Camaldolese Artists: Bartolomeo della Gatta/Fra Mauro

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Camaldolese Artists, Lecture 4 (of 5). Bartolomeo della Gatta/Fra Mauro, Mentions Robert Hale and Thomas Matus, 

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I guess I have to say my favorite of our artists is the Don Bartolomeo Della Gatta. He's known by that name. His real name is Bartolomeo d'Antonio Dei. But very quickly on, once he was a monk in Arezzo, they called him Della Gatta because he had a female cat who followed him all around the city. So they called him Bartolomeo of the cat. And that's how he's come down in history. You'll notice, oh by the way, I think we're going to have, we're not going to have any problem at all doing Fra Mauro today also, so I've inserted, we'll see if we get to him fine, that we don't have as much on Bartolomeo as the other artists. There's not a lot, you notice I don't have any visual, audio-visual effects today.


There is one little pamphlet, little booklet that was done in black and white. It had some of his pictures of his stuff that I photocopied in Italy, more for the text than the pictures. The pictures themselves were poorly done and then a photocopy of the pictures are even worse. And we don't have anything in our own library. Where his paintings are held, and we'll get to that later in these places, they do not have, or we couldn't find any reproductions or booklets. One would think that at least this one, at some point, they'll get a booklet done because they have a few of his things. We were there in 1993, Robert. You and I and a whole group of us, I think Paulino was there, Thomas Mathis, and we saw


a number of his things. We looked for cards and they didn't have anything. In fact, they weren't selling anything at that time. Okay, he was born, here's another Piero, another Peter. A number of our artists were born Peter. Son of Antonio Dei, he was a fairly famous goldsman in Florence. He had three sons, Piero, Giovanni, and Niccolo. And all three of them became commando these months in three different houses all around Florence. Piero joined San Benedetto... This is the one I'm talking about, but I'll tell the name. He joined San Benedetto for his Boro Pinti, which surfaces and resurfaces now and then in the history of Florentine commandoes history. His brother Giovanni, who died in 1472, didn't live long at all, was at L'Angeli in Florence,


the famous one. And his brother Niccolo was at the Abbey of Agnano. Do you know where Agnano is? I know it's near Florence, but they must have destroyed it. But now and then that comes up in our history too, it's an important house, at least early on. And he died in 1497. So Bartolomeo lived the longest, I guess. And even he died at the age of 50, which is fairly young, if you think about it. As I said, they called him Delegata in Arezzo, because the citizens of Arezzo, who are called Arettini, gave him that nickname, Delegata, Bartolomeo of the Cat, and that's how he became known. He joined, as I said, San Benedetto, and he studied his painting skills.


He studied painting under the famous one I mentioned on Friday, a famous miniaturist who became abbot of various of our houses, and this is the one, Giuliano Amadei, whom Don Ugo, tongue-in-cheek, pointed to as probably the most famous. In the future, he will be known as the most famous of our miniaturists. So Bartolomeo studied under him, along with other studies and training that he took at the age of 50, and he was sent to Arezzo by Liangeli. In the year 1470, which is the same year that Liangeli stopped being a hermitage and became a monastery, and was much more open at that point, he was sent to Arezzo, where he lived


at the monastery of Santa Maria in Gradi. I'm going to mention all three of these houses are in Arezzo, and are famous at different times in history for different things, San Clemente and San Michele di Arezzo. Anyway, he was sent to Santa Maria in Gradi, where he more or less the rest of his life was situated. We'll find him for a couple of years being abbot here, a couple of years there in Rome, you know, a few months here. But that always seems to be his home base, Santa Maria in Gradi. And he was ordained a priest while there. So he had finished his studies and was ordained in Arezzo. During this time, during the early years of the 1470s, we have a wave of the plague that


goes through Arezzo and strikes down about a fourth to a third of the population. During this time Bartolomeo, who by the way was quite a holy man, was busy caring for the dying, taking care of bodies, helping passively with families of victims. And we'll go back to that, because it matters to his art. So we'll come back to that later on. That was in the early 1470s. In 1482, I'm just giving you the basic fundamental dates for Bartolomeo. In 1482, he was called to Rome by two famous painters, Perugino and Signorelli, who were working at the Sistine Chapel. They're continuing to work there.


