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Detailed record for Harley 2788

Title Four Gospels (the 'Golden Gospels', 'Harley Golden Gospels'; 'Codex Aureus'), with canon tables (ff. 6v-12), and capitulary (ff. 199-208v)
Origin Germany, W. (Aachen?)
Date 1st quarter of the 9th century
Language Latin
Script Uncial; Caroline minuscule
Decoration Canon tables in colours and gold, with symbols of the Evangelists, animals, and columns (ff. 6v-12). Full-page title page in colours and gold, with birds (f. 12v). 4 full-page miniatures of the Evangelists in colours and gold (ff. 13v, 71, 108, 161v). 4 full page incipit pages in colours and gold, some with zoomorphic initials (ff. 14, 72, 109, 162). Text entirely in gold. Headings in red. Large initials in red or gold, or both. Every column of the biblical text enclosed in a frame of gold, silver, and colours, often with decorated panels, including of interlace and animals.
Dimensions in mm 365 x 250 (280 x 175) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 208 ( + 4 unfoliated parchment leaves at the beginning and 3 at the end; interleaves with paper leaves throughout)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of red leather with extensive gold tooling over wooden boards.
Provenance Jean-Jacques Charron (b. 1643 d. 1718), vicomte, then marquis de Ménars (Ménars sur Loire, near Blois), baron de Conflans Sainte Honorine, Seigneur de Neufville, president of the Paris Parliament: his sale: Abraham de Hondt, The Hague, 10 June 1720, lot 9, purchased by Harley for 1100 guilders (see C. E. Wright and Ruth C. Wright, The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1976), I, 38 n. 5).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts.
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d.1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes One of 10 manuscripts of the so-called 'Ada group' that Koehler attributed to the 'court school' of Charlemagne.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts, in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1808-12), II (1808) no. 2788.

M. Digby Wyatt, The Art of Illuminating (London: Dan and Son Lithographers, 1860; repr. Studio Editions, 1987), p. 22.

Walter de Gray Birch and Henry Jenner, Early Drawings and Illuminations: An Introduction to the Study of Illustrated Manuscripts (London: Bagster and Sons, 1879), p. 3.

[E. Maunde Thompson and G. F. Warner], Catalogue of Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum, 2 vols (London: British Museum, 1881-1884), Part II Latin, pp. 22-24 [with additional bibliography].

Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, 4th edn, ed. by Edward Miller, 2 vols (London: George Bell & Sons, 1894), II, 77.

Facsimiles of Biblical Manuscripts in the British Museum, ed. by Frederic G. Kenyon (London: British Museum, 1900), no. XIII.

George F. Warner, Illuminated Manuscripts in The British Museum, Series I-IV (London: British Museum, 1903), pls 4, 5.

J. A. Herbert, Illuminated Manuscripts (London: Methuen, 1911), pp. 100-03, pl. 9.

Wilhelm Köhler, 'Die Karolingishen Miniaturen', in Zweiter Bericht über die Denkmäler Deutscher Kunst (Berlin: Reimer, 1912), pp. 52-77 (p. 57).

Amédée Boinet, La miniature carolingienne: ses origines, son développement (Paris: Picard, 1913), pls 12-14.

Georg Swarzenski, Die Salzburger Malerei, 2 vols (Leipzig: Hiersemann, 1913), I, 32 n. 1.

[J. A. Herbert], British Museum: Reproductions from Illuminated Manuscripts, Series 3, 3rd edn (London: British Museum, 1925), pl. 4.

Schools of Illumination: Reproductions from Manuscripts in the British Museum, 6 vols (London: British Museum, 1914-1930), V: Carolingian and French to early 14th century (1926), pl. 1.

Adolph Goldschmidt, German Illumination, 2 vols (Florence: Pantheon, 1928), I, Carolingian Period, p. 11, pls 35-37.

H. H. Glunz, History of the Vulgate in England from Alcuin to Roger Bacon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1933), p. xiii.

Codices Latini Antiquiores, ed. by E. A. Lowe, 11 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934-1966), II: Great Britain and Ireland (1935), no. 198.

