Single leaf, Laudario of Sant’Agnese

Download image: 
Accession number: 
MS M.742
Single leaf, Laudario of Sant’Agnese
Florence, Italy, ca. 1340.
Purchased in 1929.
1 single leaf, matted : vellum, ill. ; 454 x 335 mm
Executed for the Compagnia di Sant'Agnese of the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence, ca. 1340; purchased from Jacob Hirsch on March 5, 1929.

Ms. single leaf from a Laudario (vernacular hymnal); written and illuminated in Florence, Italy, ca. 1340.
Text on the verso is from an unidentified lauda: ...gue et carne pura / in tale speçie avengna / perche sicuri li tuoi servidori / ciascun ci pren[d]a a lliberar la mente / fosti amorosamente / non te mostrando di te largitore / tu quando non secondo quantitade / non fuor di luogo non come locato / ma sempre un cor pose in luoghi diversi...
Pierpont Morgan Library MS M.742 is one of nearly two dozen leaves and cuttings from a single laudario that are scattered among European and American collections, listed and described in Kanter, 1994. Sister leaves (M. 742 is one of 23) -- Washington: National Gallery B-20,651 and B-15,393 and B-22,128; Paris: Musée du Louvre, inv. no. 9828; Philadelphia: Free Library, M. 25:8 and M. 25:7a; Kreuzlingen, Kislers Collection, Adoration of the Magi; London: British Library, Add. MS. 18196 and Add. MS. 35254; Florence: Private Collection, Annunciation; Cambridge: Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 194 and Marlay Cutting It. 83; New York: Private Collection, Ascension; Strasbourg: Forrer Collection, Baptism and Martyrdom of Saint Pancras in inital S; Chicago: Art Institute, Saint Zenobius in inital N; Rome: Salmi Collection, Miracles of Saint Zenobius; New York: Breslauer Collection, 66; Antwerp: van den Bergh Collection, MS 303; New York: private collection, Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew; The Cloisters Collection (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY) 2006.250, formerly Florence: Bruscoli Collection, Instruments of the Passion in initial O; Berlin: Staatliche Museen Kupferstichkabinett, Min. 6059
Decoration: 1 large miniature with Christ in Majesty surrounded by full vinescroll border containing 2 full-length offering figures and 5 historiated medallions.
Musical notation: 4-line staves in red ink, square notes.
Artist: Pacino di Bonaguida.


This leaf is one of twenty-three leaves and cuttings from a Laudario that was broken up by the early nineteenth century. The long-headed, narrow-eyed figures, boneless hands, and greenish-lavender flesh tones are hallmarks of Pacino da Bonaguida, one of the most important painters/illuminators active in Florence during the first half of the fourteenth century. This Laudario was his last major work.

One of Pacino's finest, the leaf begins with a lauda addressed to the Trinity: Alta Trinita beata (Highest blessed Trinity). Its large miniature shows Christ in Majesty flanked by roses and lilies. Below his winged mandorla is part of the earth, surrounded by the ocean and the firmament. The four corner medallions—the three men appearing to Abraham, the three men seated behind the altar with the central one holding a host, the Throne of Mercy, and a single person with three heads—represent the Trinity. The central bottom medallion shows a kneeling man, perhaps the donor or artist.