Illuminated Gospels from Thessaloniki

Description

This manuscript, made in 1291 or 1292 in Thessaloniki, is an important example of Byzantine illumination from mainland Greece. Although there are no miniatures, the lavishly decorated headpieces and initials in the volume are among the best-preserved examples of the art of Theodore Hagiopétritès, who both wrote the text and added the decoration in the manuscript.

The manuscript was commissioned by Gerasimos, a monk in Thessaloniki, and it was still in the same city in the 14th century, when it was presented to a monk named Dositheos by the archon Alexios. It belonged to the Saibante family of Verona in the first half of the 18th century, and was possibly acquired by Charles Burney (1757–1817) along with Burney 105, another Saibante manuscript. Burney’s vast collection of manuscripts, theatrical ephemera, and newspapers was acquired by the British Museum after his death in 1818.

Full title:
Illuminated Gospels from Thessaloniki
Created:
1291–1292
Format:
Manuscript
Language:
Greek
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
Burney MS 21

Full catalogue details

Related articles

Book illumination in the Eastern Mediterranean

Article by:
Elisabeth Yota
Themes:
Art, Religion, The makers of Greek manuscripts

In this article, Elisabeth Yota surveys some of the evidence for the production of illuminated manuscripts outside of the imperial capital of Constantinople.