And they called Bartolomeo from Arezzo to help them paint the Sistine Chapel for a while. And he gets permission and he goes up there. He mainly did that, reportedly, to help him perfect his own art. And he becomes quite an artist down the line. We know somewhat what he looks like because he painted himself. He painted a self-portrait in the group of the apostles on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He's the apostle holding the trumpet. He did a self-portrait. Everybody thought that was very clever. And so we have commodities on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He was there for a year, maybe a little more than a year in Rome, working at the Sistine Chapel. The next year, 1483, he returned to Arezzo, where he was named the Prior of San Clemente.


San Clemente was destroyed in the mid-1500s, absolutely destroyed, stone by stone. As a number of our places were throughout various wars and earthquakes over the centuries. And then he governed San Michele d'Arezzo during this year and the next year for a little bit. He was doing a, what do you call that in baseball? A pinch hitter. He was pinch hitting for a while at San Michele. Does anyone remember what San Michele is famous for? The monster of San Michele. No, no, no, the one in Arezzo. It's really only famous for one thing that I can think of. This is where that famous Prior Ranieri in the 1200s lied to the people leggings. Thank goodness.


It was when the whole exempt status of Camaldoli was up for grabs. And so he lied and said, absolutely, he heard that there was testimony that there was a document from the count, Mauro Dolo and all of that. And of course, that's all made up. He lied in order to protect the exemption of Camaldoli. We say mental reservation. Yes, he made a mental reservation. And he died for that. He's probably beatified. Anyway, that's what San Michele is famous for. But he lied. He lied on... That his place. So that his place could still be Camaldoli? No, so that Camaldoli itself would not go under the bishop of Arezzo.


It saved our history. As an exempt. But that's not the Prior Ranieri? No, yours is a different one. Lord knows what he said. He died over it. He was a martyr, right? He was a dumb martyr. In 1485, poor Arezzo had another outbreak of the Black Plague. Or something like it. Something virulent that was killing quite a bit of the population. And the next year, in 1486, we know that Don Bartolomeo was at the general chapter. Representing Arezzo, and this was held at Camaldoli that particular year. Nine years later, in 1495, he was appointed a Commendam Abbot of Santa Maria in Grande. So he actually got hold of the benefits.


It was nice, whenever in our history that worked out, that one of our own got to be Commendam Abbot. Because then they were benevolent Commendam Abbots. They probably channeled the money right back into the community. But that, of course, often was not the case. And many of our community, our houses, were just bled beyond belief during those times. While he was Commendam Abbot, he also took on the parish. And he cared for the parish of San Lorenzo e Giorgio. Do you know where Cacciano is? Must be a suburb, or was a suburb of Lorenzo. I mean, he himself ministered to this? Well, he was Commendam Abbot of Santa Maria. And then we know that he died in the year 1502. He died in Florence. What was he doing in Florence? He died at the monastery of Lianci, where he had escaped to, from Arezzo. Because Arezzo, at this particular year, rose up in arms against Florence, who held a lordship over that power that they were.


At this time, it meant something. And he beat feet to Florence. I would imagine all of the people who were nobles or had connections with Florence in any way, at a time like that, had better beat feet or else. And so he, on December 16th, found himself dying in exile from Arezzo. He lived most of his life as a Commendam Abbot at Santa Maria dei Lianci. A little bit, we have a little bit about his character. Testimony from, most of this is from Vasari, who wrote The Lives of the Artists. And what is his first name? Giorgio? I think Giorgio Vasari. And if you're interested, you can, I don't know if we have the complete Vasari.


I did buy a copy and put it in the library. If it doesn't have the business on Bartolomeo, I can send you a photocopy, if you're interested, either in Italian or English version of Vasari's life of Bartolomeo and his commons. But Vasari always has to be taken with more than a grain of salt, as far as truth goes. But he certainly gives you a good feeling for the reputation and artistic accomplishments, anyway, of the various artists. Bartolomeo was considered a very, very capable man, a real Renaissance man, because he could do so many things, and we'll get to that. He was very intelligent, well-educated, atliante, and he became very studious in art, very passionate about art. And all through his life, with all the other things he was doing, he was always at it.


