The J. Paul Getty Museum

Gospel Lectionary

Object Details

Title:

Gospel Lectionary

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Ottonian

Place:

or Reichenau, Germany; Saint Gall, Switzerland (Place Created)

Date:

late 10th century

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold paint, silver paint, and ink on parchment bound between wood boards covered with light brown leather

Object Number:

Ms. 16 (85.MD.317)

Dimensions:

Leaf: 27.8 × 19.2 cm (10 15/16 × 7 9/16 in.)

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Object Description

Used by the deacon during the celebration of the Mass, a Gospel lectionary contains readings from the Gospels arranged in the order in which they are read during the liturgical year. Large painted initials introducing the readings for the major celebrations of the Christian calendar and 180 smaller decorated initials marking the beginning of the remaining readings adorn this Ottonian lectionary. Executed in gold and silver, outlined in red ink, and composed of stylized, intertwining vines, these initials are exquisite examples of a type that was a hallmark of Ottonian illumination. The use of gold and silver emphasizes the letters as the building blocks of the text through which God's teachings are communicated.

The manuscript was probably produced either at Reichenau in southern Germany or at Saint Gall in Switzerland. Reichenau was known for the many opulent manuscripts produced there under imperial patronage. Saint Gall had a large scriptorium where, during the ninth century, more than a hundred monks worked copying and ornamenting manuscripts. Saint Gall had a long tradition of scholarship and art production reaching back to the age before Charlemagne.

Provenance
Provenance
18th century

Didier Petit de Meurville, French, 1793 - 1873
Source: Catalogue de la collection formée par M. Didier Petit, à Lyon, consistant en émaux, faïences, verres de Venise....inscription with catalogue no.364.

- 1854

Henri Auguste Brölemann, French, 1775 - 1854, by descent to his great grand-daughter, Blanche Bontoux (1859-1955), also known as Madame Etienne Mallet

- 1926

Blanche Bontoux, French, 1859 - 1955 [sold, Illuminated manuscripts and fine printed horae, Sotheby's, London, May 4, 1926, lot 29, to A. Chester Beatty.]

1926 - 1952

Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, American, 1875 - 1968 and Lady Edith Chester Beatty, American, 1890 ? - 1952, sold through Maggs Brothers, London on July 25, 1952 to Philip Hofer.

1952 -

Philip Hofer, American, 1898 - 1984, given to his son, Myron A. Hofer II.

- 1985

Dr. Myron A. Hofer, as represented by Elmar Seibel, Ars Libri, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1985.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Medieval and Renaissance Illuminated Manuscripts: A Loan Exhibition (November 25, 1953 to January 9, 1954) (fols. not known)
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), November 25, 1953 to January 9, 1954
Illuminated & Calligraphic Manuscripts (February 14 to April 1, 1955) (fols. 99v-100)
  • Houghton Library, Harvard University (Cambridge), February 14 to April 1, 1955
Illuminated Liturgical Manuscripts (January 22 to March 30, 1986) (fols. 1v - 2)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 22 to March 30, 1986
The Decorated Letter (July 21 to October 6, 1987) (fols. 1v - 2)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 21 to October 6, 1987
Early Medieval and Romanesque Manuscripts (January 19 to April 3, 1988) (fols. 102v - 103)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 19 to April 3, 1988
Recent Acquisitions of Illuminated Manuscripts, 1984-1989 (July 17 to September 30, 1989) (fols. 4v - 5)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 17 to September 30, 1989
Illuminated German and Central European Manuscripts (October 17 to December 31, 1989) (fols. 1v - 2)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 17 to December 31, 1989
A Thousand Years of the Bible: Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (January 15 to March 31, 1991) (fols. 1v - 2)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 15 to March 31, 1991
The Decorated Letter (January 14 to March 29, 1992) (fols. 1v - 2)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 14 to March 29, 1992
Manuscripts and Americans: An Exhibition in Honor of Franklin D. Murphy (July 21 to October 18, 1992) (fols. 4v - 5)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 21 to October 18, 1992
Early Medieval and Romanesque Manuscripts (July 19 to October 10, 1993) (fols. 116v - 117)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 19 to October 10, 1993
Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript illumination (December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998) (fols. 1v - 2)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998
Ten Centuries of Manuscript Illumination in Germany and Central Europe (July 21 to October 18, 1998) (fols. 102v - 103)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 21 to October 18, 1998
Ritual Splendor: Illuminated Liturgical Manuscripts (February 20 to May 6, 2001) (fols. 116v - 117)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 20 to May 6, 2001
Seeking Illumination: Monastic Manuscripts, 800 - 1200 (March 23 to June 13, 2004) (fols. 1v -2)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 23 to June 13, 2004
The Gospels in Medieval Manuscript Illumination (October 31, 2006 to January 7, 2007) (fol. 4v - 5)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 31, 2006 to January 7, 2007
The Decorated Letter (November 13, 2007 to January 27, 2008) (fols. 102v - 103)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 13, 2007 to January 27, 2008
German and Central European Manuscript Illumination (February 24 to May 24, 2009) (fols. 116v - 117)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 24 to May 24, 2009
The Medieval Scriptorium (November 24, 2009 to February 14, 2010) (fols. 1v - 2)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 24, 2009 to February 14, 2010
"In the Beginning was the Word": Medieval Gospel Illumination (August 30 to November 27, 2011) (fols. 4v - 5)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), August 30 to November 27, 2011
Bibliography
Bibliography

