." Huszti, op. cit. pp. 34, 313, note 23.

8.  The library of Johannes Vitéz has been described and discussed by Edith Hoffmann who has drawn up a list of 26 Vitéz manuscripts. (See Hoffmann III, pp. 57-69.) - Moreover, Hermann Julius Hermann attributes two more manuscripts----not previously mentioned in Hungarian literature----to Vitéz, on the basis of the manuscripts and notes in which he has identified the handwriting of Vitéz himself. One of these is an ornate illuminated manuscript from the region of Ferrara or Verona containing Ovid in manuscript with the blank for the crest left empty. -This magnificent manuscript was brought to the Vienna Court Library from Salzburg in 1806. In all probability it must have been taken to Salzburg by the successor of Vitéz, Beckensloer, Archbishop of Esztergom, who became Archbishop of Salzburg in 1482. -The other volume contains the Bologna manuscript of Lapus Castelliunculus which was brought to Vienna from Esztergom in the 18th century. See Hermann VI/i, p. 125, No. 94, and p. III. 1. No. 76.

9. Csontosi, János: "A Korvina" [The Corvináé]. In Pallas lexicon, Budapest, 1895, Vol. 10; appendix V. 1.

10.  Halász, Gábor: "Mátyás királyról" [On King Matthias]. In Nyugat, 1940, Vol. I, pp. 116-121. - Halász Gábor válogatott írásai [Selected Writings of G. Halász]. Budapest, 1959, p. 505.

11.  Huszti, József, op. cit., p. 251.

12.  Gombosi, Gy.: "Pannóniái Mihály és a renaissance kezdetei Ferrarában" [Michele Pan-nonio and the Beginnings of the Renaissance in Ferrara]. In Az Országos Magyar Szépművészeti Múzeum Évkönyve, VI, 1929-1930, pp. 91-108. - Salmi, M.: Pitt ura e Miniatűr a a Ferrara nel primo Rinascimento. Milano, 1961. pp. 16-18.

13.  Vasari, Giorgio: Le vite de' piü eccellentipittori, scultori ed architetti, con nuove annotazioni e com-menti di Gaetano Milanesi. Firenze, 1878, III, p. 334. ---- On the development of Renaissance learning in Hungary, see Kardos, Tibor: A magyarországi humanizmus kora [The Age of Humanism in Hungary]. Budapest, 1955.

14.  Cf. Huszti, József, op. cit., p. 231.

15.  Venturi, Adolfo----Trecani, Giovanni: LaBibbia~ di Borsó d'Este. Milano, 1936. ---- Fava, Dome-nico----Salmi, Mario: / Manoscritti miniati del la Biblioteca Estense di Modena. Firenze, 1950, Primo Volume, No. 34, pp. 90-133, Plates XX to XXVIII.

16.  Vespasiano da Bisticci, op. cit., p. 226.

17.  Cf. Fitz, József: "Mátyás király, a könyvbarát" [King Matthias, the Bibliophile]. In Mátyás király Emlékkönyv. Vol. II, pp. 221-222.

18.  Hoffmann I, pp. 134-135, and Hoffmann III, p. 83.

19.  Bibl. Corv. II. List of lost or unrecovered Corvinian manuscripts, Nos. 120 and 112. For detailed discussion of Ferraran artistic relationships, see Berkovits, Elena: La miniatűr a ml la corte di Matti a Corvino. ¥ err ara ed URinascimento ungherese. Budapest, 1941. Biblioteca di "Mattia Corvino", No. 10.

20.  Vespasiano da Bisticci, op. cit., p. 228.

21.  Csánki, Dezső : Első Mátyás udvara [The Court of King Matthias I]. Budapest, 1884, p. 71. Salvianus: De vero iudicio et providentia Dei ad S. Salonium episcopum Viennensem libri

VIII cura lo. Alexandri Brassicani Iureconsulti editi. Basileae, 1530, Froben. Preface re-edited: Mader, Fr.: De bibliothecis atque ar-chivis, 1666; second edition, 1702. - For details see: Bibl. Corv. I, pp. 25-26.

22.  Fitz, József: A magyar nyomdászat, könyvkiadás és könyvkereskedelem története, I. A mohácsi vész, előtt. [The History of Hungarian Printing, Publication and Book Trade. Part I: Prior to the Disastrous Battle of Mohács]. Budapest, pp. 97-103.

23.  Elekes, Lajos: Mátyás és kora [Matthias and His Age], Budapest, 1956, p. 93.

24.  This manuscript used to be in the possession of the National Library in Vienna. At present it is in the National Széchényi Library in Budapest; designated Clmae 425.

