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Gospel Book: MS McClean 20

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Object information


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


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

People, subjects and objects depicted

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
  • 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: Tuesday 5 January 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 24 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2020) "Other" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-01-24 14:47:40

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{{cite web|url=|title=Other|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-01-24 14:47:40|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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<div class="text-center my-3"> <figure class="figure"> <img src="" alt="Gospel Book" class="img-fluid" /> <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Gospel Book</figcaption> </figure> </div>

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