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Maker(s) &

, production, Rome, possibly Rome
, production, Ancona, possibly Ancona


Viscount Fitzwilliam


illuminated manuscript


book of hours; type of text
use of Rome; liturgical use


circa 1450 circa 1475


fifteenth century, third quarter


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii parchment flyleaves (first leaf glued onto paper flyleaf) + 143 fols. + ii parchment flyleaves (last leaf glued onto paper flyleaf), 110 x 73 mm (57 x 40 mm), 18-19 long lines, ruled in brown ink, catchwords

BINDING: Sixteenth-century, brown leather over pasteboards, sewn on three supports, rope-curl and gilt foliate tooling (central panels only), surrounded by gold-tooled red leather, edges gilt and gauffered, spine re-backed in France, c.1800.

fols. 1r–12v Calendar
fols. 14r–47v Hours of the Virgin
fols. 47v–50r Psalms for Tuesday and Thursday
fols. 50v–53r Psalms for Wednesday and Saturday
fols. 53r–57v Psalms for Saturday before the first Sunday in Advent
fols. 58r–59v Hours of the Holy Spirit
fols. 60r–71v Penitential Psalms and Litany
fols. 71v–74v Short Hours of the Cross (begin imperfectly)
fols. 75r–99r Office of the Dead
fols. 100r–116v Psalter of St Jerome
fols. 116v–120r Quicumque vult and Te Deum
fols. 120r–128r Gospel Sequences
fols. 128r–139v The Passion according to St Matthew
fols. 140r–143v Prayer attributed to St Augustine, Dulcissime domine Jhesu

DECORATION: Three full-page miniatures within laurel frames and thirty-one frieze–like miniatures within identical frames in the lower borders, with white vine-scroll borders inhabited by putti and grotesques within gold frames: fol. 13v Hours of the Virgin, Matins, Virgin and Child enthroned, the Child holding a bird and sucking his thumb, two angels holding the cloth of gold, in the borders, the angel appears to Joachim in the field (lower border), and arms of Feretti of Ancona (outer border); fol. 20v Lauds, in border Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple; fol. 28r Prime, in border Marriage of the Virgin and Joseph, suitors breaking their rods; fol. 33v Sext, in border Visitation and angel within roundel; fol. 36r None, in border Adoration of the Child and angel within roundel; fol. 44r Compline, in border Circumcision; fol. 47v Ps. 44, in border Adoration of the Magi and the star within roundel; fol. 50v Ps. 95, in border Flight to Egypt and angel praying within roundel; fol. 53r, in border Massacre of the Innocents and angel within roundel; fol. 59v Penitential Psalms, in border David defeating Goliath; fol. 75r Office of the Dead, Vespers, in border People gathered around tomb; fol. 80v Matins, Funeral in front of domed church, priest sprinkling corpse on bed with holy water, priest singing behind, in border three men digging grave and cherubs; fol. 99v Psalter of St Jerome, Penitent St Jerome in front of Crucifix in desert, accompanied by his lion, cardinal’s hat and books on ground, in border St Jerome doctoring the lion’s paw; fol. 100r Psalter of St Jerome, in border St Jerome in study teaching three monks; fol. 102r Prayer before reciting the Psalms, Deus altissimus, in border God in glory borne by angels and adored by six people in landscape; fol. 102v Prayer, Creator celi, in border Creation of Eve, two angels and sun within roundel; fol. 106r Ps. 1, in border God in glory borne by angels and four people kneeling with open books; fol. 109v Ps. 50, in border Resurrection and angel praying within roundel; fol. 113v Ps. 101, in border Man scourging himself before Christ on the Cross, two angels observing.

Seven historiated initials in graded pink or blue, with acanthus on gold ground, accompanied by foliate borders including putti, vases, hybrids and small frieze-like miniatures in lower border: fol. 14r Hours of the Virgin, Matins, [O, 10 ll.] Kiss of Joachim and Anna, in border Birth of the Virgin; fol. 31r Terce, [D, 6 ll.] God blessing and holding open book, in border Annunciation in a garden; fol. 39r Vespers, [D, 9 ll.] Altar with chalice, [D, 5 ll.] Angel, in border Presentation in the Temple; fol. 58r Hours of the Holy Spirit, [D, 7 ll.] Dove of the Holy Ghost, in border Pentecost; fol. 60r Penitential Psalms, [D, 7 ll.] David playing psaltery, in border David praying in pit and two angels; fol. 81r Office of the Dead, Matins, [V, 8 ll.] Death holding scythe, in border Death on horseback holding scythe and approaching two men hawking, two dead men beside.

