Ms Typ 28


Ms. Richardson 28, fol. 10v, Guillaume d'Estouteville (ca. 1412-1483), Epistola ad heremitas Sancti Augustini, Central Italy, after 1475

This slender volume, compiled by Guillaume d'Estouteville, a French ecclesiastic who was, successively, Bishop, Archbishop, Abbot, and Cardinal of a series of important institutions until he eventually became Dean of the College of Cardinals in Rome, written in an elegant humanist hand, contains a series of Papal letters written by various popes to Augustinian Hermits. Among the popes in whose election Guillaume participated was Sixtus IV, to whom this copy was presented and whose arms decorate the first folio. Each letter opens with a bust-length figure in profile who "speaks" the ensuing text, with the exception of the letter exhibited here, which is spoken by its author, Pope Sixtus IV, who passes it on to the tonsured hermit, accompanied by a nun and various members of the laity, all of whom kneel in front of him. An important patron of the arts, both in Rome and in Rouen, Guillaume d'Estouteville can be identified with the cardinal who stands besides the papal cathedra or throne.