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Manuscript Overview
References
Bindings & Oddities

Abstract

This Gospel Book from the late tenth century has been attributed to the Benedictine Abbey of Fleury in the commune of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, France. Carolingian influence is visible in both the text and decoration of this manuscript. Notable artistic parallels exist between this manuscript and an early eleventh-century Reichenau Gospel book (Munich, Clm 4454). These parallels have been attributed to artistic cross-influences between Fleury and Reichenau, and may reflect shared dependence on a common earlier tradition. This Gospel Book contains twelve richly illuminated canon tables decorated with signs of the zodiac as well as human, zoomorphic, and vegetal forms. The canons are composed of arches surmounted by a lunette. Each Gospel begins with an elaborate initial decorated with beast interlace, as well as sprouting acanthus leaves. The pages facing the beginning of each Gospel were originally left blank, possibly indicating an original plan to include Evangelist portraits, which were common in this period. A small, off-center pen-drawn Evangelist portrait was added at the beginning of Matthew's Gospel sometime soon after the book's creation. The book was originally composed of nineteen perfect quires of eight, which reflects sophisticated planning for the physical composition of the book. It has been suggested that the narrow, elongated proportions of the book suggest its use as a liturgical text (Cahn, 1981), and indicate it was designed to accommodate an ivory diptych (type) on the front cover (Nordenfalk, 1973).

Hand note

Caroline minuscule; some rustic capitals and uncial for titles and rubrics; several scribes, hand change visible on fol. 49r

Decoration Note

Twelve canon tables, decorated with zodiac, animals, people, and fable(?) imagery; four large initials with animal interlace opening four Gospels; pen drawing of Evangelist Matthew added early; rubrics and initials in red; text in brown ink

Contributors

Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Herbert, Lynley

Cataloger: Mackin, Elliot

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Herbold, Rebekah

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Wiegand, Kimber

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 766, no. 60.


Baltimore, Maryland: The Walters Museum of Art. Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance: An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Baltimore: Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery. 1949, fol. 20; p. 4, no. 7, Pl. 4.


Swarzenski, H. "The Anhalt Morgan Gospels." 31. Art Bulletin. 1949, p. 79, n. 25.


Diringer, David. The Illuminated Book: Its History and Production. London: Faber & Faber. 1958, p. 166, fig. III-22a.


Miner, Dorothy E. "The Development of Medieval Illumination." Vol. I. Catholic Life Annual. 1958, p. 11, fig. 3.


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, p. 195, no. 60.


Walters Art Gallery. 2,000 Years of Calligraphy. Totowa: Rowman & Littlefield. 1965, fol. 123; no. 14, fig. 14.


Berkowitz, David S. In Remembrance of Creation: Evolution of Art and Scholarship in the Medieval and Renaissance Bible. Waltham: Brandeis University Press. 1968, no. 61.


Nordenfalk, C. "A Tenth Century Gospel Book in the Walters Art Gallery." Gatherings in Honor of Dorothy E. Miner. Ed. Ursula E. McCracken, Lilian M. C. Randall, and Richard H. Randall, Jr. Baltimore: The Walters Art Gallery. 1973, fols. 12-17v, 19v-20, 56, 86, 123, 48v, cover image; pp. 139-170.


Mutherich, F. Ausstattung und Sckmuck der Handschrift. Das Evangelia Ottos III: CLM 4453 Der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek Munchen. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer. 1978, pp. 70, 124.


Nordenfalk, Carl. "Review of F. Wormald and J. J. G. Alexander's ' An Early Breton Gospel Book from the Collection of H. L. Bradfer-Lawrence 1887-1965.'" 120/901. Burlington Magazine. 1978, p. 244.


Cahn, Walter. "Three Eleventh-Century Mss. From Nevers." Etudes d'Art medievale offerts a Louis Grodecki. Paris: Ophrys. 1981, p. 71, no. 51.


Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. I, France 875-1420. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1989, pp. 7-9, no. 2, ills. 5, 6, Pl.I.


Burin, Elizabeth. "The Illuminated Initial: October 8, 1991 to January 5, 1992". 44 no.8. The Walters Art Gallery Bulletin. 10/1991:5, fol. 20; p. 5.


Bennett, Adelaide, Wlater Cahn, Bert Cardon, and Karen de Coene. Medieval Mastery: Book Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold, 800-1475. Turnhout: Brepols, 2002, p. 99, 100; fig. 7.


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
Gospel Book
French
Drawing
Illustration
France
10th century
Devotion
Carolingian
Christian
Ottonian
Caroline minuscule
Inhabited initial
Ornament
Painting
Watermark
Astrology
Liturgy
Scripture

Origin Place

Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, France

Date

Late 10th century CE

Form

book

Binding

Non-original Binding

Binding Description

Rebound in France, early nineteenth century, red-brown goatskin with gilt designs on cover and spine; silver corner guards; spine labeled "EVANGELIUM IHESU CHRISTI EX DONO CAROLI MAGNI"; originally in matching telescoping book box, replaced in late twentieth century with new box for conservation reasons

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Provenance

Created at the Fleury Abbey in Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, late tenth century

