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Book/Printed Material The Defeat of Montaperti. La sconfitta di Monte Aperto

About this Item


  • The Defeat of Montaperti.

Other Title

  • La sconfitta di Monte Aperto


  • This manuscript is an illustrated account of the events relating to the famous Battle of Montaperti of September 4, 1260, which is mentioned by Dante in The Divine Comedy. The battle resulted in the victory of the armed faction of the Ghibellines, supporting the Holy Roman Emperor and led by Siena, over the Guelphs, supporting the pope and led by Florence. The manuscript was written and illustrated throughout by Niccolò di Giovanni di Francesco di Ventura da Siena, who signed it and stated that he completed the text on December 1, 1442, and the illustrations the following year. Little is known about Niccolò other than his name, which is first recorded in September 1402. He appeared on the list of the members of the painters' guild in 1428 and died on April 1, 1464. It is generally agreed that the text is the result of an elaboration of the myth of Montaperti, dating from at least a century earlier, and that it was copied from one or more previous accounts, perhaps with insertions of further facts and information gathered from secondary sources. The illustrations, still bearing 14th-century stylistic traits, also were in all likelihood reproduced from older models. In the absence of contemporary records of the battle, this very popular account represents a precious historical source, thanks to its apparent accuracy and to the richness of its illustrations. The manuscript belonged to the Carmelite prior general, Giovanni Battista Caffardi. It was transferred from its original location in the convent of San Niccolò in Siena to the Biblioteca comunale degli Intronati di Siena in the 18th century by command of Grand Duke of Tuscany Pietro Leopoldo.


  • Ventura, Niccolò di Giovanni di Francesco, died 1464 Creator.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [1442 to 1443]


  • -  Italy
  • -  1260-09-04
  • -  Battles
  • -  Codex
  • -  Guelfs and Ghibellines
  • -  Illuminations
  • -  Montaperti, Battle of, Italy, 1260


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  "Shelfmark: ms. A.IV.5"--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
  • -  Original resource extent: Paper with gouache miniatures ; 360 x 245 millimeters. Restoration leather binding.
  • -  Reference extracted from World Digital Library: Biblioteca comunale degli Intronati, The Biblioteca comunale degli Intronati for The James Madison Council: manuscripts, incunables, drawings and prints (Siena: 2011).
  • -  Original resource at: Municipal Library Intronati.
  • -  Content in Italian.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Illuminated Manuscripts from Europe

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667839

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Ventura, Niccolò Di Giovanni Di Francesco, Died 1464 Creator. The Defeat of Montaperti. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1443, 1442] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Ventura, N. D. G. D. F. (1442) The Defeat of Montaperti. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1443] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Ventura, Niccolò Di Giovanni Di Francesco, Died 1464 Creator. The Defeat of Montaperti. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1443, 1442] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.