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les Enluminures

Processional (monastic use, perhaps Cistercian)

In Latin with some Portuguese, illuminated manuscript on paper
Portugal (perhaps Caldas da Rainha), c. 1580-1620

TM 724

63 folios on paper, complete, (collation,i-ii8 iii10 iv-v8 vi6 vii8 viii6+1 [structure uncertain, last two leaves probably singletons]), written in a rounded liturgical bookhand with five lines of text and music on a five-line red staves, each leaf with text set within black penwork frame (justification145 x 100 mm.), a few leaves in last part of book and last endleaf with liturgical additions in a hand of the seventeenth- or eighteenth-century, rubrics in red, two-line initials in powdered gold with red outlines and flourished decorations, many with floral sprays, architectural features, birds, animals and human figures reminiscent of sixteenth-century printed initials all in purple penwork, larger initials in ornate penwork forming letters from geometric shapes, also with purple penwork figures, one large coloured Renaissance initial ‘D’, f. 8v, formed from an illuminated column with a blue base and a scroll of light purple acanthus leaves with an open-mouthed human face, all on green ground with gold flourishes, another large Renaissance initial ‘P’, f. 1, formed from a semi-nude caryatid, whose lower body merges into a blue column, the caryatid holding a swirling pink sash which forms the bowl of the letter, all on dull-gold ground, some spots and scuffing throughout with damage to a few initials, first leaf discoloured and with small hole, significant ink-burn in places, notably to text frames in last part of book where many central areas of leaves are now partially or wholly detached and leafed into the volume. Bound in contemporary brown morocco over pasteboards, on three double thongs, boards gilt-tooled with a double fillet enclosing “CATERINA” (upper board) and “DE CARVALHO” (lower board), edges gilt and gauffered, remnants of two ties on outer edge of boards, scuffed at edges with some tears in leather at head and foot of spine. Dimensions 185 x 120 mm.

An example of the continuation of medieval traditions, this carefully copied Processional is distinguished by its two painted initials, as well as its numerous charming pen initials. Although in fragile condition (acidic ink has damaged many pages), it is of special interest for the images reflecting Portuguese exploration, including a kangaroo or wallaby, and two male figures, possibly natives of Australia. If the manuscript can be dated with some certitude, it interjects evidence in support of the theory that Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to “discover” Australia.


1. Written and illuminated at the end of the sixteenth or in the early decades of the seventeenth century, perhaps c. 1580-1620 in Portugal, as supported by the script, style of decoration, and rubrics in Portuguese (see f. 51, Domingo da coresma, f. 52, Feria de coresma, and f. 60v, feria Segundo), possibly for Cistercian Use (see below). 

The manuscript was certainly owned at an early date, and probably made for or commissioned by, Caterina de Carvalho (also Cavalho or Cavallus) whose name is gilt-tooled on the front and back of the binding. It is possible that she can be identified with the late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century woman of the same name who married Felício Rodrigues, and who was the mother of the Provedor (Director) of the Hospital das Caldas da Rainha, Frei Jorge de Brito, born as Jorge de Carvalho, in the city of Caldas da Rainha on the western coast of Portugal (see Jorge de S. Paola, 1928). If this is true, then it is likely the manuscript was made there.

However, there are problems with this identification, since it seems unlikely that a lay woman would have owned a Processional. If it was made for the Caterina de Carvalho who was married to Felício Rodrigues, did she enter a religious order later in life as a widow (sheer speculation), or perhaps have the book made for her son, Frei Jorge de Brito? This last suggestion is also rather difficult, since the evidence, although not conclusive, seems to point to the book being used by nuns. The first rubric on f. 1v mentions a “cantrix” (the feminine form of “cantor”), but all the subsequent liturgical directions mention the “brothers”, “cantor” and abbot. The prayer on f. 48 is copied with feminine form of “sinner” (peccatrice). The matter deserves further study, but there do seem to be cases where books made for nuns include texts copied verbatim from exemplars using masculine forms, whereas it seems less likely that a book copied for monks or friars would have included feminine form.  

