A Florentine Book of Hours in the National Gallery of Victoria


In 1960 the National Gallery of Victoria acquired, through the Felton Bequest, a particularly fine Florentine Book of Hours formerly in the Dyson Perrins collection.1 MS. Felton 4, vellum, 147 x 100 mm, ff. 241. Bibliography: Κ. V. Sinclair, Descriptive Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in Australia, Sydney, 1969, pp. 318–20; G. F. Warner, Descriptive Catalogue of the Illuminated MSS in the Library of C W. Dyson Perrins, London, 1920, pp. 203–7. MS. Felton 4, better known as the Acciaiuoli-Strozzi Hours, was written, so the scribe tells us, in 1495.2Fol. 227. 

The Strozzi Hours bears the arms of three of Florence’s most famous patrician families. On fol. 16v. (fig. 1) the arms of the Albizzi have been painted over those of the Strozzi, and on the adjacent page, fol. 17 (fig. 2), appear the arms of the Acciaiuoli. The Strozzi Archives record that Lucrezia di Lorenzo Strozzi married Roberto di Donato Acciaiuoli in 1496.3Archivo di Stato, Florence, Carte Strozziane ser. 3.78, a Raccolta de parentadi della famiglia Strozzi, p. 2; this is an 18th-century source. P. Litta, Familiglie Celebri Italiane, Milan, 1837, vol. 4, Tav. XVIII (an even more unreliable source), notes that the couple’s first child was born in 1495. Thus the Hours, finished in March of 1495 (possibly 1496 by our calendar) may have been occasioned by their marriage. Roberto’s elder brother, Alessandro, had married an Albizzi girl in 1493, and the presence of the Albizzi arms over those of the Strozzi may indicate that the Hours then passed into this couple’s possession before Alessandro’s Albizzi wife died in 1496.4Litta, op. cit., vol. 7, Tav. VI – Alessandro remarried in 1496.

Although the so-called Strozzi Hours does not seem to have been in the possession of a member of that family for any great length of time, the title still remains apt. Russell Sales5R. Sales, The Strozzi Chapel by Filippino Lippi in Santa Maria Novella, Ph.D thesis, University of Pennsylvania, 1976, p. 77, note 171, and Appendix A, p. 519. has produced several contracts for similar Books of Hours which date from the 1480s. These reveal that Filippo Strozzi (Lucrezia’s uncle and guardian) patronised the workshop which produced the Gallery’s Hours, and this strengthens the probability that it, too, was commissioned by him, or by his heirs after his death in 1491. 

Numerous stylistic and iconographical features of the manuscript support an attribution to the brothers Gherardo (1446–97) and Monte (1448–1529) di Giovanni del Fora,6See Mirella Levi D’Ancona, Miniatura e Miniatori a Firenze dal XIV at XVI secolo, Florence, 1962, pp. 127–37 and 199–211. (The brothers’ cognomen is sometimes given as ‘di Miniato’ instead of ‘del Fora’.) who were among the most gifted of Florentine illuminators and responsible for the execution of a series of Hours that have found their way into many collections.7L. Μ. J. Delaissé et al., The James A. De Rothschild Collection at Waddeson Manor: Illuminated Manuscripts, London, 1977, pp. 346–47. Note: B.M., Add. MS. 35254; Oxford, Bod. Buchanan e.7 and g.1; Oxford, Keble College, MS. 60–62; Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, James MS. 154. To these can be added those mentioned in O. Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 2: Italian School, Oxford, 1973, Bod. Canon. Liturg. 266 (p. 30) and Bod. MS. Douce 9 (p. 98). The Strozzi Hours, in attention to detail, in grace of figure style and in overall execution, is superior in quality to many of the known Hours from this workshop. Its border designs, for instance, are better planned, more innovative and less overloaded than those in a Book of Hours in the Rothschild collection at Waddeson Manor, on which Boccardino collaborated with the brothers.8For this attribution see J. J. G. Alexander, ‘Run-of-the-Mill Medieval’, Times Literary Supplement, 26 July 1978, pp. 870–71. Similarly, the Hours now in the Bodleian Library (MS. Douce 9), though obviously from the same workshop, lack the grace and delicacy found in the renderings of the figure and of landscape details in the Strozzi Hours. The high quality of this manuscript must be due in part to the patrons. In it can be seen the same refinement found in the brothers’ magnificent illuminated Pliny (Oxford, Bodleian, Douce 310), also a Strozzi commission.9Pächt and Alexander, op. cit.; Douce Pr. 48, p. 109. 

