Life of Christ (final volume of set)

Vita christi

Italian (Ferrara)
Medieval (Late Gothic)/early Renaissance
about 1450–75
Author of text Ludolf von Sachsen (German, 1300–1377 or 1378)

Place of Manufacture: Certosa di San Cristofori, Ferrara, Italy


Overall (page dimensions): 33.2 x 22.8 cm (13 1/16 x 9 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera, ink, and gold on parchment; bindings of vellum over paste-boards with ink on spine and paper pastedowns and flyleaves

Not On View





Book with 2 leaves and 137 folios (ff.) Text comes from Ludolf von Sachsen’ Life of Christ, a meditation on the Life of Christ that includes doctrinal, spiritual, and moral instructions and prayers.

2 columns of 48 text lines in Latin. Bounding lines brown plummet, full-length to upper and lower edges, writing lines blind-ruled or in light plummet, some prickings preserved in lower margin for bounding lines.

Final three leaves cancelled. Catchwords in center lower margin or last verso of each quire, in decorative filigree frame.

Written in Italian Gothic bookhand in brown ink, red rubrics. f. 1 recto: 14-line [N] historiated with praying Carthusian (Ludolphus) with head of God in upper right corner, in colors, with full border of scrolling acanthus and flowers and gold berries, full-length gold bars between columns and in outer margin. Monogram [CART] (for “Cartusia”), used at the Certosa of Ferrara, in lower margin in gold and colors. Three-line chapter and prayer initials alternating blue with red harping and red with purple harping. Paragraph marks alternate red and blue.


3rd quarter of the 15th century, written at the Carthusian Certosa di San Cristofori, Ferrara, Italy [see note 1]. By 1938, with George Harold Edgell (1887-1954) [see note 2]; gift of George Harold Edgell. (Accession Date: April 14, 1938)

[1] Compare with Milan, Bibl. Trivulzia cod. 1440, which has the same monogram and is from the Certosa. Also, see Porro, G. Catalogo dei Codici Manoscritti della Trivulziana (Biblioteca Storica Italiana II:1) (Turin, 1884), p. 135, Cod. 1440, for description of the monogram. [2] George Harold Edgell served as director of the MFA from 1934 until 1954.

Credit Line

Gift of George Harold Edgell