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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Cardinal's scribal desk

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  • julian wilson
    ... Matthew, which post are you referring to about the Cardinal s scribal desk?  I can t find any I have deleted today with it in them, nor any that I have
    Message 1 of 6 , May 3, 2009
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      --- On Sun, 3/5/09, Helen Schultz <helen.schultz@...> wrote:---
      Matthew, which post are you referring to about the Cardinal's scribal desk?  I can't find any I have deleted today with it in them, nor any that I have kept.  Just curious.
       
      ~~ Katarina Helene


      REPLY
      Revered Meisterin,
      Ooops, sorry, wrong List header; - must have had a "senior moment" there Apologies to the List here. .. Meisterin, here's the message from the Medieval List, below. The description of the desk sounds very interesting.
       Respectful regards,
       Matthew

      QUOTE
      Dear Ehud,

      A desk similar to the one you describe appears in a portrait-miniature of the Cardinal Jacopo Caetani Stefaneschi (c.1261-1341) in the Saint George Codex at the Vatican archives (C129 folio 17).

      In addition to being cardinal-deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro, Stefaneschi was also a dedicated poet and patron of the arts, and he is depicted, in this miniature dating from c.1321, as an author. Stefaneschi is shown seated at a desk built with a bookshelf-back (complete with stacks of books) and a rather gothic frame, and the writing surface is designed to be raised and lowered in in front of him at an angle like a drafting table. The miniature was executed by a painter known as the Master of the St-George Manuscript, and is extremely engaging both in its depiction of the aging but writerly cardinal, as well as in the clever manner in which the capital E (inside which the miniature sits) interacts with the portrait itself.

      I don't know about the general occurrence of a desk like this one, but I can tell you that Stefaneschi himself probably had one very much like it. He was a very well-heeled Roman (his mother, Petra Orsini, was the niece of Pope Nicholas III) who studied in Paris and in Rome before becoming a cardinal; he spent most of his adult life in Avignon after the court and curia moved there. It is clear that in the context of the portrait, at least, the theme is one of understated elegance and expensive living: the cardinal's hat hangs overhead and the cords dangle down into the frame, while his feet rest on an elaborately patterened cushion or rug. The chair itself, as I have said, is quite intricate, although Stefaneschi himself wears quite plain robes and is bareheaded.

      I have sent you a copy of the image off-list, but it can be found in print as the frontispiece in Marc Dykmans, Le Cérémonial papal de la fin du moyen-âge à la Renaissance, tome II, De Rome en Avignon ou Le cérémonial de Jacques Stefaneschi (Rome 1981).

      I hope this is similar to the desk you have in mind!

      Best wishes,

      Katie Clark
      UNQUOTE


    • Helen Schultz
      Ah, that would explain my perplexion . Do you have a copy of that image, by the way (or can you maybe get it from that poster on the other list)? I d
      Message 2 of 6 , May 3, 2009
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        Ah, that would explain my perplexion <grin>.  Do you have a copy of that image, by the way (or can you maybe get it from that poster on the other list)?  I'd be most interested in seeing it... and I don't have access to that book.
         
        ~~ Katarina Helene
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Sunday, May 03, 2009 12:41 PM
        Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Cardinal's scribal desk

        --- On Sun, 3/5/09, Helen Schultz <helen.schultz@ comcast.net> wrote:---
        Matthew, which post are you referring to about the Cardinal's scribal desk?  I can't find any I have deleted today with it in them, nor any that I have kept.  Just curious.
         
        ~~ Katarina Helene


        REPLY
        Revered Meisterin,
        Ooops, sorry, wrong List header; - must have had a "senior moment" there Apologies to the List here. .. Meisterin, here's the message from the Medieval List, below. The description of the desk sounds very interesting.
         Respectful regards,
         Matthew

        QUOTE
        Dear Ehud,

        A desk similar to the one you describe appears in a portrait-miniature of the Cardinal Jacopo Caetani Stefaneschi (c.1261-1341) in the Saint George Codex at the Vatican archives (C129 folio 17).

        In addition to being cardinal-deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro, Stefaneschi was also a dedicated poet and patron of the arts, and he is depicted, in this miniature dating from c.1321, as an author. Stefaneschi is shown seated at a desk built with a bookshelf-back (complete with stacks of books) and a rather gothic frame, and the writing surface is designed to be raised and lowered in in front of him at an angle like a drafting table. The miniature was executed by a painter known as the Master of the St-George Manuscript, and is extremely engaging both in its depiction of the aging but writerly cardinal, as well as in the clever manner in which the capital E (inside which the miniature sits) interacts with the portrait itself.

