Gospel Book

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MS M.270
Gospel Book
Rome, Italy, 1572-1585.
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), 1907.
1 painting : vellum ; 413 x 277 mm
Probably executed for one of the choir or gospel books in the Sistine Chapel; commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII (pope from 1572-1585); excised ca. 1800 and the miniatures mounted in the present manner; Abate Celotti sale (London, May 26, 1825, lot 87) to Anthony Molteno (d. ca. 1846); William Young Ottley (probably purchased from Molteno); his sale (London, Sotheby's, May 11-12, 1838, lot 243); A. Firmin Didot (1884); purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) from Olschki in 1907; J.P. Morgan (1867-1943).

Ms. illuminated montage (single leaf); 6 vellum cuttings consisting of 4 separate miniatures of the Evangelists; a floral border with 3 oval medallions and the papal arms of Gregory XIII, and an architectural cartouche with 19th century inscription, inlaid on a vellum leaf and mounted on cardboard; cuttings of the Evangelist portraits and floral border illuminated in Italy, probably in Rome, during the papacy of Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585).
A nearly identical example, possibly from the same manuscript or set of manuscripts, is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Artist: a follower of Giulio Clovio.
Formerly in blue cloth wrapper in blue morocco case; now matted.