BIRAGO, Giovanni Pietro
(active 1471-1513 in Milan)

Latin Grammar Book for Maximilian Sforza

Manuscript (Ms. 2167), 275 x 180 mm
Biblioteca Trivulziana, Milan

This text of this manuscript is the Gramatica by Aelius Donatus (active mid 4th century), a Roman grammarian and teacher of rhetoric, the tutor of St. Jerome. It contains grammatical and moral treatises giving elementary instruction in verse. It was made for Maximilian, the son of Ludovico Sforza (Ludovico il Moro), Duke of Milan (1452-1508) and his wife Beatrice d'Este. The illustrations were executed by several artists, including Ambrogio de Predis and Giovanni Pietro Birago.

The probably most famous miniature on folio 13v is the work of Giovanni Pietro Birago. It shows young Maximilian being instructed by his teacher. An ideal pupil, Maximilian concentrates on his studies while his less diligent companions are easily diverted or have even fallen asleep.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.