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<< return to search Corvey Gospel fragment W.751
Manuscript Overview
References
Bindings & Oddities

Abstract

This manuscript consists of four folios from a Gospel Book that was likely made at the monastery of Corvey in Western Germany during the last quarter of the tenth century. Dating to the reign of Otto I, these pages are a magnificent example of early Ottonian manuscript illumination. The heavily ornamented pages, which introduce the Gospels of Luke and John, shine with gold and jewel-like colors against dyed purple grounds. These pages combine monumental classicizing square capitals on purple grounds with rich and complex interlace. This fragment contains the opening pages of Luke (fols. 93-94) and John (fols. 137-138) that were originally part of Rheims, Bibliothèque Municipale, Ms. 10, a Gospel Book originally owned by the Chapter Library of the Cathedral of Rheims until it was confiscated, along with the rest of the cathedral's manuscripts, during the French Revolution. Related manuscripts include Pierpont Morgan Library Ms. M. 755 and New York Public Library Ms. 1.

Text Note

Incomplete; only contains incipit pages for Luke, fols. 1v-2v; incipits for John, fols. 3v-4v

Decoration Note

All illumination consists of heavily decorated incipit text in gold letters on purple ground within interlace-filled frames, with letters ranging from one to twenty-two lines in height; large initial pages for Luke, fol. 2r, and John, fol. 4r, with intertwining letters decorated with knotwork and interlaced foliate designs; "Inicium" page for John, fol. 3v, has interlace cross with roundels containing birds in four quadrants, and roundels with beasts in corners; palette of gold, purple, yellow, red, blue, lavender, and green

Contributors

Principal cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Editor: Noel, William

Copy editor: Bockrath, Diane

Contributor: Bockrath, Diane

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Noel, William

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Toth, Michael B.

Conservator: Owen, Linda

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

Greene, Belle da Costa and Meta P. Harrsen. The Pierpont Morgan Library Exhibition of Illuminated Manuscripts. New York: Private print, 1934, p. 6, no. 11.


Schardt, Alois J. Das Initial: Phantasie und Buchstabenmalerei des frühen Mittelalters. Berlin: Rambrandt-verlag, 1938, pp. 58-61.


Miner, Dorothy E. The New Purple Gospel Manuscript. 5 no. 3. Bulletin of the Walters Art Gallery, 1952, pp. 1, 3-4.


Queens College. The World as Symbol: an Exhibition of Medieval Art. Flushing: Paul Klapper Library, 1959, p. 26, no. 82.


Faye, C. U. and W. H. Bond. Supplement to the Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. New York, 1962, pp. 198-199, no. 567.


Wixom, W. "Twelve Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Book Illumination: A Catalogue to the Exhibition: March 17 - May 17, 1964." Vol. 51. Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1964, pp. 43-45, no. 1.


Korzus, Bernard. Kunst und Kultur im Weserraum, 800-1600; Ausstellung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen. Vol. 2. Münster in Westfalen, 1966, pp. 477-478, cat. no. 164, fig. 162 (fol. 3v).


Miner, Dorothy. "Since de Ricci - Western Illuminated Manuscripts Acquired since 1934: A Report in Two Parts: Part 1". XXIX-XXX. Journal of the Walters Art Gallery. 1966:68-103.


Calkins, Robert G. A Medieval Treasury: An Exhibition of Medieval Art from the Third to the Sixteenth Century. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University, Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, 1968, pp. 114-115, no. 23.


Phillipps, Sir Thomas. The Phillipps Manuscripts: Catalogus librorum manuscriptorum in bibliotheca D. Thomae Phillipps, bt. London: Holland Press, 1968, no. 14122.


Randall, Lillian M.C. Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. Baltimore: Walters Art Gallery, 1984, pl. 1.


These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

Lower board outside

Spine

Fore-edge

Head

Tail

Keywords
Christian
Medallion
Miniature
Ornament
Painting
Scripture
Ottonian
German
Gospels
Germany
10th century

Origin Place

Corvey, Germany

Date

Third quarter of the 10th century CE

Form

book

Binding

Non-original Binding

Binding Description

Modern English crushed dark blue morocco by W.H. Smith and Son, first half of the twentieth century; gold tooled outer fillet and lettering, which read "EVANGELIORUM FRAGMENTA MS. SAEC. IX;" inside: wide borders of morocco with triple fillet gold tooled; vellum doublure and flyleaves

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Provenance

Written in the Monastery of Corvey on the Weser River in Germany ca. 940-975, during the reign of Otto I, based on style and paleography

Originally part of a Gospel Book belonging to the Chapter Library of the Cathedral of Rheims until the French Revolution, now Ms. 10 in the Rheims Municipal Library