The identity of the order that used this Processional is also not easy to determine. Liturgical details suggest it may have been used in a Cistercian monastery (male or female). The primitive Cistercian liturgy included only two processions, for the Purification and Palm Sunday, but by the late fifteenth century six additional processions were observed (Huglo, 1999, tableau V, p. 49*). This manuscript includes six of these processions, with the addition of the Annunciation, and the Mandatum or foot-washing on Holy Thursday and burial and funeral rites (these last two are not strictly speaking processions, but both texts are often found in processionals); we may also note that the Mandatum responsories and the antiphon, “Clementissime”, in the burial rite may point to a Cistercian origin. The manuscript does lack the processions for the Visitation and St. Bernard, both listed by Huglo as characteristic of Cistercian Processionals by the time this manuscript was copied. Whether the contents of this manuscript are definitive evidence of a Cistercian origin (especially at this late date), or whether they might have been found in Processionals from monasteries that were not Cistercian, seems to warrant further study.

The hospital of Caldas da Rainha and the city around it were founded in the last years of the fifteenth century by Queen Leonor, wife of King John II (1455-1495), on the site of a thermal spring thought to possess curative powers. She funded the construction of a hospital herself, and it admitted its first patients in 1488. The site continued to be associated with royal patronage, and in 1511 King Manuel and Archbishop Martinho da Costa of Lisbon took responsibility for its management, appointing a royal official as its director. The chapel of the building still stands and is now the church of Nossa Senhora do Pópulo.

2. In addition to the text copied by the original scribe, the manuscript includes a less formally copied section, also with musical notation on ff. 49v-63; similar short noted phrases were added in the margins on ff. 9, f. 43v.

3. Inside back cover, dealer’s annotation in pencil “0911LM 149”, written over at least two earlier notes, erased and illegible.


ff. 1-8v, incipit, “Pueri hebreorum tollentes ramos olivarum …”; His finitis incipiat cantrix sequentem antiphonam et exeuntes ministros sequatur conuentus, incipit, “Occurrunt turbę cum floribus …”; … Dum haec cantatur fiat prima statio ante capitulum, incipit, “Collegerunt pontifices …”; Hic fiat secunda statio ante refectorium …, incipit, “Unus autem ex ipsis Caiphas …”; Dum repetitur quid facimus fiat tertia statio iuxta ecclesiam. Et dum cantor incipit istam antiphonam omnis petant veniam et manibus in terram contra crucem et stent vsque post euangelium, incipit, “Aue rex noster …”; Ad finem vero euangelii illi duo fratres qui iam mortifunt a cantorem intrent eccclesiam clausio hostio versis vultibus ad processionem …, incipit, “Gloria laus et honor …”; Ad introitum ecclesiae abbas inponat …, incipit, “Ingrediente domino …”;

Procession for Palm Sunday.

ff. 8v-19v, Feria quinta in coena domini ad mandatum, Antiphona, incipit, “Dominus lesus postquam cenauit …”; Postquam surrexit Dominus …; “Si ergo [sic] Dominus magister ..”; “Vos vocatis me magister …”; Mandatum nouum do vobis …”; “In hoc cognocent [sic] omnes …”; “In diebus illis mulier ..”; “Maria optimam partem …”; “Maria ergo vnxit pedes …”; “Domine tu mihi lauas pedes …”; “Domine non tantum pedes …”; “Caritatis est sumum bonum …”; “Per quam deus ac proximus …”; “Ille namque tenet …”; “Vbi est charitas …”; “Diligamus nos inuicem …”; “Et hoc mandatum habeumus ..”; “Vbi fratres in vnum …”: “Et vitam vsque in speculum …”; “Congregauit nos christus …”; “A solis ortu …”; “Congregauit nos in vnum ..”; “Maneant in nobis fides …”; “Benedicat nos deus deus noster …” “Benedicamus domino …”;