He was always creating, artistically. He could perform as a musician and an artist, and he could create both music and painting arts. He was especially talented for the detail, the small details of his paintings, and he also was a miniaturist. I didn't mention him last Friday, because he really wasn't known as being in one of our schools, miniature schools, again, in quotes. What he's known for, some of the miniature work that he did in missiles, just on his own, commissions he got, one for a pope, I'll get to that later on, and some nuns and whatnot. And then for the little miniature paintings, he would put within his own large panels,


and I'll talk a little bit about that too, especially a famous one. He was praised by the Aretini for his piety more than anything else, even though he was the famous painter in Arezzo at this time. And for those of you who love Piero della Francesca, I know you do, you probably do, that was his idol. He tried to model himself artistically on, and there are similarities between those two artists. Even though he was the most famous artist at this time in Arezzo, for the Aretini, it was his piety and his pastoral outreach that affected them the most, and his exemplary virtue. He had a number of disciples. His most famous disciple was Domenico Pecori. Doesn't that mean pig? No, sheeps.


Sheep, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, sheep, yeah. And he's probably the most famous. And these other three were also disciples of his. This particular one was the Servite brother, Mariano di Arezzo. Both Napoli and Laurentino have a name, but this one was more famous. And Don Bartolomeo was considered at this time the head of the Arezzo school of art, Aretini school of art. He was a musician. He was noted for his choral works that he composed, none of which we have anymore. But, I mean, after all the various purgings and burnings and confiscations and whatnot, it's not surprising we don't have those things. Vasari mentions in his work that Don Bartolomeo was considered un gran musico,


not just musico, un gran musico. So he had a reputation. He also built fine organs with lead pipes, usually, in his day. He did a number of organs for the churches in and around Arezzo. And one particular organ he did with pasteboard pipes, which is what we call a cardboard, a rather hard cardboard. Which was still existing as a functioning organ in Vasari's day. And he went and listened to it and then talks about what a sweet sound it has and whatnot. Anyway, he was an organ builder. That's all we know about him. Just a few sentences, but we know he had that as part of his reputation. He was also an architect. And he did a number of churches, mainly three, in the Arezzo area.


The two most famous were the Church of the Annunciation, which he did in the Renaissance style. Does anyone know what that means when they say in the Renaissance style of church architecture? I mean, I had some ideas, but I didn't know if that meant specifically certain things that had to be there. That could be Baroque. Baroque is when... Didn't you ask Baroque? So when they're just using that phrase, that's all they mean, basically. It's just in general lots of busyness going on in that light. Okay, well, he was known for that. The church itself that Don Bartolomeo designed was built by... Where is he? Antonio. Antonio da Sangallo. And his brother, who were famous architects at the time. The Sangallo brothers.


Didn't they make wine? No. I'm reading. He also designed a church that became famous for other reasons. It was, in English, the Church of Our Lady of Tears. And it became famous because of a statue that was seen crying there, weeping, in the year 1490. And so it became a pilgrimage center. And speaking of etymologies, Sangallo means holy chicken. Thank you. So we have sheep and chickens so far. And? Okay. His works. What about his works? His painting style, as I mentioned, also his technical design, his grasp for that, and his technical manner in painting reflect his idealization of Della Francesca.


It's very, very reminiscent of his art. His main works in painting, attested to by others, especially Vasari, are, only some of which still exist. A large number, in fact, of paintings of San Rocco. Now, San Rocco was... I don't know the story of San Rocco. There's a number of San Rocco. But this particular one, whether he was originally attached to Arezzo in some way, I don't know. But the most famous of his paintings of San Rocco was one that was commissioned by a fraternity of Santa Maria, so a fraternity, sort of a lay group attached to this abbey or monastery,


after the first of those two plague periods. So, in the 1470s. This painting was in gratitude for the care and pastoral work he gave plague victims during this time. And this is a famous painting that still exists at the Pinacoteca Comunale in D'Arezzo. We saw it there. And it was commissioned because, reportedly, the end of the plague was attributed to the intercession of the part of San Rocco in Arezzo. What does that mean in English? What? The name of the painting. This here? That's a saint's name. No, that's a painter's name. That just means gallery, a painting gallery. The City Painting Gallery in Arezzo.