Léon Gruel, Paris, late nineteenth or early twentieth century; Gruel and Engelmann bookplate, inscribed "No. 95," number also written in pencil on fol. 148v

Henry Walters, Baltimore, acquired from Léon Gruel, 1903

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest

← search Gospel Book W.3

Origin Place

Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, France

Date

Late 10th century CE

Form

book

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Provenance

Created at the Fleury Abbey in Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, late tenth century

Léon Gruel, Paris, late nineteenth or early twentieth century; Gruel and Engelmann bookplate, inscribed "No. 95," number also written in pencil on fol. 148v

Henry Walters, Baltimore, acquired from Léon Gruel, 1903

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest

Manuscript Overview

Abstract

This Gospel Book from the late tenth century has been attributed to the Benedictine Abbey of Fleury in the commune of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, France. Carolingian influence is visible in both the text and decoration of this manuscript. Notable artistic parallels exist between this manuscript and an early eleventh-century Reichenau Gospel book (Munich, Clm 4454). These parallels have been attributed to artistic cross-influences between Fleury and Reichenau, and may reflect shared dependence on a common earlier tradition. This Gospel Book contains twelve richly illuminated canon tables decorated with signs of the zodiac as well as human, zoomorphic, and vegetal forms. The canons are composed of arches surmounted by a lunette. Each Gospel begins with an elaborate initial decorated with beast interlace, as well as sprouting acanthus leaves. The pages facing the beginning of each Gospel were originally left blank, possibly indicating an original plan to include Evangelist portraits, which were common in this period. A small, off-center pen-drawn Evangelist portrait was added at the beginning of Matthew's Gospel sometime soon after the book's creation. The book was originally composed of nineteen perfect quires of eight, which reflects sophisticated planning for the physical composition of the book. It has been suggested that the narrow, elongated proportions of the book suggest its use as a liturgical text (Cahn, 1981), and indicate it was designed to accommodate an ivory diptych (type) on the front cover (Nordenfalk, 1973).

Hand note

Caroline minuscule; some rustic capitals and uncial for titles and rubrics; several scribes, hand change visible on fol. 49r

Decoration Note

Twelve canon tables, decorated with zodiac, animals, people, and fable(?) imagery; four large initials with animal interlace opening four Gospels; pen drawing of Evangelist Matthew added early; rubrics and initials in red; text in brown ink

References

Contributors

Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Herbert, Lynley

Cataloger: Mackin, Elliot

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Herbold, Rebekah

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Wiegand, Kimber

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 766, no. 60.


Baltimore, Maryland: The Walters Museum of Art. Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance: An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Baltimore: Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery. 1949, fol. 20; p. 4, no. 7, Pl. 4.


Swarzenski, H. "The Anhalt Morgan Gospels." 31. Art Bulletin. 1949, p. 79, n. 25.


Diringer, David. The Illuminated Book: Its History and Production. London: Faber & Faber. 1958, p. 166, fig. III-22a.


Miner, Dorothy E. "The Development of Medieval Illumination." Vol. I. Catholic Life Annual. 1958, p. 11, fig. 3.


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, p. 195, no. 60.


Walters Art Gallery. 2,000 Years of Calligraphy. Totowa: Rowman & Littlefield. 1965, fol. 123; no. 14, fig. 14.


Berkowitz, David S. In Remembrance of Creation: Evolution of Art and Scholarship in the Medieval and Renaissance Bible. Waltham: Brandeis University Press. 1968, no. 61.


Nordenfalk, C. "A Tenth Century Gospel Book in the Walters Art Gallery." Gatherings in Honor of Dorothy E. Miner. Ed. Ursula E. McCracken, Lilian M. C. Randall, and Richard H. Randall, Jr. Baltimore: The Walters Art Gallery. 1973, fols. 12-17v, 19v-20, 56, 86, 123, 48v, cover image; pp. 139-170.


Mutherich, F. Ausstattung und Sckmuck der Handschrift. Das Evangelia Ottos III: CLM 4453 Der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek Munchen. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer. 1978, pp. 70, 124.


Nordenfalk, Carl. "Review of F. Wormald and J. J. G. Alexander's ' An Early Breton Gospel Book from the Collection of H. L. Bradfer-Lawrence 1887-1965.'" 120/901. Burlington Magazine. 1978, p. 244.


Cahn, Walter. "Three Eleventh-Century Mss. From Nevers." Etudes d'Art medievale offerts a Louis Grodecki. Paris: Ophrys. 1981, p. 71, no. 51.


Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. I, France 875-1420. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1989, pp. 7-9, no. 2, ills. 5, 6, Pl.I.


Burin, Elizabeth. "The Illuminated Initial: October 8, 1991 to January 5, 1992". 44 no.8. The Walters Art Gallery Bulletin. 10/1991:5, fol. 20; p. 5.


Bennett, Adelaide, Wlater Cahn, Bert Cardon, and Karen de Coene. Medieval Mastery: Book Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold, 800-1475. Turnhout: Brepols, 2002, p. 99, 100; fig. 7.


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
Gospel Book
French
Drawing
Illustration
France
10th century
Devotion
Carolingian
Christian
Ottonian
Caroline minuscule
Inhabited initial
Ornament
Painting
Watermark
Astrology
Liturgy
Scripture
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