25.  This manuscript is preserved in the library of the Benedictine monastery in Salzburg. Designated: A. VII. 39.- Fraknói, Vilmos: "Váradon írt Vitéz codex" [A Vitéz Manuscript Written at Várad], in Magyar Könyvszemle, 1880, pp. 244-246.

26.  For contents of Corvinian manuscripts see Zolnai, pp. 112-117.

27.  Communication of Helga Hajdú.

28.  Ferrara, Biblioteca Comunale Mss, d. Ill, n. 185. Picture in Agnelli, Giovanni: Biblio-ieche della Provincia di Ferrara. See: Fava, Do-menico: Emilia e Romagna. Milano, 1932 (Tesori delle Biblioteche d'Italia),p. 71, Fig. 29.

29.   "Liber Bartholomaei Cardinalis Ravennatis quern emit a Vespasiano librario ducatis LIII." See D'Ancona, II. pp. 316-317, No. 645.

30.  Agnelli, Giovanni, op. cit., p. 69.

31.  For the works of Petrus Cenninius and his activities in connection with the Corvinian Library, see Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Klára: "Mátyás király könyvtárának scriptorai. Petrus Cenninius" [The Scribes of King Matthias's Library. Petrus Cenninius], in Magyar Könyvszemle, 1958, pp. 327-343 (Az OSZK kiadványai XLV).

32.  Jankovich Nicolai Manuscriptorum Rerum Hun-garicarum Catalogus. Tom. I, f. 39. - Hoffmann II, p. 14, note No. 1. - Although the name of Petrus Cenninius is not unknown in the literature of art, Hoffmann in her works mentions him only as a scribe.

33.  This was stated by Flóris Rómer in 1863, but his statement escaped the attention of later Corvinian research workers. Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Klára, op. cit., p. 338.

34.  Dobrowolski, K.: Rgkopis Bibljoteki Macieje Korwina pr^echowany w Museum XX. Czarto-ryskich w Krakowie. Kraków, 1926, Vol. 2, p. 18. - Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Klára, op. cit., p. 336.

35.  Statements of Klára Csapodi-Gárdonyi.

36.  In this manuscript K. Csapodi-Gárdonyi identified the hand of Cenninius; however, since until then it was regarded as the writing of Nicolaus Pupiensis, elucidation of this question has been deferred for some future date; op. cit., p. 343.

37.  Hoffmann III, p. 101, No. 87.

38.  Picture in D'Ancona Paolo----Aeschlimann, Erardo: Diciionnaire des Miniaturistes. Second edition. Milano, 1949, Plate XLII.

39.  For works of Gioacchino di Giovanni de Gigantibus, see De Marinis, Tamarro: La Biblioteca Napoletana dei re dAragona. Milano, Vol. I, 1952, p. 149. - Plate 18-22, 67; also Caio Giulio Cesare: I commentari della guerra gallica. Napoli, Biblioteca Nazionale, Ms. XI, AA. 51. ---- Mostra Storica Nazionale della Miniatura, Palazz0 di Venezia, Roma. Catalogo redatto dal Prof. Giovanni Muzz^- Seconda edizione, Firenze 1954, p. 439., No. 707. For picture see ibid. Plate LXXXVII, and S. Hie-ronymus: Epistolae. Napoli, Biblioteca Nazionale, MS. VI, c. 2, F. 1. - Salmi, Mario: La miniatura italiana. Milano, 1956, p. 67, Fig. 88.

40.  Bradley, I. W.: A Dictionary of Miniaturists, Illuminators, Calligraphers and Copyists. London, 1888,II,p. 318. Byvanck, A. W.----Hooge-werff, S. I., La miniature hollandaise. . . La Haye, 1925, p. XIII-XIV. - Hoffmann II, p. 23. - Hoffmann III, p. 100, No. 58. Hoffmann regards Petrus de Middelburch only as a scribe. - D'Ancona I, p. 52; II, No. 170 takes the illumination of the manuscript for Florentine work. - In D'Ancona P.----Aeschlimann, E., op. cit., mentioned as miniaturist on page 170. - It must be noted that the scribe of the 15th-century manuscript containing

[...]

vinae]. In Dallas lexicon, Vol. 10, p. XI. - For letter of Taddeo Ugoletti see Budik, P. A.: Entstehung und Verfall der berühmten von König Matthias Corvinus gestijteten Bibliothek zu Ofen. Wien, 1840, p. 8.

