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Article

German, 10th century, male.

Illuminator.

This Tegernsee monk is mentioned as the writer of a psalter made for an aristocratic lady called Heilwich. The work has not been preserved, but the dedicatory verses by Froumund von Tegernsee are still in Munich. A miniature in a collection of the national library, Munich, is attributed to an Adalpertus and dates from the 11th century, but it is not improbable that it is by this monk....

Article

Amandus  

9th century, male.

Miniaturist.

Identified in the dedication to the Vivian Bible (now preserved in Paris) as a co-illustrator along with Sigvaldus and Aregarius.

Article

Italian, 9th – 10th century, male.

Active during the 9th or 10th century.

Illuminator.

There is a manuscript by this artist, the Epistola Fulberti, in the Biblothèque Nationale, Paris.

Article

Dorothy Verkerk

Illuminated manuscript of the first five books of the Old Testament (now incomplete), dating from the late 6th or early 7th century (Paris, Bib.N., MS. nouv. acq. lat. 2334) and named after the English collector Bertram Ashburnham. Also known as the Pentateuch of Tours, the Ashburnham Pentateuch is one of the oldest surviving pre-Carolingian Vulgate manuscripts of the Old Testament. In its present condition, it lacks the last verses of Numbers and all of Deuteronomy; while 18 pages of illustration and 1 frontispiece survive from the original 65 pages with illustrations. The illustrated pages comprise several scenes generally arranged in two or three bands, although some pages have one or two large scenes, others combine illustration and text. Painted ...

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time....

Article

Richard K. Emmerson

Illuminated Ottonian manuscript (205×295 mm; Bamberg, Staatsbibl., MS. Bibl. 140) comprising 106 folios, divided into two halves, the first containing 50 miniatures illustrating the Book of Revelation, the second with 5 full-page miniatures illustrating Gospel readings from the Nativity to Pentecost. Separating the sections are two full-page images each with two registers. On the left St Peter and St Paul crown a young ruler, who is given obeisance by personifications of the four peoples of the empire, depicted below. They recall the personifications bringing gifts to the emperor in the Gospels of Otto III (Munich, Bayer. Staatsbib., Clm. 4453). Facing this imperial scene, on the right, Old Testament figures are paired with four personifications of the victorious virtues they model for the ruler: Abraham/Obedience, Moses/Purity, David/Repentance, and Job/Patience. The Apocalypse miniatures, of varying size and interspersed within the Latin text, are painted on gold grounds. Their iconography, descending from a Roman archetype, is related to the Carolingian Valenciennes Apocalypse (early 9th century; Valenciennes, Bib. Mun., MS. 99) and the contemporary Apocalypse fresco of Novara Baptistery. The vigorous colours and sumptuous execution of the miniatures, including an early detailed ...

Article

John Williams

Commentary on the Apocalypse composed c. ad 775 by Abbot Beatus of the monastery of St Martin in Liébana, northern Spain. There is an ‘official’ biography of Beatus, by Juan Tamayo de Salazar (d c. 1662), a collector of legends, but his date for Beatus’ death in 798 is precocious. In his own time Beatus was principally recognized as a forceful opponent of the Christological doctrine labelled Adoptionism, promoted by the Archbishop of Toledo, Elipandus. The Commentary on the Apocalypse was composed, however, from an expectation of the end of ordinary time in ...

Article

Adam S. Cohen and Shirin Fozi

Illuminated manuscript (292 × 225 mm; London, BL, Add. MS. 49598) containing liturgical prayers recited by the bishop, produced in Winchester between ad 971 and 984 for Aethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, a leader of Anglo-Saxon monastic reform. It is a sumptuous work, with 28 full-page miniatures (another 15 have been lost) and 2 historiated initials lavishly executed in gold and vibrant colours (...

Article

Joachim E. Gaehde

Illuminated manuscript (Rome, S Paolo fuori le mura), probably made at Reims c. 870. It is the most extensively illustrated of all extant Carolingian Bibles. A dedicatory poem by Ingobertus referens et scriba fidelis and the verses accompanying an image of a ruler establish that it was made for a King Charles, now identified as ...

Article

Bobbio  

Michael Richter

Monastery in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Approximately 50 km south of Piacenza in the Apennines, it was founded c. ad 613 through the cooperation of the Lombard king Agilulf (reg 590–615) and the Irish abbot and saint Columbanus (c. 540–615). Its nucleus was an older dilapidated church dedicated to St Peter. Columbanus died on 23 November 615, but his name and renown remained alive in the following centuries. Through cooperation with the Lombard monarchs as well as later the Carolingian kings, Bobbio became a very prominent monastery in Northern Italy. In 628 it was granted the earliest monastic exemption from supervision by the local diocesan, the bishop of Tortona. The community of Bobbio apparently lived according to the Rule of Columbanus as well as the Rule of Basil of Caesarea. The presence of the Rule of St Benedict cannot be documented there before the early 9th century. Bobbio became a known not only as a centre of Irish learning but also as a centre of grammatical as well as computational studies. Its early library also contained Classical texts as well as important palimpsests (a ‘catalogue’ survives from the late 9th century). In the late 9th and early 10th centuries (a period of economic decline) important illuminated manuscripts were produced there. The abbatial church was rebuilt under Abbot Agilulf (...

Article

Katherine Forsyth

Illuminated Gospel book (Cambridge, U. Lib., MS. Ii.6.32) made in the 10th Century. This is the oldest extant Gospel book with a securely Scottish provenance. Housed since 1715 in Cambridge University Library, it belonged in the early 12th century to the monastery of Deer, Aberdeenshire, as shown by a series of property grants recorded in its margins. These notes constitute, by some three centuries, the oldest surviving documents in Scottish Gaelic. The Book is a small-format, abbreviated Gospels intended for personal devotion and intimate pastoral use. As such it is an exceptional survival from the period. It contains the complete Latin text of John’s Gospel, and the beginnings of the other three. At an early date the text of a communion service for the sick and dying was inserted on a separate leaf. The Book was produced ...

Article

Ben C. Tilghman

Irish illuminated Gospel book (Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS A. 4. 23. (59)), with a short Missa pro infirmis inserted between the gospels of Luke and John, made in the 8th century. It consists of 74 folios and measures 175×142 mm, and is one of the distinctively Irish manuscripts known as ‘pocket gospels’, due to their small format. The traditional association of the manuscript with Dimma, a scribe and later bishop who miraculously wrote a copy of the gospels in 40 days for the 7th-century saint Cronan, cannot be sustained. The inscriptions in which his name appears include evident signs of erasure, indicating that the name of the original scribe was replaced with ‘Dimma’ in perhaps the 10th or 11th century, possibly at the same time that the ...

Article

Ben C. Tilghman

Illuminated manuscript (Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS A. 4. 15. (57)) containing the Vulgate translation of the four Gospels, plus prefatory material derived form the Old Latin tradition, made in the 7th century. It measures 247×228 mm, contains 248 parchment folios, and is in a modern binding. No firm internal evidence indicates the date and location of the manuscript’s production, and the question of its origins has a contentious history, influenced occasionally by nationalist ideologies. A later colophon attributing it to St Colum Cille [St Columba] cannot be accepted as fact, but it is widely assumed that the book was made in a Columban monastery, whether in Ireland, Scotland, or Northumbria. It can be dated to the 7th century on stylistic and palaeographical grounds. The main body script is an Irish half-uncial, punctuated by display lettering at six major textual divisions and letters ringed in red dots at minor divisions. The programme of illumination includes a full-page depiction of the four evangelist symbols together around a cross, full-page depictions of each of the evangelist symbols (e.g. ...

Article

Roger Stalley

Manuscript of the four Gospels, in Latin, written and illuminated on vellum probably in the second half of the 8th century ad. It is the most extravagant and complex of the Insular Gospel books, representing the climax of a development that began in the 7th century ...

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ...

Article

Don Denny

Numerical list of concordant passages in the Gospels, devised in the early 4th century by the historian Eusebios of Caesarea. Such tables indicate passages to be found in all four Gospels, those found in two or three of the Gospels and those unique to a particular Gospel. In medieval manuscripts they appear as a series of pages, varying from seven to as many as nineteen, placed at the front of Gospel books and often included, preceding the Gospels, in full ...

Article

Joachim E. Gaehde

Term used to describe poems in which certain letters or words are contained within patterns or compositions to form independent phrases or verses within regular lines of continuous text (in which, for example, Christ’s halo contains the words ‘Rex regum et dominus dominorum’). Anticipated in Hellenistic poetry, ...

Article

Heather Pulliam

Term usually applied to the full-page ornamental designs that occur in Insular Gospel books. Carpet pages typically occur at the beginning of a section of text and several scholars have argued that they may serve an apotropaic function, marking the viewer’s entrance into the sacred text. Michelle Brown has also suggested that these pages could refer to the temple veil as well as to the silk cloth that was sometimes used to cover and protect painted images within manuscripts....

Article

Bernard Meehan

Irish Psalter (Dublin, Royal Irish Acad., MS. 12.R.33) that can be dated to c. ad 600 and is perhaps the earliest surviving Irish manuscript. It was traditionally believed to have been written by St Colum Cille (St Columba; d 597). As the chief relic of the O’Donnell family, the Cathach (‘battler’) and its shrine (Dublin, N. Mus.) were carried into battle to ensure victory. According to a late medieval tradition, the Cathach is identified as the copy, made at night by St Colum Cille, of a Psalter lent to him by St Finnian. When a dispute arose over the ownership of the copy, King Diarmait Mac Cerbhail stated, ‘To every cow her calf, to every book its copy’, a judgement frequently cited as an early example of copyright law....

Article

Yi Sŏng-mi

Korean calligrapher. He is considered to be one of the two most prominent calligraphers of the Unified Silla period (668–918), the other being Kim Saeng. Ch’oe was also a famous statesman, Confucian scholar and man of letters. In 868, at the age of 12, he travelled to China, and in 874 he passed the Chinese civil service examination for foreign scholars. In 885 Ch’oe returned to Korea and served in various official capacities....