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Reconciling opposing theological doctrines: a rare Venetian post-incunable edition in its contemporary binding of Saint Bonaventura's most important theological treatises

BONAVENTURE [pseudo-], and others.
Parvor[um] opusculoru[m] pars prima[-secunda]. [Opuscula].
[first colophon:] Venice, 1504; [second colophon:] Venice, Luca Antonio Giunta, 2 May 1504. 2 volumes bound as 1. Folio. With 4 impressions of 2 full-page woodcut illustrations, one showing the tree of life (plus 2 repeats), and 1 (partly hand-coloured) showing a seraph with 6 wings with the names of Christian virtues on them. Contemporary blind-tooled pigskin over bevelled oak boards. With 2 medieval manuscripts used as paste-downs: at the front a leaf from a 15th-century folio manuscript on ecclesiastical law, at the back a leaf from a 14th-century folio juridical manuscript, written in an Italian(?) hand. Also a small piece of a medieval manuscript used to "reinforce" the corner pieces on the boards. [20], CCXXI, [1]; [16], CCXXXIII ll.
€ 8,500
Rare Venice post-incunable edition of the Bonaventura Opuscula, a collection of abbreviated theological and philosophical works ascribed or formerly ascribed to Saint Bonaventura (ca. 1217-1274), canonized in 1482, or concerning him. It includes some of Bonaventuras most important writings. Saint Bonaventura, born Giovanni di Fidanza, was a leading medieval scholastic theologian and philosopher. Many texts in the Opuscula were written by Bonaventura, but many were written by others as well but were attributed to Bonaventura in the Middle Ages.
The Itinerarium mentis in Deum (the journey of the mind to God), is often regarded as Bonaventuras masterpiece: a mental and spiritual journey to God, whose basic outline (but not its details) could be understood by even the simplest friar. In it, Bonaventura allegorically presents the six wings of the angelic seraph Francis as representing the six ways of approaching God. His also presented his ideas on this subject in another work, De sex alis seraphim, where a full-page woodcut of the seraph with its six wings helps to illustrate it. Both works depict human life as the process of reaching (mystical knowledge of) God. The other woodcut, which appears three times in the book, accompanies the text Lignum vitae (the tree of life) and both the text and the woodcut were meant to aid such meditation upon the sufferings of Christ. The tree holds the crucified Christ with bleeding wounds. Each of the twelve branches is labelled with a stage of the Passion or the suffering of Jesus, and the reader could meditate on them to reach the Christian virtues presented as "fruits".
For a more detailed list of the contents, please send us an inquiry.
From the library of the Redemptorist monastery in Hennef-Geistingen, Germany.Binding worn: parchment at some places a little damaged, metal fastenings (2), bosses (6?) and 3 of 4 corner pieces gone, label on the front board gone, binding soiled and with many small worm holes in the boards and spine. Also some wormholes in the leaves (not affecting the text), but the bookblock otherwise remains in good condition: some leaves a little browned, some occasional stains, some leaves a little frayed at the foot. A rare post-incunable in a firm contemporary binding. EDIT16 6870; USTC 816075; not in Adams; BM STC Italian; Mortimer. For a more detailed list of the contents of this book, please send us an inquiry.
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