Documents: 1885, displayed: 381 - 400

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 501
Parchment · 21 ff. · 33.5 x 21.6 cm · Bukhara · 1559
"Sentences of Ali"

This manuscript, written in Persian, contains a selection of the “One Hundred Sayings by Ali,” a collection of sayings and proverbs traditionally attributed to Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth rightly guided Caliph as well as cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad. Among the Shiites (from šīʿat ʿAlī, the “party of Ali"), Ali plays an important religious role as the first imam. This manuscript was written in 1559 by the calligrapher Jalal ibn Muhammad in Bukhara. For the text he used the Nastaliq script, a calligraphic script widely used for the Persian-Arabic alphabet; for the titles, however, he used the ordinary Arabic Nasḫī script. The six full-page miniatures, highlighted in gold, were added in the second/third quarter of the 17th century. Noteworthy on p. 9v at bottom center is the rare depiction of a figure turning his back to the observer, of whom one can see only the back of the head. On the same page at the left, behind several musicians, two Europeans can be recognized by their clothing. (wid)

Online Since: 06/25/2015

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 550
Paper · 56 ff. · 24.1 x 15.2 cm · [India] · 1623/24
“The story of Seyf ol-Molûk and Badî`ol-Jamâl"

This manuscript, written in Persian, contains the story of Prince Seyf ol-Molûk and Princess Badî`ol-Jamâl. The manuscript was probably written in India and illustrated with 32 miniatures. At the end of the text (f. 56v), the scribe dated the manuscript in the year 1033 (in the Islamic calendar). The story can also be found in One Thousand and One Nights (758th to 778th night, edition Calcutta II 1839-1842). (wid)

Online Since: 10/07/2013

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 600a
Parchment · 74 pp. · 31.6 x 20.4 cm · Japan · 1596-1615
The Life of Buddha, first book (Shaka no Honji, jō)

The book belongs to the category of nara ehon, a type of polychrome, illustrated narratives published from the Muromachi period though to the first half of the Edo period. The term nara ehon has been widely applied to all illustrated books from these periods since the Meiji era, but its origin is unclear. The format of nara ehon differs, depending on the period. Early examples from the Momoyama to the very early Edo period are tall, measuring about 30 cm in height, a vertical format similar to a European quarto. The examples produced from the Kanei era onwards, within the first half of the Edo period were more of a horizontal proportion. They were also generally based on the genre of otogizōshi, short stories that emerged from the Kamakura period onwards, a majority of them focusing on the Muromachi period. During the latter half of the 17th century, the topic shifted to stories about the aristocracy or the wealthy merchant class, before the popularity nara ehon began to decline. This example can possibly dated to the Keichō era (1596-1615). (stn)

Online Since: 06/23/2016

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 600b
Parchment · 78 pp. · 31.5 x 20.5 cm · Japan · 1596-1615
The Life of Buddha, second book (Shaka no Honji, ge)

The book belongs to the category of nara ehon, a type of polychrome, illustrated narratives published from the Muromachi period though to the first half of the Edo period. The term nara ehon has been widely applied to all illustrated books from these periods since the Meiji era, but its origin is unclear. The format of nara ehon differs, depending on the period. Early examples from the Momoyama to the very early Edo period are tall, measuring about 30 cm in height, a vertical format similar to a European quarto. The examples produced from the Kanei era onwards, within the first half of the Edo period were more of a horizontal proportion. They were also generally based on the genre of otogizōshi, short stories that emerged from the Kamakura period onwards, a majority of them focusing on the Muromachi period. During the latter half of the 17th century, the topic shifted to stories about the aristocracy or the wealthy merchant class, before the popularity nara ehon began to decline. This example can possibly dated to the Keichō era (1596-1615). (stn)

Online Since: 06/23/2016

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 601a
Parchment · 57 ff. · 24.1 x 18 cm · 17th century
Tale of Ise, first book (Ise Monogatari, jō)

The Tale of Ise is one of the earliest and most well-known example of uta monogatari, a subgenre of the monogatari, which focuses on waka poetry with the narrative evolving around the poetry. Its authorship, as well as the exact date of composition remain unclear, but it is today dated to the early Heian period. It is also known by the title "Zaigo chūjō nikki", or "Diaries of the Prince Ariwara no Narihira". The main character in the Tale of Ise is understood as being the historical prince and poet Ariwara no Narihira (9th century), whose waka feature in the tale. Yet due to the existence of narratives that clearly date to later periods, Narihira himself cannot be regarded as the author. The tale is generally concerned with human affection of many kinds, from amorous affairs to parental affection. Whilst many chapters do have a strong aristocratic notion, it is not limited to the world of nobility, but also includes the commoner’s fate, such as Chapter 23 Tsutsuizutsu. The characters often remain unnamed and are only referred to as ‘the girl’, or ‘the man’. Thus, the tale is interpretable as an effort to generally address the topic of human relationship and affection. This example bound in silk is adorned with illustrations executed in ink, polychromy and gold. (stn)

