Created in Weingarten Monastery, the center of 13th century German book illumination: golden miniatures and uniquely fanciful initials in the transition from Romanesque to Gothic

Berthold Sacramentary

Monastery of Weingarten (Germany) — Between 1200 and 1232

Berthold Sacramentary

Berthold Sacramentary

Monastery of Weingarten (Germany) — Between 1200 and 1232

  1. Originated in Weingarten Abbey, one of the most important center of illumination in early 13th century Germany

  2. Abbot Berthold commissioned this incomparable late Romanesque work from the so-called Berthold Master

  3. All its miniatures and the great majority of its fantastical initials are set against gold and silver grounds

Berthold-Sakramentar

Berthold Sacramentary

Adoration of the Magi

Instead of a stable, the artists made use of rounded arches to create a palatial scene in the central register of this miniature with a glimmering gold background. Mary is enthroned like a queen receiving the homage of her vassals to their newborn liege lord. The Three Kings approach with their gifts, the first two presenting theirs while the third waits patiently. The baby Jesus extends his right hand toward them giving the sign of benediction.

Berthold Sacramentary

Alternative Titles:
  • Berthold-Sakramentar
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Imageof
Regular price without login (like new)4,980 €
Login for a Better Price!
  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The Berthold Master is just one of countless medieval artists who, in spite of their great skill, have remained more or less anonymous to us today. Nonetheless, this unknown artist produced some wonderful illuminated manuscripts, the famous Berthold Sacramentary is the origin of his name of convenience. Produced upon the request of Abbot Berthold, the 13th century manuscript features a wealth of miniatures, historiated initials large and small, calendar plates, and more. Aside from its wonderful often metallic color palette, the decoration of the manuscript is further embellished with the generous use of gold and silver. The book was written out by three different scribes in calligraphic perfection befitting the quality of the pictorial decoration, thus making it a holistic work of art which is unrivalled in the history of book illumination.

Berthold Sacramentary

There are very few books that stand out from the relatively large medieval production of prime quality manuscripts, one of them being the Berthold Sacramentary. It was produced upon the request of Abbot Berthold, probably immediately after the big fire of 1215 in which the library of the monastery was severely damaged, and surpasses all comparable books of the late Romanesque period in both formal and material aspects. 21 full-page miniatures, 7 historical paintings, 6 full-length, 12 half-length and 52 smaller decorated initials, 18 figural initials and 12 calendar plates form the decorative furnishings of the book, which cover a total of 165 parchment folios. This huge quantity of pictures is paralleled with truly extraordinary quality. They are the work of an anonymous miniaturist, referred to as the Berthold Master, who was obviously far ahead of his time: a vigorous and dramatic representation of the narrative, a new plasticity achieved by modeling color application, and an inexhaustible decorative proficiency are all important features of the magnificent miniatures.

Gold and Silver Abound

All miniatures and the great majority of initials are set against gold and silver grounds thus enhancing the luminescence of their colors. However, this generous application of metallic colors is not the only highlight of the elaborate decoration in the Berthold Sacramentary, as it is even further enriched by a total of 32 miniatures and initials on burnished golden grounds. Six pictures are set against golden backgrounds which were additionally ornamented with clearly elevated relief in an expensive technical process. The Berthold master reserved this ultimate level of decorative luxury for the illustration of the principal feast days in the Church year. The book was written out by three different scribes in calligraphic perfection befitting the quality of the pictorial decoration, thus making it a holistic work of art which is unrivalled in the history of book illumination.

The Facsimile Edition

All 330 pages of the manuscript are reproduced in the original format of 29 x 20 cm with luminous golden decoration. The binding is made of genuine leather and embellished with silver ornamental bands. The facsimile edition is limited to 280 copies and available in a protective case. The 288-page commentary volumes explains all miniatures in great detail while also dealing with their historic and art historic context.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Berthold-Sakramentar
Size / Format
330 pages / 29.3 x 20.4 cm
Date
Between 1200 and 1232
Language
Illustrations
128 pages with luxurious illustrations and ornamentation rich in gold (partially with real gold and silver). 28 historic images, 88 ornamental, partly full-page, some figurative initials, 12 calendar plates
Artist / School
Berthold-Sakramentar

Berthold Sacramentary

The Death of the Virgin

The illumination of this incomparable work of late Romanesque art is distinguished by the refinement of its miniatures, which are richly adorned with gold and silver. The Berthold Master’s depiction of this popular subject is distinguished by its masterful execution and tremendous emotionality.

The expressions of the Twelve Apostles, who have miraculously assembled from their missionary work across the world, range from quiet grief to the anguished look on the face of the figure who has collapsed next to her bed. Christ’s expression, however, is calm, he looks almost as relieved as his mother. The baby he holds is the spirit of his mother, now at peace and reunited with her son – their roles are now reversed as he holds her in his arms.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Berthold Sacramentary“

Berthold-Sakramentar
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Berthold Sacramentary – Ms M.710 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA)
Imageof

Berthold-Sakramentar

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 1995
Limited Edition
280 copies
Binding
Leather with silver frame
Commentary
1 volume (288 pages) by Felix Heinzer and Hans Ulrich Rudolf
Language: German

Ed. by Felix Heinzer, Stuttgart, and Hans Ulrich Rudolf, Weingarten, with support from numerous experts.
Facsimile in a cloth box with edges in leather.

The commentary volumes explains on 288 pages all miniatures in great detail while also dealing with their historic and art historic context.
More Information
All folios are cut according to the original.
Regular price without login (like new)4,980 €
Login for a Better Price!
  1. Matching Works
  2. Matching Background Articles

Matching Works

Sacramentary of Beauvais

Sacramentary of Beauvais

Adorned with gold and silver: ten beautifully illuminated leaves of a special sacramentary from the 11th century

Experience More
Passau Evangelary

Passau Evangelary

Elements of the Romanesque and Byzantine styles wonderfully combined: a rare luxury codex from Passau with shiny miniatures on a gold background

Experience More

Matching Background Articles

Publisher