Lorenzo da Morgiani and Giovanni Thedesco da Maganza (Italian, active 15th century)
Lorenzo de' Medici (Italian, Florence 1449–1492 Florence)
January 1, 1491
Printed book with woodcut illustrations
Overall: 5 5/16 x 4 5/16 x 13/16 in. (13.5 x 11 x 2 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1919
Not on view
This is one of the first inexpensive illustrated textbooks making it available to many more students than earlier teaching materials, which had been written by hand on vellum. The small size and the many diagrams made it easier to use, while the pictures must have made math more bearable to young students. The woodcuts, which range from ornamental classicizing borders framing multiplication tables to lively depictions of people and animals that illustrate word problems, are exquisite examples of the flowering of Florentine woodcut illustration in the 1490s. On this page, we see a series of hand gestures that signify numbers.
Philipp Calandri ad nobilem et studiosum Iulianum Laurentii Medice de arimethrica opusculu
Inscription: "Richard Bright", ex libris, black ink, front fly leaf verso
Richard Bright (British, Bristol 1789–1858 London); Vendor: Bernard Quaritch, Ltd. (London)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Power of Prints: The Legacy of William M. Ivins and A. Hyatt Mayor," January 26, 2016–May 22, 2016.
BM, VI, 681; Brunet, I, 1468; Dyson Perrins, 56; Fisher, 155; Graesse, II, 13; Hain, 4234; Morgan Bennett, 408; Pellechet, 3156; Proctor, 6352; Sander, 1523; Smith, 47-49; K.77a