Pinacoteca. And he did a whole list of famous paintings of saints. Most of his corpus is painting saints. Saints Bartholomew, Ignatius, Julian, Andrew, Sebastian. Everybody painted Sebastian. Madonna with saints around her, evidently. He did a number of those. Also St. Michael's, Crushing the Dragon. A number of those also. One of which I think is also at the Pinacoteca. Also the Stigmata of Francis. He did a number of those. The famous one for the little miniature work is the one of St. Jerome. That still exists. St. Jerome as a monk in... Where was he during that period? Actually, he was in Syria before he went down to Palestine. He had his first monastic episode after splitting with the refiners, Aquileia.


He went to Syria and lived in the caves. He wasn't very successful at it. Jerome was going to be much more successful at other things. But he stayed in the caves for a while, I think with the help of certain individuals who kept him alive. Anyway, Don Bartolomeu painted this wonderful painting of these mountains and rocks. And the life of Jerome. Jerome is there in full ecstasy. And then if you look in all the little cracks and crevices of the rocks, you have all these little Jerome's going through the various life, famous periods or events of his life. And it's marvelous to look at. I saw just a little black and white photo of it, but you could see it. I got my magnifying glass on. I don't remember where it is. I don't think it was at the Pinacoteca that we went to.


So it might very well have been at this other one. It's not. Rome was just cathedral. It wasn't at the cathedral. And it's not on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. So it's probably this other Florentine gallery that we did not see. He was also a fresco painter. And he was famous for all kinds of, he went through a fresco phase. And many churches in the Arezzo area ended up with frescoes of Don Bartolomeo. Especially San Pietro Piccolo is known for that. And that was the church that Thomas Mattis huffled me off to. And you went in the other direction. He had said you had already seen that. And you and the other group went the other way. I don't remember what Thomas said. I just remember I was listening to his grasp of the history of it. And of Don Bartolomeo.


I won't name the other churches. They don't mean all that much to us at this point. Because all the frescoes are gone. Over the centuries we don't have any frescoes of him. Because over the centuries they've all been scraped off or repainted over or destroyed in whatever catastrophe hit the church. So we don't have any surviving frescoes. Oh, I think there's one. One little fresco at some monastery, some exterior portico, has one piece of, they think, they attribute to Bartolomeo. Somewhere in the area, general area of Arezzo. Also he was famous for painting a painting which is at the cathedral of Arezzo of San Donato himself, the patron of the diocese of Arezzo. It's a painting of St. Donato and John Walbert,


who along with Peter Damian and Romuald, was the other great champion monastic reformer against Simony and Nicolaitism during the 11th century, basically. Into the 12th century with Walbert? No, 11th century. Also he's famous for a painting he did of Blessed James of, of Piacenza. Has anyone ever heard of? I didn't even know where Piacenza was. I just happened to ask Lena Pasquini yesterday where Piacenza is because our own American recluse who died in 1990, Nazzalena, her parents were peasants from the Piacenza area. And I just did a, I'm going to give the Coronasia conference on Nazzalena


because they asked to know something about it next month. And it just struck me when I was at the table yesterday with Lena that I did something sounding like Piacenza came on. I said, oh, tell me where it is. Evidently it's near Padua, somewhere. Anyway, he painted this famous saint from Piacenza. We have various lost works that we know were important and well done because they're attributed to him by a number of sources. Three of these are miniature works and three are frescoes, which no longer exist. One was a missile commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV or Pope Six the Fourth or commissioned for him by someone else. I wasn't quite clear on what was being said. And usually, it's too bad, usually when the popes are given gifts like that,