Online Since: 06/23/2016

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 601b
Parchment · 48 ff. · 24 x 18 cm · 17th century
Tale of Ise, second book (Ise Monogatari, ge)

The Tale of Ise is one of the earliest and most well-known example of uta monogatari, a subgenre of the monogatari, which focuses on waka poetry with the narrative evolving around the poetry. Its authorship, as well as the exact date of composition remain unclear, but it is today dated to the early Heian period. It is also known by the title "Zaigo chūjō nikki", or "Diaries of the Prince Ariwara no Narihira". The main character in the Tale of Ise is understood as being the historical prince and poet Ariwara no Narihira (9th century), whose waka feature in the tale. Yet due to the existence of narratives that clearly date to later periods, Narihira himself cannot be regarded as the author. The tale is generally concerned with human affection of many kinds, from amorous affairs to parental affection. Whilst many chapters do have a strong aristocratic notion, it is not limited to the world of nobility, but also includes the commoner’s fate, such as Chapter 23 Tsutsuizutsu. The characters often remain unnamed and are only referred to as ‘the girl’, or ‘the man’. Thus, the tale is interpretable as an effort to generally address the topic of human relationship and affection. This example bound in silk is adorned with illustrations executed in ink, polychromy and gold. (stn)

Online Since: 06/23/2016

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 603
Paper · 1 f. · 23.6 x 883 cm · very likely 12th century
Daihannya-haramitta-kyō, kan gohyaku-yonjū (Sutra of Great Wisdom Chapter 540)

The handscroll of Daihannya-haramitta-kyō, the Sutra of Great Wisdom, chapter five hundred and forty, consists of a simple sheet of paper without mounting. The complete version of the sutra encompasses six-hundred chapters. It was introduced to China from India by the monk, scholar and translator Xuanzang, who translated the sutra into Chinese in the 7th century before it was imported into Japan. The sutra is written in black ink on high-quality paper, very likely kōzo-shi, which is made using the fibre of Broussonetia papyrifera or paper mulberry tree, especially treasured and used for important documents during the early periods of Japanese history such as the Nara and Heian periods. There is a circular red seal placed over the top of the first four lines of the text, stating “Yakushi-ji-in” (seal of the temple Yakushi-ji). The sutra was written in Japan within the context of the religious rites of reproducing holy scripture to benefit the karma. (stn)

Online Since: 06/23/2016

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 708
Paper · 82 ff. · 21 x 31 cm · Northern India, likely around Kedarnath · between 1700 and 1800, likely towards 1800
Kedārakalpa

This is an 18th century manuscript of the text called Kedārakalpa, representing itself as a part of the Nandīpurāṇa. The manuscript describes and depicts in its 61 exquisite miniature paintings a religious pilgrimage in Himalayas, Kedarnath region, as done by a group of yogis. It is a śaiva text, i.e. main deity is god Śiva, and the main purpose of the text is to incite people to go on that sacred śaiva pilgrimage. (ser)

Online Since: 06/22/2017

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 728-3
Paper · 1 f. · 6.5 x 17.6 cm · North-Western India · 19th century
Śrīyogarāja, Guhyaṣoḍhā

This is a text called Guhyaṣoḍhā written by Śrīyogarāja [the name means « Glorious king of yoga », and is an honorific title rather than a proper name], and it is in part based on the very ancient tantric text called the Rudrayāmal. Guhya[kālī]ṣoḍhā / Guhyaṣoḍha means a text featuring a sequence of mantras that a tāntrika would need to recite in order to "purify" himself and the mantra that precedes the recitation of the root-mantra of the deity. This text traverses the religious space at the intersection of Hinduism and Buddhism. (ser)

Online Since: 09/26/2017

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 902
Paper · 20 ff. · 26.5 x 23 cm · Mexico · end of 17th century, before 1715
Codex of Santa María Tepexoyucan

This Mexican Codex, written in Nahuatl, is part of the so-called Techialoyan Manuscripts. It is from Santa María de la Asunción Tepexoyuca, near San Martín Ocoyoacac, in the Toluca Valley in the State of Mexico, Mexico. The manuscript is an altepeamatl,"Village Land Book" or tlalamatl, "Land Manuscript", which records the territorial boundaries between the village of Tepexoyuca and its neighbors and lists the toponyms of the boundary markers. The manuscript signatories are eight key town figures at the time: among them don Esteban Axayacatl, "captain", don Miguel Achcuey, "fiscale", and don Simón de Santa María, "mayordomo". (bel)

Online Since: 10/07/2013

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 905
Paper · 35 ff. · 15.5 x 10.5 cm · Mexico · end of the 16th century
Codex Testeriano Bodmer

