Fifteenth-Century Italian Life of St. Clare
Ugolino Verino (1438–1516).
Vita di Santa Chiara vergine.
[Florence, dated January 1496].
Illuminated manuscript on vellum. (BRMS 4)
The Florentine humanist and poet Ugolino Verino was commissioned in the late fifteenth century by the sisters of the Convento di Santa Chiara Novella in Florence to write this “Life of St. Clare” in Italian. Although a biography of St. Clare of Assisi (1194–1253) had been available in Latin since the thirteenth century, this Italian version allowed members of the Order to read in the vernacular about their founder’s saintly poverty. The manuscript, one of only two known contemporary copies of the text, was created especially for presentation to the convent and may be in the author’s own handwriting.