Gospel Book

Object Details

Title:

Gospel Book

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Byzantine

Place:

Nicaea Turkey Nicomedia (or) Turkey (Place created)

Date:

early 13th century - late 13th century

Medium:

Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment bound between wood boards covered with light brown velvet

Dimensions:

Leaf: 20.6 × 14.9 cm (8 1/8 × 5 7/8 in.)

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This Tetraevangelion, the Greek term for a Gospel book, was made in Byzantium around the time the Crusaders invaded Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1204. The manuscript is luxuriously adorned with nineteen full-page miniatures, including author portraits and narrative scenes; decorated canon tables; ornamental headpieces; and many decorated initials.

The illuminators of this manuscript probably prepared the pages for the miniatures by coating the parchment with egg white. This originally gave the page an admired slick and glossy appearance, but it also led to extensive paint flaking. The flaking was so severe that thirteen of the miniatures were replaced by new pictures in the late 1200s. These later miniatures were painted in the Palaeologan style of Byzantine illumination, noted for its intense emotionalism and drama.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Gothic Manuscript Illumination: 1250-1375 (January 16 to March 13, 1985) (fols. 129v - 130)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 16 to March 31, 1985
The Apocalypse and Other Visions in Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts (April 16 to June 30, 1991) (fols. 45v - 46)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 16 to June 30, 1991
Manuscript Illumination of the 13th Century (January 21 to April 6, 1997) (fols. 124v - 125)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 21 to April 6, 1997
Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript illumination (December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998) (fols. 45v - 46)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998
Faces of Power and Piety: Portraits in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (February 2 to April 18, 1999) (fols. 45v - 46)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 2 to April 18, 1999
Illuminating Color (May 22 to August 26, 2001) (fols. 45v - 46)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 22 to August 26, 2001
The Armenian Gospels of Gladzor (September 11 to December 2, 2001) (fols. 121v - 122)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 11 to December 2, 2001
Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261 - 1557) (March 15 to July 5, 2004) (fols. 45v - 46)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), March 15 to July 5, 2004
Byzantium and the West (September 14 to December 5, 2004) (fol. 191v - 192)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 14, 2004 to December 5, 2003
Shrine and Shroud: Textiles in Illuminated Manuscripts (June 28 to October 2, 2005) (fol. 187v - 188)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 28 to October 2, 2005
The Gospels in Medieval Manuscript Illumination (October 31, 2006 to January 7, 2007) (fol. 121v - 122)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 31, 2006 to January 7, 2007
Imagining Christ (May 6 to July 27, 2008) (Fol. 74v - 75)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 6 to July 27, 2008
Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroads (March 25 to June 22, 2014) (fols. 129v - 130)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 25 to June 22, 2014
Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts (January 22 to June 26, 2016) (fols. 45v - 46)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 22 to June 26, 2016
Bibliography

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