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Celebration of Mass

Celebration of Mass
Leaf from the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX, with glossa ordinaria of Bernardo Bottoni of Parma, in Latin.
Italy, Bologna, ca. 1330
Illuminated by the Master of 1328
440 x 285 mm
Purchased from Maggs Bros. Ltd., 1927; MS M.716.4
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This leaf, and three others in the Morgan, are all that remain of a once splendid copy of Gregory's Decretals. The frontispieces for Books IV and V may yet turn up. This leaf was the beginning of Book III, dealing in part with the participation of the lay congregation in the Mass, the subject of the large miniature. Within the initial U (of ut) a monk receives his tonsure, while in the border below is an unusual depiction of people swimming. The Master of 1328 was one of the finest Bolognese artists before Niccolò da Bologna. His name is derived from the register he made in that year for the Haberdashers of Bologna (Bologna, Museo Civico Medievale, MS. 633).

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.