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Gradual (the Camaldolese Gradual), with the Sanctorale, Common of the Saints and the Office of the Dead, in Latin

  • Object:

    Illuminated manuscript

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)
    Florence (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1380 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink, pigment and gold on parchment. Leather over wooden boards. Metal clasps.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    National Art Library

Physical description

Foliation: parchment. i, ii (both medieval parchment) + 167 + iii (as f.i) ff.

Number of lines: 8 lines of text and music (staves of 4 lines) + 33 lines on ff. 163v-167r.

Language: Latin.

Script: large rounded Gothic bookhand.

Textual Content:
ff. 1r-128r: Sanctorale, from the vigil of St Andrew to St Katherine.
ff. 128r-140v: Common of the Saints.
ff. 141r-143v: Office of the Dead.
ff. 143v-148r: Supplement to the Sanctorale.
ff. 148r-162r: Series of Alleluias, each with a verse for the Common of the Saints.
ff. 162r-162v: Common of Several Martyrs.
ff. 163v-166v: List of saints and feasts in liturgical order.
f. 167r: Index of introits in alphabetical order, and list of Alleluias in liturgical order, added probably in the 17th or 18th century.

Decoration: Miniatures (13v, 97r, 98v, 125r) with associated border. 2- or -line historiated initials (ff. 4r, 6r, 13v, 29r, 39r, 41r, 43v, 48r, 53v, 56r, 59v, 70r, 74v, 82r, 89r, 98v, 113r, 117v, 121v, 125r, 145v) and other 1- or 2-line initials in orange, green, yellow, blue, mauve and black, with large acanthus-type scrolls in the borders. Marginal decoration (ff. 13v, 97r, 98v, 125r, 145v) with feasts of saints. All have burnished gold ground bounded by black ink line.

Artist: The manuscript has been identified as one of the earlier work of the miniaturist Don Simone Camaldolese or Simone de Senis.

(1) Resewn and repaired in 2008-2009.
(2) Post-medieval binding, possibly of 17th or 18th century Italy: quarter binding in calf over the leather of an earlier binding, secured with distinctive flat studs; resewn.
(3) Original medieval binding. Thick wooden boards covered with leather and numerous studs and iron bosses (some missing); iron plates pierced with trefoils and spear heads opening onto red vellum beneath in centre and corners of covers.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)
Florence (made)


ca. 1380 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Ink, pigment and gold on parchment. Leather over wooden boards. Metal clasps.


Height: 555 mm, Width: 385 mm, Height: 380-385 mm text block, Width: 270 mm text block

Object history note

(1) Made in Tuscany, probably in Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence, for another house of the Camaldolese order for a nun.
(2) Bought, with an enamel (v&A 792-1865, ca. 1300) by the South Kensington Museum in 1865 from Charles Drury Edward Fortnum (1820-1899).

Descriptive line

Manuscript, Gradual (the 'Camaldolese Gradual'), Italy (Florence), ca. 1380.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p. 386
Ker, N.R. Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries I. Oxford: 1967.
Boskovits, M. 'Su Don Silvestro, Don Simone e la "Scuola degli Angeli"'. Paragone, 23, no. 265, 1972, p. 40, pl. 28a.
Boskovits, M. Pittura fiorentina alla vigilia del Rinascimento, 1370-1400. Florence, 1975, p. 429.
Magheri Cataluccio, M.E. and A. Ugo Fossa. Biblioteca e cultura a Camaldoli. Rome, 1979, p. 93, 485, no. 88.
Firmani, D.G. Don Simone Camaldolese and manuscript production in late trecento Florence. A codicological examination. Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Parkm 1984, pp. 8, 152.
p. 188, no. 1
Kanter, L., B.D. Boehm et al. Painting and illumination in early Renaissance Florence, 1300-1450. New York, 1994.
Firmani, D.G. 'Simone Camaldolese'. In H. Turner (ed.), The dictionary of Art, 34 vols, London, 1996. vol. 28, p. 752-753.
p. 941
Bollati, M. (ed).Dizionario biografico dei miniatori italiani secoli IX-XVI. Preface by Mikós Boskovits. Milan, 2004.
Vol. 1, pp. 154-159, cat. 24
Watson, R. Western Illuminated Manuscripts.Victoria and Albert Museum. A catalogue of works in the National Art Library from the eleventh to the early twentieth century, with a complete account of the George Reid Collection. London, 2011.


Parchment; Ink; Pigments; Leather; Poplar; Metal




National Art Library; Manuscripts; Books; Bookbinding; Medieval and renaissance; Music

Production Type



National Art Library

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