MS M.69 102v–103r

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The Crucifixion; Moses and the Brazen Serpent

Farnese Hours, 1546
 Illuminated by Giulio Clovio (1498-1578)
Manuscript with 114 folios comprising 28 miniatures, on vellum

Italy, Rome
6 3/4 x 4 3/8 inches (173 x 110 mm)

Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1903

MS M.69 102v–103r
Item description: 

The Farnese Hours was once the most famous illuminated manuscript. Completed in Rome for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese in 1546, this book of private devotions was lavishly illustrated by the miniaturist Giulio Clovio, who was called the "new Michelangelo" in his time and later the "Raphael of miniaturists." Here Clovio carried the art of illumination to unprecedented heights.

The miniature of the Brazen Serpent is based on Michelangelo's composition of the same subject in one of the pendentives on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Clovio adjusted a number of relationships among figures so as to make the original, triangular frescoed image fit the rectangular space of the page. The prominent figure of Mary in the Crucifixion is based on a drawing by Michelangelo.