Christ in Majesty
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Ottonian, Mainz or Fulda, about 1025 - 1050
Tempera colors and gold on parchment


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A miniature of Christ in Majesty regally introduces the Canon of the Mass in this Ottonian sacramentary. The beginning of the text appears in the border of Jesus' mandorla in gold letters: Te [i]gitur clementissime pater per Ih[esu]m xp[istu]m filium tuum d[omi]n[u]m nostrum (Thus you most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord). In the illumination, Christ blesses with his right hand while holding a book in his left and resting his feet on a globe. The miniature recalls the silver-gilt figure of Jesus on the sacramentary's cover. Despite their different media, the figures share a similar monumentality. On a gold ground around Christ's mandorla, the evangelist symbols holding their Gospels turn from the corners towards Jesus. The winged ox represents Saint Luke, the winged man Saint Matthew, the eagle Saint John, and the winged lion Saint Mark. These figures derive from the association of the four evangelists with the four living beasts of the Apocalypse from Saint John's Revelation.