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From The Koninklijke Bibliotheek
 
TWO GOSPELS FROM THE MEUSE VALLEY
This Gospelbook, which must have been executed in the Meuse Valley in the second half of the twelfth century, contains the text of the four gospels and is illuminated with ten canon tables (tables indicating the concordance between the parallel passages in the gospels) and portraits of the four evangelists.
Two Gospels from the Meuse Valley,
second half of the twelfth century.
Vellum, 131 leaves, 314 x 212 mm

In three cases the portrait is put on the left-hand page, while the gospel text starts on the opposite page, with a conspicuous decoration of initials and colored bands. This creates an attractive beginning of the gospel, as can be seen here, with to the left St. John the Evangelist with his symbol, the eagle, and to the right the initial words of his gospel:

"In principio erat verbum ..."

"In the beginning was the Word."

The letters I and N of the first word have been worked into the background of the miniature. The bright red, blue and green colors and the division of the background into geometric areas are characteristic of Romanesque miniatures. The austere and imposing way in which the evangelists have been portrayed indicates that the painter, who had a somewhat archaic working method, may have used an Ottonian model of around the year 1000. He must have derived the postures of the evangelists and the motif of intertwined initials in the background from this model. So far it has not been possible to locate the actual centre or monastery where he must have lived.

 

 

Egmond
Gospels

Meuse
Gospels

Bible of
the Poor

King's
Bible

History
Bible

Dutch
Version


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