This Gospel-book, made in the third quarter of the ninth century, is an example of the Franco-Saxon style of decoration that developed in the kingdom of the Franks in Western Europe in the early Middle Ages. The decoration combines the Anglo-Saxon style, embellished initials and frames of elaborate interlace and stylized animal motifs, with the Frankish taste for symmetry, harmony, and the use of gold, silver and purple.
This lavish manuscript is written entirely in gold and has an elaborate title page at the beginning of each Gospel. It was made in Reims or a northern-French centre outside the core Franco-Saxon area, the stylistic techniques may be indicative of an early attempt at Reims of adopting a new style of decoration that was radiating from the main northeastern monastery workshops.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Article by:
- Emilia Henderson
- Christian religion and belief, Art and illumination, Making manuscripts
Manuscripts decorated in the Franco-Saxon style are some of the most visually stunning signs of the flow of inspiration and connections across the English Channel in the early Middle Ages. Emilia Henderson examines the design and production of these works.