• Fine Printed Books, Manuscript auction at Christies

    Sale 5829

    Fine Printed Books, Manuscripts, Traditional Sports

    23 November 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 119

    ST LAWRENCE in an initial C by PACINO DI BONAGUIDA, cutting from an illuminated Gradual on vellum

    Price Realised  

    ST LAWRENCE in an initial C by PACINO DI BONAGUIDA, cutting from an illuminated Gradual on vellum
    [Florence, second quarter 14th century]167 x 138mm. The initial on the verso, marking the Mass for the Vigil of St Lawrence ('Confessio et pulchritudo in conspectu ejus'); on the recto three lines in Latin in brown ink between three lines of music on a four-line stave in red (some wear with losses of pigment and gold, scratches to surface touching halo and face).

    The style of this initial, in particular the distinctive palette and treatment of the saint's face, is highly characteristic of the work of Pacino (fl.1303-c.1340), painter and illuminator whose productive workshop came to dominate manuscript production in Florence in the first half of the 14th century. Celebrated for his work on the Laudario of the Compagnia di Sant'Agnese, one of the most lavishly illuminated Florentine manuscripts from this period, Pacino worked on many prestigious commsissions; this initial is very similar in style to an initial on a leaf from a gradual (although probably not a sister leaf) in the Houghton Library, Harvard University (1943.I868, see Treasures of a Lost Art, 2003, no.20).


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