B.

Enlightenment

Behind the scenes

Recent research has illuminated a fragment of medieval manuscript

In 1978 Bill Sutton gave four pages of a decorated manuscript to the Gallery. Calligraphy and manuscript decoration were one of his passions and although this material is well outside our normal collecting areas, it does help to complete our understanding of him as an artist and collector.

 

For many years the Latin text remained obscure, but I have this week established that it is part of Summa de vitiis, a treatise on vice by William Peraldus, written in about 1250. A team of American scholars is currently working on this very treatise, transcribing the text and working out the links between the various manuscript sources. The textual variations between manuscripts help to track the work's intellectual and physical development.

Our contribution may only be four pages out of many hundreds, but its identification was enthusiastically received by team leader professor Richard Newhauser at Arizona State University who will duly add it to the body of Peraldus scholarship.

Read more about the international Peraldus project

Artist unknown Leaves from Summa de vitiis Ink on vellum. Collection of Christchurhc Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū; gift of William A Sutton, 1978

Artist unknown Leaves from Summa de vitiis Ink on vellum. Collection of Christchurhc Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū; gift of William A Sutton, 1978

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Pressed Letters: Fine Printing in New Zealand Since 1975

Pressed Letters: Fine Printing in New Zealand Since 1975

An exhibition presenting some of the finest examples of letterpress printing produced in New Zealand from 1975 to the present.

Collection
Leaves from Summa de vitiis
Artist Unknown Leaves from Summa de vitiis

Four pages from a manuscript edition of Summa de vitiis by Peraldus.

The Summa de vitiis by the French Dominican William Perault, (c. 1190 – 1271), whose name is conventionally Latinized as Peraldus, is a Latin treatise written before 1250 and very probably intended for use in preaching and pastoral care. It consists of nine tracts that deal successively with: vices in general, gluttony, lechery, avarice, acedia or sloth, pride, envy, wrath, and the sins of the tongue.

These pages are from part ii, chapter 9 of Tract V (De Acedia) which considers the vice of sloth.

The text corresponds to page 201 and following of the edition printed in Lyon in 1668.

We are grateful to Professors Siegfried Wenzel at the University of North Carolina and Richard Newhauser at Arizona State University for their assistance in interpreting this item.