Sotheby's, London. Catalogue of a Collection of Very Important Illuminated Manuscripts and Fine Printed Horae. May 4, 1926, pp. 8-9, lot 29, frontispiece ill, ill.

Millar, Eric George. The Library of A. Chester Beatty: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Western Manuscripts. 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1927), vol. 1, text, pp. 139-41, no. 42; vol. 1, plates, pls. 39-42.

Gernsheim, Walter. "Die Buchmalerei der Reichenau." Ph.D. diss. (Ludwig Maximilians Universität München, 1934), p. 20.

Ross, Marvin C. Medieval and Renaissance Illuminated Manuscripts: A Loan Exhibition, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: County Museum, 1953), p. 37, no. 134.

Illuminated & Calligraphic Manuscripts, exh. cat. (Cambridge: Harvard College Library, 1955), p. 10, no. 5, pl. 1.

Bloch, Peter. "Das Hornbacher Sakramentar und seine Stellung innerhalb der frühen Reichenauer Buchmalerei." Ph.D. diss. (Universität Basel, 1956), p. 97.

Bauerreiß, Romuald. "Gab es eine 'Reichenauer Malschule' um die Jahrtausendwende?" Studien und Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des Benediktiner-Ordens und seiner Zweige 68 (1957), p. 48.

Fauser, Alois. Zur Frage der Reichenauer Malschule: Ein Nachwort zur Ausstellung der Bamberger Apokalypse im Sommer 1958 (Kallmünz: Lassleben, 1958), pp. 305-312.

Bauerreiß, Romuald. "Über die angeblichen Reichenauer Malermönche Eburnant und Ruodpreht um das Jahr 1000." Studien und Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des Benediktiner-Ordens und seiner Zweige 76 (1965), pp. 36-40.

Dodwell, Charles Reginald, and Derek Howard Turner. Reichenau Reconsidered: A Re-Assessment of the Place of Reichenau in Ottonian Art (London: Warburg Institute, University of London, 1965), p. 63.

Hoffmann, Hartmut. Buchkunst und Königtum im ottonischen und frühsalischen Reich. Schriften der Monumenta Germaniae Historica, vol. 30, I (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 1986), part 1, pp. 384-385.

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), pp. 208-9, no. 106, ill.

Spilling, Herrad. Review of Buchkunst und Konigtum im ottonischen und frühsalischen Reich, by Hartmut Hoffmann. Kunstchronik41 (September 1988), pp. 499-506.

Olson, Kristen. "Illuminated Manuscripts: The Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum." Calligraphy Review 9, no. 1 (Fall 1991), p. 21, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), pp. 65, 66, ill.

A Thousand Years of the Bible: An Exhibition of Manuscripts from The J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu [...], exh. cat. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum; Los Angeles: University of California, 1991), pp. 29-30, 39, 54, fig. 14.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 61, 62, ill.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Illuminated Manuscripts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 10-11, ill., entry by Adam S. Cohen.

Sciacca, Christine. "Raising the Curtain on the Use of Textiles in Manuscripts." In Weaving, Veiling, and Dressing: Textiles and their Metaphors in the Late Middle Ages. Kathryn M. Rudy and Barbara Baert, eds. (Turnhout: Brepols, 2007), p. 181.

Kren, Thomas. Illuminated Manuscripts of Germany and Central Europe in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009), pp. 10-11, 31-33, 40-42, ill.

Sciacca, Christine. Building the Medieval World (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum; London: The British Library, 2010), p. 85, fig. 83.

von Walter Berschin and Ulrich Kuder. Reichenauer Buchmalerei 850-1070. (Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2015), pg. 56, fig. 8.