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Gradual: MS 43

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Scribe: Ballo, Giovanni (Iohannes Ballus)
Artists: Battista Rosa, Giovanni and assistants




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, 123 fols. (foliated a, b, 2-122; fol. a is pasted on the verso of a seventeenth-century paper leaf; fol. b is bound upside down; the original fol. 1 has been excised) + i paper flyleaf, 655 x 438 mm (445 x 278 mm), 5 four-line musical staves ruled in red ink, 5 text lines in between ruled in pale black ink, equivalent in all to 30 lines

BINDING: Seventeenth century, brown stained paper over wooden boards, sewn on six supports, leather spine and corner pieces attached to boards with metal bosses.

fol. a Introit for Quinquagesima Sunday
fol. b Texts and music for Quinquagesima
fols. 1r-121r Texts and music from Quinquagesima to the Saturday of the second week of Lent
fols. 121v-122v Gradual texts for the feast of the Dominican tertiary, St Rosa of Lima canonised in 1671 (later addition)

DECORATION: Historiated initial of gold foliage on black ground, within a dull purple-red frame with white rinceaux background: fol. a Introit of the Mass for Quinquagesima Sunday, [E, 10 ll.] Christ healing the blind man, set in a landscape with a classical column in the background, a rectangular panel beside the initial contains the artist's signature on a scroll, I: BAT: ROSE: MINIABAT.

ORNAMENTATION: Five large gold framed border blocks containing green, blue and purple-pink acanthus leaves on a red rinceaux ground running up the full length of the outer borders for the Tracts for Quinquagesima Sunday, Ash Wednesday, First Sunday of Lent, Feria IV of the first week of Lent and the Second Sunday of Lent (fols. 5v, 18r, 37r, 62r, 89r); gold initials [5-6 ll.] on coloured foliage grounds within gold frames (e.g. fols. 28v, 37r) or red and blue initials [5-6 ll.] on coloured foliage grounds (e.g. fol. 25r) for Introits, Psalm verses, Graduals, Tracts, Versicles, Responsories, and the Offertory and Communion verses.


History note: Made for the Dominican church of Santa Maria della Sanità in Naples under the patronage of Fabrizio Pignatelli, Marquess of Cerchiara: Opus inceptum et absolutum auspiciis et liberalitate illustrissimi viri Fabritii Pignatelli Cerchiarii Domini, ob eximiam eiusdem in Beatam Virginem (d)e Sanitate pietatem, Gubbernante locum R. P. Fratre Domenico Guglielmino Neapolitano, characteribus ornavit Fr. Johannes Ballus Neapolitanus 1596 (fol. 121r); passed at unknown dates to San Domenico Maggiore, Naples, and then to the Marquess of Lorne, John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell (1845-1914), who became ninth Duke of Argyll in 1900; purchased for the Museum in December 1888, together with MSS 44 and 45, from the bookseller, Kerr and Richardson, Queen Street, Glasgow, for £15 (note found inside MS 43 and now kept on file).

Place(s) associated

  • Naples

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1888) by Kerr and Richardson (bookseller)

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: [prote]ctorem et in locum)
  • Location: Fol. 2r
  • Type: Secundo folio
  • Text: Gloria. R. Tu es Deus
  • Location: Fol. 3r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 43
Primary reference Number: 176359
Project ID: 299
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 8 October 2020 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Gradual" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-09-29 02:35:49

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