Testeriano denotes catechism manuscripts in a pictographic script attributed to the Franciscan friar and missionary Jacobo de Testera (16th century). Writing had already developed in 12th century Central America as a mixture of ideograms, pictograms and phonetic symbols, but the original handwritten witnesses thereof were destroyed in the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century. In order to communicate with the indigenous population, Christian missionaries later adopted this writing system, but they invented many symbols since the goal was to communicate a new, Christian content. For instance, three crowned heads represent the Trinity and thus God, while two crowned heads with key and sword represent the apostles Peter and Paul. The manuscript is read from left to right across both pages; different parts are separated by decorative vertical vignettes. The manuscript contains several short prayers (among them pp. 1v-2r Persignum, 2v-4r Ave Maria, 4v-8r Credo) and a long prayer (pp. 27v-35r) which represents a repetition of the Christian doctrine. (wid)

Online Since: 06/25/2015

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, B-24.1
Paper · 2 pp. · 23 x 19 cm · n.d. [Paris, around January 1797]
Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, Pour Mr La Rochelle jouant Brid’oison. En cas de bruit à la fin, signed autograph

The comedy The Mad Day, or The Marriage of Figaro is a vivid satire of society during the Ancien Régime and of aristocratic privileges; it was first performed on April 27, 1784 and presaged the beginning of the French Revolution, which it doubtlessly helped bring about. After the fall of the monarchy in 1792, the comedy was again performed on several Parisian stages, albeit the concluding songs were modified by Beaumarchais. The final stanza of the stuttering judge Don Gusman Brid’oison, which in 1784 had concluded Tout fini-it par des chansons, was adapted to the difficulties of the period: Pour tromper sa maladie, / Il [the people] chantoit tout l’opera : / Dame ! il n’sait plus qu’ce p’tit air-là : / Ca ira, ça ira... However, after the fall of Robespierre and the Thermidorian Reaction, these words roiled young Muscadins just as the previous ones had caused the Sansculottes to react. Since the performances were disrupted by such turbulent audiences, Beaumarchais entrusted La Rochelle, the actor who performed the role of Brid’Oison, with an alternative ending that could be recited en cas de bruit (in case of noise). This variant, which remained unpublished until recently, was a praise of freedom of speech and of the sang froid de la raison (the cold blood of reason) against the stratagème (wiles) of ideological cabals. (duc)

Online Since: 06/22/2017

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, B-29.8
Paper · 4 pp. · 24 x 31.1 cm · ca. 1818
Ludwig van Beethoven, Missa solemnis op. 123, Gloria (sketch). Autographic score on paper

According to Beethoven, this is his “most accomplished work.” It celebrates the consecration of his student and sponsor, Archduke Rudolph, as Archbishop of Olomouc (Olmütz) in 1818. This mass was begun in 1818; it was completed three years after the ceremony and was presented to the cardinal and archbishop on 19 March 1823. This mass in D major seeks to express and communicate, in the words of the composer himself, a state of mind, a religious Stimmung. It is written for a large orchestra and consists of five movements (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei) The sections of the Gloria, imposed by the meaning of the text, constitute a sonata: allegro in D major, Gratias in B flat and back to the allegro; then the larghetto and as a third movement the allegro, Quoniam, the fugue In gloria Dei Patris, with a cyclical return to the theme of the Gloria in the principal tone. The music comments on the text: royal acclamation, heartfelt gratitude, divine omnipotence; then, in contrast: prayers, shouts and murmurs of the supplicants of this world (miserere nobis). Purchased at Sotheby’s, London, 4 February 1952.   (bib)

Online Since: 09/26/2017

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, E-4.1
Paper · 12 ff. · 33 x 21 cm · 1920
Albert Einstein, Ether and Relativity Theory, autograph

At the beginning of his visiting professorship at the Reichs-Universität of Leiden, on May 5, 1920, Albert Einstein gave this lecture with the title “Ether and Relativity Theory.” This copy, in his own handwriting, contains numerous corrections and deletions. The lecture was published in the same year. Einstein later often returned to the concepts set forth in this lecture. (fri)

Online Since: 12/17/2015

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, F-16.1
Paper · 4 pp. · 23 x 34.6 cm · 1851
Gustave Flaubert, Le Chant de la Courtisane, autograph

Despite visible erasures, this is the completed version of this untitled text, which consists of six paragraphs on two leaves, bound in red Morocco leather. At the earliest it was written by Flaubert during his voyage to the Orient (1849-1851) with his friend Maxime du Camp, although it seems more likely to date from his return to France in 1851, the moment he dedicated his life to writing. Later know by the title Le Chant de la Courtisane, this prose poem in a humorous tone was not published by Flaubert himself. Nonetheless, it sums up his challenges as a writer: the work shows the author’s fascination with Oriental culture and landscape, which he hopes to to reproduce in a realistic manner. A journal of his voyage, which records his observations and sensations and directly feeds his fictional work. The vocabulary reveals a certain erudition and a concern for accuracy, procedures which herald Salammbô. This manuscript, from the collection of Paul Voute (who had published a facsimile thereof in 1928), was purchased by Martin Bodmer at the Blaizot bookstore. (exq)

