Conferencistas · Ponentes confirmados
Xavier van Binnebeke
Desiderata Librorum Variorum: Mediaeval Manuscripts and Early Printed Books in the Library of the Convento das Necessidades in Lisbon.
In the present conference the early modern provenance history of the book collections of the Convento das Necessidades in Lisbon, nowadays primarily kept in the Biblioteca da Ajuda, will be discussed. Particular attention will be given to the mediaeval manuscripts and incunabula that were incorporated in the convent’s library. As will become evident, the majority of these volumes had been purchased from collectors from all over Europe.
As case study several volumes will be examined that had earlier belonged to Nicolas Joseph Foucault (1643-1721). The main portion of the library of Foucault, intendant of Montauban and close collaborator of Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683), has been preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. It is noteworthy, therefore, to find various Foucault manuscripts in Lisbon, a fact hitherto not acknowledged by researchers of his collection of books and antiquities. Their early mediaeval provenance is quite remarkable as well. At least one volume, for instance, belonged to the monastery of Saint-Pierre de Moissac in the late twelfth century; an impressive Romanesque Bible set, to date probably one of the earliest illuminated Bibles in Portugal, had served the collegiate church of Vernon-sur-Seine for about half a millennium.
But how did these manuscripts come into the possession of Foucault, and how did they ultimately end up in Portugal? Discussing these manuscripts will serve to illustrate some of the research strategies and instruments that enable researchers to reconstruct the bibliophile market in early modern Portugal. The talk will, effectively, give a remarkable insight into the varied European-wide contacts upheld by the intellectual elite of Lisbon in the eighteenth century, before and after the earthquake of 1755.