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The Hours of the Virgin according to the use of Rome, written in about 1520-1530 in Italy

MS. Douce 29

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  1. (fol. 56) Mass of the Virgin
  2. (fol. 61) Penitential Psalms with litany
  3. (fol. 76v) 'Offitium defunctorum'
  4. (fol. 110) 'Officium sacratissime Passionis ... Iesu Christi, a sancto Bonaventura cardinali ... editum'
  5. (fol. 131v) 'Offitium Sancti Spiritus'
There are twenty-six very fine full-page miniatures in groups of two, each a type and an antitype from the Old and New Testaments respectively, which are described with much fulness but some inaccuracy in Waagen's Treasures of Art in Great Britain (1854), iii. 108 (where he pronounces them 'one of the most beautiful specimens of Italian miniature-painting, of the best period of the cinquecento that I know)'; and better in John W. Bradley's Life of Giorgio Giulio Clovio (1891), p. 316, where the author agrees with Waagen, and doubtfully assigns the volume to Clovio himself, regarding it as a combination of the Italian and Netherlandish schools.

On fol. iiiv are the arms of the Della Rovere, dukes of Urbino, impaling those of Gonzaga, and on fol. iv the illuminated dedication 'Leonorę Gonzagę Vrbini duci': for whom no doubt the book was painted. The extreme dates must therefore be, Sept. 1509, the date of the marriage of Eleonora Ippolita Gonzaga with Francesco Maria I, duke of Urbino, and Oct 1538, the date of his death.


  • written in about 1520-1530 in Italy


140 Leaves

Conditions Governing Use



MS. Douce 29

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. IV, no 21603

Our best descriptions for medieval items in this collection are in Medieval Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries under MSS. Douce.

Custodial History

'Purchas'd in Italy by Henrietta Louisa countess of Pomfret' (d. 1761).

Physical Facet

On parchment, with very fine miniatures, borders, etc., binding: red velvet with enamelled clasps, one lost (18th cent.?)


6 × 3 7/8 in. in a cloth case 7 × 4 3/4 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom