Aldus Manutius - Devotional Letters of Saint Catharine of Siena, 1500

Aldus Manutius (Bassiano, about 1450 - 1515, Venice)

Devotional Letters of Saint Catharine of Siena [Epistole devotissime de Sancta Catharina da Siena], 1500

Printed ink on paper , 31.5 x 21.5 x 7 cm (12 3/8 x 8 7/16 x 2 3/4 in.)

Close
(Bassiano, about 1450 - 1515, Venice)

Object details

Accession number

2.c.3.23

Primary Creator

Aldus Manutius (Bassiano, about 1450 - 1515, Venice)

Full title

Devotional Letters of Saint Catharine of Siena [Epistole devotissime de Sancta Catharina da Siena]

Creation Date

1500

Object Case

Dante Case

Language

Italian

Publication Place

Venice

Binding Description

Light brown calf; gilt-tooled covers, marbled pastedowns, red-speckled edges, spine tooled 'Lettere di S. Caterina da Siena' (Italian, 18th century)

Description

1 Vol. (422 leaves) : ill. ; 31.5 cm. (folio)

Provenance



Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the bookseller and library agent Benjamin Franklin Stevens (1833-1902), London on 22 December 1892 for £6 14s 2d.

Marks

Inscribed on self-adhesive label (over another label; front pastedown, upper left): "Nicola di Mariano de Romanis Negoziante di Libri Antichi e Moderni in Roma Corso No. 246." [collector's mark]
Watermarks (e.g. on 2F7): unidentified
Affixed (verso of front flyleaf): Isabella Stewart Gardner's book plate
Inscribed in pencil (verso of front flyleaf): "10385"
Inscribed in pen (recto of back flyleaf): "0220"
Enclosed: typed bibliographic description
Enclosed: photocopy of typed bibliographic description
Enclosed: paper strip, inscribed in pencil: "1550"
Enclosed: photocopy of excerpt of a poem

Dimensions

31.5 x 21.5 x 7 cm (12 3/8 x 8 7/16 x 2 3/4 in.)

Display Media

Printed ink on paper

Web Commentary

St. Catherine's letters, first published in 1492, are famous for their literary beauty as well as for their religious devotion. This publication is the first in Italian by Aldus Manutius, the famous Venetian publisher who made his reputation in outstanding editions of the Latin and Greek classics. This book contains a woodcut of St. Catherine by the artist who illustrated the Hypnerotomachia Polyphili for Aldus the year before.


Novelist, critic, and bibliophile Vernon Lee (the penname for Violet Paget) encouraged Mrs. Gardner, who was looking for a copy of the Epistole to read, to find a fine one. This volume is the result of their search.

Permanent Gallery Location

Long Gallery

Bibliography

Isabella Stewart Gardner. A Choice of Books from the Library of Isabella Stewart Gardner, Fenway Court (Boston, 1906), p. 2.
Isabella Stewart Gardner. A Choice of Manuscripts and Bookbindings from the Library of Isabella Stewart Gardner, Fenway Court (Boston, 1922), p. 77. (as Italian binding)
Rebecca Karo. Short-Title Catalogue of Highlights from the Book Collection in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Unpublished manuscript. (Boston, 1970s), no. 3.
Frederick Richmond Goff. Incunabula in American libraries; a third census of fifteenth-century books recorded in North American collections (New York, 1964), no. C281.
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke, no. 06222, accessed 9 September 2016. http://www.gesamtkatalogderwiegendrucke.de/docs/GW06222.htm
British Library. Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, no. ic00281000, accessed 15 September 2016. http://istc.bl.uk/search/search.html?operation=record&rsid=552772&q=0#
Anne-Marie Eze in Jeffery F. Hamburger et al. Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Newton: McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College; Cambridge: Houghton Library, Harvard University, 2016), pp. 55, 303-304, no. 241, ill.

Rights and reproductions

The use of images, text, and all other media found on this website is limited. Please review Rights and Reproductions for details.

Commentary

St. Catherine's letters, first published in 1492, are famous for their literary beauty as well as for their religious devotion. This publication is the first in Italian by Aldus Manutius, the famous Venetian publisher who made his reputation in outstanding editions of the Latin and Greek classics. This book contains a woodcut of St. Catherine by the artist who illustrated the Hypnerotomachia Polyphili for Aldus the year before.


Novelist, critic, and bibliophile Vernon Lee (the penname for Violet Paget) encouraged Mrs. Gardner, who was looking for a copy of the Epistole to read, to find a fine one. This volume is the result of their search.