Around 1441, at the age of almost fifty, the Florentine goldsmith Marco di Bartolomeo Rustici embarked on a veritable existential journey. Destination: the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
The Codex Rustici is an extraordinary tapestry of text and image. Elena Gurrieri, the Librarian of the Seminary Library, in whose patient hands the codex is preserved and whose creative drive gave rise to this edition, has called it a ‘resplendent mine of information and images’.
We are in the presence of an astonishing album of visual representations of fifteenth-century Florence, a city of wonders, an endless construction site where prodigious building works signified Man’s journey towards God.
The work consists of two volumes measuring 32 x 47 cm. Both volumes are bound in silk and stamped in gold, and are presented in a handsome case.
Volume I, containing the facsimile of the Codex Rustici, consists of 568 pages printed in full colour. The illustrations, by the author himself, fill the vertical margins, with the kind of free use of space that is typical of subjects represented in an artist’s notebook. To enhance the quality of the work, and to reproduce faithfully the true colours and the clarity of detail in the original, special inks and paper have been used
Volume II, containing essays, the critical edition of the Codex, and index, consists of 320 pages with 200 colour. Go to index
The Codex Rustici reappears, in a new form, a perfect combination of texts and images.
Marco di Bartolomeo Rustici (1393–1457) was born outside the privileged and politically influential Florentine ranks. The origins of his family were in fact quite humble. Nevertheless, he practised all his life as a successful goldsmith. His membership of the Silk Guild – one of the city’s most influential – gave him the chance to rise socially but above all to approach that life of contemplation and study that he always dreamed of. Marco is reticent about himself, even in his Dimostrazione: more important in his book are his readings elsewhere, the whole panorama of erudite, devotional and theological studies that the author draws together in the construction of his journey to the Holy Land, whether real or symbolic.
A conflation of time and space, with the cosmos and Florence folded into one another: Marco di Bartolomeo Rustici must account for both of these before setting out on his existential journey. His Account begins with the Creation of the universe. From here, there is a chronological swoop towards fifteenth-century Florence, its churches, the spiritual value of the architecture, the stories and the legends of her saints, hymns, sermons, prayers. It is the overture to the symbolic, devotional and encyclopedic rhythm of the Account as a whole.
Petrarch. The Holy Fathers. Other journeys. Rustici pays homage to Petrarch by setting sail from Genova, accompanied by two companions (who likewise reverberate with Petrarch’s companions), and plays deftly with the echoes of many other models, as if to show that on a journey one is never alone. Amid unforseen events, illness and recovery, and grand displays of erudition, the journey continues to Rome, Cuma and Taranto.
Jerusalem and back. The journey encounters the desert and must inevitably cross it. The pilgrim is set loose in lands of visions and allegory. Exoticism is kept at bay by devotion and by the purpose of the expedition. Egypt, Mount Sinai and finally Jerusalem. Only in the Holy City can the Palace of Ptolemy by revealed: Rustici’s own fortunate invention, hymn and homage to Ptolemy, under whose star this Florentine goldsmith’s thirst for knowledge was born. And when his journey has reached its destination, he can return to Florence.
The facsimile of the Codex Rustici has a finished size of 32 x 47 cm. It consists of 568 pages printed in full colour and reproduces the author’s own illustrations, which flow down the vertical margins with the kind of free use of space that characterises subjects represented in an artist’s notebook. To enhance the quality of the work and to reproduce faithfully the true colours and clarity of detail in the original, special inks and paper have been used.