The five main parts of the Strozzi Hours: the Office of the Virgin, the Penitential Psalms, the Office of the Dead, the Hours of the Passion and the Hours of the Cross are prefaced by splendid double-page openings, fol. 188 (fig. 3). These immediately claim attention; their rich colouring and complex border designs afford a striking contrast to the intervening folios of brownish-black script on uncoloured vellum. The borders are particularly arresting. Their twining scroll patterns in gold and other regal colours, set on impressively coloured grounds and interspersed with curious grotesque motifs, contain eight inset medallions. 

In these openings a full miniature takes up the verso, whilst on the adjacent recto page appear a large historiated initial and the incipits of the devotion written in gold ink on a ground of deep blue, crimson or purple. The scenes depicted on these adjacent pages are related thematically to the office which they serve to introduce. In the opening of the Office of the Virgin the full miniature is of the Annunciation (fol. 16v., fig. 1), while the historiated initial contains a depiction of the Virgin and Child (fol. 17, fig. 2). Most of the medallions set into the borders of the double-page openings at the top and sides contain symbols and portrait heads which are linked in theme to the main illustration. Thus above the Crucifixion on fol. 216v. (fig. 4) is a medallion of the pelican feeding its offspring with its own blood, a symbolic reference to the mystery of salvation. Above the Pieta on fol. 217 (fig. 5) the medallion encloses the instruments of the Passion, the three nails and the crown-of-thorns. The medallions set into the bas-de-page are larger, and the scenes depicted in them often have a narrative quality and supplement the main miniature. This occurs, for example, in the Hours of the Passion on fol. 187v. (fig. 3) where, below the Agony in the Garden, the medallion shows the Kiss of Judas

As well as the double-page openings, there is a number of single-page openings which contain an historiated initial and a partial ‘tendril’ border (fol. 27, fig. 6). These preface the Hours of the Virgin from Lauds onwards, where the initials incorporate hall-length figures of female saints, and the Hours of the Holy Spirit (fol. 223, fig. 7), where a Pentecost scene fills the initial. The Mass of the Virgin opens with a decorated initial only. 

Florentine contracts10See, for example, the contract reproduced in Sales, op. cit., p. 519 (Strozziane, vol. 40, fog. VXXIIr.). appear to have specified that only a certain number of offices, presumably the most important, were to be fully decorated. Thus, the type of text-related gradation of decorative modes found in the Strozzi Hours is common in Florentine Hours, and the concentration on double-page openings in these books gives them quite a different appearance from the more familiar Franco-Flemish Hours, where often every calendar month, every hour of the Virgin, and each penitential psalm, has its own full miniature; the more restricted Florentine iconographical programmes were also less susceptible to innovation. Indeed, the programme followed in the Strozzi Hours appears, with slight variations, in numerous Florentine Hours, including those of Lorenzo de’Medici (Florence, Bib. Med-Laur., MS. Ashburnham 1874)11For this MS. see J. Harthan, Books of Hours and their Owners, London, 1977, pp. 138–41. illuminated by followers of Francesco d’Antonio del Cherico, the Hours by Attavante in the library of Major Abbey (MS. J. Α. 3224)12J. J. G. Alexander and A. C. De La Mare, The Italian Manuscripts in the Library of Major J. R. Abbey, London, 1969, MS. J. A. 3224, pp. 67–69., and two Books of Hours now in the Bodleian Library (MS. Douce 9 and MS. Canon. Liturg. 266) which are from the del Fora workshop.13Pächt and Alexander, op. cit., footnote 7. The only popular theme not found in the Strozzi Hours is the Legend of St Maracius often included in Offices of the Dead in Florentine Hours.

Warner has noted that the calendar of the Strozzi Hours has a Franciscan ring.14Warner, op. cit., p. 203. This occurs among the lesser saints, not on the red-letter days. Indeed, the manuscript’s illuminations also seem to echo the ideals of this mendicant order. A general air of restraint pervades the miniatures, and they appear to have been designed to encourage contemplation rather than to afford the reader entertainment. The bas-de-page medallions, for example, contain images specific to contemplation and repentance. These include the Hermit on fol. 107v. (fig. 8), the Memento Mori on fol. 137 (fig. 9), the Man of Sorrows on fol. 188 (fig. 3) and the Imago Pietas on fol. 216v. (fig. 4). The Arma Christi venerated by the Franciscans also appear at the top of fol. 217 (fig. 5). 