Sir Thomas Phillips, London, ca. 1855

A. Chester Beatty, acquired privately from Phillips collection in December, 1920

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, Oct. 1952, from Mrs. Chester Beatty through Maggs Brothers

<< return to search Corvey Gospel fragment W.751

Origin Place

Corvey, Germany

Date

Third quarter of the 10th century CE

Form

book

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Provenance

Written in the Monastery of Corvey on the Weser River in Germany ca. 940-975, during the reign of Otto I, based on style and paleography

Originally part of a Gospel Book belonging to the Chapter Library of the Cathedral of Rheims until the French Revolution, now Ms. 10 in the Rheims Municipal Library

Sir Thomas Phillips, London, ca. 1855

A. Chester Beatty, acquired privately from Phillips collection in December, 1920

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, Oct. 1952, from Mrs. Chester Beatty through Maggs Brothers

Manuscript Overview

Abstract

This manuscript consists of four folios from a Gospel Book that was likely made at the monastery of Corvey in Western Germany during the last quarter of the tenth century. Dating to the reign of Otto I, these pages are a magnificent example of early Ottonian manuscript illumination. The heavily ornamented pages, which introduce the Gospels of Luke and John, shine with gold and jewel-like colors against dyed purple grounds. These pages combine monumental classicizing square capitals on purple grounds with rich and complex interlace. This fragment contains the opening pages of Luke (fols. 93-94) and John (fols. 137-138) that were originally part of Rheims, Bibliothèque Municipale, Ms. 10, a Gospel Book originally owned by the Chapter Library of the Cathedral of Rheims until it was confiscated, along with the rest of the cathedral's manuscripts, during the French Revolution. Related manuscripts include Pierpont Morgan Library Ms. M. 755 and New York Public Library Ms. 1.

Text Note

Incomplete; only contains incipit pages for Luke, fols. 1v-2v; incipits for John, fols. 3v-4v

Decoration Note

All illumination consists of heavily decorated incipit text in gold letters on purple ground within interlace-filled frames, with letters ranging from one to twenty-two lines in height; large initial pages for Luke, fol. 2r, and John, fol. 4r, with intertwining letters decorated with knotwork and interlaced foliate designs; "Inicium" page for John, fol. 3v, has interlace cross with roundels containing birds in four quadrants, and roundels with beasts in corners; palette of gold, purple, yellow, red, blue, lavender, and green

References

Contributors

Principal cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Editor: Noel, William

Copy editor: Bockrath, Diane

Contributor: Bockrath, Diane

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Noel, William

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Toth, Michael B.

Conservator: Owen, Linda

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

Greene, Belle da Costa and Meta P. Harrsen. The Pierpont Morgan Library Exhibition of Illuminated Manuscripts. New York: Private print, 1934, p. 6, no. 11.


Schardt, Alois J. Das Initial: Phantasie und Buchstabenmalerei des frühen Mittelalters. Berlin: Rambrandt-verlag, 1938, pp. 58-61.


Miner, Dorothy E. The New Purple Gospel Manuscript. 5 no. 3. Bulletin of the Walters Art Gallery, 1952, pp. 1, 3-4.


Queens College. The World as Symbol: an Exhibition of Medieval Art. Flushing: Paul Klapper Library, 1959, p. 26, no. 82.


Faye, C. U. and W. H. Bond. Supplement to the Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. New York, 1962, pp. 198-199, no. 567.


Wixom, W. "Twelve Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Book Illumination: A Catalogue to the Exhibition: March 17 - May 17, 1964." Vol. 51. Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1964, pp. 43-45, no. 1.


Korzus, Bernard. Kunst und Kultur im Weserraum, 800-1600; Ausstellung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen. Vol. 2. Münster in Westfalen, 1966, pp. 477-478, cat. no. 164, fig. 162 (fol. 3v).


Miner, Dorothy. "Since de Ricci - Western Illuminated Manuscripts Acquired since 1934: A Report in Two Parts: Part 1". XXIX-XXX. Journal of the Walters Art Gallery. 1966:68-103.


Calkins, Robert G. A Medieval Treasury: An Exhibition of Medieval Art from the Third to the Sixteenth Century. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University, Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, 1968, pp. 114-115, no. 23.


Phillipps, Sir Thomas. The Phillipps Manuscripts: Catalogus librorum manuscriptorum in bibliotheca D. Thomae Phillipps, bt. London: Holland Press, 1968, no. 14122.


Randall, Lillian M.C. Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. Baltimore: Walters Art Gallery, 1984, pl. 1.


Bindings & Oddities

These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

Lower board outside

Spine

Fore-edge

Head

Tail

Keywords
Christian
Medallion
Miniature
Ornament
Painting
Scripture
Ottonian
German
Gospels
Germany
10th century
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