Gospel Lectionary


Generations of painters at Salzburg looked to the “St. Peter’s Gospels” as a source of inspiration. As these foundational miniatures were copied over the decades, a shift toward Byzantine and Italian styles of painting can be observed. The illuminator of this Gospel lectionary took many of his compositions directly from earlier Salzburg manuscripts, but opted for simpler drapery, less modeling, stronger outlines, and a different technique for creating skin tones. The manuscript opens at left with a dedication scene in which an unidentified abbot hands his book to an unidentifiable saint. The miniature at right depicts the Presentation and Betrothal of Mary in the Temple. Crowned by an angel, the young Virgin is presented by her mother, Anna, to her future husband, Joseph. The nude figures atop the two columns are based on the Spinario, an ancient bronze statue from Rome that was famous throughout the Middle Ages.

See more images

Gospel Lectionary, in Latin
Austria, Salzburg, ca. 1030–40
The Morgan Library & Museum, MS G.44, fols. 1v–2r
Gift of the Trustees of the William S. Glazier Collection, 1984