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Maker(s) &

, production, Italy, Venice, possibly Venice
, production, Italy, Padua, possibly Padua


Viscount Fitzwilliam


illuminated manuscript


psalter; type of text


circa 1470 circa 1480


fifteenth century, second half


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii paper flyleaves + 148 fols. + i paper flyleaf, 190 x 133 mm (120 x 76 mm), 22 long lines, ruled in brown ink, quire and leaf signatures, vertical catchwords, leaves lost before fols. 1, 20, 47, 105

BINDING: Late eighteenth century, gold-stamped brown leather over pasteboards, edges gilt and gauffered

CONTENTS: fols. 1r-136v Psalter (Gallican, incomplete, lacking Ps 23:8 – 26:1, Ps 51:7 – 53:3, Ps 108:18 – 109:2); fols. 137r-148v Canticles and Quicumque vult

DECORATION: Half-page framed miniature: fol. 1r Psalm 1, David playing psaltery in a landscape, with full foliate border on blue ground containing classicizing architectural motifs, two monochrome and gold ink vignettes showing a standing figure and King David writing, an antique style medallion with monochrome and gold ink female profile, and lower bar showing putti in a landscape playing music and supporting a blank shield surrounded by cornucopiae with garlands and furit

Four historiated initials (out of original seven) in blue and buff with acanthus extensions on gold ground, and full floral and acanthus borders on plain parchment grounds (except fol. 34r, gold ground), containing classicising motifs (gems, pearls, vases, cornucopiae), some of them painted in gold ink on coloured grounds in the corner compartments, for the psalms of the eight-fold division: fol. 34r Psalm 38, [D, 7 ll.] Turbaned man walking in a landscape; fol. 59r Psalm 68, [S, 7 ll.] Penitent David standing in water; fol. 75r Psalm 80, [E, 7 ll.] David playing psaltery, antique coin with a male profile wearing a laurel wreath in outer border ; fol. 90r Psalm 90, [C, 7 ll. Three youths singing out of a book.

ORNAMENTATION: Gold initials [2 ll.] on blue, mauve and green grounds with white and yellow abstract patterns; alternate gold and blue one-line initials with violet or red pen flourishing.


illumination; whole


parchment; support
gold; medium




bequeathed; 1816; Fitzwilliam, Richard, 7th Viscount


Fitzwilliam, Richard, 7th Viscount; previous owner


secundo folio; [subsana]bit eos



Wormald, Francis. Giles, Phyllis M.. 1966. Illuminated Manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum.Cambridge (Cambs.):
cat. no. 100

James, Montague Rhodes, Dr. 1895. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum.Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Pressp. 26-27

Mariani Canova, G.. 1969. La Miniatura Veneta del Rinascimento 1450-1500.Venice:
pp. 78, 158, no. 92 (conflating Fitzwilliam MS 338, Hours, with Fitzwilliam MS 15, Psalter)

Morgan, Nigel. Panayotova, Stella. Reynolds, Suzanne. 2011. A Catalogue of Western Book Illumination in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Cambridge Colleges. Part Two. Vols. 1-2: Italy and the Iberian Peninsula.London: Harvey Miller Publishers
cat. no. 76


Object Number: MS 15
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 178789; input: 2010-11-26; modified: 2017-04-03)


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