Ambrosian Library

Ambrosian Library, Milan, Italy founded c.1605 by Cardinal Federigo Borromeo. Named for Milan's patron saint, it was one of the first libraries to be open to the public. Its earliest collection was a group of codices in Greek, Latin, Latin Vulgate, and various Asian languages that originated in a number of religious institutions. Other holdings came from prominent 16th–19th-century scholars and bibliophiles. Among its noted possessions are numerous classical manuscripts, e.g., Homer and Vergil Asian texts incunabula palimpsests the 5th-century Ilias picta manuscript the Virgilio illustrated by Simone Martini the Irish and the Provençal codices the De prospectiva pingendi by Piero della Francesca and da Vinci's Codex atlanticus. The Ambrosian Library also has a notable art gallery, est. 1618, housing more than 1,500 works of art.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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