Monday, 27 March 2017

Guarnerinus de Padua - 1441

Codex MA 592 of the Biblioteca Civica di Bergamo is an illustrated herbal written by Antonio Guarnerino da Padova in 1441. A complete transcription of the text (an Italian translation of "De viribus herbarum" by Macer Floridus) and small reproductions of the illustrations have been published in 2000 (“Herbe Pincte”, G.Silini, G.Polimeni ed.).

The manuscript includes a beautiful self-portrait of Guarnerinus, appropriately holding a plant and a brush. The face of the figure was unluckily altered by a later hand.

Transcription: Iste herbe pincte sunt per me magistrum Antonium Guarnerinum filium olim Bonaventure de Padua | et fuerunt pincte ad honorem et individue Sancte Trinitatis, Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti | in millesimo quatuorcentesimo quadragesimo primo, decimo octavo iulii, in civitate Feltrina. | Centum 58 herbe.

Translation: These plants were painted by me, Master Antonius Guarnerinus son of Bonaventura from Padua. | They were painted in honor of the undivided Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit | in 1441, the 18th of July, in the city of Feltre. | 158 plants.


  1. Have you read Chapter XLVII of Thorndike's "History of Magic & Experimental Science" (all about Antonio Guaynerius)?

    I've spent the last decade telling Voynich people to read Thorndike, and have no idea why so few do so. :-(

    1. I haven't read Thorndike: I will try to understand more of the structure of his huge work and see if I can read at least some of it. Thank you for the suggestion.
      The chapter you mention is about Antonio Guaineri of Pavia, who is not the same as Antonio Guarnerino of Padua. They lived at the same time, so the confusion is understandable. Given the self-portrait brush-in-hand, it's possible that Guarnerinus was more an artist than a physician.