PSEUDO-AMADEUS OF PORTUGAL [Joannes Menesius de Silva], 1431-1482, Apocalypsis nova, in Latin, a single leaf with historiated full border, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[Veneto, c.1500]317 x 215mm. Full-page border the sides with renaissance structures bearing music-making angels and putti, the symbols of the Evangelists at the four corners, God the Father with seraphim in the upper border above a red panel with the title and rubric in five lines of display capitals of gold, the lower margin with a landscape and two angels holding a coat of arms, azure, a lion rampant argent flanked by two palm-fronds or, a black biretta above and to either side the initials IO and AT, the text opening with a gold capital on a ground of green and blue and continuing with 25 lines written in brown ink in an upright humanistic hand, the verso with 30 lines of text (creased, worn with losses and some contours and features strengthened).
This is the opening page of a copy of the Apocalypsis nova, a mystical work claiming to have been written by the Blessed Amadeus of Portugal, a Franciscan who settled in Italy in the middle of the 15th century and founded a strict congregation centred on the church on S. Pietro in Montorio in Rome. The Apocalypsis nova, a millenarian work of revelation and prophecy, was reputedly dictated to him by the Angel Gabriel. The core of its message concerned the imminent advent of the Angelic Pope who, after a period of chastisement, would unite the eastern and Latin churches and usher in a new age of Christendom. Gabriel was, unsurprisingly, forthcoming on issues that concerned the more austere Franciscans and during one of Amadeus's raptures he received confirmation of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. The work circulated in manuscript into the 16th century, though rarely in such elaborate and professionally produced copies as witnessed by the present leaf, and its influence was extended by the publication of the printed edition in 1502.
Text on the present leaf opens with the incipit of the work, 'Ego Amedeus fui raptus ex spelunca' and ends on the verso with, 'Esaias Hieremias. Daniel et Exechiel.'
ILLUMINATED INITIAL D opening the 3rd lesson in matins of the Office of the Virgin on a bifolium from a Book of Hours, 80 x 57mm (each page), 12 lines with rubrics and initials in gold, [Florence c.1460]. Framed.