Format: 32 x 42 centimeters Pages: 208 with 120 illustrations most of them in color Paper: 220 grams , specifically created at the Cartiere Miliani Fabriano Binding: entirely sewn by hand and bound in leather with embossments and gold leaf insignias. Case: wooden sleeve with walnut finishings, leather trimmings, and embossments.
The notary has always been a fundamental point of reference in political, social and cultural life, in that he is a depositary of a public acknowledgement: the notary indeed warrants and gives validity to the acts of individuals and communities. From the Middle Ages onward, this professional figure has accompanied the evolution of civil existence, making contributions that are at times decisive on the institutional level and, in certain cases, also in other sectors. This is demonstrated, for example, in his constant intervention in more purely and typically cultural areas, where the notary’s importance has proven fundamental. As the often only heirs and depositories of particular forms of expression, notaries have engaged in the Italian intellectual debate in ways that have left profound traces in every disciplinary sector: from poetry to short stories, from antiques to theatre, from the sciences to history, from non-fiction to collecting, to cite only a few of the most recurrent fields of action. After an initial introductory picture that retraces several of the most indicative stages in the history and affairs of the notarial profession, the book paints a precise portrait of the notary and of the diverse manners in which he is considered. Anthological texts offer the possibility to grow acquainted with the variety and activity of a profession which, like few others, comes forward in symbiosis with the life of cities and States. The texts have been selected among lesser-known exemplars of easy readability. The choice of iconography – for the more remote centuries – privileges the rich production of miniatures in which the image of the notary is presented engaged in drafting acts or in the practise of his activity. Figurative evidence also includes announcements, decorated with meticulous engravings concerning the profession, and “genre” paintings that show the execution of the various practises. Reproductions of elaborately drafted writings accompany the images of important buildings in the principal cities where the notaries would meet. The images include engravings, watercolours, drawings and miniatures, but also frescoes, paintings on wood and on canvas, conserved in both private collections and libraries. The iconographic sources are mostly inedited, and were found at the State National Archives, the Biblioteca dell’Archiginnasio di Bologna, the Archive of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and taken from rare books conserved in libraries and private collections.
Ludovica Sebregondi is an art historian, and teaches at the School of Architecture of the University of Florence. Paolo Viti is tenured professor of medieval and humanistic Latin literature at the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lecce. Raffaella Maria Zaccaria is State Archivist and historical-scientific researcher at the State Archive of Florence.
The work avails of authoritative presentations by the President of the National Council of Notaries, Antonio Mascheroni, as further demonstration of the historical and scientific rigour underlying the work’s conception.