Saturday, August 13, 2011

Illuminated Manuscript, Gospels of Abbot Duden, Evangelist portrait of Luke, Walters Art Museum W.5, fol.59v

This small Gospel Book was made in Werden, Germany in the eleventh century. Its small size indicates it was intended for daily, personal use, and a series of ownership inscriptions on the first folio, which trace how the book changed hands among several members of the clergy, provide insight into its use. Although the book contains little decoration, with no canon tables or ornamental initials, the Gospels are introduced by three accomplished brown and red ink pen drawings of the Evangelists, two of which were cleverly embedded into the end of the previous Gospel by the artist. The manuscript is, however, incomplete, and lacks the end of Matthew as well as the portrait of Mark, which was likely incorporated into Matthew's explicit page as was done with the other portraits.

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