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← search Treatise on cosmetics W.478
Manuscript Overview
References
Bindings & Oddities

Abstract

This Italian manuscript, written in Venetian dialect, was produced ca. 1500, and contains various recipes and remedies for the wellbeing and beauty of women. This text, like most cosmetic treatises in the vernacular, is addressed specifically to a female audience. The text's focus on beauty and appearance is emphasized by the miniature on its opening page, where we see the Judgement of Paris. The Trojan hero Paris was asked to judge a beauty contest between Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena. He chose Aphrodite because she promised him the hand of Helen, known as the most beautiful woman in the world. Although the origin of this text is unknown, it follows in the tradition of those which focus specifically on cosmetics. One such example is the 12th century "Trotula" text that is believed to have originated in Salerno (Italy) and is comprised of three distinct works. One of them (De ornatu mulierum) was dedicated to cosmetics, whereas the other two dealt with obstetrics/gynecology and women's diseases respectively. The "Trotula" corpus was immensely popular and survives in nearly 200 copies in both Latin and various vernacular translations. The Walters treatise, on the other hand, survives only in one partial copy at the Wellcome Library (MS 531) in London, which is missing the prologue as well as a significant portion of the book itself.

Text Note

On fol. 44r is written in modern (?) black ink: "Pecorio (?) pofiro (?) in questo proposito (?) quando fossero del medesimo stato, come prima"

Hand note

Written in humanist script

Decoration Note

Fol. 4r: heraldry of the first owner (?); fol. 5v: miniature of judgement of Paris, full illustrated purple border, decorated initial; decorated initial with gold leaf and ink detail before each remedy (section) as on fol. 7r; title of each remedy in red ink; text in black ink

Contributors

Principal cataloger: Berlin, Nicole

Cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Contributor: Berlin, Nicole

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Wiegand, Kimber

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

De Ricci, Seymour, and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 828, cat. no. 426.


Green, Monica H. "The Development of the Trotula." In Revue d'Histoire des Textes 26 (1996): 119–203.


Green, Monica H. Women's healthcare in the Medieval West: texts and contexts. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000.


These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

Lower board outside

Spine

Fore-edge

Head

Tail

Keywords
Treatise
Notable binding
Miniature
Original binding
16th century
Science -- Medicine
Italian
Italy
Heraldry
Humanistic
15th century

Origin Place

Italy

Date

Ca. 1500

Form

book

Binding

Original Binding

Binding Description

Bound in Italy, ca. 1500; brownish-red goatskin over wooden boards; gold and blind tooling for the frames and centerpiece design; two strap clasps re-inserted in the 20th century, composed of modern bronze over leather with heraldic (?) decoration; evidence of a 20th century re-sewing of the quires

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is Italian.

Provenance

Created in Venice ca. 1500

Henry Walters, Baltimore, purchased from Leo S. Olschki

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest

← search Treatise on cosmetics W.478

Origin Place

Italy

Date

Ca. 1500

Form

book

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is Italian.

Provenance

Created in Venice ca. 1500

Henry Walters, Baltimore, purchased from Leo S. Olschki

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest

Manuscript Overview

Abstract

This Italian manuscript, written in Venetian dialect, was produced ca. 1500, and contains various recipes and remedies for the wellbeing and beauty of women. This text, like most cosmetic treatises in the vernacular, is addressed specifically to a female audience. The text's focus on beauty and appearance is emphasized by the miniature on its opening page, where we see the Judgement of Paris. The Trojan hero Paris was asked to judge a beauty contest between Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena. He chose Aphrodite because she promised him the hand of Helen, known as the most beautiful woman in the world. Although the origin of this text is unknown, it follows in the tradition of those which focus specifically on cosmetics. One such example is the 12th century "Trotula" text that is believed to have originated in Salerno (Italy) and is comprised of three distinct works. One of them (De ornatu mulierum) was dedicated to cosmetics, whereas the other two dealt with obstetrics/gynecology and women's diseases respectively. The "Trotula" corpus was immensely popular and survives in nearly 200 copies in both Latin and various vernacular translations. The Walters treatise, on the other hand, survives only in one partial copy at the Wellcome Library (MS 531) in London, which is missing the prologue as well as a significant portion of the book itself.

Text Note

On fol. 44r is written in modern (?) black ink: "Pecorio (?) pofiro (?) in questo proposito (?) quando fossero del medesimo stato, come prima"

Hand note

Written in humanist script

Decoration Note

Fol. 4r: heraldry of the first owner (?); fol. 5v: miniature of judgement of Paris, full illustrated purple border, decorated initial; decorated initial with gold leaf and ink detail before each remedy (section) as on fol. 7r; title of each remedy in red ink; text in black ink

References

Contributors

Principal cataloger: Berlin, Nicole

Cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Contributor: Berlin, Nicole

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Wiegand, Kimber

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

De Ricci, Seymour, and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 828, cat. no. 426.


Green, Monica H. "The Development of the Trotula." In Revue d'Histoire des Textes 26 (1996): 119–203.


Green, Monica H. Women's healthcare in the Medieval West: texts and contexts. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000.


Bindings & Oddities

These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

Lower board outside

Spine

Fore-edge

Head

Tail

Keywords
Treatise
Notable binding
Miniature
Original binding
16th century
Science -- Medicine
Italian
Italy
Heraldry
Humanistic
15th century
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