Theodor Klauser, Das ro¨mische capitulare evangeliorum: Texte und Untersuchungen zu seiner a¨ltesten Geschichte, Liturgiegeschichtliche Quellen und Forschungen. 28 (Munster: Aschendorffschen, 1935), p. L no. 165*.

G. L. Micheli L’enluminure du haut moyen age et les influences irlandaises (Brussels: Editions de la connaissance, 1939), pp. 111, 113.

Ernst Kitzinger, Early Medieval Art with Illustrations from the British Museum Collection (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1940), pls 18-19.

Die Karolingischen Miniaturen, ed. by Wilhelm Koehler and Florentine Mütherich, 6 vols (Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1930-99), 2, ed. by Wilhelm Koehler, Die Hofschule Karls des Grossen (1958), pp. 56-69, pls 42-66.

Die Karolingischen Miniaturen, ed. by Wilhelm Koehler and Florentine Mütherich, 6 vols (Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1930-99), 3, ed. by Wilhelm Koehler, 2 parts, 3:1: Die Gruppe des Wiener Krönungs-Evangeliars (1960), pp. 22-27, 30-31, 35-45.

Patrick McGurk, Latin Gospel Books from A. D. 400 to A. D. 800 (Paris: Érasme, 1961), no. 27.

Illuminated Manuscripts Exhibited in the Grenville Library (London, British Museum, 1967), no. 35.

Die Ottonische Kolner Malerschule, ed. by Peter Bloch and Hermann Schnitzler, 2 vols (Dusseldorf: L. Schwann, 1967-1970), II: Textband, pp. 40-41, 43, 112, 118.

John Beckwith, Early Medieval Art: Carolingian, Ottonian, Romanesque, 2nd edn (London: Thames and Hudson, 1969), pl. 31.

J. J. G. Alexander, Norman Illumination at Mont St Michel 966-1100 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970), pp. 129 n. 4; 153 n. 5; 166 n. 6; 171 n. 2.

C. R. Dodwell, Painting in Europe: 800 to 1200 (London: Penguin Books, 1971), pp. 18, 25-28, 72, pls 18-19.

Elzbieta Temple, Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts 900-1066, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 2 (London: Harvey Miller, 1976), pp. 43, 67.

J. J. G. Alexander, The Decorated Letter (New York: Braziller, 1978), pl. 5.

J. J. G. Alexander, Insular Manuscripts: 6th to the 9th Century, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 1 (London: Harvey Miller, 1978), pp. 58, 74, fig. 16.

Wayne Dynes, The Illuminations of the Stavelot Bible (New York: Garland Publishing, 1978). fig. 1.

Janet Backhouse, The Illuminated Manuscript (Oxford: Phaidon, 1979), p. 12 pl. 3.

Helmut Engelhart, Die Würzburger Buchmalerei im Hohen Mittelalter: Untersuchungen zu einer Gruppe Illuminierter Handschriften aus der Werkstatt der Würzburger Dominikanerbibel von 1246, 2 vols, Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte des Bistums und Hochstifts Würzburg, ed. by Klaus Wittstadt, 34 (Würzburg, 1987), p. 78.

Bonifatius Fischer, Die Lateinischen Evangelien bis zum 10. Jahrhundert, 4 vols (Freiburg: Herder, 1988-1991), I: Varianten zu Matthäus, Vetus Latina die Reste der Altlateinischen Bible: Aus der Geschichte der Lateinischen Bibel, 13, p. 20* (as 'Ah').

John Lowden, Illuminated Prophet Books: A Study of Byzantine Manuscripts of the Major and Minor Prophets (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1988) , p. 100 n. 189.

Madeline Harrison Caviness, Sumptuous Arts at the Royal Abbeys in Reims and Braine: Ornatus elegantiae, Varietate stupendes (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), pl. 16.

Michael Gullick, Calligraphy (London: Studio Editions, 1990), pl. 9.

John Higgitt, 'A Strictly Limited Edition: the New Facsimile of the Book of Kells', Art History, 14 (1991), p. 450.

Julian Brown, A Palaeographer’s View: The Selected Writings of Julian Brown, ed. by Janet Bately, Michelle P. Brown, and Jane Roberts (London: Harvey Miller, 1993), p.132.