artistic gifts, they last it. I mean, that was one nice thing about that sort of thing. And they've evidently lost this miniature missile that Bartolomeo did. Also, he did some miniature work for the, that is, illuminated manuscript work with illumination for the Cathedral of Lucca. So it was probably some liturgical book that he did. Also, we know he did one for the Benedictine nuns of Sant'Egiora e' Cicina. But none of these exist anymore. Also, three frescoes for which he's important, which were important because they helped to build his reputation, were the frescoes he did in the choir of a Puerclere monastery


named Santa Chiara Monastery, appropriately enough, in the Arezzo area. Also, a chapel, the chapel of Santa Orsina, which he did, Santa Orsina. I don't know where that is. Most of these are probably in the Arezzo area because he just basically was there for his lifetime. And also, above the door to the church of San Donato, he did, and this is not the one I was alluding to because this one doesn't exist anymore, but it was famous in and after, in his lifetime and after his lifetime, as a fine fresco. His remaining works are in these four locations. So in two art galleries, one in Arezzo. I've seen three, I just haven't been to this one, that's why I assume this is where Jerome is, St. Jerome. Because I've seen what's here, and I've been to,


it's certainly not in the Cathedral, it's not in Sistine, in the Sistine Chapel. I don't even know where this is. Do you know, actually, this particular one? Florence is filled with art galleries. I don't know where it is. Just in summation, although we do not know much specific detail about the life of Don Bartolomeo della Gata, we have many references of his contemporary renown. He was very famous in his day. And as I say again, not just because of all his artistic accomplishments, also for his personal holiness. And that was, above all, the most, you know, why he was so famous. Although much of that is his own time, what I've come to understand, indicates to me, obviously, his journey, his view to where we all come from.


He stayed with us for that reason. And also, a real creative genius. He wasn't just a mind, an artistic mind. He had a lot of creative juices, and he put them to a magnificent scale. Also, we want to remember, just like Silvestro from Friday, the Geraducci of the Angeli in Florence, he also, along with all the artistic stuff going on, functioned as a superior, and evidently a good one. And he was renowned for his piety, his pastoral care, and his personal holiness. So does anyone want to say anything or add anything to the little presentation of Bartolomeo before we go to Fra Mauro? Is that a question? How many of his works do still exist? Not that many. Oh, maybe a dozen. Or less. I'm trying to remember the black and white photos.


Both of them. Yeah, maybe a dozen. Mostly saints. That's mostly what he did, anyway. But it's how he did them, and what he did all around them and within them. We shouldn't forget the summary of his love of cats. His what? His love of cats. Indeed. Indeed. And his propensity to surround himself with people who had various animal names. Yeah? Fresco. Fresco is where walls or ceilings, usually, are being painted. We're talking about murals then. And the paint pigments are mixed right into the plastic. And so you're actually painting with plaster itself. Or painting into wet plaster.


Both techniques were done. What did you want to say? What were you saying? Yes. Or it won't work. Or it won't work. Do you know anything about Fresco other than that? No. Leonardo da Vinci's experiment wasn't that successful because it's fading like crazy. Is it? At a certain point, you mentioned that his self portrait as an apostle, that's in the Sistine Chapel, presumably on one of the sides. Isn't those? Yeah. I don't remember exactly. I was thinking, where is that exact location, the apostle group? And I couldn't remember where. Yeah, it's probably on a wall. Yeah, the upper wall. Yeah. One wonders which apostle he was.


Maybe he didn't even picture himself as an apostle such, but like a person with the apostles. I don't know for sure. They just say he's in the apostle group holding a trophy. Okay. Fra Mauro. Here's a man we don't know very much about at all, but who became one of our most famous people. We don't even know where he came from or when he was born. Suddenly, he appears as a lay brother at San Michele. He's a conversus. He's a lay brother. Tradition tells us this story, that of the nation's senator came on behalf of the La Serenissima, on behalf of the powers that be in Venice,


the doge. No, not the doge. The political powers in Venice. He came unannounced into Fra Mauro's workshop because he had heard something about the planisfero he was working on. This is a planisfero. A planisphere is where you have some kind of depiction of a spherical, basically a spherical body, but on a flat plane, obviously. So it's not a globe. It's a three-dimensional representation of a sphere. He was famous for his planispheres. Anyway, this senator showed up and became visibly upset with the particular planisphere he was looking at because it was probably the famous one, his first one,


