The J. Paul Getty Museum

Decorated Text Page

Not currently on view

Object Details

Title:

Decorated Text Page

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Carolingian

Place:

Rhein-Meuse (Place Created)

Date:

early 9th century

Medium:

Tempera colors and gold and silver paint on parchment; fols. 1 - 4 stained purple; disbound

Object Number:

Ms. Ludwig IV 1 (83.MD.73.2), fol. 2

Dimensions:

Leaf: 24.1 × 18.1 cm (9 1/2 × 7 1/8 in.)

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Object Description

Some of the pages of this Gospel lectionary were colored purple, historically associating this book with the lavish manuscripts of ancient Rome. The purple found in the Roman books was achieved by dyeing the pages with an expensive shellfish dye called Tyrian purple (after the Eastern Mediterranean port from which it came), or whelk purple (after the shellfish from which it was extracted). In the case of this manuscript, the same effect was attained by coloring the surface of the pages with a reddish-purple paint, orchil, a dye derived from lichen. Coloring the pages in this way was reserved for only the most precious manuscripts. Charlemagne hoped to evoke the grandeur of ancient Rome and associate his reign with that time through manuscripts like this one.
 

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Early Medieval and Romanesque Manuscripts (January 19 to April 3, 1988)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 19 to April 3, 1988
Early Medieval and Romanesque Manuscripts (July 19 to October 10, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 19 to October 10, 1993
Ars et Ingenium: The Illuminator's Craft and Genius (July 26 to October 9, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 26 to October 9, 1994
Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroads (March 25 to June 22, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 25 to June 22, 2014
The Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts (October 11, 2016 to January 1, 2017)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 11, 2016 to January 1, 2017