Benedictional

Object Details

Title:

Benedictional

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Ottonian

Date:

about 1030 - 1040

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment bound in white pigskin

Dimensions:

Leaf: 23.2 x 16 cm (9 1/8 x 6 5/16 in.)

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This Ottonian benedictional, containing the blessings recited by a bishop at Mass, came from Regensburg, the medieval capital of Bavaria. While on a return trip to his native Bavaria, Bishop Engilmar of Parenzo (modern Porec in northwestern Slovenia) stayed at Saint Emmeram, the most important monastery in medieval Regensburg.

Stylistic comparison to other manuscripts indicates that the bishop probably turned to the Saint Emmeram monastery for the production of this book, which shows him celebrating Mass on its original opening page. Eight full-page miniatures, four pages of text written in gold ink, and many decorated initials luxuriously adorn the manuscript. The miniatures' vivid colors, sumptuous gold grounds, and monumental compositions allowed the illuminator to present narratives from the New Testament in a majestic and ceremonial style.

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