Leaf from an Antiphonary

Page from choir book with illuminated initial

Medieval (Late Gothic)
15th century

Place of Manufacture: Italy


Overall (page dimensions): 54.7 x 36.9 cm (21 9/16 x 14 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera and ink with gold on parchment

Not On View





A single leaf from an antiphonary, a book containing the sung portions of the Divine Office.

1 column of 8 staves in Latin. Bounding lines in light plummet, doubled and full-length to upper and lower edges, writing lines in light plummet, with upper and lower bounding lines for each line of text. Heightened square notation on a four-line red staff, C-clef indicated.

Written in a Italian rotunda script in black ink with red rubrics. On recto, three-staff-high [S] (for “Spiritus domini…”) in light salmon on gold background with small amount of acanthus in colors, a few gold balls with a single ray, historiated with the Pentecost: nimbed half-figures of Mary and apostles in lower compartment, Mary in blue with hands crossed, watching as the holy spirit descends from the upper compartment through white clouds on a blue background, projecting red rays into the lower compartment.


Foliated by a contemporary hand on verso in red Roman capitals, "CCIII"; foliated by a sixteenth-century hand on recto as "c. 203".


1938, bequest of Nathaniel T. Kidder (1896-1938) to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 13, 1938)

Credit Line

Bequest of Nathaniel T. Kidder