        I don't know about the general occurrence of a desk like this one, but I can tell you that Stefaneschi himself probably had one very much like it. He was a very well-heeled Roman (his mother, Petra Orsini, was the niece of Pope Nicholas III) who studied in Paris and in Rome before becoming a cardinal; he spent most of his adult life in Avignon after the court and curia moved there. It is clear that in the context of the portrait, at least, the theme is one of understated elegance and expensive living: the cardinal's hat hangs overhead and the cords dangle down into the frame, while his feet rest on an elaborately patterened cushion or rug. The chair itself, as I have said, is quite intricate, although Stefaneschi himself wears quite plain robes and is bareheaded.

        I have sent you a copy of the image off-list, but it can be found in print as the frontispiece in Marc Dykmans, Le Cérémonial papal de la fin du moyen-âge à la Renaissance, tome II, De Rome en Avignon ou Le cérémonial de Jacques Stefaneschi (Rome 1981).

        I hope this is similar to the desk you have in mind!

        Best wishes,

        Katie Clark
        UNQUOTE


      • julian wilson
        Meisterin, I ve asked her if she would be good enough to send me a copy - because I don t have access to a copy of the cited book, either; and our little
        Message 3 of 6 , May 3, 2009
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          Meisterin, I've asked her if she would be good enough to send me a copy - because I don't have access to a copy of the cited book, either; and our little Island Central Library doesn't "do" ILL for ordinary folk.
           Matthew

          --- On Sun, 3/5/09, Helen Schultz <helen.schultz@...> wrote:



          Ah, that would explain my perplexion <grin>.  Do you have a copy of that image, by the way (or can you maybe get it from that poster on the other list)?  I'd be most interested in seeing it... and I don't have access to that book.

        • Terri Morgan
          ... I ve been reading the List out of order but don t recall seeing an answer to this. The OP kindly threw a scan of the image up on the web:
          Message 4 of 6 , May 5, 2009
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            > Do you have a copy of that image, by the way (or can
            > you maybe get it from that poster on the other list)?
            > I'd be most interested in seeing it... and I don't
            > have access to that book.

            I've been reading the List out of order but don't recall seeing an answer to
            this. The OP kindly threw a scan of the image up on the web:
            http://picasaweb.google.com/katie.e.clark/StefaneschiVatStPierreC129Fol17?fe
            at=directlink
            She states that it "is in a portrait-miniature of the Cardinal Jacopo
            Caetani Stefaneschi (c.1261-1341) in the Saint George Codex at the Vatican
            archives (C129 folio 17). "

            another responder also mentioned this:
            "A somewhat less elaborate desk, with only some of the features Ehud
            inquired for but including a swivel top, is illustrated in the late 15th-c.
            copy of the Speculum historiale produced for Edward IV: BL, MS Royal 14 E.
            1, f. 3 http://www.imagesonline.bl.uk/results.asp?image=006452 "


            Hrothny
          • Jim Looper
            This may have already been posted, but there are a couple of files on the Yahoo group that have images of scribal desks. I ve been thinking of making one for
            Message 5 of 6 , May 5, 2009
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              This may have already been posted, but there are a couple of files on the Yahoo group that have images of scribal desks. I've been thinking of making one for my wife who does scibal in Atlantia.

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/medievalsawdust/files/Cardinal%20Stefaneschi%20-%20Desk/

              Lucien

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Terri Morgan" <online2much@...>
              To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 12:05:48 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
              Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Cardinal's scribal desk

              > Do you have a copy of that image, by the way (or can
              > you maybe get it from that poster on the other list)?
              > I'd be most interested in seeing it... and I don't
              > have access to that book.

              I've been reading the List out of order but don't recall seeing an answer to
              this. The OP kindly threw a scan of the image up on the web:
              http://picasaweb.google.com/katie.e.clark/StefaneschiVatStPierreC129Fol17?fe
              at=directlink
              She states that it "is in a portrait-miniature of the Cardinal Jacopo
              Caetani Stefaneschi (c.1261-1341) in the Saint George Codex at the Vatican
              archives (C129 folio 17). "

              another responder also mentioned this:
              "A somewhat less elaborate desk, with only some of the features Ehud
              inquired for but including a swivel top, is illustrated in the late 15th-c.
              copy of the Speculum historiale produced for Edward IV: BL, MS Royal 14 E.
              1, f. 3 http://www.imagesonline.bl.uk/results.asp?image=006452 "


              Hrothny
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