A cura di Elena Gurrieri
A cura di Kathleen Olive e Nerida Newbigin
IL CODICE RUSTICI: UN VIAGGIO ATTRAVERSO LA STORIA, L’ARTE E LA CHIESA DELLA FIRENZE DEL XV SECOLO
Cristina Acidini, Un pio racconto per immagininei primi trenta fogli del Codice Rustici
Franco Cardini, Da Firenze a Firenze, via Gerusalemme
Francesco Gurrieri, La città al tempo del Rustici. I confini della urbs perfecta e i cantieri brunelleschiani
Francesco Salvestrini, La Chiesa e la città a Firenze nella prima metà del Quattrocento
Timothy Verdon, L’immagine della Chiesa nel Codice Rustici
Kathleen Olive, Alla ricerca di Marco di Bartolomeo Rustici
Nerida Newbigin, Mappare il mondo: l’itinerario intellettuale di Marco di Bartolomeo Rustici
Simone Martini, Il restauro del Codice Rustici
Alice Cavinato, Scheda codicologica, Firenze, Biblioteca del Seminario Arcivescovile Maggiore
Kathleen Olive-Nerida Newbigin, Scheda codicologica, Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale
L’ICONOGRAFIA DEL CODICE RUSTICI
Cristina Acidini-Elena Gurrieri
Didascalie alle immagini del Codice Rustici
Tavola delle illustrazioni
IL CODICE RUSTICI: EDIZIONE CRITICA
Kathleen Olive-Nerida Newbigin
Trascrizione, edizione e annotazioni
Fonti edite e inedite per l’edizione critica del Codice Rustici
LIBRO INTITOLATO DIMOSTRAZIONE DELL’ANDATA O VIAGGIO AL SANTO SEPOLCRO E AL MONTE SINAI DI MARCO DI BARTOLOMEO RUSTICI
Il primo libro del Santo Sipolcro e del monte Sinai
Il secondo libro del Santo Sipolcro e del monte Sinai
Istoria del santo viagio in Gerusaleme ed al monte
Sinai e in Arabia
A limited edition of 50 numbered copies will be available for a selected number of buyers. The volumes and box are covered in full leather and will be customized as requested by the customer with gold tooling on the back cover of both volumes.
For more information write to email@example.com
The dream of the library of the Seminario Arcivescovile in Florence has long been part of its duty to preserve the precious Codex Rustici. And so, eighteen years ago, the idea was born – and found a driving force in Elena Gurrieri, the current Librarian of that library – of producing a facsimile edition that could replace the manuscript in the reading room, where study and consultation were inevitably taking their toll on the pages composed and illustrated by Marco di Bartolomeo Rustici. A second crucial moment was the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze’s engagement with the project. At this point the vision began to take shape, to find interlocutors and scholars with interesting and useful contributions to make. The Codex Rustici’s journey then led to the Casa Editrice Leo S. Olschki, established 130 years ago and still independent and engaged with fine books, with a flair for artistic design and elegance, and unique in its ability to combine great technical skill with critical creativity. Conceived and born in this way, this edition gives new life to a unique and priceless fifteenth-century manuscript. Marco di Bartolomeo Rustici takes up his journey again where it broke off, he walks again through the folds of time and space, seeking out that tower of Ptolemy that he saw in his fantasy.
May 19, 2016
by Veronica Giacometti
LA RIVISTA CULTURALE
May 6, 2016
by Melissa Pignatelli
by CRISTINA ACIDINI
BIBLIOTECA DI VIA SENATO
March 10, 2016
by Marina Montesano
January 30, 2016
by Michele Brancale
January 25, 2016
by Luigi Mascheroni
LA NAZIONE - FIRENZE
January 10, 2016
by Michele Brancale
IL SOLE 24 ORE - «DOMENICA 24»
January 10, 2016
by Cristina Acidini
CORRIERE DELLA SERA LA LETTURA
December 13, 2015
by Arturo Carlo Quintavalle
December 13, 2015
by Nicoletta Benini
May 3, 2015
by Antonio Lovascio
This book reveals Florence’s ancient heart through the special testimony of the goldsmith Marco Rustici (1392?-1457), the author of an extraordinary Codex that celebrates this town around the year 1450. His watercolor drawings are analyzed against the great churches that are still found in Florence today, as well as the sites and the ruins of those that have disappeared. The result is an astonishing sequence of similarities and differences outlining Florence’s most intimate identity as a town with a keen memory of its past, that is able to change while remaining true to itself.
22th on May 2017
A copy of the elegant edition of the Codex Rustici was presented and donated to approximately twenty libraries of Italian bank foundations and of prestigious institutions in the capital. The codex is a “printed monument” to the artistic and religious splendour of Florence in the early fifteenth century and one of the world’s most valuable manuscripts. The box containing the two volumes (a facsimile and a critical edition) was presented at the ACRI headquarters by Giorgio Righetti, General Director of ACRI; Donatella Carmi, Vice President of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, the institution that made a decisive contribution to publishing the work; the scientific coordinator Elena Gurrieri; and the scholar Nerida Newbigin.
