(active 1480s in Rome)

Pausanias: Description of Greece

c. 1485
Manuscript (Plut. 56. 11)
Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence

Pausanias's Description of Greece is in ten books, each dedicated to some portion of Greece. In the fifteenth century the work of Pausanias (c. 110-180 A.D.), a Greek traveler and geographer, were still being copied in Greek from Greek manuscripts, and despite the interest displayed by humanists in the archeology and geography of ancient Greece, no one thought to make a Latin version of this text. The present Greek codex was copied in 1485 in Rome.

The decoration on folio 1 consists of an elegant ornamental border of candelabra interspersed with foliate motifs, and embellished with fruit, flowers, birds and butterflies, arranged in a composite, asymmetric yet harmonious whole. Pausanias appears within the initial, holding a copy of his work. The illumination has been attributed to one of the busiest artists of the second half of the fifteenth century, active in Rome from about 1463 and known as 'Pseudo-Michele da Carrara'.

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