Crucifixion of Saint Peter
Sacramentary, in Latin
Purchased by J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1919
The Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel rose in importance during the Norman Conquest. In the eleventh century, when the abbey was built on the rock, its scriptorium pioneered a Romanesque style. As a pilgrimage site between England and the Continent, the abbey absorbed influences from both regions and disseminated its distinctive style. This Sacramentary, containing texts read by the celebrant during high Mass, is the most lavish manuscript from Mont-Saint-Michel. This Crucifixion of St. Peter is executed in the characteristic Norman style, with figures more drawn than painted. The busy drapery and foliage, jagged lines, and distinctive pale palette betray the influence of tenth- and early-eleventh-century English decoration.