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St Paul, Epistles with gloss: MS McClean 29

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


St Paul, Epistles with gloss




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i modern paper flyleaf + 236 fols. + i modern paper flyleaf, 272 x 176-180 mm (172 x 55 mm, extending to 150 mm on pages with glosses in both margins), one column, 44 lines (written on every third ruled line to accommodate interlinear glosses), ruled in plummet with ruling for glosses in inner and outer margins as required, running headers, catchwords

BINDING: Eighteenth century, blind-tooled brown leather over wooden boards

CONTENTS: fols. 1r-236r St Paul, Epistles with interlinear and marginal glosses

DECORATION: Historiated initial [P, 12 ll.] in liquid gold with inset sections of red and blue foliate motifs on unpainted grounds, on a ground of solid blue, with bowl of letter housing half-length portrait of St Paul, nimbed, holding a scroll, stave of letter extending the height of the written space (fol. 1r).

ORNAMENTATION: Twelve initials in yellow with inset sections of red and blue foliate motifs on grounds of solid blue and green, often extending the height of the written space, with white vine-scroll touched with red in the bowl of the letter, for major text divisions: fols. 45v, 88v, 117v (with bird on whine scroll), 132r, 146v, 157r, 166v, 175v (bird finials to letter stem), 180r (bird finials to letter stem), 191r, 198v, 203r; yellow and red initial [M] on ground of solid blue and unpainted foliate interlace with pale washes of red or yellow (fol. 205r); red initials [1-2 ll.], some using foliate forms and occasional minor red pen flourishing, for minor text divisions; brown ink one-line initials with red paraph marks for lesser text divisions; the text following major initials is written in red and blue display capitals (fols. 1r, 205r) or in brown display capitals highlighted with yellow; gloss sections are marked by brown ink paraph marks, decorated with increasingly elaborate geometric motifs.


History note: Written and illuminated at the Cistercian Abbey of Morimondo (no. 37 in the twelfth-century library inventory; Leclercq 1961, 179); still in Morimondo in the fifteenth-century when an ownership inscription was added on fol. 236v: Liber sancte Marie de morimondo ordinis cisterc. Mediolanensis dioces. No Lvii Lvi (erased and replaced with XXXVI in darker ink; Ferrari 1980, 264; similar ex-libris in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Canon. Pat. Lat. 214; P├Ącht and Alexander 1970, no. 50); possibly part of the collection of Francesco Giovio (1796-1873) (Ferrari 1993, 286 and 299); U. Hoepli, Milan, catalogue no. 83 (1883), no. 46 (cutting from catalogue pasted inside upper cover); bought from him by Frank McClean (1837-1904) in 1892 (James 1912a, 52); his bequest, 1904.

Place(s) associated

  • Morimondo ⪼ Lombardy ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

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


12th Century, Mid
Production date: circa AD 1150

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: seruio in spiritu meo
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 29
Primary reference Number: 177344
Project ID: 803
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 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) "St Paul, Epistles with gloss" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-25 20:56:55

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