Seitenstetten Gospels


Established in 1112 by a local count, Udalschalk von Stille, and his brother-in-law, Reginbert, the monastery at Seitenstetten actively commemorated its founding dynasty for well over a century. When Abbot Henry (r. 1247–50) commissioned a deluxe Gospel book for the monastery, his aristocratic patrons were featured prominently in its decorative program, as was Henry himself. In the dedication miniature shown here, Henry (Heinricus) and a noblewoman offer their book to an enthroned Virgin and Child. Henry is identified as a priest, suggesting that this commission may slightly predate his rule as abbot. The woman is identified as Cunigunde (Chunegundis), who is attested in contemporary sources as the widow of Otaker von Stille and thus a member of the dynasty.

"Seitenstetten Gospels," in Latin
Austria, Seitenstetten (?), ca. 1247
The Morgan Library & Museum, MS M.808, fol. 29v
Purchased, 1940