François-Roger de Gaignières (b. 1642, d. 1715) was an art collector and scholar who bequeathed his manuscripts and drawings to the French king Louis XIV (r. 1643–1715) in 1711. After the King’s death this book joined the French royal library as one of the masterpieces of his vast collection. This Gospel-book contains the lessons, or Gospel passages to be read during Mass.
The manuscript contains extravagant decoration found in very few French manuscripts of this period. The Gospel text is written entirely in gold or silver on purple parchment, and the beginning of each Gospel is enhanced by a fully decorated border and elaborated initial letter.
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.