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In your search: Category:illuminated*

Maker(s) &

, production, France, Northern France, possibly
, production, Flanders, possibly
, production, monastery of St Andre du Cateau-Bresis, possibly


illuminated manuscript


gospel book


circa 1000 circa 1050
first half of the eleventh century


11th Century


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii paper flyleaves + 121 fols. + ii paper flyleaves, 250 x 183 mm (220 x 135 mm), 31 long lines, ruled in hard point

BINDING: nineteenth century, gold-tooled green morocco over wooden boards, upper cover inlaid with medallions of evangelists’ symbols in corners of frame which contains gold-tooled inscription INITIVM SANCTI EVANGELII LIBER QVATUOR EVANGELIST. GENERAT. ISV. XTI. FIL. DAV. FIL. ABRA. MS SECVLVM IX which previously surrounded a ninth-century Carolingian ivory plaque showing Christ enthroned, blessing and holding book within wreath, with St Matthew writing on lectern and other three evangelist symbols in corners, removed to the Museum’s Department of Applied Arts (M.14-1904), now replaced with a black-and-white photograph; lower cover inlaid with central medallion of the Lamb surrounded by evangelists’ symbols in medallions and two gold-tooled angels with the inscription INITIVM SCI. EVANGELI / IN PRINCIPIO ERAT VERBVM, the entire composition based on the miniature on fol. 90v

SECUNDO FOLIO: instrumento post septuaginta

SCRIPT: Caroline minuscule

fols. 1v-2v St Jerome, Letter to Pope Damasus, Beato papae Damaso Ieronimus novum opus
fols. 2v-4r St Jerome, Prologue to the four Gospels, Plures fuisse qui euangelia scripserunt
fols. 4r-4v St Jerome, Letter to Pope Damasus, Sciendum etiam neque ignarum
fols. 5r-10v Canon Tables
fol. 10v Ailerán, Verses on the Canons, beginning In primo certe canone quatuor (Howlett 1996, 11-20; Howlett 2001)
fols. 11r-40v Gospel of St Matthew, with Argumentum and capitula
fols. 41v-59v Gospel of St Mark, with Argumentum and capitula
fols. 60v-90r Gospel of St Luke, with Argumentum and capitula
fols. 91v-112r Gospel of St John
fols. 112v-120v List of Gospel readings for Masses during the Church year

Six full-page framed miniatures, coloured in dull orange, brown, blue and pink, set at the beginning of Gospels: fol. 10v Christ enthroned, flanked by a male and a female saint, with the latter holding a scroll out to Christ and pointing to a monk (the donor) prostrate at her feet and looking up at her, set in a frame with geometric interlace panels with corner medallions containing entwined acanthus ornament; fol. 12v St Matthew enthroned beneath curtains, and writing on a scroll LIBER GENERATIONIS IHV XRI FILII DAVID, with his symbol the angel seated beside him and blessing, set in a frame with interlace panels with squares or round medallions containing interlace or foliage set at the corners or the middle of the sides - the steps of the throne are inscribed HOC MATHEUS AGENS HOMINEM GENERALITUR IMPLET; fol. 41r St Mark enthroned beneath curtains holding pen and scroll inscribed MARCUS VT ALTA FREMIT VOX PER DESERTA LEONIS, partly held by his symbol, the lion beside his feet, set in frame with interlace panels and corner roundels containing large acanthus leaves coming out of beast head mouths; fol. 60r St Luke enthroned, with his symbol the ox beside his feet, holding a scroll inscribed IVRA SACERDOTII LVCAS TENET ORE IUVENCI, set in an interlace-panelled frame with corner medallions containing half-length angels; fol. 90v Central interlace-framed medallion containing the Lamb of God surrounded by four entwined interlace medallions containing evangelist symbols holding the ends of scrolls held by two angels centrally placed at the top and bottom inscribed QVATVOR HI PROCERES SVNT MVNDI SCEPTRA TENENTES (top) and MATHEUS MARCUS LVCAS SANCTUSQVE [IOHANNES] (bottom); fol. 91r St John, with his symbol the eagle flying down above, holding a scroll inscribed MORE VOLANS AQVILAE VERBO PETIT ASTRA JOHANNES, with a stand for two inkhorns supported by lion on left, set within frame containing interlace panels with corner squares and side medallions containing interlace.

Historiated initial: fol. 42v Gospel of St Mark, [I, 31 ll.] Bust of Christ blessing, holding a book, set in a medallion at centre of interlace panel initial, flanked by foliage scrolls with interlace and beast head terminals at top and bottom.

Two full-page drawings added in the twelfth century with listing of relics: fol. 121r Octofoil with niches, perhaps representing a phylactery reliquary, or alternatively intended as an inventory of relics possessed by the place, containing the names of Sts Nicholas, Laurence, Reliquie Regum, Peter, Stephen and Paul, Barnabas, Andrew, Virgin (her shoes), Mary of Egypt, Agatha, Holy Innocents, Benedict, Leodegarius, Bridget, Samson, Virgin (her garment), Laurence, Margaret and Maurontus; fol. 121v Relics from an image of the Virgin, surmounted by niches with relics from the Holy Sepulchre, the Virgin’s tomb, the candle held by the Angel at Christ’s tomb, and at the bottom, from Calvary, St Martin, and other saints not known by name.

Eleven full-page Canon Tables beneath rounded and gabled arches containing foliage or interlace, the arches in some cases overlapping or interlacing at their bases, supported by columns with capitals and bases, all containing foliate motifs and interlace (fols. 5r-10r).

Two full-page framed ornamental initials: fol. 13r Gospel of St Matthew, L[iber] with interlace-filled stems, coiled foliage infill and interlace terminals with beast heads, and with opening words in coloured capitals, all set in an interlace-panelled frame with corner medallions containing interlace; fol. 91v Gospel of St John, I[nitium] with interlace panels and terminals with bird and animal heads, surrounded with the opening words in large coloured initials intertwined with foliage, all set in interlace-panelled frame with four standing angels (or perhaps virtues) in corner medallions

Initials [8-30 ll.] with foliage, interlace and human or animal figures for some argumenta and the opening words of the Gospel of Luke (fols. 41v, 42v, 60v, 62r); red penwork initials [3-8 ll.] with occasional reserved or foliate ornament; red penwork initials [1-2 ll.]; display script in red or alternate red and black lines of capitals.




parchment; support
ink; medium
pigment; medium


height, page, 250, mm
width, page, 183, mm
height, text, 220, mm
width, text, 135, mm


bequeathed; 1904; McClean, Frank


Possibly at Douai in the late twelfth century when a list of relics was added (fol. 121r-v) containing St Maurontus whose relics were at the College of St Amé in Douai, founded before 1024 (Ugé 2005, 145-49); at the Abbey of St André at Le Cateau in the diocese of Cambrai by the fifteenth century when a marginal note refers to St Maxellendis whose relics were there (fol. 25r); in the seventeenth century the ownership inscription of the Abbey Liber monasterii Sancti Andreae de castro cameracesio (fol. 1r); Joseph-Baptiste Barrois (1784-1855); Bertram, fourth earl of Ashburnham (1797-1878); Bertram, fifth earl of Ashburnham (1840-1913); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 10-14 June 1901, lot 191, and purchased by Frank McClean (1837-1904); his bequest, 1904.

Acquisition Credit:

Bequeathed by Frank McClean


secundo folio; instrumento post


Illuminated Manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum. 1966 - 1966
Organiser: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Cambs.), UK
Venue: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Cambs.)
Catalogue number: 11


Dalton, Ormonde Maddock. 1912. Fitzwilliam Museum, McClean Bequest, Catalogue of the Medieval Ivories, Enamels, Jewellery, Gems, and Miscellaneous Objects bequeathed to the Museum by Frank McClean, M.A., F.R.S..Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Pressp. 22-25, 87-91, #no. 34, pl. V

James, Montague Rhodes, Dr. 1912. A descriptive catalogue of the McClean Collection of Manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum.Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Pressp. 33-36, #pl. IX

Wormald, Francis. Giles, Phyllis M.. 1966. Illuminated Manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum: An Exhibition to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Death of the Founder, Richard, 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion.Cambridge (Cambs.): , #cat. no. 11

Ashburnham, B.. 1864. Catalogue of the Manuscripts at Ashburnham Place. Part the Second comprising a collection formed by Mons. J. Barrois.London:
1864a, #VII

Jackson, D. Morgan, Nigel. Panayotova, Stella. 2015. Catalogue of Western Book Illumination in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Cambridge Colleges - Part Three. France. Vol. 1: France, c.1000-c.1250.London: Harvey Miller/Brepols, #cat. no. 1

Ashburnham, B.. 1901. The Ashburnham Library. Catalogue of the Portion of the Famous Collection of Manuscripts the Property of the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Ashburnham known as the Barrois Collection.London: Dryden Press
lot. 191

Goldschmidt, A.. 1905. Elfenbeinreliefs aus der Zeit Karls des Grossen.p. 55, 63, #no. 16 fig. 4

Goldschmidt, A.. 1914. Die Elfenbeinskulpturen aus der Zeit der karolingischen und sächsischen Kaiser VIII-XI Jahrhundert.Berlin: p. 11, #no. 7 pl. IV

Dodwell, C.R.. 1954. The Canterbury School of Illumination 1066-1200.Cambridge: Cambridge University Pressp. 11

Alexander, J. J. G.. Cahn, Walter. 1966. An Eleventh Century Gospel Book from Le Cateau.

Gaborit-Chopin, Danielle. 1967. Les dessins d'Adémar de Chabannes.p. 210, #fig. 34

Nees, L.. Panayotova, Stella. 2007. Between Carolingian and Romanesque in France: Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, MS McClean 19 and its Relatives.London:

Koehler, W.. Mutherich, F.. 2009. Die karolingischen Miniaturen, 7, Die frankosächsische Schule.Germany: Reichertp. 99, #no. 23

Nees, L.. Caillet, J. P.. Laffitte, M. P.. 2009. Early Carolingian Manuscripts and Ivories.Turnhout: p. 162-163

Morgan, Nigel. Charron, P.. Gil, M.. Vilain, A.. 2015. A North French Gospel Book of the Early Eleventh Century: Further Thoughts on Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum MS McClean 19 in Mélanges pour Christian Heck.


Object Number: MS McClean 19
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 118792; input: 2005-05-31; modified: 2016-12-01)


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