The J. Paul Getty Museum

Saint Matthew

Object Details

Title:

Saint Matthew

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

German

Place:

Helmarshausen, Germany (Place Created)

Date:

about 1120–1140

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold, and silver on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. Ludwig II 3 (83.MB.67), fol. 9v

Dimensions:

Leaf: 22.9 × 16.5 cm (9 × 6 1/2 in.)

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Object Description

In this Gospel book, a portrait of the author prefaces each evangelist's account of the life of Jesus. In the miniature that opens the gospel of Matthew, the saint sits on a luxuriously cushioned throne before a lectern. Holding a quill pen and a knife, he writes the opening lines of his gospel in the book on the lectern: Liber generationis ih[es]u xp[ist]i filii David filii habrah[am] (The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham). The gold and silver letters above Matthew's head announce his Gospel: "The beginning of the holy gospel according to Matthew." The artist applied rich colors in bold geometric patterns, using burnished gold against deep blue behind the saint and gold and silver writing on reddish-purple for the inscription above. The vibrant colors, robust figure, and patterned drapery are all characteristic of the Romanesque style of illumination.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (July 1 to September 30, 1984)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 1 to September 30, 1984
Monasteries and Manuscripts (April 21 to July 5, 1987)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 21 to July 5, 1987
Early Medieval and Romanesque Manuscripts (January 19 to April 3, 1988)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 19 to April 3, 1988
Illuminated German and Central European Manuscripts (October 17 to December 31, 1989)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 17 to December 31, 1989
The Art of the Written Word: Medieval and Renaissance Calligraphy in Illuminated Manuscripts (January 16 to April 1, 1990)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 16 to April 1, 1990
Monasteries and Manuscripts (July 16 to September 29, 1991)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 16 to September 29, 1991
Ludwigslust: Die Sammlung Irene und Peter Ludwig (June 19 to October 10, 1993)
  • Germanisches Nationalmuseum (Nuremberg), June 19 to October 10, 1993
Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript illumination (December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998
Illuminating Color (May 22 to August 26, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 22 to August 26, 2001
Byzantium and the West (September 14 to December 5, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 14 to December 5, 2004
Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts (January 22 to June 26, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 22 to June 26, 2016