Bernhard Bischoff, Manuscripts and Libraries in the Age of Charlemagne, trans. and ed. by Michael Gorman, Cambridge Studies in Palaeography and Codicology, 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994; most originally pub. in Mittelalterliche Studien: Ausgewählte Aufsätze zur Schriftkunde und Literaturgeschichte I-III (Stuttgart: Hieresmann, 1966-1981), pp. 65 n. 45, 67, 82, 84.

Michelle P. Brown, Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms (London: British Library, 1994), pl. on p. 33.

George Henderson, 'Emulation and invention in Carolingian art', in Carolingian culture: emulation and innovation, ed. by Rosamond McKitterick (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 248-73 (p. 259).

Peter Lasko, Ars Sacra 800-1200, 2nd edn (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), pp. 23, 49, pl. 63.

Carl Nordenfalk, Book Illumination: Early Middle Ages (Geneva: Editions d'art Albert Skira, 1995; originally printed as Early Medieval Painting, New York: Skira, 1957), p. 55.

Christopher de Hamel, A History of Illuminated Manuscripts, 2nd edn (London: Phaidon, 1994), p. 48.

The Utrecht Psalter in Medieval Art: Picturing the Psalms of David, ed. by Koert van der Horst, William Noel, and Wilhelmina C M. Wüstefeld (Utrecht: HES Publishers, 1996), p. 81.

Janet Backhouse, The Illuminated Page: Ten Centuries of Manuscript Painting in the British Library (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), no. 5.

Bernard Meehan, in Studies in the Illustration of the Psalter, ed. by Brendan Cassidy and Rosemary Muir Wright (Stamford: Shaun Tyas, 2000), p. 23 [with additional bibliography].

Richard Jewell, 'Classicism of Southumbrian Sculpture' in Mercia: An Anglo-Saxon Kingdom in Europe, ed. by Michelle P. Brown and Carol A. Farr (London: Leicester University Press, 2001), pp. 247-62 (p. 249).

Medieval Mastery: Book Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold 800-1475 (Leuven: Brepols, 2002), p. 121.

Treasures of the British Library, ed. by Nicolas Barker and others (London: British Library, 2005), p. 49.

Scot McKendrick and Kathleen Doyle, Bible Manuscripts: 1400 Years of Scribes and Scripture (London: British Library, 2007), pp. 32-33, fig. 19-20.

Raymond Clemens and Timothy Graham, Introduction to Manuscript Studies (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008), pl. 11-14.


Images
* * *
 
Prologue

f. 1
Prologue
Coloured initial

f. 2
Coloured initial
Text page

f. 3
Text page
 
Gold text

f. 3
Gold text
Coloured initials

f. 4v
Coloured initials
Canon table

f. 6v
Canon table
 
Canon table

f. 7
Canon table
Canon table

f. 8
Canon table
Canon table

f. 8v
Canon table
 
Canon table

f. 9
Canon table
Canon table

f. 9v
Canon table
Canon table

f. 10
Canon table
 
Canon table

f. 10v
Canon table
Canon table

f. 11
Canon table
Canon table

f. 11v
Canon table
 
Title page

f. 12v
Title page
Matthew

f. 13v
Matthew
Incipit page

f. 14
Incipit page
 
Gold text

f. 14v
Gold text
Text page

f. 15
Text page
Gold text

f. 45v
Gold text
 
Gold text

f. 46
Gold text
Text page

f. 54
Text page
Text page

f. 63v
Text page
 
Text page

f. 68
Text page
Text page

f. 68v
Text page
Mark

f. 71v
Mark
 
Mark

f. 72
Mark
Text page

f. 83
Text page
Illuminated border

f. 101
Illuminated border
 
Illuminated border

f. 105v
Illuminated border
Incipit pages

ff. 108v-109
Incipit pages
Luke

f. 108v
Luke
 
Luke

ff. 108v-109
Luke
Luke

f. 109
Luke
Luke

f. 109
Luke
 
Text page

f. 110v
Text page
Text page

f. 112v
Text page
Text page

f. 117v
Text page
 
John

f. 161v
John
Decorated initials

f. 162
Decorated initials

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