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Reichenau Gospels
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Reichenau Gospels

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This Gospel Book is believed to come from the Abbey of Reichenau, on Lake Constance, on the basis of its script and illumination. The decoration of the manuscript places it in the so-called Luithar school of Reichenau. Its ornamental motifs compare very closely with those in Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Clm. 4453, and its palette is nearly identical to that in the Reichenau manuscripts of the Bamberg Cathedral Treasury. Gold uncials begin each paragraph as well as the introductory words of each chapter; they are a distinct mark of Reichenau manufacture. The manuscript's text is written in Caroline minuscule. It is paleographically related to Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek Mss. Bibl. 76 and Bibl. 22, and also Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Clm. 4454. As a whole, it is an excellent example of Ottonian book illumination.
Date Description Narrative
10/07/1977Examinationexamined for loan
  • Arts of the Middle Ages. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston. 1940.
  • Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1949.
  • Medieval and Renaissance Illuminated Manuscripts. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles. 1953-1954.
  • Twelve Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Book Illumination. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland. 1964.
  • 2,000 Years of Calligraphy. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1965.
  • Splendor in Books. Grolier Club, New York; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1977-1978.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Real People in the Middle Ages: Donor Portraits in Illuminated Manuscripts. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1987.
  • The Book and the Author: Portraits of the Evangelists in Eastern and Western Manuscripts. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1990-1991.
  • Medieval Writing and Calligraphy. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1993-1994.
  • Illuminating the Word: Gospel Books in the Middle Ages. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2004.
  • Schatzkammer: Henry Walters' German Manuscripts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006.
  • The Saint John's Bible: A Modern Vision through Medieval Methods. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2009.
Provenance Abbey of St. Peter, Reichenau (?), mid-11th century; German Library, 19th century [date and mode of acquisition unknown, no. 203]; Sir Thomas Brooke, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, after 1854 [acquired from the dealer G.I. Ellis, mode of acquisition unknown]; Ingraham Brooke, Sotheby's March 7, 1913, lot 8; Leon Gruel, after 1913 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date of acquisition unknown], by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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mid 11th century (Medieval)
ink and pigments on thick, white, unpolished parchment between cream parchment over pasteboard
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
Closed Book: H: 9 7/16 × W: 7 1/16 × D: 2 3/4 in. (23.9 × 18 × 7 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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