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W.8, Mondsee Gospel Lectionary


This eleventh-century Gospel Lectionary was written in a clear Carolingian minuscule in Regensburg, Germany. Its remarkable treasure binding, which is original to the manuscript, is extremely fragile due to the Byzantine or Islamic silk that constitutes the spine; therefore it is not possible to image the entire manuscript. The cover, which alone has been photographed, is a rare survival and a rich example of Ottonian art. Bound in silver, the front cover displays an impressive mastery of filigree, segments of which have been gilded. A variety of textures and substances, including niello bosses in the corners, ivory plaques depicting the four Evangelists, gemstones (now lost), and a golden image of the Crucifixion beneath a polished rock crystal, give the cover an opulence rarely seen in medieval bookbinding. The back cover, necessarily flat to lie on the altar without damaging the decoration, consists of a sheet of hammered and gilded silver, engraved with an image of St. Michael slaying a dragon. This image has traditionally led to an association with the abbey of SS. Peter and Michael in Mondsee, Austria, but its more recent attribution to Otloh, a scribe active in Regensburg, suggests that it is more likely of German manufacture.

Manuscript Description (in a new window) | TEI (XML format) | View at art.thewalters.org

Persistent URLs (PURLs)

The following URLs are assured to route to the named resources. For more information see the ReadMe file.

  • http://purl.thewalters.org/art/W.8/data
  • http://purl.thewalters.org/art/W.8/browse
  • http://purl.thewalters.org/art/W.8/TEI
  • http://purl.thewalters.org/art/W.8/description
    1. Upper board outside

      W.8, Upper board outside
    2. Lower board outside

      W.8, Lower board outside
    3. Spine

      W.8, Spine
    4. Fore-edge

      W.8, Fore-edge
    5. Head

      W.8, Head
    6. Tail

      W.8, Tail

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