Pontificale secundum ritum sacrosancte Romane ecclesie cum multis additionibus.
Venice: Luca Antonio de Guinta, 1520. (BRB0288)
This richly illustrated Pontificale, a liturgical book that contains services to be conducted by Catholic bishops, was published by Luca Antonio de Giunta (1457–1538), the son of a Florentine printer. He was the founder of a dynasty of printers in Venice and became a leading publisher of Catholic liturgical books. The exhibited opening features prayers, marginal notes, and musical notation printed in black ink, while initials, rubrics, and musical staves are printed in red ink. It also includes a woodcut that illustrates how a sacred ritual of the ceremony for the consecration of a new church should proceed: at the crossing of the sanctuary’s nave and transept, ashes were spread on the floor so that the presiding bishop could write the Greek alphabet (alpha to omega) with his crozier in one direction and the Roman alphabet (A to Z) in a cross-wise direction. Below, the Greek letters are printed in an enlarged typeface so that the bishop may be sure to trace their forms correctly in the ashes.