Antiphons and some versicles for the Mandatum (foot-washing) on Holy Thursday; includes most of the same antiphons, in the same order, as a fifteenth-century Cistercian processional from the Netherlands, described on this site (archives, TM 343), with a few differences (also similar to the Mandatum antiphons in Domincan Processionals, listed Huglo, 1999, Tableau vii, p. 52*; the Dominican liturgy drew heavily on Cistercian sources; see also Bukofzer, 1950, p. 235, table 2, used as an example of Roman Use, but in reality probably Dominican).

ff. 19v-23, In ascentione [sic] domine hic ordinetur et exeant omnes et fiat prima statio …, incipit, “Uiri galilę …”; Hic fiat secunda statio ante refectorium, incipit, “Pater cum essent …”; Dum cantor incipit moueant fratres et fiat tertia statio iuxta ecclesiam, incipit, “Pater sancte serua eos …”; Omnes intrent ecclesiam …, incipit, “O rex gloriae …”;

Procession for the Acension.

ff. 23-26v, In solemnitate corporis christi …, incipit, “Eduxit uos dominus …”; [secunda statio], incipit, “Verbum caro …”; … et fiat tertia statio …, incipit, “Melchisedec rex …”; Ab introitu ecclesiae abbas incipiat hunc, incipit, “Introiuit Iesu …”;

ff. 26v-32v, In purificatione beatae mariae cantor itaque cum abbati …, incipit, “Lvmen ad reuelationem gentium …, Nunc dimittis …”; Cantor ad exitum ecclesiae ... et fiat prima statio …, incipit, “Aue gratia plena ..”; … secunda statio …, incipit, “Adorna thalamum…”; … tertia statio …, incipit “Responsum accepit simeon …”; Ad introitum ecclesiae abbas incipiat istam …, incipit, “Hodie beata virgo …”;

Processions for the Purification.

ff. 32v-36, In annuntiatione beate mariae virginum … fiat prima statio …, incipit, “Missus est Gabriel …; … secunda statio …., incipit, “Gaude maria …”; … tertia statio …, incipit, “Gabrielem archangelum …”; Ad introitum …, incipit, “Spiritus sanctus in te descendet maria …”;

ff. 36-39v, In assumptione virginis mariae …, incipit, “Hodie maria virgo …”; … secunda statio …, “Felix namque …”; … tertia statio …, “Ora pro populo …”; Ad introitum ecclesię …, incipit, “Ascendit christus …”;

ff. 39v-42, In natiuitate beate mariae …, incipit, “Natiuitas tua dei genitrix …”; Aue maria gratia plena …”; Beata progenies vnde …”; Regali ex progenie maria …”;

ff. 42-48, In officio defunctorum, incipit, “Subuenite …;” Suscipiat eam christus …”; Libera me domine de morte aeterna …”; Dies illa dies irae …”; “Memento mei deus quia …”; Et non reuertetur …”; “Libera me domine de viis inferni ..” “Clamantes et dicentes …” “Ne recorderis pecata [sic] …”; “Non intres …” “Chorus angelorum te suscipiat [not noted]”; Psalms, not noted, cues only (In exitu; Confitemini; Quem admodum; Memento domine; Domine probasti, Domine clamaui, Uoce mea); incipit, “Clementissime domine qui pro nostra miseria … domine miserere super peccatrice …”;

Texts for the burial service; note the presence of the antiphon, “Clementissime” (characteristic of Cistercian, Dominican, and Augustinian Use), and the presence of feminine forms (peccatrice, for “sinner”) on f. 48.

ff. 48-49, Eight Settings for the Benedicamus domino;

ff. 49v-63v, Noted texts for the Mass and Office added in several hands, incipit, “Tantum ergo sacramentum veneremur …”; f. 50, incipit, “Gloriosus apparuisti. In conspectu domini …” [possibly original scribe]; f. 50v, Settings for the Magnificat; f. 51, Domingo da coresma, incipit, “Kyrie ..”;. … Feria de coresma, incipit, “Kyrie …, Agnus dei …, Te deum laudamus …, Te decet laus …”; Creed; concluding with hymns for prime, and terce (“Yam surgit ora tertia”); [f. 63v, text added in another less formal had, with musical notation].