Nevertheless, it is difficult to assess the extent to which the inclusion of these particular images in the Strozzi Hours denotes a deliberate attempt to reinforce the Franciscan import of the text. This is because much of this imagery was the common property of Florentine illuminators, and as such finds its way into Hours which have no markedly Franciscan emphasis in their texts. Given that Filippo Strozzi favoured the Dominicans in his patronage and that the Franciscans were regarded with some odium in Savonarola’s Florence, it would be unwise to impute too strong a Franciscan bias to the illuminations of the Strozzi Hours

The restraint which seems to mark Florentine Hours may indeed owe something indirectly to the mendicant ideal; but it can also be attributed to the taste of lay patrons. The devotional books of the Florentine patricians differ from those produced at the same time for the great houses of Flanders and Burgundy, not because of the parsimony of Italian patrons but because they had become accustomed to the clarity and pristine simplicity which marked their manuscripts of classical texts, and they demanded similar standards in their religious commissions. 

The Strozzi Hours partakes of many of the characteristics common to secular manuscripts produced in Florence. In this it is similar to other Florentine Hours executed in the last quarter of the Quattrocento. However, although the Strozzi manuscript’s iconographical programme is conventional and its miniatures more than usually sober and pious in tone, certain characteristics of this work are not found in various types of liturgical manuscripts, including a number of missals and breviaries illuminated by the del Fora themselves. For instance, the Vatican Missal (Bib. Vat., MS. Barb. Lat. 610)15For the manuscript see Quinto Centario della Biblioteca Apostolica Valicana, 1475–1975, Vatican, 1975, pp. 102–3; reproduction in Levi D’Ancona, op. cit., Tav. 31. illuminated by Monte at the late date of 1507, retains the archaic gothic script, a double-column layout, and has rather chaste borders featuring jewels and scroll work, but no grotteschi. In contrast to this the Strozzi Hours has a single-column format. Its script is a fine example of the Florentine humanistica textualis formata, and is in the hand of a follower of the accomplished scribe, Sigismondo de Sigismondi. The clear division of the office incipits from the rest of the manuscript’s text fulfils a function akin to that of the separate title-page then recently introduced in manuscripts of classical texts. 

Such characteristics which serve to make the text more comprehensible had their roots in the style of decoration initially used earlier in the century for copies of the classical texts, long-forgotten and now unearthed from their medieval hiding-places by humanist book-hunters. The text was the most important element in such manuscripts; thus, the new formata script and the bianchi girari or ‘white-vine’ form of border and initial ornamentation were adapted from 12th-century Italian manuscripts.16O. Pächt, ‘Notes and Observations on the Origins of Humanist Book Decoration’, in D. J. Gordon (ed), Fritz Saxl: A Volume of Memorial Essays from his Friends in England, London, 1957, pp. 184–95; J. J. G. Alexander, Italian Renaissance Illuminations, London, 1977, p. 12. These innovations not only made the text more legible but also met with humanist approval, because they were felt to be authentically antique in origin. Until later in the 15th century it was thought inappropriate to illustrate classical works, as this would detract from the text. Thus border and initial decoration became the focus of attention, and the proscription which applied to actual illustration was circumvented by loading these areas of the page with ornamentation. The antique text also inspired the use of suitable ‘classical’ motifs drawn from antique sculpture, coins and gems. 

Eventually, around 1470, ‘white-vine’ border was superseded by the ‘tendril’ border first devised by Francesco del Cherico.17F. Ames-Lewis, ‘The Earliest Documented Manuscript Decoration by Francesco d’Antonio del Cherico’, Burlington Magazine, CXX 1978, pp. 390–93. This border could better incorporate diverse motifs, including putti, flora, fauna and medallions, which had by that time become an essential part of the illuminator’s repertoire. The single-page openings of the Strozzi Hours (figs 6–7) provide good, if somewhat late, examples of a basic ‘tendril’ border. The border consists of sprays of stylised flowers, arranged symmetrically about a vertical axis. The pastel range of colours employed in this border, the sheer variety of floral forms, and the addition of penline flourishes and tiny gilt circles, all set against the cream vellum of the page, contribute to a delicate yet richly profuse visual effect. 

