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Gospel Book: MS McClean 20

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Gospel Book




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii paper flyleaves + 144 fols. + ii paper flyleaves, 277 x 208 (213 x 128) mm, 29 long lines, ruled in hard point, leaf lost before fol. 77.

BINDING: 16th century, stamped pigskin over wooden boards, sewn on 4 supports, two leather straps with metal clasps on lower cover, two catchplates on upper cover, edges stained blue

CONTENTS: fols. 2r – 9v Canon Tables; fols. 10r – 12v Jerome, Prologues, Beato papae Damaso Ieronimus novum opus, Plures fuisse qui euangelia scripserunt, and Sciendum etiam nequem ignarum; fols. 12v – 13r Eusebius, Letter to Carpianus;; fols. 13v – 15r Breviarium to Gospel of St Matthew
fols. 15v – 17v Sedulius Scottus, Explanatiuncula de breviariorum et capitolorum canonumque differentia; fols. 18r – 49vr Gospel of St Matthew, with Argumentum and capitula; fols. 50r – 71v Gospel of St Mark, with Breviarium, prologue, and capitula; fols. 71v – 107r Gospel of St Luke, with Breviarium, prologue, and capitula; fols. 107r – 133r Gospel of St John, with Argumentum and capitula; fols. 133v – 144v List of Gospel readings for the year combining the Temporal and Sanctoral; fol. 144v Note on the connection between the rivers of Paradise and the four Gospels.

DECORATION: Three full-page framed miniatures on gold grounds within architectural structures (miniature of St Luke lost): fol. 20v St Matthew writing, Angel above; fol. 53v St Mark thinking in front of open book, lion above; fol. 110v St John sharpening pen, eagle above.

Sixteen Canon Tables with round-headed arches and Evangelists’ symbols in tympana (fols. 2r – 9v).

ORNAMENTATION: Gold and silver initials [16 – 19 ll.] with foliage and masks on purple grounds for beginning of Gospels (fols. 10r, 21r, 54r, 111r); gold and silver initials [2 – 9 ll.] on blue and/or green grounds for prologues, Argumenta, and Breviaria; red initials [1 – 3 ll.] with occasional floral ornament; headings in Rustic capitals.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1904) by McClean, Frank


11th Century, Late
Circa 1080 CE - Circa 1090 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Text Height 213 mm Width 128 mm
Page Height 277 mm Width 208 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: lucas. In sexto duo
  • Location: Fol. 11r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 20
Primary reference Number: 170690
Project ID: 11
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 5 February 2024 Last processed: Monday 5 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Gospel Book" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-24 17:32:22

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{{cite web|url= |title=Gospel Book |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-24 17:32:22|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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