Illuminated New Testament and Psalter from Cyprus

Description

In the 11th and 12th centuries, a distinctive subgroup of manuscripts appeared, mostly originating in Cyprus or Palestine. Additional 11836 is a fine example of this ‘decorative style’ of manuscript. Unusually, it combines in one volume the New Testament (excluding Revelation) and the Psalms of the Old Testament. It contains numerous illuminated miniatures, including portraits of Jesus, the Evangelists, and the authors of the Psalms and Odes.

Ownership inscriptions in the manuscript make clear its Cypriot origin. It came to England via Constantinople, and previously belonged to Samuel Butler (1774–1839), bishop of Lichfield. It was purchased by the British Museum along with the rest of Butler’s manuscript collection, which included 25 other Greek manuscripts, in 1841.

Full title:
Illuminated New Testament and Psalter from Cyprus
Created:
11th century
Format:
Manuscript
Language:
Greek
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
Add MS 11836

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.