Although this may have been added later, it is likely that it is a contemporary addition, copied more quickly, and in a less formal hand.

This handsome volume contains the text and music for liturgical processions for Palm Sunday, the Ascension, Corpus Christi, the Purification, the Annunciation, the Assumption, and the Nativity of the Virgin, with liturgical directions mentioning the “cantrix” (feminine of cantor) on f. 1v, but also mentioning the abbot and the cantor and others, recording their actions where they were to stand and how to act during the various parts of the services.  In addition to the processions, this manuscript also includes the noted texts for the Mandatum (foot-washing) on Holy Thursday and the burial service, texts often included in Processionals.

As observed above, the book was clearly intended for use in a monastic setting, either for monks or nuns, and it includes rubrics mentioning the the abbot (ff. 7v, 24rv and 30), monks (fratres, ff. 6, 22, 35 and 37rv), and references to parts of the procession to be performed before the refectory (ante refectorium; ff. 3v, 19v, 21, 29v, 34 and 37), as well as the “cantrix” (feminine of cantor, f. 1v), and feminine forms are used in a prayer (f. 48). It is possible it was copied for a Cistercian monastery (see discussion above), but further research is needed.

The pen initials are particularly charming. Some include classicized human figures (e.g. ff. 36v, 43, 43v) and a number include tiny realistic sketches of animals and birds; on f. 20v, for example, there is a rabbit, and on f. 29 an owl and a snail. Of particular interest, however, is the animal on f. 16v, which appears to be a kangaroo or a wallaby. The European “discovery” of Australia is usually dated to the Dutch voyage by Willen Janszoon in 1606. Other scholars, however, have argued that there is evidence that the Portuguese were in Australia in the sixteenth century (see Online Resources). Certainly there was a Portuguese presence in Southeast Asia not far from Australia, including in Timor, from the early years of the sixteenth century. In any case, this must be an early depiction of a marsupial in a European source. The two small images of human figures (?) with feathers on their heads, clothed in loin cloths, on f. 27v, may also be a reflection of the interest of this artist in current exploration. 

There is now only one Processional included in the sources available on the Portuguese Early Music Database (Online resources), and manuscripts of Portuguese origin in general deserve to be better-known and studied outside of Portugal. Many include characteristic complex and delicate pen-work that includes animals, birds, and amusing deatails. TM 710, a Portuguese Gradual from c. 1575-1600, also described on this site, is an excellent example (see also D’Alvarenga, 1992, ill. 6, p. 259, and Inventario dos codices iluminados até 1500, vol. 2, p. 117). The initials in the manuscript described here with their finely drawn realistic animals and classicizing motifs are slightly different than this predominant style, but reflect an equal level of skill, and a similar aesthetic.

