The oldest printed book in the Fagel Library

The oldest printed book in the Fagel Library is Plutarch’s Vitae illustrium virorum sive parallelae, printed in 1478 in Venice by Nicolaus Jenson. This two-volume Latin translation of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives (or Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans) is illuminated by the miniaturist known as the Master of the London Pliny. It was decorated for a Venetian merchant family, the Agostini. A selection of pages from the first volume, Fag.GG.2.1, is shown below.


The Library’s online exhibition showcasing material from the Fagel Collection – Orchids & orangeries: Aspects of private gardens in the late 17th-century Dutch Republic – is available on Google Arts & Culture.