Putto in initial P festooned with fruit.
Putto in initial P festooned with fruit. Single very large cutting on vellum. Spain, ca. 1600: 182 x 175 mm. Condition: the gold shows tiny crazing with minor losses here and there; some minor smuding, notably in the lower bow of the initial. While no Sistine Chapel choir book has illumination resembling this, the manuscript source of this cutting may have had a papal connection, for the putto holds the keys of St. Peter. It seems more likely, however, that this manuscript was illuminated for a prominent Spanish prelate or ecclesiastical foundation. An inscription on the verso reads "Album Marlay," suggesting that this miniature came from the collection of Charles Brinsley Marlay (d. 1912), known to have bought exquisite miniatures once belonging to Abate Luigi Celotti. Celotti had gathered exceptional manuscript art, some from the Sistine Chapel, during the Napoleonic upheavals in Italy.