For earlier examples of illuminated Portuguese manuscripts see the exhibition catalogue, A iluminura em Portugal, 1999; other examples include two fourteenth-century Missals from Santa Cruz de Coimbra, Biblioteca Pública do Porto, Santa Cruz MS. 68-352 and 85-1159 (Peixeiro, 2007, figs. 8 and 9), a Missal for Dominican Use from 1481, Biblioteca Pública e Arquivo de Evora, Fundo Manizola MS. 115 (Peixeiro, 2007, fig. 10), and the earliest of the forty-three frontispieces of the Leitura nova documents from the royal archive, painted in Lisbon in two phases between 1495 and 1557 (Deswarte, 1977 for full study). Many illuminated Portuguese manuscripts date from the sixteenth century (Peixiero, figs 14, 16-17 and 19, illustrates the Breviary of Condessa de Bertiandos, made between 1515 and 1530, now Academy of Sciences in Lisbon; the Santa Cruz Missal, made in the first quarter of the sixteenth century, now Biblioteca Pública do Porto, Santa Cruz MS. 28-37; and a Book of Hours made for King Manuel in the early sixteenth-century, now in the Musea Nacional de Arte Antigua in Lisbon); other examples include the Cancionero musical de Lisboa, datable to c. 1520, also in the Musea Nacional; the Missal of Estevam Gonçalvez Neto, made just outside Lisbon in the second half of the sixteenth century, now in the Academy of Sciences there; and a Missal which may have been illuminated for King John III in 1557, now British Library, Stowe MS 11. The manuscript described here may be of special importance to the history of manuscript illumination in Portugal as a manuscript produced and used some distance from the court in Lisbon, if the connection to Caldas da Rainha can be sustained. 

Manuscripts with a definitive origin in Portugal seldom appear on the market, and only a few have been offered in the last half century. A Book of Hours of the 1480s containing a Portuguese royal decree was sold in Sotheby’s, 11 April 1961, lot 144; the Genealogy of Dom Manuel Pereira, made in Evora in 1534, was offered by Sam Fogg in his catalogue 14, no. 38; and an Antiphonal made for the convent of the Poor Clares at Beira in 1531, was sold at Sotheby’s, 23 June 1992, lot 81. 


A iluminura em Portugal : identidade e influências : catálogo da exposição, 26 de abril a 30 de junho ‘99, Lisbon, Ministério da Cultura, Biblioteca Nacional, 1999.

Bukofzer, Manfred F. “Caput: A Liturgico-Musical Study”, in Studies in medieval and Renaissance Music, New York, Norton, 1950, 217-310.

D’Alvarenga, J. P. et alia (ed). Tesouros da Biblioteca Nacional, Lisbon, 1992.

De S. Paulo, Jorge. Historia da rainha D. Leonor e da fundação do Hospital das Caldas, 1928.

Deswarte-Rosa, Sylvie. Les Enluminures de la “Leitura nova”: 1504-1552, étude sur la culture artistique au Portugal au temps de l’Humanisme, Paris, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Centro cultural portuguẽs, 1977.

Gy, P. M. “Collectaire, rituel, processional”, Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 44 (1960) 441-69.

Hesbert, R.-J. Corpus antiphonalium officii…1. Manuscripti “cursus romanum”, Rome, Herder, 1963.

Huglo, M. Les manuscrits du Processional, Volume I, Autriche à Espagne, Répertoire international des sources musicales B XIV (1), Munich, 1999.

Huglo, M. Les manuscrits du Processional, Volume II, France à Afrique du Sud, Répertoire international des sources musicales B XIV (2), Munich, 2004.

Huglo, M. Les livres de chant liturgiques, Turhout, Brepols, 1988.

Huglo, Michel. “Processional”, in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 20, London, 2001, pp. 388-393.

Palazzo, Eric. A History of Liturgical Books from the Beginning to the Thirteenth Century, tr. Madeleine Beaumont, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1998.

Peixeiro, H. R. “A illuminura portuguesa dos séculos xiv a xvi”, in La miniatura medieval en la Peninsula Ibérica, ed. J. Y. Luaces, Murcia, 2007, pp. 145-192.

Processionale Cisterciense juxta veteres codices Ordinis editum, Tornaci, Desclée, Lefebvre et Soc., 1883.

Online resources

Introduction to liturgical manuscripts: “Celebrating the Liturgy’s Books”:

PEM (Portuguese Early Music Database)

H. Thurston, H. “Processions”, in The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York, Robert Appleton Company, 1911

“Portuguese in Australia”

Helen Wallis, “Did the Portuguese Discover Australia?” History Today 38 (1998)