Penitential Psalms, Litany, and Other Prayers

Italian (Venice)
Medieval (Late Gothic)/early Renaissance
about 1480
Attributed to Pico Master (Italian (active in Venice), 1475–1500)

Place of Manufacture: Europe, Venice, Italy


Overall (page dimensions): 11.3 x 7.9 cm (4 7/16 x 3 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ink and pencil (early) with gold on parchment; bindings of french black morocco with gilding

Not On View





A book of Penitential Psalms, the Litany, and other prayers with 92 folios (ff.) and 7 leaves.

f. 1 (slightly later addition): Pateant aures misericordiae tuae…
f. 1v: blank
ff. 2 - 3: St. Jerome, on the Seven Penitential Psalms
f. 3v: blank
ff. 4 - 28: 7 Penitential Psalms
ff. 28 - 55v: Litany and prayers
ff. 56 - 70: Indulgences, beginning with Italian rubric: “Sancto gregorio e molti altri summi pontifici a tuti quelli che seranno veramente confessi e pentidi…”
(ff. 59v - 60v: “Anima Christi” with Italian rubric “Papa Giovanni XXII…”)
(ff. 61 - 65: “Domine Jesu Christe fili dei vivi” with Italian rubric “Bonfacio papa quarto concesse a tutti…”)
(ff. 65v - 68v: “Precor te dulcissime et amantissime…”)
(ff. 68v - 70v: “Amantissime domine iesu christe qui de celo…” with Italian concluding rubric “Ca da uno che dira la infrascripta oratione ha vera per cadauna volta…”)
ff. 70v - 75: [The Seven Last Words of Our Lord]: “Domine iesu christe fili dei vivi qui septem verba in ultimo die…”
ff. 75 - 76: Italian rubric: “Honorio papa concesse du sento giorni de indultentia…”
ff. 76 - 81: “Ave dei genetrix” (with each word from “Ave Maria” in gold
ff. 81 - 84: John 19:1 - 21:24 (The Passion according to St. John)
ff. 84 - 85v: “Oratio. Deus qui manus tuas et pedes tuos…”
ff. 85v - 91: “Mane cum surrexero intende ad me…” with Italian rubric “Oratione de sancto Hieronimo la quale da dire la matina…”
ff. 91v - 92v: “Oratio devotissima. Domine ihesu criste rex gloriae libera animas…/…fac eas domine de monte transire ad vitam./Per Christum dominum nostrum/Amen.”

1 column of 9 text lines in Latin and Italian. Bounding lines single brown plummet, full-length to top and bottom, writing lines brown plummet. Catchwords in lower center margin, last verso of each quire. Some leaves foliated in early pencil - begins with [1] on fourth flyleaf, so reaches 93 instead of 92.

Written in an Italian rotunda script in brown ink with brown (mostly italian) rubrics, some faded. Two 4-line historiated initials attributed to the Pico Master (active Venice about 1475-1500); f. 2 (Jerome’s Prologue): St. Jerome reading at the foot of a red [S] as two fish hanging from a green wall, his hat hanging at the top; f. 4 (Penitential Psalms): David, in blue and red robes with gold highlights, seated on a cushion in an interior with red walls, white arches at left, playing lyre. At the top margin, the holy spirit as a dove. “D” hangs on red wall in background. Plams and prayers being with 2-line gold initials inscribed in square frame filled with blue, green, and dark red panels with white filigree. 1-line initials throughout in red or blue.


Frances D. Bruen (Mrs. Charles C. Perkins)(d. 1909) [see note 1]; 1909, by descent to her son Charles B. Perkins [see note 2]; 1922, sold by Charles B. Perkins to the MFA for $1500 [see note 3]. (Accession date: March 2, 1922)

[1] It is possible that Frances D. Bruen inherited the manuscript from her father, Matthias Bruen (1793 - 1829), New York City, NY, although the manuscript does not hold his bookplate or signature. [2] Lent by Mrs. Charles C. Perkins to the MFA, November 27, 1895. After her death, this manuscript was transferred to her son, Charles B. Perkins, and returned to him on March 23, 1921. [3] MFA accession numbers 22.375-22.379 were purchased together for $1500.

Credit Line

Frank S. Adams Fund