Grammatica del Donato and the education of a Renaissance Prince at the Sforza Court

The text known as the Grammatica del Donato (Cod. Triv. 2167) is a richly decorated parchment codex, which together with the Liber Iesus made up an extraordinary duo of educational manuscripts for the young Massimiliano Sforza, Ludovico il Moro’s first born child. The manuscript, put together in the last five years of the 1400s, contains a grammatical text, followed by the Distichs of Cato. The script denotes an elegant humanistic quality in which one can recognise the hand of the renowned calligrapher Giovanni Battista Lorenzi, while the miniaturists include some of the most famous artists of the period: Giovanni Ambrogio de Predis, the Master of the Epithalamion of Jason de Mayno, Giovan Pietro Birago and the Master of Anna Sforza. The iconography of the codex should be seen in the context of a drive for the political legitimisation of Moro and his dynasty, as should the Liber Iesus.

Leaf through the manuscript