In opening the conference, Righetti thanked the Fondazione CRF for this “very meaningful gesture that reflects the desire to conserve and promote a unique work”. He added, “It is also a demonstration of how much bank foundations care about culture, to which they allocate approximately 270 million euros annually, representing 30% of total contributions”. Vice President Carmi said that she is “proud to bring this beautiful corner of Florence to the collections of other foundations and important libraries in the capital. The codex is our ‘identity card’ and we consider this work a gift to our city as well, during a special year in which our foundation is celebrating a quarter of a century of activity. We think this is the best way to commemorate our history, with the first work written by an artisan and not a man of letters”.
9th of March 2017
Fondazione Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze gives Codex Rustici to the Facoltà Teologica dell'Italia Centrale. There were Daniele Olschki (Editore), Donatella Carmi (Vicepresidente della Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze), don Stefano Tarocchi (preside della Facoltà Teologica dell'Italia Centrale), Cristina Acidini (storica dell'arte) ed Elena Gurrieri (Biblioteca del Seminario Arcivescovile Maggiore di Firenze).
25 March 2017, 5 p.m..
Into the event will be presented the Codex Rustici's edition. Elena Gurrieri supervising. Speech: Cristina Acidini and Edoardo Barbieri.
Here the program.
Here the press release.
February 9th 2017 at 14.00
The National Library of Israel - Jerusalem
Edoardo Barbieri (Director "La Bibliofilìa")
The Rustici Codex (XV Century): a literary journey from Florence to Jerusalem
On Monday, 21th of November, at 4 a.m.
There will be: Cristina Acidini, Elena Gurrieri, Francesco Gurrieri e Antonio Paolucci.
Introduced by: Cristina Giachi, Eugenio Giani e Pierluigi Rossi Ferrini.
Palazzo Vecchio - Sala d'Arme - Piazza della Signoria (Florence)
Here official brochure
Introduced by Eike D. Schmidt and Carla Basagni.
There will be: Cristina Acidini, Riccardo Bruscagli, Elena Gurrieri, Pierluigi Rossi Ferrini, Francesco Salvestrini.
Click here to see the complete brochure.
On Thursday 17th, at 4 p.m.
There will be: Antonio Paolucci, Cristina Acidini, Timothy Verdon, Elena Gurrieri, Nerida Newbigin, Daniele Olschki, Carlo Sisi.
In Sala Michelangelo, at 4.30 p.m. The Codex Rustici will be introduced by:
Luca Bellingeri (Direttore Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze)
Pierluigi Rossi Ferrini (Vicepresidente Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze)
Riccardo Bruscagli (Università degli Studi di Firenze)
Franco Cardini (Università degli Studi di Firenze)
Nerida Newbigin (Sidney University).
Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze - Piazza Cavalleggeri, Firenze
Eugenio Giani: Un grande onore per il Consiglio ricevere questo monumento cartaceo
Qui il comunicato stampa dell'Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.
See the press release on the web site of Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.
For this occasion, together with the facsimile reproduction of the Codex Rustici, some ancient examples of accounts of Journeys to the Holy Places held by the Library of the Custody of the Holy Land will be on display. Free admission.
Welcome by Father Lionel Goh O.F.M., Director of the General Library of the Custody of the Holy Land, Professor Eugenio Alliata O.F.M. (Studium Biblicum Franciscanum), Professor Edoardo Barbieri (Università Cattolica di Milano).
Florence, Baptistery of San Giovanni.
Saturday 28 November 2015 With the participation of Monsignor Giancarlo Corti, Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, Prof. Avv. Umberto Tombari (Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze), Cristina Acidini, Antonio Paolucci, Carlo Sisi, Monsignor Timothy Verdon.
Co-ordinated by Elena Gurrieri.
The box containing the two volumes, is available to buy for Euro 2.200,00
The leather made work with customization upon request is availabe for Euro 3.800,00
The second volume is also available separately for Euro 580,00
This magnificent facsimile edition of the Codex Rustici, long desired by the Library of the Seminario Arcivescovile Maggiore di Firenze, has only been made possible by the substantial contribution of the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.
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