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Miniature from the Missal of Cardinal Antoniotto Pallavicini

Maker(s) &

, production, Italy, Rome


Charles Brinsley Marlay


illuminated manuscript


cutting (manuscript); sub-category
missal; type of text


circa 1492


late 15th century


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, pasted on cardboard, 245 x 155 mm.

DECORATION: Framed miniature of the Crucifixion including the Virgin accompanied by three women, St Mary Magdalene at the foot of the Cross, which carries label Y.N.R.I., St John with two companions, angels collecting Christ’s blood in golden chalices, and the patron, Cardinal Antoniotto Pallavicini, kneeling in prayer.


illumination; whole


parchment; support
gold; medium




bequeathed; 1912; Marlay, Charles Brinsley


Abate Luigi Celotti (c.1768-c.1846); his sale, Christie’s, London, 26 May 1825, part of lots 41-50 (Marlay cutting Z 1 was part of lot 50); William Young Ottley (1771-1836); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 11 May 1838, part of lots 204-206; purchased by Samuel Rogers (1763-1855); his sale, Christie’s, London, 28 April 1856, lot 1006


Marlay, Charles Brinsley; previous owner
Rogers, Samuel; previous owner
Ottley, William Young; previous owner
Celotti, Abate Luigi; previous owner


Marlay cuttings Z. 1 and It. 36, 37, 38: Border fragments from the Missal of Cardinal Antoniotto Pallavicini. The style of the Crucifixion miniature is peculiar. Erik Millar thought it Spanish, while Sydney Cockerell suspected a modern fake (correspondence, 28 April 1930, kept on file). Jonathan Alexander attributed the Crucifixion and the related border fragments to an artist who worked in Rome c.1492-1507 for members of the Roman Curia, and named him the Master of Cardinal Antoniotto Pallavicini after the patron of the manuscript to which the Fitzwilliam fragments belonged (Alexander 1998; Bollati 2004, 492-93). Antoniotto Pallavicini (1442-1507) was made Cardinal of Sant’ Anastasia in 1489 by Pope Innocent VIII (1484-1492) and became Cardinal of Santa Prassede late in 1491. The Fitzwilliam borders with Pallavicini’s arms and initials on the tablets referring to Santa Prassede reveal that the original manuscript was made for him shortly after 1491. Other fragments from the same volume survive in public and private collections; the majority are in the British Library (Add. MS 21412, fols. 3, 5-12, and Add. MS 60631, nos. 19-32; see Alexander 1998 for a lost of all known fragments). They belonged to the second of Pallavicini’s two Missals recorded as A.III.6 in the inventory of the Sistine Chapel drawn in 1714 (Rome, Archivio di Stato, Camerale I, Inventari, Vol. 1560, Reg. 24; Talamo 1997; Alexander 1998, 239-240). The first Missal, A.II.13 in the inventory, survives in Madrid (Biblioteca Nacional, MS Vit. 22.7; Domínguez Bordona 1933-1934, I, no. 949, ills. 337-38; Janini and Serrano 1969, no. 204.) Bothwo Missals were looted from the Sistine Chapel during Napoleon’s occupation of Rome in 1798. The Fitzwilliam cuttings represent the salient features of the Master of Cardinal Antoniotto Pallavicini. The Cardinal’s image in the Crucifixion miniature demonstrates the artist’s strong interest in accurate portraiture, also attested by the depiction of Julius II in a presentation miniature from an unidentified manuscript (Philadelphia, Rosenbach Museum and Library, 54.569; Philadelphia 2001, no. 67). The cameo of Diomedes and the Palladium (Marlay cutting It. 36b), which was based on a famous example in the Medici collection (Alexander 1998, 237 n. 6, with earlier bibliography), represents another hallmark of the artist, the inclusion in border roundels of classicizing motifs, often replicating ancient statues, gems or coins known from famous collections at the time or recently discovered.


Catalogue of a Series of Illuminations from Manuscripts principally of the Italian and French Schools. 1886 - 1886
Organiser: Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, Britain
Venue: London, London
Catalogue number: 11

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: 97


Wormald, F. and Giles, P. M.. 1982. A descriptive catalogue of the additional illuminated manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum.Cambridge (Cambs.):
pp. 121-22; 147

Tanis, J. R.. 2001. Leaves of Gold : Manuscript Illumination from Philadelphia Collections.Philadelphia (Lydia): p. 194


Object Number: Marlay cutting Z. 1
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 176694; input: 2010-06-03; modified: 2016-08-18)


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