Universal art


‘The Vatican Library is one of the oldest and most important libraries in the world. Its collection is made up of over 7,000 manuscripts, many thousand archive volumes, about a million printed books, of which 8,000 incunanbular. Most of the manuscripts are written in Latin and Greek, but there are also works in Arabic, Ar-menian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Georgian, In-dian, Persian, Romanian, Samarita-n, Syriac, Turkish and Slavic languages. There are also a number of precious musical manuscripts. The collection of the Library stretches well beyond theology and also covers history, philosophy, Roman and civil Law, ca-nonic Law, art, architecture and music. The Apostolic Vatican Library is among those monastic libraries without which we would not know neither history, nor Virgil, nor the roots of many languages. Besides, we also owe to such libraries the fact that printing was developed with such a unique formal and visual beauty. Why facsimiles? The facsimile editions are based on the idea that interrupting the roots of man in history probably means endangering his future evolution. It is also necessary to safeguard the most important works and protect our cultural heritage. For this reason, an exceptionally huge initiative has begun, which makes it possible for a wide public to approach masterpieces in their intact beauty. These works witness the contemporaneity of all the past and the future and the need to remember what men have thought, created, written, decorated, moulded in past times. What is a facsimile.? Whereas a book, when representing any figurative or plastic work, gives only a partial representation –it reproduces on paper a painting or a fresco, changing its sizes- when a facsimile book is produced, this ceases and gives way to a “copy”. The facsimile is not a mere reproduction, but an artistic copy. Facsimile editions fully transmit the visual attraction of the originals; in research fields, they perfectly substitute the original, they give the genuine impression of the genesis of the originals and give information on variations and restorations carried out on the original itself. The leaders of the initiative The Zurich and Stuttgart based publisher Belser, in collaboration with Hell-Siemens, Kodak, Du Pont and Ba-cher, has created a workshop for reproductions, inside the Vatican Library in Rome, equipped with the latest technology. This workshop, together with a twenty-year contract with the Apostolic Vatican Library, forms the basis for the publication of the most valuable manuscripts in a facsimile format or for bibliophiles. A permanent publishing commission, headed by Prof. A.M. Stickler, prefect of the Vatican Library, gua-rantees the scientific accuracy and precision of the work. He is assisted by famous scientists, such as Professors Dr. K.A. Wirth from Munich, Dr. H. Belting from Heidelberg, Dr. J. Duft from St Gallen, Dr. B. Brenk from Basle and publishers Senatore H. Weitpert from Stuttgart, William Jovanovich from New York and Sante Bagnoli of Publisher Jaca Book from Milan.’


21 Agosto 1982 - 29 Agosto 1982


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions