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In your search: Category:illuminated*


Homeliae super Vetus Testamentum


Origen; author
Aquileia, Rufinus of; translator
; production


Frank McClean


illuminated manuscript




circa 1170 circa 1190


twelfth century, second half


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i paper flyleaf + ii fourteenth-century parchment flyleaves (foliated i-ii, from a large Italian Homilary) + 185 fols. + i paper flyleaf, 390 x 248 mm (269-277 x 162 mm), two columns, 36 lines, ruled in plummet, written above top line, quire marks, running header (fols. 1v–2r only), catchwords

BINDING: fifteenth century, nineteenth-century painted brown paper and brown leather over fifteenth-century thick wooden boards with bevelled fore-edges, yellow and blue endbands, red edges.

fols. 1r – 53v Origen, Homeliae on Genesis (translated by Rufinus, here ascribed to Jerome)
fols. 53v – 58v Rufinus, De benedictionibus patriarcharum, excerpts (here presented as Origen, Omelia septimadecima on Genesis)
fols. 60r – 107r Origen, Homiliae on Exodus (translated by Rufinus), with Capitula (fol. 60r)
fols. 107r – 185r Origen, Homiliae on Leviticus (translated by Rufinus)

DECORATION: Ornamental initials [6-20 ll.] outlined in brown ink, with red, green and occasionally yellow or blue foliate and ornamental motifs, on grounds of segmented colour (red, violet-blue, green, light brown), for Homilies 1-9 on Genesis and 2-3 on Exodus (fols. 1r, 8v, 13v, 18r, 20v, 23v, 25r, 28r, 31v, 63r, 65v); ornamental initials [6-20 ll.] in red, green, violet or blue, frequently with minor decoration, occasionally with more elaborate designs including geometric and foliate motifs in the same or contrasting colours and black, for all other Homilies and the incipit (fol. 1r); alternate red and blue display capitals with minor decoration, for ex libris (fol. 185r); display capitals in red with some green for quotation from Genesis following initial to Homily 1 (fol. 1r); display script in dark brown ink occasionally with reserved lines or highlighting in green, yellow and red for text immediately following initials, to most other Homilies.

fols. i-ii (front parchment flyleaves), red and blue initials [2-3 ll.] with pen flourishing in contrasting colour, including an image of a nimbed figure (Christ?) with a book, drawn in red on fol. ii verso; running headers in red and blue.

Place (legacy):

Italy, production, region
Lombardy, region


illumination; whole


parchment; support
ink; medium
pigment; medium




bequeathed; 1904; McClean, Frank


Written and illuminated in the Cistercian Abbey of Morimondo, diocese of Milan (recorded along with Fitzwilliam Museum, MS McClean 117 in the twelfth-century library catalogue; Leclercq 1961, 178: Tractatus origenis super genesim. Et de ueteri testamento duo volumina; ex libris on fol. 185r in same colours as those used for ornamental initials: Liber sancta marie de morimundo, with addition in a later hand: mediolanensis dyocesis ordinis cisterciensis No VI, the number VI written over an erasure; further ex-libris on fol. 185v in a thirteenth-century hand: Iste liber est monasterii de morimondo; notes on fol. 58v: Lectae fuerunt hec Homiliae a me D. Cirillo Saluagiani Fauentino in monasterio Morimundi anno 1665 die 6a mensis maij and on fol. 185r after explicit to Homilies on Leviticus: quas ego D. Cirillus Saluagiani Fauentinus trium dierum circulo legi ad emendos concionabiles conceptus. Anno 1665 die 8a maij [22?]; recorded in the seventeenth-century library catalogue (Vatican City, BAV, MS Barb. lat. 3229, fol. 463, reprinted in Leclercq 1961, 182: Homelie Origenis in Pentateucom); number 60 penciled inside upper cover, another number or date on pastedown of lower cover; U. Hoepli, Milan, catalogue no. 83 (1883), no. 101 (cutting from catalogue pasted inside upper cover; Ferrari 1980, 258; Ferrari 1993, 299); bought from him in Milan by Frank McClean (1837-1904) in 1892; his bequest, 1904.


McClean, Frank; previous owner
Hoepli, U.; previous owner
Cistercian Abbey of Morimondo; original owner


secundo folio; dies secunda. Studeat ergo


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: 3


James, Montague Rhodes, Dr. 1912. A descriptive catalogue of the McClean Collection of Manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum.Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Press
p. 253-254, pl. 75

Fingernagel, A.. 1999. Die illuminierten lateinischen Handschriften sued-, west, und nordeuropaeischer Provenienz in der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin PK: 4. - 12. Jahrhundert..Wiesbaden:
pp. 40-41

Glorieux-De Gand, T.. 1990. Manuscrits Cisterciens de la Bibliothèque royale de Belgique..Brussels: p. 131

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. 13

Ferrari, M.. 1980. Biblioteche e Scrittoi Benedettini nella storia culturale della diocesi Ambrosiana: Appunti ed Episodi.
Source Title: Ricerche storiche sulla chiesa Ambrosiana nel XV centenario della nascita di San Benedetto (480-1980) 9 (1980) : 230-290

p. 265, no. 19

Ferrari, M.. Zerbi, P.. 1993. Dopo Bernardo: biblioteche e "scriptoria" cistercensi dell'Italia settentrionale nel XII secolo.Milan:
Source Title: San Bernado e l'Italia, Atti del Convegno di Studi(1990) : 253-306

pp. 257-258, 299

Leclerq, J.. 1961. Textes et manuscrits cisterciens dans des bibliothèques des Etats-Unis.
Source Title: Traditio 17 (1961) : 163-182
p. 178

Talbot, C. H.. 1952. Cistertian Manuscripts in England.
Source Title: Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensis Reformatorum 14 208-212 (1952) : 264-277
p. 271


Object Number: MS McClean 116
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 118817; input: 2005-05-31; modified: 2017-04-25)


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