Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 503 (V.8.6)
Title: De Probatissima Arte Oculorum
Images: [ MS Hunter 503 fol. 1r ] [ MS Hunter 503 fol. 50 ]
Associated Websites: MS Hunter 503. Digitised version hosted by University of Malaga.
Date of Creation: Between 1474 and 1499
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: Benvenuti Graphei (Grassi), De Usu Oculorvm opus in linguam anglicam translatum.
Benvenutus Grapheus' (Grassus') Treatise on the Use of the Eyes. Middle English translation of his De Probatissima Arte Oculorum.
Begins (1, 1 recto [p. 1] lines 1-4): A [large gilt illuminated initial with elaborate gestures, extending along three margins] Grete phylosopher and | a profunde phycycyane cle | pid. Bennomicius Graphe= | us. [name rubricated] after the sentence of the
Ends (9, 4 verso [f. 137] lines 12, 13): not rooste tyll they be recouerede. | Deo gracias.
Remarks: The imprint of the original title appears to be: GRAPH DE | OCULORUM | DEUS (see ii, 1 recto and page 1, line 14).
On 1, 3 recto in top corner, in pencil, the price: -15-
On the same page in another hand in ink: 9162
On ii, 1 recto in an XVIII. Cent. hand: Deus Oculorum, or of Humane | Eyes by Bennonaus Grapheus
Under this in pencil, retouched with ink: Graphæi | Oculorum | Deus | MSS:
5, 3 recto is numbered 69; 5, 3 verso 71; consequently the remaining pages are each one more than they should be.
Benvenutus Grapheus (Grassus) was an Italian physician of the 13th century - probably of the medical school of Salerno.
The barbarous Latin of the original work was published first at Turin in 1492, with the title Ars probata de oculorum affectibus. See Berger and Aurecher, Des Benvenutus Grapheus Practica Oculorum, München, 1881.
[Formerly Q.7.20; Q.7.134].
In the MS. there is a wrong pagination, the numbering jumping from 69 to 71, omitting 70. Hence the last page is numbered 137 instead of 136
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Vellum, 7 x 5 3/8, ff. 68, originally ff. 72, well written in single cols. of 15 lines (first quire 16 lines), each 4¼ x 3 3/8 (first quire 4½ x 3½), catchwords, signatures, pagination (XVII.-XVIII. Cent.), ruled and margined with ink, partially floreated pages with gilt illuminated initials, paragraph marks alternately gold (with faded ink ornament) and blue with red ornament, marginalia, worn but fairly well preserved, fol. sec. of superfluytees. Cent. XV.
Binding: Millboards, covered spattered calf, gilt-tooled (lines) sides and panelled back, spattered red edges, title (gilt) (original shield gone): GRAPHEI | OEVLORV | DENS | MSS. | MSS. Cent. XVII.-XVIII.
[For detailed collation see: John Young and P. Henderson Aitken, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of The Hunterian Museum in The University of Glasgow. (Glasgow, 1908), p. 411.]
Access: Normal conditions
Language: English
Material Type: Treatise
Notes: This manuscript has been exhibited on the following occasions: 'The Glory of the Page', Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. 1988, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Jun.-Aug. 1988, Burrell Collection, Glasgow, Nov. 1988-Jan. 1989.
Bibliography: Benvenutus Grassus, The wonderful art of the eye: a critical edition of the Middle English translation of his De Probatissima Arte Oculorum, edited by L.M. Eldredge (East Lansing, 1996), using MS Hunter 503 as base text; Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 43; John Young & P.H. Aitken, A catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1908), p. 411.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

author: Benvenutus Grassus 13th cent.
Benvenutus Grapheus or Grafeus.
exhibition: Glory of the Page 1987-1989
Exhibition of medieval manuscripts from Glasgow University Library: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. …
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