This manuscript of the four Gospels in Greek is lavishly illuminated. It contains not only the usual four portraits of the Evangelists we would expect from such a book, but also numerous other miniatures depicting scenes from the lives of Christ and the saints. It is also adorned with decorated canon tables at the beginning of the manuscript, and large headpieces at the beginning of three of the Gospels.
Despite its lavish decoration, the manuscript was probably not produced in Constantinople but in the provinces of the Byzantine Empire, some time around the year 1200. Based on both the art work and the type of script used, an origin in Cyprus or Palestine has been suggested for the volume.
Later ownership inscriptions indicate it remained in the Eastern Mediterranean until at least the 17th century. It ultimately made its way to England and the Harley Collection, which forms one of the foundation collections of the British Library.