The New York Cruciform Lectionary (Penn State Studies in Romance Literatures) (College Art Association Monograph)

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9780271007434: The New York Cruciform Lectionary (Penn State Studies in Romance Literatures) (College Art Association Monograph)
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xi 102p 64 plates 29cm cloth, dustjacket, index, new: 12C Constantinople MS with narrative illustrations, includes chapter on procedures and techniques

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For elegance and beauty, the scribes of Byzantine Constantinople set standards rarely surpassed. The Gospel Lectionary was among the books that attracted the most enthusiastic attention of scribes, illuminators and their patrons. As an important liturgical item, the Lectionary was often exquisitely decorated. The subject of this study, the Lectionary in the Pierpont Morgan Library, is unusual even among such luxury manuscripts because its scribe laboriously copied every page of text in the shape of a cross. It is one of just three such manuscripts made in Constantinople around the middle of the 12th century, and it is the only one that contains narrative illustration. Jeffrey Anderson provides a full description of the manuscript, and he has translated and indexed its calendar of saints. Each of the miniatures is reproduced, described and discussed. Anderson relates some scenes to versions found in other Byzantine Lectionaries and Gospels. The illustrations are attributed to two illuminators, and in a separate chapter Anderson situates their contributions in the context of the overall pattern of work with regard to the ruling, writing and illumination of the pages. He also relates, through style, the cruciform Lectionaries to dated 12th-century monuments to establish their place in the history of Byzantine art.

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