Exhibit of the Month - March 2022
March 2 - April 5, 2022 Ante-room to the General reading Room (gate A), open Monday to Saturday 9 am - 7 pm (see opening hours of the NL)
Admission 10 CZK (free for the NL readers)
Thomas Aquinas, Commentarius in Aristotelis De coelo et mundo libros
[Thomas Aquinas, The Commentary on Aristotle´s Treatise On the Heavens]
Florence, ca. 1485–1490, NL Prague VIII H 73
A codex from the famous library of King Matthias Corvinus containing Thomas Aquinas´ commentary on Aristotle´s cosmological treatise On the Heavens, with illuminations by Attavante degli Attavanti, a great artist of Florence. The introductory page features the title written in capitals, the text itself written in humanist minuscule, the initial S(icut) with a figure of Thomas Aquinas in a Dominican religious robe, and a painted border with coats of arms of some countries ruled by Corvinus.
Matthias Corvinus, the King of Hungary and Bohemia, ranked himself among the most significant bibliophiles of the 15th century. Instead of printed multiplicates, he favoured illuminated codices of a modern Rennaissance layout. He ordered them mainly in workshops of Florence and in those he had established in Buda as well. The humanistically educated monarch looked up to Rennaissance Italy with admiration and his content-rich library was intended to match the collections of the most powerful Italian sovereigns. At the king´s death it included at least two thousand volumes, out of which only around one tenth has been preserved to this day, scattered in many libraries worldwide.
Florence, ca. 1485–1490, NL Prague VIII H 73, f. 2r