54.  Published by Marchesi, C: Bartolomeo della Fonte. Catania, 1900, note on p. 80.

55.  Hoffmann III, p. 77, notes 130,131.               :

56.  For picture of this page in the Breviary of Rome preserved in the Vatican Library, see Hevesy, Plate XXV.

57.  On the title page of the illuminated Gradual of Wladislaus II preserved at Esztergom. -Berkovits, Ilona: "Az Esztergomi Ulászló-Graduale" [The Wladislaus Gradual in Esztergom]. In Magyar Könyvszemle, 1941, pp. 342-353. - Berkovits, Ilona: "A kódex-festészet emlékei a főszékesegyházi könyvtárban" [Old Manuscript Illuminations in the Archi-episcopal Library]. Esztergom műemlékei [Monuments of Esztergom], Part I, pictures on pp. 355-369. In: Magyarország műemléki topográfiája. Edited by Tibor Gerevich. Budapest, 1948, Vol. I, Part I.

58.  Concerning the identification of the figure in the initial N with Johannes Corvinus, Helga Hajdú had drawn my attention to the words "Ioannes filius" following after Matthias and Beatrice in the text underneath the initial. The education of Johannes Corvinus played a role in the development of the Corvinian Library. On this issue see Schönherr, Gyula: Hunyadi Corvin János [Johannes Hunyadi Corvinus]. Budapest, 1894, pp. 66, 68.

59.  Wescher, Paul: "Florentinische Buchminia-turen im Berliner Kupferstichkabinett." In Jahrbuch der preussischen Kunstsammlungen, Vol. 50, 1929, p. 97.

60.  See Hermann VI/3, No. 78, p. 107.

61.  This assumption is supported by Boccardino Vecchio's illumination in a Breviary preserved in the Laurenziana in Florence (MS. Plut., p. 17). Hoffmann I, p. 138. - Hoffmann III, p. 78. - Bibl. Corv. II, p. 46. - An ornate leaf of the Florence Breviary is included in D'An-cona I, p. 106, Plate CII, D'Ancona II, No. 1612, and Salmi, Mario, op. at., Plate XLV.

62.  See Bertaux, E.----Berot C: "Le Missel de Thomas, évéque du Dol." In Revue de Vart ancien et moderné, XX, Paris, 1906, p. 129. -D'Ancona I, p. 93; II, p. 797.

63.  Hermann VI/3, pp. 101-111.

64.  Vasari, G., op. cit., Vol. Ill, p. 237.

65.  Picture in the Bibl. Corv. I, p. 153. - Hevesy, Plate XXI. - With reference to the illumination of this manuscript Edith Hoffmann has claimed it to be the work of Gherardo and Giovanni Monte del Fora. Hoffmann III, p.79. In the miniature of the Bible in the Laurenziana Library in Florence, Hungarian literature of art has at all times recognized the figures of Matthias, Charles VIII, and Johannes Corvinus. - In recent Italian literature the elder king beside Matthias and the youth have been identified as portraits of Louis XI and Charles VIII. See Mostra storica della miniatura. Pala^xp di Venecia, Koma, op. cit., p. 324, No. 513. - Since the youth wears a robe decorated with lilies in the style affected by French kings, the supposition is actually justified.

66.  Description of the Hieronymus manuscript of Vienna in Hermann VI/3, No. 79, pp. 111-120. Pictures of illumination see ibid., Plates XXXIV to XXXVI. ---- Bibl. Corv. I, Plate XXI, p. 155. - Hevesy, Plate XIX.

67.  Balogh, Jolán: "Mátyás király arcképei" [Portraits of King Matthias], in Mátyás király Emlékkönyv, Budapest, 1940, Vol. I, p. 502, No. 35.

68.  The manuscript came into Pignatelli's possession in 1691. See Bibl. Corv. II, No. 70. No. 728.

69.  Balogh, Jolán: Adatok Milano és Magyarország kulturális kapcsolatainak történetéhez [Contributions to the History of Cultural Relations between Milan and Hungary]. - Con-tributi alia storia delle relazjoni d'arte e di cultura tra Milano e I'Ungheria. Budapest, 1928, pp. 33-34. - Hoffmann, E.: "Mátyás király könyvtára" [The Library of King Matthias]. In Mátyás király Emlékkönyv, Budapest, 1940, I, Vol. II, p. 270. - Hoffmann, E.: "A Széchényi Könyvtár új Corvin-kódexe" [New Corvinian Manuscript of the Széchényi Library]. In Magyar Könyvszemle, 1939, pp. 105-109. - Unfortunately the valuable title page of this Corvinian manuscript has been so badly impaired that no coloured print or electrotype could be made of it.

70.  See Malaguzzi-Valeri, F.: "Sul miniatore Frate Antonio da Monza." In Kassegna d'arte, 1916, p. 28. - D'Ancona, Paolo: La miniature Italienne du Xe au XVIe siecle, Paris-Bruxelles, 1925, p. 56. - Salmi, Mario, op. cit., pp. 72-74, Plate 96. - For picture of Antonio da Mon-za's work preserved in the Albertina collection


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