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March 2011 - Binding of a special edition of the Fioretti

The Fioretti is the best known and most popular work about St Francis of Assisi. The binding of the special edition reproduced here is that of a modern edition of the Fioretti, illustrated by Duilio Cambellotti and published in Rome in 1926, as an edition comprising 1 000 numbered copies. The copy in the BNU's collections is part of the Franciscan Collection, and comes from the Franciscan convent in Bonne-Fontaine (departement Mosel).

The design woven into the binding combines in a single image two famous episodes in the Fioretti - the miracle of St Francis taming the ferocious wolf of Gubbio by talking to it (chapter XXI), and St Francis preaching to the birds (chapter XVI). The stylised and somewhat hieratic graphic design of the Art Deco period contrasts with the miraculous stories. Written down in the fourteenth century (a century after the saint's death), the Fioretti have never ceased to inspire artists in every age, from frescoes by Giotto to book bindings, and from strip cartoons to the performing arts.

Première de couverture des FiorettiPremière de couverture des Fioretti

I fioretti di San Francesco. Il cantico del sole. Le considerazioni sulle stimmate
illustrazioni e fregi di Duilio Cambellotti
Edizione di mille esemplari numerati
Roma: Editrice "San Francesco", 1926
190 pages plus 13 plates and numerous illustrations.
This copy is numbered 273.
Pressmark: RF.16
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