The patron

No answer has yet been found as to how the Libro d’Ore Durazzo came into being. It was perhaps originally commissioned by a Venetian magistrate, but was then sold to another person, in all probability from Parma . This latter personage may be the mysterious collector portrayed by Parmigianino , in a work dating back to about 1523-1524, now at the National Gallery in London . This aristocratic figure is portrayed among objects that indicate a passionate interest in antiquity and in collecting rare works, including the Libro d’Ore Durazzo (in his left hand). In the early 1520′s, this codex was therefore in Parma , to which Marmitta returned at the end of his career. Here, he met an early death in 1505, a plague year.


Historical notes on the codex

It is believed that, after Parma , the codex accompanied Francesco Marmitta’s second son, Jacopo, to Portugal . However, in the nineteenth century it was in Genoa . Firstly, it was in the hands of the merchant, Antonio Bacigalupo, who inherited it from his father, Francesco, and then in the hands of the collector, the Marquis Marcello Luigi Durazzo (the last descendant of one of the branches of this important Genoese family), who, having purchased it from Bacigalupo’s widow, Maria Aubert following Bacigalupo’s death 1826, then bequeathed it in 1848 to the Biblioteca Berio library in Genoa .

The manuscript takes its name from the Marquis Durazzo. It was a part of the Durazzo collection when the historian, Luigi Cibrario, drew attention to it for the first time toward the mid-nineteenth century. Cibrario wrote, “The Marquis Marcello Durazzo possesses a purple parchment uffiziolo di Madonna with gold lettering, which, with its splendid illuminations, I consider one of the most impressive codices of its kind”.

Although the name is not indicated on the manuscript itself, the codex is still listed in the library catalogue in as “Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis, cum Kalendario
(Offiziuolo Durazzo)”.

Parmigianino
Parmigianino


Genova
Genova


Il facsimile riproduce fedelmente e in ogni suo aspetto la legatura originale in argento cesellato, sbalzato e parzialmente dorato. Completano la legatura due fermagli con piccoli rubini al centro.

Il misterioso collezionista ritratto dal Parmigianino nel 1523 stringe nella mano sinistra il Libro d'Ore Durazzo.

Ogni codice miniato è "unicum" fragile e delicato gelosamente custodito nel deposito di una biblioteca e quindi inaccessibile al pubblico e spesso anche agli studiosi. Per questo nascono le edizioni in facsimile. Tesori sommersi, riportati alla luce per tutti coloro che amano il bello e apprezzano il piacere della cultura.