In the last decades of the Quattrocento Attavante and the del Fora brothers introduced four-sided borders into their manuscripts. Alexander and de la Mare have argued that the use of chiaroscuro scrolls set against a dark background, and the increasing interest in the depiction of jewels seen in these borders, owed much to the influence of Venetian practices on Florentine illuminators.18Alexander and De La Mare, op. cit., p. xxxix. The double-page openings of the Strozzi Hours contain some of the most perfect examples of this four-sided style. In their borders, rich dense colouring is combined with a lavish, but strictly controlled and balanced, use of decorative motifs. Many of these are all’antica, such as the putti supporting vases on fol. 188 (fig. 3) and come from the already rich vocabulary of Florentine illumination. ‘Venetianisms’, such as gold scrolls and gem clusters, also feature, as, for example, on fol. 136v. (fig. 10). However, some of the creatures which populate the manuscript’s borders: the sphinxes, tritons and grotesque half-animal, half-vegetable hybrids (fol. 17, fig. 2) date back to Roman wall painting. The inclusion of such motifs in the Strozzi Hours leads to certain bizarre juxtapositions, such as that of the Arma Christi being supported by two sphinxes ridden by putti (fol. 217, fig. 5). The discovery of Nero’s Golden House in 1481 has a direct bearing on the appearance of these groteschi in the Strozzi borders.19Nicole Dacos, La Découverte de la Domus Aurea et la formation des grotesques a la Renaissance: Studies of the Warburg Institute, London, 1969, vol. 31, pp. 61–62. Ghirlandaio was particularly fascinated by this archaeological find, and made drawings of the decorative schemes incorporating these motifs into his later fresco cycles. After 1494 copies of his drawings appeared in Florence in the Codex Escurialensis, thus adding to the range of classical forms available to Florentine illuminators. 

The use of these obviously pagan motifs in the Strozzi Hours can be contrasted with the plethora of liturgical and heraldic symbols found in the borders of Monte’s Vatican Missal. The advanced secular elements found in Florentine Hours, but not in strictly liturgical works, reflect a change in taste on the part of lay patrons. The introduction of the printing-press had ensured that manuscripts became more and more de luxe consumer goods. Thus illustrated versions of the classics finally found their way into Florentine libraries, and the distinction between secular and religious illumination became blurred. 

The del Fora must have obtained many of their important commissions from such patrons as Matthias Corvinus, the Strozzi and the Medici, precisely because they were able so successfully to incorporate in their work the interests of these patrons. Their illuminations testify to a fruitful interaction between artists and patrons. Vasari20G. Vasari, The Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects, Everyman ed., 1963, vol. 2, p. 66 – ‘Lorenzo showed him great favour.’ records that Lorenzo del’Medici himself had encouraged Gherardo, and there is evidence for this in the Strozzi Pliny, where some of the scenes clearly have their origins in the antique gems of the Medici collection.21Sales, op. cit., p. 39, and p. 75, note 151. The rising interest in portraiture and in naturalism, which is reflected in the Strozzi illuminations, was also a response to the demands of patrons who, through northern banking connections, had been exposed to the gem-like detail of Flemish painting. The del Fora portrait of St Jerome in the Corvinian Hieronymus (Vienna, Ost. Nat. Bil., MS. Cod. Lat. 930) has affinities with a Flemish portrait of the same saint, which at the time was in the possession of the Medici.22C. Csapodi and K. Csapodi-Gardonyi, Bibliotheca Corviniana, Shannon, 1969, p. 322, note the resemblance to Ghirlandaio’s Ognissanti fresco, yet argue that these portraits are independently derived from a common Flemish source. 

Of course, these interests were not peculiar to the del Fora among Florentine artists. They do, however, demonstrate that these illuminators, unlike some of the more conservative Florentine miniaturists, kept well abreast of recent innovations in monumental art. The mastery of colour and light found in the illuminations of the Strozzi Hours owes much to the example of Leonardo da Vinci. The use of Golden House grotesques, of certain distinctive compositional formulae, and the interest in Flemish art also testify to the influence of Ghirlandaio. Therefore, in addition to patron and scribe, the artists themselves contribute a great deal to the ‘progressive’ air of the Strozzi Hours