because Venice was so small on it, and asked why Venice was so small on the planisphere. And Fra Mauro tried to explain that in proportion to the entire world, Venice indeed was just a small little city. And the senator then ordered him to change the planisphere and to make the world smaller and Venice larger. And reportedly, Fra Mauro just sat there and the senator left, and Fra Mauro, the lay brother, returned to his work and didn't change a thing. We don't know where he was born. We don't know when. What we do know is that he's probably from the Veneto, probably from the Venetian area in general because his autograph, which can be seen on some of his things, is in the Venetian dialect.


It's done in the Venetian dialect. So they say, well, he must have been from the Veneto. But they don't know that. We do know that he was her lay brother. We don't have his profession date. We're assuming he professed. They did call him Fra. There's all kinds of, throughout the centuries, all kinds of hypotheses about why he's Fra and not Don. And two of our own, Don Agonio Corina from the 18th century, and our own Cardinal Placido Zurla, who did a major study of Fra Mauro and published it in Venice in the 19th century, they both maintained that Mauro may very well have been ordained a priest. Evidently he doesn't even have a priest


because he did such wonderful work. He couldn't be a brother. Well, we're talking about 17th, 18th centuries here. And they say he very well may have been ordained a priest because the medallion that was gilded as a copper commemorative, which is printed in the Annales, if you see it, you can see it in the Annales Volume 7, has him pictured without a beard. And at this time, of course, the conversely were beards and the priests didn't. Well, this is not true. I mean, this is not a logical thing because there were exceptions to the rule. In fact, right around this time, one of the famous abbots of Fra Mauro's house, Don Pietro, Abbot Pietro Dona, wore a beard. So that shoots that one out. The real hypothesis is that Mauro was a priest conversus


who entered at a later age, and this has a little more substance to it. But again, this one's shot out of the water because they say, look, at this particular time in history, anyone who studied theology, whether or not he was ordained, went by Don, not Fra. And they wouldn't have named him Fra just because he was a diocesan priest before he came into the monastery. You have the argumentation, but it just doesn't hold water. What is, when all is settled, the water is settled, what you probably get is that Fra Mauro was a conversus. That was, he was a brother who was talented, and they existed. And there's nothing wrong with that, you know? The conjecture is that he was either clothed


as a commodities conversus at a late age. And that's why we don't have him coming into formation and going through that. It's not in the records, and we have the records of the time. So he didn't go the usual route. So he came at a later age. We know that he was at San Michele from 1433 until he died. Well, that's not a lot of time, but it's a chunk. But he was, they're thinking he was just too old to go through the formation program as they had it at the time. But he was a conversus. And then he spent numerous years during the first half of the 15th century, or, excuse me, or he spent numerous years during that first half of the 15th century in other commodities houses. And so his formation happened in another house whose annals do not exist anymore.


Or maybe at this time they couldn't get the records at all for one reason or another. And then ended up at San Michele without the records and was there until he died. We just don't know. He was a miniaturist, as I mentioned on Friday. There, on Friday, I mentioned to him, I referred to him as Fra Mauro da Venezia. Usually when they're speaking of Fra Mauro as an artist, they'll use Fra Mauro da Venezia because when they're speaking, excuse me, they're speaking of him or referring to him as the fellow who's doing the planispheres, they're going to say, you cosmographer. Cosmographer. [...] This is the famous phrase that is used. Incomparable. But there were a lot of cosmography


during this time and later. Not many. There are some that are much more famous. But now within the commodities order, yes, it's this true. This... name for him is the one that's come down the centuries. He was a fine colorist as an artist. Some of his work is still, as Nino pointed out in his book, the coloration is still brilliant and the work he did with gold gold leaf also, with colors, especially blues, have lasted the centuries and are quite exquisite. He was also, we know, a geographer and a calligrapher. He had a fine calligraphic hand