ORNAMENTATION: Graded pink or blue initials [3-8 ll.] with acanthus motifs, blue, green, red or white vine-scroll infill on gold grounds, and white full or partial vine-scroll or floral borders; alternate red and blue one-line penwork initials; alternate blue and red paragraph marks; capitals highlighted in yellow; catchwords decorated with simple pen-flourishing in red and blue, or housed within concentric gold and laurel roundels where they coincide with a page that has border decoration.


illumination; whole


parchment; support
ink; medium
pigment; medium
gold; medium




bequeathed; 1816; Fitzwilliam, Richard, 7th Viscount


Made for Leonardo Ferretti of Ancona (arms of Feretti of Ancona on fol. 13v and patron’s name in prayer on fol. 140v, dignare domine me famulum tuum Leonardum); Richard, seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745–1816), acquired in 1812; his bequest, 1816.


Fitzwilliam, Richard, 7th Viscount; previous owner
Ferretti of Ancona, Leonardo; original owner


The Calendar contains the saints local to Ancona (Marcellinus of Ancona, 9 Jan.; Cyriacus of Ancona, 4 May; Palatias of Ancona, 7 Oct.), the Marche region (Venantius of Camerino, 18 May; Leopardus of Osimo, 7 Nov.), neighbouring Umbria to the west (Felicianus of Foligno, 24 Jan.), and the other side of the Adriatic to the east (Donatus of Zadar, 25 Feb.). The Litany has Saints Cyriacus and Felicianus among the martyrs, Liberius among the doctors, Palatias and her mentor, and the very rare Laurentia among the Virgins. The liturgical apparatus clearly points to a patron from Ancona. The combination of the Ferretti arms on fol. 13v and the name Leonardo in the prayer on fol. 140v suggest that the manuscript was made for Leonardo di Antonio Ferretti, mentioned in a notarial document from Ancona in 1473 (Ancona, Archivio di Stato, Archivio Privato Ferretti, pergamene, 8 November 1473). The illumination is of the highest quality, and its eclecticism, particular in its combination of border-types, points to Rome as the most likely place of execution. A copy of Livy with very similar borders was made in Rome for Ludovico Agnelli of Mantua, Bishop of Cosenza (d.1499) around 1460 (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Borghese 368; Pellegrin 1975-1991, I, 237), and is considered to be the work of several artists (Ruysschaert 1968, 279, n. 219). The borders in the Fitzwilliam MS show strong affinities with those in manuscripts illuminated by Giuliano Amadei (de Marchi 1995, figs. 53 and 59), but the facial types – here wide and flat with very high cheek bones and heavy lidded eyes – are completely different. Instructions to the miniaturist survive on fol. 75r (sepultura), fol. 80v (pr[et]i che ca[n]tano loffic[io] de[i] morti), and fol. 90v (S(anc)to Gerolimo).


secundo folio; fol. 15r; [ve]nite adoremus


Splendours of Italian Illumination: Romanesque - Gothic - Renaissance. 1989 - 1990
Organiser: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Cambs.), UK
Venue: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Notes: unpublished handlist of an exhibition held in the Adeane gallery, October 1989 - February 1990
Catalogue number: 109


James, Montague Rhodes, Dr. 1895. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum.Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Press
pp. 344-46, pl. XVIIa (fol. 50v)

Lafontaine-Dosogne, J.. 1964-1965. Iconographie de l'enfance de la Vierge dans l'Empire byzantin et en Occident.Brussels:
II, p. 35


MS 152.f.13v
MS 152.f.20v
MS 152.f.59v
MS 152.f.99v


Object Number: MS 152
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 118738; input: 2005-05-31; modified: 2015-07-24)


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