Charlemagne and his successors, who valued learning, accorded outsize value to books of all kinds. The Gospel Book, which contained the Bible’s several versions of the life of Jesus, reigned supreme. No churchman, court advisor, noblewoman or king would want to be without one. Its pages and covers were consistently deemed worthy of the highest quality decoration. In this example, perhaps made for a queen, painted illumination is reserved for the Canon Tables, an elaborate concordance used to compare and contrast passages from the four gospel texts. Here, splendid arcades organize the essential information. The decoration is so varied and lively–to the point of whimsy at times–that turning the pages approximates an extraordinary architectural tour.
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Folios 6v-7r, Canon Tables
Endpaper iv verso-Folio 1r, Canon Table
Folio 1r, Canon Table, Canon I (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
Folios 1v-2r, Canon Tables
Folio 1v, Canon Table, Canon I (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
Folio 2r, Canon Table, Canon I (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
Folios 2v-3r, Canon Tables
Folio 2v, Canon Table, Canon II (Matthew, Mark, Luke)
Folio 3r, Canon Table, Canon II (Matthew, Mark, Luke)
Folios 3v-4r, Canon Tables
Folio 3v, Canon Table, Canon II (Matthew, Mark, Luke)
Folio 4r, Canon Table, Canon II (Matthew, Mark, Luke)
Folios 4v-5r, Canon Tables
Folio 4v, Canon Table, Canon III (Matthew, Luke, John)
Folio 5r, Canon Table, Canon IV (Matthew, Mark, John)
Folios 5v-6r, Canon Tables
Folio 5v, Canon Table, Canon V (Matthew, Luke)
Folio 6r, Canon Table, Canon V (Matthew, Luke)
Folio 6v, Canon Table, Canon VI (Matthew, Mark)
Folio 7r, Canon Table, Canon VII (Matthew, John) and Canon VIII (Luke, Mark)
Folios 7v-8r, Canon Tables
Folio 7v, Canon Table, Canon IX (Luke, John) and Canon X (Matthew)
Folio 8r, Canon Table, Canon X (Mark, Luke)
Folios 8v-9r, Canon Table / Preface to all four Gospels
Folio 8v, Canon Table, Canon X (John)
Folio 9r, Preface to all four Gospels: "Beatissimo pape damaso hieronimus"
Folio 10v-11r, Preface to all four Gospels: "Prologus quattuor evangeliorum"
Folio 12v-13r, Preface to all four Gospels: "Eusebius carpiano fratri in domino salutem"
Folio 13v-14r, Preface to all four Gospels: "Hieroniumus damaso papae"; Matthew: "Incipit argumentum secundum mattheum"
Folio 17r, Full-page Title to Matthew: "Incipit evangelum secundum Mattheum"
Folio 17v-18r, Matthew
Folio 61v-62r, Mark
Folio 62v-63r, Mark
Folio 64v-65r, Mark
Folio 94v-95r, Luke
Folio 99v-100r, Luke
Folio 147v-148r, John
Folio 148v-149r, John
Folio 149v-150r, John
Folio 180v-181r, Capitulary: "Incipit capitulare evangeliorum de circula anni"
Folio 198v-199r, Additions made in the later 9th century: "Benedictio vestimentorum"
Folio 199v-200r, Additions made in the late 10th or early 11th century: "Der ercule decem"
Endpaper iv verso
Opening; Front Board And End Paper
Opening; Front End Papers
Opening; Beginning Of Matthew; 16V-17R
Opening; Back End Papers
Opening; Back Board And End Paper
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Geography:Made in probably Metz, present-day France
Medium:Ink and opaque watercolor on parchment; modern leather binding
Credit Line:The Cloisters Collection and Director's Fund, 2015
Probably written at the Benedictine Abbey at Metz or Murbach; Unidentified abbess, possibly Queen Theutberga of Lotharingia, Abbey Sainte-Glossinde, Metz (late 9th century) ; Benedictine convent at Poussay, Vosges, near Metz (by 11th century–late 18th century) ; Bibliothèque des Pères Dominicains (19th century) ; Guglielmo Libri, London (sold 1859) ; his sale Sotheby's, London (March 28–April 5, 1859, no. 356, to Tite) ; William Tite, London (1859–d. 1873) ; his posthumous sale, Sotheby's, London (May 18–June 6, 1874, no. 1040, to Quaritch) ; [ Bernard Quaritch, London (from 1874)] ; Alexander Peckover, 1st