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Fine Arts Library Facsimile Collection

Focused on primary sources from France and Italy in the middle ages, the Fine Arts Library Facsimile Collection provides a unique learning experience for students at all levels.

The opportunity to use a facsimile, which typically is an exact reproduction of the original, provides an optimal user experience. They so closely replicate the artwork, parchment and bindings of the original manuscripts, that they are virtually identical to the original. Collectively, they are a powerful tool for recruiting and retaining students and faculty.

Faculty, graduate students and rising scholars are afforded a tactile experience like that of the historic artisans and donors who negotiated the creation of these finely detailed masterworks. They provide excellent comparanda for scholars who study, write and teach about the intersection of language, literature and art.


New additions, 2016:


Codex Rustici
Image courtesy of FacsimileFinder

The Codex Rustici: an astonishing picture album of fifteenth‐century Florence

From the FacsimileFinder website:  It is a spiritual journey that starts in Florence and then returns there, the demonstration of one man’s love for his birthplace, portrayed in the 80 folios that illustrate its geography, the details of its churches, its streets, and its walls.

The Codex Rustici is divided into three sections or books. The first book consists of 169 chapters depicting numerous religious and secular buildings present in Florence in the first half of the fifteenth century, with a series of exquisite drawings in pen and brown ink with water color that are widely renowned for their beauty.  They are constantly studied by international art and architecture historians, as they illustrate the original architectural structure of numerous important religious buildings with great formal accuracy and an appealing visual effect, while also highlighting the urban identity of a number of Florence’s secular structures of the era.

The second book is made up of 63 chapters, in which we find the part of the journey still within Christendom. From Florence to Porto Pisano and Genoa, crossing the Italian peninsula and hugging the Greek coast, it then takes us to the Aegean Sea and Cyprus.

The third is divided into 73 chapters describing the main legs of the journey: departing from Famagusta, the last outpost of Christianity, the sea route heads towards Africa to reach Egypt. Cairo is the starting point for the overland route to Mount Sinai and Saint Catherine’s Monastery, continuing to Jerusalem, where the itinerary proceeds through Samaria and Galilee and on to Beirut and Damascus


Book of Hours of Perugino
Image courtesy of FacsimileFinder

The Book of Hours of Perugino: A Treasure Book Illuminated by Perugino, Lorenzo Costa, Francesco Francia, and Matteo da Milano

From the FacsimileFinder website:  Ghislieri wanted to collect in this book a series of works of art made by famous artists of his time. Each one of the artists that he selected realized a full-page illumination to be incorporated in this precious manuscript.

The Book of Hours unifies miniatures of artists active in central and northern Italy, who signed the individual pages that they decorated.

Amico Aspertini painted the Adoration of the Shepherds (fol. 15v), Pietro Perugino the Martyrdom of St Sebastian (f. 132v), Lorenzo Costa realized David with the Lyre, Francesco Francia St. Jerome in the Wilderness (fol. 127v), and Matteo da Milano the scene of the Annunciation (fol. 74v).


Recent additions, 2015:


Lorsch Gospels
Image courtesy of FacsimileFinder

The Lorsch Gospels

From the FacsimileFinder website: Around 810 the notable court scriptorium of Charlemagne, located in Aachen, produced this beautiful manuscript. It is a collection of the Four Gospels of the New Testament, created by some of the best artists of the era. Charlemagne may well may have held it in his hands.

The case consists of two ivory plates which formed both the front and the back cover of the manuscript.

The cover is divided into five-parts: the plate of the Virgin on the front cover and the plate of Christ at the back­ are the most elaborate ivory series ever made at the court of Charlemagne and thus represent a true masterpiece.

Codex Benedictus
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Codex Benedictus

From the FacsimileFinder website: In 582 the monastery of Montecassino, founded by St. Benedict a generation earlier, was attacked by the Lombards, causing the monks to leave the monastery and flee to Rome for protection. The monastery was restored some 500 years later by a subsequent abbot. To mark the occasion, and the life of St. Benedict, the abbot, Desiderius II, dedicated this beautifully illustrated lectionary for Vigils. 68 miniatures illustrate the life of Benedict, with scenes that suggest Desiderius’s desire of pursuing a pure monastic life following the Rule and the example of St. Benedict.

Godescalc Evangelistary
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Godescalc Evangelistary

From the FacsimileFinder website: The Godescalc Evangelistary is traditionally considered the earliest known manuscript produced in Charlemagne’s Court School in Aachen. Charlemagne and Hildegard commissioned this luxury manuscript produced starting October 7, 781 and completed on April 30, 783.

The manuscript was probably made to celebrate Charlemagne’s march to Italy, his meeting with Pope Adrian I, and the baptism of his son Pepin. The details of Charlemagne’s march are contained in the dedication poem.


Other important works: