Antiphoner (2)

Holy Trinity with St Dominic and St Peter Martyr
Fitzwilliam Mus. MS 44, f. 2r
Naples, 1604?

Image reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Not only cuttings but whole choir books were removed from Italian religious houses during the nineteenth century, as in the case of this Antiphoner of 1604, a very late example of an illuminated manuscript. It is one of three extremely large volumes in the Fitzwilliam Museum (MSS 43, 44, 45), the first a Gradual and the other two Antiphoners, which formerly belonged to the ninth Duke of Argyll when Marquess of Lorne before the death of his father. He may have acquired them in Naples because they are part of a set of at least twenty choir books made between 1585 and 1605 for a Dominican church there, Santa Maria della Sanità, many of which are now in the library of San Domenico Maggiore, also in Naples. The leaf here shown is for Trinity Sunday with the Holy Trinity depicted in the historiated initial at the beginning of the antiphon to the psalms for First Vespers, O beata et benedicta et gloriosa Trinitas. There were probably originally four half-length figures of Dominican saints in the corners of the frame, but the two on the right-hand side have been cut off. The two on the left are St Dominic at the top and St Peter Martyr at the bottom.

Extended captions