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Christianity The Towneley Lectionary

Gospel Lectionary (Farnese Lectionary; Towneley Lectionary), in Latin. Giulio Clovio and his followers, illuminators. Rome, ca. 1550–1560.   NYPL, Manuscripts and Archives Division.

Giulio Clovio (ca. 1498–1578), a native of present-day Croatia, and resident artist in the Farnese palace in Rome, depicts Jesus preaching to the crowds in the first selection from the Towneley Lectionary. Many of the figures are portraits of persons in Clovio's circle. The next page in the gallery, which faces the Sermon on the Mount, is the opening of Matthew's Gospel. Alessandro Cardinal Farnese (1520-1589), for whom this manuscript was created, bequeathed it to the College of Cardinals for use in the Sistine Chapel. The Farnese arms have been overpainted in gold at the bottom of both of these pages, although a cardinal's red hat with tassels remains, as does a bishop's green hat with tassels on the recto.

This splendid manuscript came into the possession of the Towneley family, in England, in the early 19th century.

View more images from the Towneley Lectionary in the Library's Digital Gallery.

Library Catalog Record