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Corvey Gospel fragment
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Corvey Gospel fragment

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description 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, Bibliotheque 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.
  • Exhibition of Illuminated Manuscripts. The Morgan Library & Museum, New York. 1933-1934.
  • The World as a Symbol: An Exhibit of Medieval Art. Queens College, Flushing. 1959.
  • Pages from Medieval and Renaissance Illuminated Manuscripts from the 10th to the Early 15th Centuries. University Art Gallery, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley. 1963.
  • Medieval Art. Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa. 1965.
  • In Remembrance of Creation: Evolution of Art and Scholarship in the Medieval and Renaissance Bible. Brandeis University Library, Waltham. 1968.
  • A Medieval Treasury: An Exhibition of Medieval Art from the Third to the Sixteenth Century. Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca; Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute- Museum of Art, Utica. 1968.
  • 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.
  • The Illuminated Initial. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1991-1992.
  • 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.
  • Checkmate! Medieval People at Play. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2010.
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 [mode of acquisition unknown] [Ms. 14122, noted on bottom of fol. 1r]; A. Chester Beatty, December 1920, acquired privately from Phillips collection; Walters Art Museum, October 1952, by purchase [from Mrs. Chester Beatty through Maggs Brothers].
Credit Museum purchase, 1952

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ca. 950-975 (Ottonian)
ink and pigments on thick parchment, with suede surface on flesh side covered with modern English crushed dark blue morocco
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
Closed Book: H: 12 5/8 × W: 9 13/16 × D: 13/16 in. (32.1 × 25 × 2 cm)
  • Germany, Corvey (Place of Origin)
  • United Kingdom, England (Place of Binding)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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