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Historiated initial from an Antiphoner: Marlay cutting It. 68

An image of Cutting (manuscript)

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Historiated initial from an Antiphoner


Artist: Master of the Yellow Backgrounds




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, 193 x 220 mm, three four-line musical staves ruled in red ink and three lines of fragmentary text ruled in brown ink.

CONTENTS: On reverse, part of an antiphon at Matins for Easter Sunday, followed by Ps. 3:1, [Ego dormiui et somnum cepi et exur]rexi quoniam do[minus suscep]it me alleluia alle[luia. Ps. Domin]e quid mul[tiplicati sunt].V.; the initial, which would have been on the verso of the original leaf, introduced the responsory to the first lesson of Matins on Easter Sunday, Angelus descendit de caelo et accedens revolvit lapidem, et super eum sedit, et dixit mulieribus (Mark 16:1-7).

DECORATION: Historiated initial in graded pink with acanthus and fruit extensions on gold ground: [A] The Three Marys being shown Christ’s empty tomb by an angel bearing a scroll with the legend SURREXIT. [NON] EST HIC. ALLELUIA.


History note: Pencil note ‘From the Cathedral of Como’ on the verso of the original mount, possibly in the hand of William Young Ottley; his sale, Sotheby’s, 12 May 1838, lot 162

Place(s) associated

  • Cremona

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1912) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley


15th Century, Mid-Late#
Production date: circa AD 1450

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment

Techniques used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: Marlay cutting It. 68
Primary reference Number: 176554
Project ID: 1413
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 11 September 2023 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

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) "Historiated initial from an Antiphoner" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-19 06:35:21

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{{cite web|url= |title=Historiated initial from an Antiphoner |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-19 06:35:21|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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