A Plutarch Commissioned in Verona in The Royal Library of Copenhagen

Eleonora Mattia
A Plutarch Commissioned in Verona in The Royal
Library of Copenhagen
The coat of arms on the Lives of Plutarch of The Royal Library
of Copenhagen Gl. kgl. S. 2145 q.to can be identified
as belonging to the Pellegrini family from Verona, who
was the patron of Pisanello in the church of Sant'Anastasia.
Evidence remains of a library belonging to this family
as well as other manuscripts carrying its coat of arms. The
manuscript, now in Denmark, is a product of a workshop.
The type of littera antiqua and the capital letters can be
related to Felice Feliciano of Verona, an exponent, together
with Giovanni Marcanova, of the Venetian humanism interested
in epigraphy. The particular type of white vine-stem
of the incipit of the Danish manuscript matches the decorations
found in a group of manuscripts probably executed
in Verona. The Copenhagen Plutarch can be related to the
antiquarian and classicising culture of Verona between the
end of the 1450s and beginning of 1460s. Its visual language
belongs to the relevant figurative tradition established
with the famous portraits of heroes in the Lives of Plutarch
made for Novello Malatesta (Cesena, Biblioteca Malatestiana,
S.XV.1-2, S.XVII.3), which by some scholars has
been linked to Matteo de' Pasti from Verona, pupil of Pisanello.
This article aims to describe a particular cultural
climate and the network of personal connections between
Verona, Padua, and Cesena, that may have shaped the
background for the production of the manuscript.


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