Baron Peckover of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire (until d. 1919) ; by descent to his son-in-law and daughter, James Doyle and Elisabeth Penrose (until 1932) ; by descent to their sons, Alexander P. D. and Roland A. Penrose (sold jointly 1933) ; Sotheby's, London (April 3, 1933, no. 342, to Quaritch) ; [ Bernard Quaritch Ltd., London (from 1933) ; Charles Harry St. John Hornby, London (by 1933–d. 1946; sold by his executors to Abbey) ; John Roland Abbey, London (1946–1969) ; Hornby-Abbey sale, Sotheby's, London (March 25, 1975, no. 2939, to Breslauer) ; [ Bernard H. Breslauer, New York (from 1975)] ; Helmut Beck, Stuttgart (sold 1997) ; Beck collection sale, Sotheby's, London (June 16, 1997, no. 2) ; Private Collection, London (1997–2015) ; Christie's, London (July 15, 2015, no. 20)
Catalogue of the extraordinary collection of slendid manuscripts chiefly upon vellum, in various languages of Europe and the East, formed by M. Guglielmo Libri. London: Sotheby's, March 28–April 5, 1859. no. 356, p. 82, pl. 6.
Catalogue of the extensive, important and valuable collection of books, manuscripts, autograph letters, and engravings, of the late Sir William Tite. London: Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, May 18–June 6, 1874. no. 1040, p. 71.
Bernard Quaritch. A General Catalogue of Books: The Supplement, 1875–77. Vol. 1. London: G. Norman, 1877. no. 10, p. 3.
Catalogue of valuable printed books, illuminated & other manuscripts ...together with Important Early Books & Mss. from the Library of the Late Lord Peckover (of Wisbech), Sold by Order of His Grandsons, A.P.D. Penrose and R.A. Penrose. London: Sotheby's, April 3, 1933. no. 342, ill. folding pl.
Munby, A. N. L., and A. R. A. Hobson. "Contemporary Collectors XXVI: John Roland Abbey." The Book Collector 10 (1961). p. 42.
Catalogue of The Celebrated Library, The Property of the late Major J. R. Abbey sold by order of the executors: The Ninth Portion, The Hornby Manuscripts, Part II. London: Sotheby & Co., March 25, 1975. no. 2939, pp. 11–15, pl. 1, ill. on frontispiece.
Engelhart, Helmut. Die Würzburger Buchmalerei im hohen Mittelalter: Untersuchungen zu einer Gruppe illuminierter Handschriften aus der Werkstatt der Würzburger Dominikanerbibel von 1246. Volume 1, Text. Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte des Bistums und Hochstifts Würzburg, Vol. 34. Würzburg: Kommissionsverlag Ferdinand Schöningh, 1987. p. 56.
Engelhart, Helmut. Die Würzburger Buchmalerei im hohen Mittelalter: Untersuchungen zu einer Gruppe illuminierter Handschriften aus der Werkstatt der Würzburger Dominikanerbibel von 1246. Volume 2, Plates. Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte des Bistums und Hochstifts Würzburg, Vol. 34. Würzburg: Kommissionsverlag Ferdinand Schöningh, 1987. pl. 205.
The Beck Collection of Illuminated Manuscripts. London: Sotheby's, June 16, 1997. no. 2, pp. 17–29.
Tampieri, Michèle. "L'évangéliaire de la reine Theutberge: Un joyau de l'époque carolingienne vendu à Londres." Cahiers Élie Fleur (Bibliothèque de la ville de Metz) 16 (1997–1998). pp. 15–29, ill.
Valuable Books and Manuscripts Including Cartography. London: Christie's, July 15, 2015. no. 20, pp. 22–23.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Forty-Sixth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 146 (2016). p. 41.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 2014-2016." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 74, no. 2 (Fall 2016). p. 19.
Vanderputten, Steven, and Charles West. "Inscribing Property, Rituals, and Royal Alliances: The 'Theutberga Gospels' and the Abbey of Remiremont." Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 124, no. 2 (2016). pp. 296–321.
Kitzinger, Beatrice E., and Cambridge University Press. The cross, the Gospels, and the work of art in the Carolingian Age. Cambridge, 2019. p. 248 (p. 119 n. 6).
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