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Gradual – Fragment

Parchment · 1 leaf · 1350 – 1425 CE · Perugia · 526 x 388 mm


Melbourne, The University of Melbourne Library, SpC/RB 60C/2, CXXIIII
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Origin: Perugia

The leaf, from a splendid illuminated choirbook linked to Perugia, was purchased at Sotheby’s, Western & Oriental Manuscripts auction, 8 July 2008 (lot 6).

Contents: The music and words of the antiphon Ultimo festivitatis, followed by a large historiated initial 'S' introducing Spiritus Domini, the entrance antiphon sung at Mass on Pentecost Sunday.

Decoration: Historiated initial 'S' frames an image commemorating the day of Pentecost, representing the descent of the Holy Spirit, symbolised by the white dove appearing before the twelve apostles. A black cadel initial incorporating a face in profile, and initial in red and ornamented in mauve, introduce the antiphons. In the bas-de-page, a stork, and two rams butting heads.

The illustration is attributed to a follower of Matteo Ser Cambio, a panel painter and illuminator active in Perugia between 1356-1424.

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