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Walters Ms. W.840, Single leaf with Saint Luke
Single leaf with Saint Luke
This single leaf originally belonged to a Gospel book, and was created in the Lake Tana region of Ethiopia. The strong abstraction of the figure and his surroundings are characteristic of Ethiopian illumination of the late fourteenth century. The image, which is on the verso of the page, depicts the Evangelist St. Luke and would likely have originally faced the opening of his Gospel. Here Luke is presented as an Ethiopian scribe and is surrounded by the tools of his trade, including ink horns, reed pens, and a scraping knife. His upward gaze suggests the divine inspiration he received while writing his Gospel, the first words of which are inscribed on the page he holds. Despite being badly abraded, the pigments still retain much of their original vibrancy.
Late 14th century CE
Lake Tana, Ethiopia
The primary language in this manuscript is Geez.
Heavy yellowed parchment
Foliation: Not applicable
25.4 cm wide by 35.0 cm high
- Image: 22.2 cm wide x 29 cm high
- Title: Portrait of Evangelist Luke
- Decoration note: Full-page miniature in orange, yellow, green, black, blue, and salmon tempera, now badly abraded; decorative headpiece; orange border
Originally created as part of a Gospel book, Lake Tana, Ethiopia, late fourteenth or early fifteenth century
Joseph and Margaret Knopfelmacher collection, New York, before 1996
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Knopfelmacher, 1996
Holbert, Kelly, ed. Ethiopian Art: The Walters Art Museum. Baltimore: Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery, 2001, pp. 100-101, cat. no. 12.
Principal cataloger: Getatchew Haile, .
Cataloger: Herbert, Lynley
Editor: Herbert, Lynley
Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail
Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Emery, Doug; Isaac, Ephraim; Noel, William; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.
The Walters Art Museum
Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.