Online Since: 06/22/2017

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, F-16.3
Paper · 46 pp. · 22.5 x 35 cm · 1858
Gustave Flaubert, explanatory chapter from Salammbô, autograph

Mentioned in his correspondence by Flaubert as an explanatory chapter to Salammbô, this manuscript consists of 28 leaves, which are all numbered, except for the last one that contains notes regarding the gods. The manuscript is in a folder on which Flaubert noted the work’s title as well as a date, 1857, that corresponds with the beginning of the writing of Salammbô. This chapter, however, was written after 1857: it was actually conceived after an important documentation phase indispensable to the project and after a trip to Carthage. Upon his return in 1858, the writer worked on a chapter that would be “the topographical and picturesque description of the aforementioned city, with a portrayal of the people who inhabited it, including the traditional costume, government, religion, finances and commerce, etc." (Letter to J. Duplan, dated 1 July 1858). Despite a certain number of corrections and marginal additions, this is the completed version of the text, which ultimately was removed from the novel, even though information therefrom was scattered throughout the work. This chapter reveals the way the author works. He is distinguished by his encyclopedic erudition and his attention to detail, which shed light on the original challenges in the creation of Salammbô: that of reconstructing the then-lost city of Carthage. In November 1949, Martin Bodmer purchased this manuscript at the Blaizot bookstore. (exq)

Online Since: 06/22/2017

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, G-72.1
Paper · 66 ff. · 22 x 18 cm · [1810]
Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm, composite manuscript with 45 fairy tales and one saga (autograph, unsigned)

On October 25th and December 15th of 1810, Jacob Grimm sent Clemens Brentano this manuscript. It is the oldest handwritten version of the Kinder- und Hausmärchen since the Brothers Grimm systematically destroyed all the preliminary work for their edition of the fairy tales, probably in order to prevent the comparison between the handwritten versions and the later printed edition (first edition 1812), which was thoroughly revised and expressed in literary form. According to an analysis by Heinz Rölleke (Rölleke Heinz (ed.), Die älteste Märchensammlung der Brüder Grimm. Synopse der handschriftlichen Urfassung von 1810 und der Erstdrucke von 1812, Cologny-Genève 1975), 25 fairy tales were written by Jacob Grimm, 14 by Wilhelm Grimm (partly with addenda by his brother), and 7 can be attributed to four other authors. Martin Bodmer purchased this manuscript from Mary A. Benjamin, New York, in 1953. (fri)

Online Since: 12/17/2015

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, H-51.4
Paper · 1 f. · 32.5 x 21 cm · 1843 / (20.01.1756)
Friedrich Hölderlin, Der Frühling, autograph

This poem in two stanzas of four lines each and titled “Der Frühling,” was written by Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) in his own hand; at the end it is signed “Mit Unterthänigkeit Scardanelli” and dated to January 20, 1756. Hölderlin, who from about 1802 on was mentally ill, often signed his works, sometimes with invented names, among them Scardanelli, and invented dates. Another hand has corrected the given date in pencil to 1843; this suggests that the poem was created shortly before Hölderlin’s death. (fri)

Online Since: 12/17/2015

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, H-51.5
Paper · 1 f. · 32.3 x 20.5 cm · 12.6.1842 / (15.11.1759)
Friedrich Hölderlin, Der Herbst, autograph

This poem in three stanzas of four lines each and titled “Der Herbst”, was written by Friedrich Hölderlin in his own hand; at the end it is dated to November 15, 1759. Hölderlin, who from about 1802 on was mentally ill, often signed his works, sometimes with invented names and invented dates. At the top of the page another hand has written „Autographie v Hölderlin“ along with the correction „Tübingen d 12 Juli 1842.“ (fri)

Online Since: 12/17/2015

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, H-51.6
Paper · 1 f. · 32.5 x 20.5 cm · 7.11.1842 / (24.4.1849)
Friedrich Hölderlin, Der Winter, autograph

This poem in two stanzas of four lines each and titled “Der Winter”, was written by Friedrich Hölderlin in his own hand; at the end it is signed “Mit Unterthänigkeit Scardanelli” and dated to April 24, 1849. Hölderlin, who from about 1802 on was mentally ill, often signed his works, sometimes with invented names, among them Scardanelli, and invented dates. Another hand has corrected the given date in pencil to November 7, 1842. (fri)

Online Since: 12/17/2015

Documents: 1885, displayed: 381 - 400