The scriptorium at Metz flourished under one of the illegitimate sons of Charlemagne, Drogo, who was bishop from 826 to 855 and who commissioned precious manuscripts and ivory. This decorated Gospel-book is thought to have been made there, based on the decoration and style of writing. It begins with canon tables, four columns of the chapter numbers of corresponding passages in the Four Gospels, set within a series of columns and arches. They are followed by two full-page outline drawings, the first of Old Testament figures and the second of Christ surrounded by saints, also in an architectural setting.
The manuscript has been divided into two volumes, this one containing the above material and The Gospels of Sts Matthew and Mark. The second volume contains The Gospels of Sts John and Luke. At the beginning of St Matthew is an initial in vibrant colours and gold on a purple background but the initial at the beginning of St Mark is lacking.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Article by:
- Charlotte Denoël
- Art and illumination, Making manuscripts, Christian religion and belief
Drawings and painted decoration in manuscripts ornamented the text as well as illustrated or commented on it. Charlotte Denoël outlines the history of manuscript art in early medieval France.