Pentecost

Object Details

Title:

Pentecost

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Ottonian

Date:

about 1030 - 1040

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment

Dimensions:

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

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In the benedictional from Regensburg, a miniature depicting Pentecost appears before the text of the blessings for that holiday. From the concentric circles of the arc of heaven, flames of thick golden rays and thin red lines stream toward the twelve apostles gathered below. As the Gospel texts describe, the Holy Spirit descends as tongues of fire on the apostles' heads.

In this representation the illuminator carefully differentiated the two most important apostles, placing them prominently in the center of the top row. Peter, just left of the center, is balding, gray-haired, and wears a short beard, while Paul, at right center, has a receding hairline and a longer, dark beard. On the bottom row the illuminator organized the figures symmetrically, alternating colors and poses to maintain pictorial balance.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Early Medieval and Romanesque Manuscripts (October 17 to December 30, 1984)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), October 17 to December 30, 1984
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