Saint-Remi Gospels


Among the largest cities in Roman Gaul, Reims was also a center of artistic renewal in the Carolingian empire. This efflorescence was fostered by enterprising archbishops like Hincmar of Reims (806–882), who renovated several important monasteries in his domain, including Saint-Remi just outside the city walls. Preserving the relics of St. Remigius, who baptized King Clovis and converted the Franks to Christianity, the monastery laid claim to a fundamental moment in Frankish history. Commissioned by Hincmar for Saint-Remi’s rededication, this manuscript was written exclusively in gold ink. The portrait of the evangelist Matthew is deeply classicizing, a reference to the city’s ancient past. Featuring the opening words of the Gospel, the purple ground of the facing page likewise refers to imperial traditions.

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"Saint-Remi Gospels," in Latin
France, Reims, ca. 852
The Morgan Library & Museum, MS M.728, fols. 14v–15r
Purchased, 1927