In the Annunciation miniature (fol. 16v., fig. 1) there is a mastery of both one-point Albertian perspective and of Leonardesque aerial perspective. The thoroughly Italianate construction of the picture-space is as skilful as that found in contemporary monumental depictions of the scene. This sensitive rendering can be contrasted with that of the same scene in the Bodleian Hours (MS. Douce 9) from the brothers’ workshop (fol. 13v., fig. 11). In the Douce Annunciation the spatial recession is a touch too extreme. Although the bipartite division which characterises the Strozzi miniature is alluded to in the double-arched window in the background of the Douce Annunciation, it makes no contribution to the rhythmical ordering of the picture space as it does in the Strozzi Hours. The mountain range veiled in blue mist, which forms part of the backdrop in the Strozzi Annunciation, also appears in the Douce miniature, yet without the exquisitely delicate delineation of landscape detail found in the Strozzi book. In the Strozzi Annunciation can be seen the reasons for Leonardo’s commendation of Master Gherardo’s shadow effects.23Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (trans. E. MacCurdy), London, 1938, vol. 2, p. 335 – ‘Keep the drawings for the end of the book on shadows. They may be seen in the workshop of Gherardo the miniaturist in San Marco in Florence.’ 

The David miniature on fol. 107v. (fig. 8) attests to the del Foras’ interest in naturalism. Here there are minute studies of grasses and wildflowers, and tiny swans paddle on the water which separates David from the resplendent city of Jerusalem. The Strozzi miniature can be compared with that in the Douce Hours on fol. 141 v. (fig. 12) where the same compositional formulae are employed, but where the concentration on minutiae which marks the Strozzi depiction is absent. The Strozzi David miniature has more the air of a major commission, and in finesse and grace of execution compares favourably with that in the magnificent Corvinian Bible (Florence, Bib. Med-Laur. Plut. 15, 17, fol. 1v).24See Alexander, op. cit., pp. 46–49, plates 4 and 5. The del Foras’ observation of nature in the Strozzi David recalls not only Leonardo’s drawings, but also Flemish and German engravings of the period. Vasari states that Gherardo had studied the engravings of Schongauer.25op. cit., vol. 2, p. 67. Vasari may be referring to Monte here, for Gherardo would have been dead when these engravings were introduced in Florence. This again suggests a link between the del Foras and Ghirlandaio, for it was in this painter’s workshop that the young Michelangelo first studied similar works. 

The almost portrait-like treatment of David’s face in the Strozzi miniature shows an awareness of character, and a kind of detailed observation which recalls Van Eyck. Again, this aspect of the Strozzi Hours is more in accord with renderings of the same figure in the Bible and of the Church Fathers in other Corvinian manuscripts,26See Csapodi and Csapodi-Gardonyi, op. cit., for these: Bible, p. 52; Gregorius, Modena, Bib. Est. MS. Lat. 449, p. 58; Didymus. N.Y., Pierpoint Morgan, MS. 496; and the Hieronymus, p. 73. than it is with the perfunctory treatment of the figures in several ‘run-of-the-mill’ Hours from the same workshop. 

Levi D’Ancona27op. cit., p. 202. argues that Monte was the greater artist of the pair, and comparison of early joint works with Monte’s later single-handed efforts seems to confirm this. Monte’s graceful figures, fine sense of colour and exquisite handling of cityscapes and landscapes are very much in evidence in the Strozzi Hours. Gherardo, on the other hand, was probably responsible for the more coarsely rendered, squatter figures, which dot the miniatures and which inhabit the initials in the single-page openings, and many of the border medallions. 

The Strozzi Hours is an exceptionally fine example of the type of Hours produced in the del Fora workshop. Its quality attests both to the importance of its patrons and to the fact that it was the masters of the workshop, rather than their less gifted collaborators and assistants, who were responsible for its illumination. In its combination of traditional Christian imagery and pagan decorative motifs, it is a true product of its era. 

Cecilia O’Brien, Tutor, Department of Fine Arts, University of Melbourne (in 1982).

Notes

1          MS. Felton 4, vellum, 147 x 100 mm, ff. 241. Bibliography: Κ. V. Sinclair, Descriptive Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in Australia, Sydney, 1969, pp. 318–20; G. F. Warner, Descriptive Catalogue of the Illuminated MSS in the Library of C W. Dyson Perrins, London, 1920, pp. 203–7. 

2          Fol. 227. 

3          Archivo di Stato, Florence, Carte Strozziane ser. 3.78, a Raccolta de parentadi della famiglia Strozzi, p. 2; this is an 18th-century source. P. Litta, Familiglie Celebri Italiane, Milan, 1837, vol. 4, Tav. XVIII (an even more unreliable source), notes that the couple’s first child was born in 1495. 

