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Historiated initial from a Gradual


Gherarducci, Don Silvestro dei; artist
Canzoni, Maestro delle; artist
Rosselli, Niccolo; artist
Francesco di Ser Cenni, Cenni di; artist
; production


Charles Brinsley Marlay


illuminated manuscript


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


circa 1370 circa 1375
MS 5-1979 after 1370-1375 Marlay cutting It. 13.i 1390s Marlay cutting It. 13.ii c.1409 with additions of c.1450


fourteenth century, second half


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, initial aprox. 300 x 270 mm, mounted on cardboard.

CONTENTS: The initial S, pasted on cardboard, would have opened the Introit to the Mass for the Purification of the Virgin (2 February), Suscepimus, Deus, misericordiam in medio templi tui.

DECORATION: Historiated initial in graded blue, orange, pale yellow and liquid gold with acanthus extensions on a ground of gold leaf: [S] Presentation in the Temple with Simeon and Anna holding the infant Christ on the right, Mary and Joseph on the left, and a mitred priest behind holding the knife for Christ’s circumcision.

Place (legacy):

Italy, production, region
Florence, place


illumination; whole


parchment; support
gold; medium




bequeathed; 1912; Marlay, Charles Brinsley


The initial belonged to a choir book made for the Camaldolese Monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence: Corale 2 (Gradual), fol. 42; excised during the Napoleonic campaigns, 1797-1809; thereafter: possibly the property of William Young Ottley (1771-1836) (Freuler 1997, 353); Francis Douce (1757-1834), a note attached to the back of the mount, attributing the illumination to Don Silvestro, is believed to be in his hand; Sir Samuel Meyrick (1783-1848); acquired before 1886 by Charles Brinsley Marlay (1831-1912); his bequest, 1912.


Marlay, Charles Brinsley; previous owner
Meyrick, Sir Samuel; previous owner
Douce, Francis; previous owner
Ottley, William Young; previous owner
Camaldolese Monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli; original owner



Boskovits, M.. 1975. Pittura Fiorentine alla Vigilia dei Rinascimento.Florence:
pp. 114, 216 n. 86, 421 (cited as cutting N. 1)

Wormald, Francis. Giles, Phyllis M.. 1982. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Additional Manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Musuem Acquired between 1895-1979 (excluding the McClean Collection).England: Cambridge University Press
110, p. 37

Binski, P.. Panayotova, Stella. 2005. The Cambridge Illuminations: Ten Centuries of Book Production in the Medieval West.London:
cat. no. 59

Burlington Fine Arts Club. 1886. Catalogue of a Series of Illuminations from Mss. Principally of the Italian and French Schools.London:
cat. no. 6

Levi D'Ancona, Mirella. 1957. The Iconography of the Immaculate Conception in the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance.New York:
p. 18-19, fig. 6

Mattheisen Fine Arts, London. 1983. Early Italian Paintings and Works of Art, 1300-1480.London:
cat. no. 45, pl. 42

Kanter, L. B. et al. 1994. Painting and Illumination in Early Renaissance Florence 1300-1450.New York:
cat. no. 16b, 134, 137

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. 225

Freuler, G.. 1997. Tendencies of the Gothic in Florence: Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci.Florence:
Source Title: A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting, sec. 4 7 part 2 ()

p. 352 n. 5, 362, 365, 378-79, 380 n.1, 437, pl. XLI. 29

Levi D'Ancona, Mirella. 1978. I corali di S. Maria degli Angeli ora nella Biblioteca Laurenziana e le miniature da essi asportate.Florence:
Source Title: Miscellenea di studi in memoria di Anna Saitta Revignas() : 213-35

p. 221 (cited as cutting N. 1)


Object Number: Marlay cutting It. 13A
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 166628; input: 2009-02-17; modified: 2017-04-05)


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