Berthold Lectionary


Berthold, the custodian (custos) of St. Peter’s Abbey, identifies himself as the patron and perhaps even the maker of this manuscript in a decorative inscription at the end of the book (at right): “To the key-bearer of heaven [St. Peter] the custodian Berthold, who made this book, offers it with a joyful heart to pay for all his sins. May he who steals it suffer violent bodily pains.” The unusually graphic curse may have been added in response to the politically backed plundering of local monasteries that was occurring at the time. Berthold’s miniatures feature a dramatically flattened style, with monumental figures, starkly rendered outlines, and narrative elements reduced to only the essentials. Each of these developments can be seen in this miniature of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.

See more images

"Berthold Lectionary," in Latin
Austria, Salzburg, ca. 1080
The Morgan Library & Museum, MS M.780, fols. 20v–21r
Purchased on the Lewis Cass Ledyard Fund, 1933