4          Litta, op. cit., vol. 7, Tav. VI – Alessandro remarried in 1496. 

5          R. Sales, The Strozzi Chapel by Filippino Lippi in Santa Maria Novella, Ph.D thesis, University of Pennsylvania, 1976, p. 77, note 171, and Appendix A, p. 519. 

6          See Mirella Levi D’Ancona, Miniatura e Miniatori a Firenze dal XIV at XVI secolo, Florence, 1962, pp. 127–37 and 199–211. (The brothers’ cognomen is sometimes given as ‘di Miniato’ instead of ‘del Fora’.) 

7          L. Μ. J. Delaissé et al., The James A. De Rothschild Collection at Waddeson Manor: Illuminated Manuscripts, London, 1977, pp. 346–47. Note: B.M., Add. MS. 35254; Oxford, Bod. Buchanan e.7 and g.1; Oxford, Keble College, MS. 60–62; Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, James MS. 154. To these can be added those mentioned in O. Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 2: Italian School, Oxford, 1973, Bod. Canon. Liturg. 266 (p. 30) and Bod. MS. Douce 9 (p. 98). 

8          For this attribution see J. J. G. Alexander, ‘Run-of-the-Mill Medieval’, Times Literary Supplement, 26 July 1978, pp. 870–71. 

9          Pächt and Alexander, op. cit.; Douce Pr. 48, p. 109. 

10        See, for example, the contract reproduced in Sales, op. cit., p. 519 (Strozziane, vol. 40, fog. VXXIIr.). 

11        For this MS. see J. Harthan, Books of Hours and their Owners, London, 1977, pp. 138–41. 

12        J. J. G. Alexander and A. C. De La Mare, The Italian Manuscripts in the Library of Major J. R. Abbey, London, 1969, MS. J. A. 3224, pp. 67–69. 

13        Pächt and Alexander, op. cit., footnote 7. 

14        Warner, op. cit., p. 203. This occurs among the lesser saints, not on the red-letter days. 

15        For the manuscript see Quinto Centario della Biblioteca Apostolica Valicana, 1475–1975, Vatican, 1975, pp. 102–3; reproduction in Levi D’Ancona, op. cit., Tav. 31. 

16        O. Pächt, ‘Notes and Observations on the Origins of Humanist Book Decoration’, in D. J. Gordon (ed), Fritz Saxl: A Volume of Memorial Essays from his Friends in England, London, 1957, pp. 184–95; J. J. G. Alexander, Italian Renaissance Illuminations, London, 1977, p. 12. 

17        F. Ames-Lewis, ‘The Earliest Documented Manuscript Decoration by Francesco d’Antonio del Cherico’, Burlington Magazine, CXX 1978, pp. 390–93. 

18        Alexander and De La Mare, op. cit., p. xxxix. 

19        Nicole Dacos, La Découverte de la Domus Aurea et la formation des grotesques a la Renaissance: Studies of the Warburg Institute, London, 1969, vol. 31, pp. 61–62. 

20        G. Vasari, The Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects, Everyman ed., 1963, vol. 2, p. 66 – ‘Lorenzo showed him great favour.’ 

21        Sales, op. cit., p. 39, and p. 75, note 151. 

22        C. Csapodi and K. Csapodi-Gardonyi, Bibliotheca Corviniana, Shannon, 1969, p. 322, note the resemblance to Ghirlandaio’s Ognissanti fresco, yet argue that these portraits are independently derived from a common Flemish source. 

23        Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (trans. E. MacCurdy), London, 1938, vol. 2, p. 335 – ‘Keep the drawings for the end of the book on shadows. They may be seen in the workshop of Gherardo the miniaturist in San Marco in Florence.’ 

24        See Alexander, op. cit., pp. 46–49, plates 4 and 5. 

25        op. cit., vol. 2, p. 67. Vasari may be referring to Monte here, for Gherardo would have been dead when these engravings were introduced in Florence. 

26        See Csapodi and Csapodi-Gardonyi, op. cit., for these: Bible, p. 52; Gregorius, Modena, Bib. Est. MS. Lat. 449, p. 58; Didymus. N.Y., Pierpoint Morgan, MS. 496; and the Hieronymus, p. 73. 

27        op. cit., p. 202.