and he was a cartographer. He also did maps. Much more than just the famous planispheres that come out. He did a lot more. A lot of stuff. Not bad for a froth. In the year 1455, we know that he did his first famous planisphere. One of these. Most of the planispheres are more intricate than this. Tend to be elongated this way and are filled with the normal things. You know, little ships, the wind blowing, clouds, lots of little miniature things within the planisphere. In the year 1457, the king of Portugal, Alonso V, commissioned a planisphere from Fra Mauro, who already had international acclaim


for his works. And at this time, notice it's two years before he died, at this time he's elderly. We know that he was old when he died. He was elderly and feeble. That's why they have these other hypotheses about, well, what did he do before he came? Because he came to St. Michael's already, at least in his middle age. Since he was elderly, he had helped to do this valuable commission for the king of Portugal by, as I mentioned on Friday, another famous Camaldolese miniaturist, Francesco d'Arco. He was a Venetian cartographer, a Venetian mapmaker, who was famous at the time, who was a good friend of Fra Mauro's and would help him on various projects. He came in and bailed him out on this one because Fra Mauro evidently was failing. It was delivered to the king of Portugal in 1459,


the year that Fra Mauro died. It is still existing. It's now preserved in Lisbon. And another one like it, similar to it, is preserved at the San Marco Library in Venice. Just before class I asked Robert if you happened to see it. You were right next to it when you went to the Ducal Palace. If you had gone to the library, you would have seen the famous planisphere that's there with all its brilliant colors. That's the one to which Nino keeps referring in his little write-up on Fra Mauro. If just in the future, and some of you undoubtedly are going to be going to Venice, when you're in La Piazza, some of us, more and more, are going to be going to Italy, I suspect, as you're standing in front and in the Piazza facing the San Marco, on the right you're going to have the Ducal Palace, or just the first thing after the church


is the library of San Marco, and there you can see the works by Fra Mauro, which was stolen by the political powers during the suppression in the 1820s. We have to point these things out. We know that he died in 1459 during the summer. We don't have an exact date. We know it was before October 20th because we have a document where one Camaldolese is talking to another Camaldolese about the death of Fra Mauro, which he goes on to mention the actual date, but the document's dated October 20th, so sometime in the summer they're thinking. A number of famous studies have been done on the planispheres of Fra Mauro over the years, three of which were done by Camaldolese abbots,


famous ones. One study was done by Anselmo Costadoni, who was one of the two who did the annales, along with Mitterrand and Costadoni, who was very, very famous for his holiness, personal holiness. All three of these men were from San Dicente, the same house that gave us Fra Mauro. Second, the most famous study was done by Placido Zurla, who became Cardinal Zurla. And his study was presented to the Academy of Arts and Sciences in Venice and was given to the highest political figure at that time. This is right during the times of the suppression, as a gift from the monastery of San Dicente.


It didn't help. It didn't prevent them from doing what they did in the suppression. The third study was done by Mauro Capillari, who we're going to talk about tomorrow. This is the Camaldolese pope, Gregorio Sedici, Gregory XVI. He also did the study of the planispheres of Fra Mauro. We have other copies of the planispheres of Fra Mauro in England and France, both of which were commissioned as copies, obviously, in the early 1800s. I don't know why. I mean, we're talking 350 years after Fra Mauro. Why would they commission copies of the planispheres? Or, you know, one of the famous, probably the one in the San Marco, actually. I don't know. I don't know the history.


I'm sure Zurla... I'm sure his study is the one that ends up in the San Marco library. That's why I think the copies were also of the ones in the library of San Marco. Of course. We have two copies. We have two copies.


We have two copies. Michele was the spearhead behind the Annales, who became abbot general, and died as abbot general. He was quite wealthy in his own right, and his inheritance, his whole inheritance, went to buying manuscripts for the library of San Michele. And he had many influential friends, whom he'd led for his money and gifts, and always...


What is the word we don't do in our own families? He would always make sure it was designated for the library. But he was a former librarian, you know, I think. Or a librarian himself at the time. He always kept an ear cocked for the sales that were going on. There were plenty of people who were going under at this time, financially. And also for divination, the manuscripts that were coming from... And also for divination,