Lot 8
  • 8

St. Francis receiving the stigmata, on a leaf from an illuminated antiphoner on vellum [Italy (Florence), c.1475]

3,000 - 5,000 GBP
3,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Vellum
a leaf, 601mm. by 435mm., with a very large initial 'C' (opening "Crucis vox hinc ..." the antiphon for the Feast of the Stigmatisation of St. Francis), 170mm. by 150mm., in deep burgundy, blue and green acanthus-leaf sprays, on a burnished gold ground, ends of initial curling into margin in realistic sprays of coloured foliage and large bezants on hair-line stalks, enclosing St. Francis in the robes of his order gazing up at the sky as a red angel descends and his wounds appear, the text of the rubric beginning with a large initial 'I' in red, formed of geometric cadels rising up from a pink scroll, 4 lines of text (some letters with elaborate flourishes) with music on a 4-line red stave, 5 lines of same on reverse and a large blue initial with red penwork, some stains and folds (none affecting text), slight scuffing to gold, else good condition

Catalogue Note

The portrait of St. Francis is by a skilled Florentine miniaturist. The facial features are delicately portrayed and recall the initials in Modena, Bib. Estense, ms.lat.449, and Florence, San Marco, ms.539 (A. Garzelli, Miniatura Fiorentina del Rinascimento, 1985, II:572 and 649), while the pale blue background flecked with scrolling clouds recalls the portraits of Attavante (1452-c.1525). The border work is notably fine as is the white foliage penwork panels of the initial itself, which find comparisons in numerous Florentine works from the end of the fifteenth century (cf. Garzelli, II:638, 648-50 and 653).