For the personal use of Emperor Henry III: a magnificent masterpiece from the scriptorium of Echternach Abbey

Echternach Pericopes of Henry III

Echternach Abbey (Luxembourg) — 1039–1043

Echternach Pericopes of Henry III

Echternach Pericopes of Henry III

Echternach Abbey (Luxembourg) — 1039–1043

  1. This imperial commission is one of the most magnificent works from the scriptorium of Echternach Abbey

  2. The Abbey of Echternach was one of, if not *the* center of illumination during the Ottonian period

  3. It is also the smallest of the Echternach manuscripts and was made for the personal use Emperor Henry III (1017–56)

Evangelistar Heinrichs III.

Echternach Pericopes of Henry III

Incipit Page: Mark 16

Centered around an elaborate golden “M” initial consisting of tendril interlace that contrasts beautifully with the light blue background, this incipit page introduces the important passage concerning the discovery of the empty tomb after the Resurrection from the Gospel of Mark , which is the oldest Biblical account. “Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.” (Mark 16:1)

Echternach Pericopes of Henry III

Alternative Titles:
  • Echternacher Evangelistar Kaiser Heinrichs III.
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

One of the magnificent manuscripts of the famous Echternach scriptorium: the Echternach Pericopes of Henry III. Measuring 19 x 15 cm, it is probably the smallest of the splendid works of the Echternach scriptorium – the emperor’s manuscript was presumably intended for travel – but the Pericopes impresses all the more due to its exuberant visual adornment. Homage is done in the famous dedication pictures not only to the Kaiser himself but also to his mother, Gisela von Schwaben. The Echternach Pericopes of Henry III grants a comprehensive overview into the glorious epoch of the Salian emperors!

Echternach Pericopes of Henry III

One of the magnificent manuscripts of the famous Echternach scriptorium: the Echternach Pericopes of Henry III. Measuring 19 x 15 cm, it is probably the smallest of the splendid works of the Echternach scriptorium – the emperor’s manuscript was presumably intended for travel – but the Pericopes impresses all the more due to its exuberant visual adornment. Homage is done in the famous dedication pictures not only to the Kaiser himself but also to his mother, Gisela von Schwaben. The Echternach Pericopes of Henry III grants a comprehensive overview into the glorious epoch of the Salian emperors!

A Jewel from the Imperial Abbey

In the famous miniature of the scribe and the King – the delivery of the manuscript to Henry III – the splendid work’s point of origin is also referenced in a famous inscription: “Oh King! This place, called Echternach, awaits your grace both day and night.” The Abbey of Echternach with its famous scriptorium was one of the most important centers of illumination during the Ottonian period and one of the most famous scriptoria of the entire Middle Ages! Grandiose testimonials to Echternach illumination are counted today among the highpoints of the art of this epoch, e.g. the Codex Aureus of Echternach or the Codex Aureus Escurialensis.

A Magnificent Manuscript as a Treasure

The Echternach Pericopes of Henry III, stored under the shelf mark Ms. b. 21 in the University of Bremen Library, is the smallest of the splendid works of the Echternach scriptorium with the format of 19.3 x 14.6 cm, which is relatively small for such a manuscript. Originating from the years 1039–1043, it probably served as a travelling manuscript for the emperor. On 254 pages, the Pericopes-texts are gorgeously illustrated with 38 large format miniature pages – which sometimes contains two scenes –, 13 smaller pictures, 3 ornamental pages, and 5 splendid initial pages.

Unique Motifs and Classic Depictions

The Codex Egberti from Trier probably served as a template for the imperial manuscript in addition to examples from Byzantine imagery. Nevertheless, the wondrous uniqueness of individual image motifs in the Pericopes is worthy of mention. Alongside the marvelous Maiestas Domini and the wonderful pictures of the four Evangelists, the dedication pictures are especially noteworthy: folios 3r and 3v present verses of praise alongside the depictions of Henry III, which present Henry III as a king, and his mother, the Empress Gisela von Schwaben. In its unusual form as a splendid “small-format” manuscript, the Echternach Pericopes of Henry III offers an inside glimpse into the world of Echternach illumination during the 11th century!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Echternacher Evangelistar Kaiser Heinrichs III.
Size / Format
254 pages / 20.0 x 15.0 cm
Date
1039–1043
Language
Illustrations
38 full-page minatures, 13 smaller miniatures and 5 decorative initials pages
Previous Owners
Evangelistar Heinrichs III.

Echternach Pericopes of Henry III

Consecration of the Stavelot Monastery Church

This Late Ottonian miniature depicts the Salian Holy Roman Emperor Henry III at the consecration of a new church for Stavelot Monastery in modern Belgium. The image is heavily influenced by Byzantine art, as was common for the period, relying on expressive gestures and glances to make up for the otherwise static composition and is depicted before a classical architecture.

Henry holds the Imperial Scepter in his left hand and the Imperial Orb in his right and is flanked by cardinals, identifiable by their staffs, who uphold his hands to represent the reciprocal relationship between crown and church. Gold leaf features prominently in the scene from the frame, to the arches, to the sword of Henry’s guard, to his cloak and imperial regalia.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Echternach Pericopes of Henry III“

Evangelistar Heinrichs III.
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
Echternach Pericopes of Henry III – Ms. b. 21 – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Bremen, Germany)
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Evangelistar Heinrichs III.

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Reichert Verlag – Wiesbaden, 1981
Limited Edition
500 copies
Binding
Parchment
Commentary
1 volume by Gerhard Knoll
Language: German
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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