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Lord Lovell Presenting The Lectionary To A Canon of Salisbury Cathedral (?), In 'The Lovell Lectionary'

Lord Lovell Presenting The Lectionary To A Canon of Salisbury Cathedral (?), In 'The Lovell Lectionary'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1403

Shelfmark: Harley MS 7026

Item number: f.4v

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

John, Lord Lovell, of Titchmarsh (near Thrapston in Northamptonshire) died in 1408. This lectionary contains a full-page miniature with an inscription stating that he commissioned it as a gift to Salisbury Cathedral, so that the canons would pray for his soul, and for that of his wife, Maud de Holand. The same miniature has the name of the artist, John Siferwas, a Dominican friar and the illuminator of the Sherborne Missal, which is also in the British Library. Siferwas was a successful artist who originated at Guildford but seems to have worked on an itinerant basis. Questions have arisen as to where the manuscript was made. It could well have been produced at Salisbury, although Glastonbury has been suggested. The Sherborne Missal is known to have been made for St Mary's Abbey, Sherborne, in Dorset, and probably was made there. Siferwas probably had been head-hunted for the project after his tour-de-force performance on the 'Lovell Lectionary'. Unprecedented in English illumination, this huge image is the subject of much speculation: it is not clear whether this is Lovell receiving the book from Siferwas, or Lovell presenting it to a canon of Salisbury. The inscription naming Lovell is on a winding scroll to the left, and that naming Siferwas (now very faint) is below the two figures.

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