How was book illustration used, and how did it circulate in 15th-century printed editions, at a time when the spread of printing facilitated their availability to wider sections of society? What was its iconographic content and its relation to the text? Who were the artists who prepared the designs, and what were their relationships with the printers? What value does the iconographic apparatus have in reconstructing the transmission of a certain text from manuscript to print?
The 15cBOOKTRADE Project, in collaboration with the Visual Geometry Group (Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford) is experimenting the application to 15th-century printed images of a series of digital cataloguing and searching methods based on the integrated application of instance-based (i.e. image) and class-based (i.e. text) retrieval.
This co-operative project aims to provide scholars with new tools to systematically track and explore the production, use, circulation, and copy of the same woodblock, iconographic subject, artistic style, etc. in 15th-century printed editions, enabling people to tackle long-standing historical questions.
Matilde Malaspina is a PhD student at the University of Oxford and a member of the 15cBOOKTRADE Project, led by Dr Cristina Dondi. She got her BA and MA from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan, Italy), where she specialised in Medieval and Humanistic Philology. Her doctoral research concerns 15th-century printed book illustrations, with a focus on Italian, and particularly Venetian, illustrated editions of texts of Aesop, the Classical author of fables extensively used for primary education over the centuries. In November 2015 she was awarded a six-months residential scholarship at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, in Venice, for collecting and analysing material from the Essling collection.
Abhishek Dutta is a Research fellow in the Visual Geometry Group at Department of Engineering Sciences of Oxford University. His research interests span a wide range of avenues in Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Computer Graphics. Abhishek received his doctorate at the University of Twente (Netherlands) in 2015 after which he joined the Product Lab of TomTom International as a Senior Engineer. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the Tribhuvan University (Nepal) in 2009 and MSc in Computer Science (by research) from the University of York (UK) in 2010.