AMEDEI, Giuliano
(b. ca. 1446, Firenze, d. 1496, Lucca)

Frontispiece

1465-70
Tempera and gold on parchment, 341 x 244 mm
Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati, Siena

The picture shows the frontispiece to Lactantius's Divinae institutiones. Lucius Caelius Firmianus Lactantius was an early Christian author (c. 240-c. 320) who became an advisor to the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine. The Divine Institutions (Divinarum Institutionum Libri VII), written between 303 and 311,is the most important of his writings.

The bound manuscript contains 207 folios, the frontispiece is on folio 5r and contains a vignette, rectangular in format (100 x 77 mm), showing Lactantius at work in his study. The scene has an airy effect due to the vivid colours - the violet walls, the starry blue vault, and pink-tiled floor. The margins of the folio are adorned with continuous trellis of blue, green, and pink vines, with yellow roses, on a black background. The medallion on the right depicts a struggle between a centaur and a dragon. The initial M is inscribed inside a rectangular picture field with a white vine-leaf pattern.




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