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Gospel Lectionary

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This is one of twenty-six known manuscripts by the hand of Luke the Cypriot (active 1583-1625), an accomplished Greek calligrapher who worked after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople (1453). He copied it in 1594 at his episcopal see of Buzau (in Wallachia, now Romania) and soon took it to Moscow, where it was richly illustrated with New Testament scenes by a team of anonymous Russian artists. The book contains passages taken from the four Gospels and arranged in the order in which they are read out loud in church in the course of the year (hence its name Lectionary, from the Latin "lectio," reading). Short intructions in Slavonic accompany some of the miniatures, offering a glimpse of the painters' working process.
Date Description Narrative
10/24/1984Examinationexamined for condition
  • Early Christian and Byzantine Art. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1947.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Byzantine Gold: Illumination in Greek Manuscripts. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1986.
  • A Millennium of Christianity: Russian Art from The Walters Art Gallery. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1988-1989.
  • The Cross and the Crescent: Books from the Ottoman Age. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2003.
  • The Saint John's Bible: A Modern Vision through Medieval Methods. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2009.
Provenance Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, ca. 1598, by gift; Léon Gruel, Paris, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, purchased from Gruel before 1931; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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1594-1596 (Ottoman)
ink and paint on paper bound between squared wooden boards covered with patterned red silk, spine raised with six bands, traces of now lost metal attachments and clasps, pastedowns of yellow silk
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
H: 15 1/2 x W: 10 5/8 in. (39.4 x 27 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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