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Initial from a Choir Psalter with Hymnal


Master of the Budapest Antiphoner; artist
; production


Charles Brinsley Marlay


illuminated manuscript


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


circa 1444 circa 1450


fifteenth century, second quarter


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, 234 x 192 mm, five lines of fragmentary text ruled in pale brown ink on reverse.

CONTENTS: On reverse a passage from the hymn Nocte surgentes, sung at Matins every Sunday from the third Sunday after Pentecost to the last Sunday in September, pariter canen[tes cum suis sanc]tis. mereamur [aulam ingre]di celi simul et [beatam ducer]e vitam. [Praestet no]bis deitas bea[ta]; the initial B, originally on the verso of the leaf, would have introduced Psalm 1, which followed this hymn, Beatus vir qui non abiit in consilio impiorum.

DECORATION: Historiated initial in gold with punchwork and painted floral motifs: [B] David kneeling penitent before God in the upper compartment and in the lower compartment St Francis surrounded by angels personifying Poverty, Obedience and Charity, with two sacred monograms of YHS within sunbursts and a roundel with half-length portrait of Bernardino of Siena surrounded by rays on dark red ground to the right of the initial, and to the left, three roundels housing half-length portraits of St Anthony of Padua, the Virgin and Child, and St Clare, each surrounded by punched gold and scrolling painted acanthus, once part of an elaborate historiated border.

Place (legacy):

Italy, production, region
Lombardy, place


illumination; whole


parchment; support
gold; medium




bequeathed; 1912; Marlay, Charles Brinsley


Pencil note ‘No. 1’ on reverse


Marlay, Charles Brinsley; previous owner


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Notes: unpublished handlist of an exhibition held in the Adeane gallery, October 1989 - February 1990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: 36


Wormald, F. and Giles, P. M.. 1982. A descriptive catalogue of the additional illuminated manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum.Cambridge (Cambs.): p. 111-12

Levi D'Ancona, Mirella. 1970. The Wildenstein Collection of Illuminations: The Lombard School.Florence: p. 29

Boskovits, M. et al. 1988. Arte in Lombardia tra Gotico e Rinascimento.Milan:
Bollati in Milan 1988; 134-35 with ill.

Bollati, M.. 2004. Dizionario dei miniatori italiani.Milan:
Lollini in Bollati 2004, p. 547

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. 122


Object Number: Marlay cutting It. 17
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 176541; input: 2010-04-22; modified: 2017-04-05)


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