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

Sacramentary of Beauvais

Northern part of France — Around 1025

Sacramentary of Beauvais

Sacramentary of Beauvais

Northern part of France — Around 1025

  1. Ten spectacular surviving leaves of a work commissioned by Roger of Champagne (d. 1016), Count-Bishop of Beauvais

  2. Those leaves are clearly preserved because of their beauty and the generous use of gold and silver

  3. This particular sacramentary was intended for use on special occasions and high holidays

Das Sakramentar von Beauvais (Real Gold Edition)

Sacramentary of Beauvais

Tree Climbers

The decorative initial on this page is framed by two columns that turn into trees with branches of gold and silver. Two young men climb through the branches wearing complimentary clothing: one in a grey tunic and purple pants and the other a purple tunic with grey tights. The artist has outlined the precious metals in order to make them more distinct, using red for the gold and black for the silver. It is a wonderful blend of Ottonian art with the emerging Romanesque style.

Sacramentary of Beauvais

Alternative Titles:
  • Sakramentar von Beauvais
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology
Short Description

Although only ten leaves have survived of the splendid Sacramentary of Beauvais, what remains is truly spectacular! The generous use of gold and – more remarkably – silver is what distinguishes the ornamentation in particular. Even the text pages are elaborately adorned, some even featuring gold ink set against a purple background. This work of Ottonian illumination was probably created at the behest of Roger of Champagne (d. 1016), the first count-bishop of Beauvais, who was named in an inscription on an early binding, but does not appear to be a normal sacramentary, but was intended rather for special occasions.

Sacramentary of Beauvais

The Sacramentary of Beauvais in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles (Ms. Ludwig V 1) is one of a pair of lavish liturgical manuscripts almost certainly produced in northern France by an Italian scribe, who also may have illuminated the volumes. Only ten leaves of the original book have survived into modern times, those leaves are clearly preserved because of their beauty and the generous use of gold and – more remarkably – silver. Included among the surviving leaves are three pages of text written in gold on painted purple grounds, a stunning full-page Crucifixion scene, and a nearly full-page initial in gold and silver, as well as smaller painted initials. The complete manuscript was known to the seventeenth-century canons of Beauvais cathedral as the “Missal of Roger of Champagne,” and indeed, the sacramentary most probably was created at the behest of Roger of Champagne (d. 1016), the first count-bishop of Beauvais, who was named in an inscription on an early binding. Roger was renowned for having endowed the cathedral with precious goods, including the sacramentary and two other sumptuous liturgical books.

The Sacramentary – A Book of Prayers for the Holy Mass

A sacramentary contains the prayers given by the celebrating priest at mass. The Sacramentary of Beauvais preserves all of the Eucharistic prayers, which are invariable throughout the liturgical year. Among the various prayers on the surviving pages are those for two Christmas masses, Easter and Ascension. The manuscript, which never had a full series of Sunday prayers, was clearly a book for special occasions, and the addition of the names of Saints Quentin and Cassien to one of the prayers suggests that one of the special occasions was the consecration in 1069 of the church of the Augustinian monastery of Saint-Quentin de Beauvais, founded by Guy, bishop of Beauvais, in 1067.

The Mystery of the Anonymous Illuminator

The anonymous illuminator of the Beauvais Sacramentary, working in paints of precious metals as well as more traditional pigments, was skilled both in the intricacies of sophisticated interlace and in the convincing depiction of the human figure. The interlace on the Crucifixion page and the interlace of the letter "D" for Easter are each composed of three separate strands of strap work. On the Crucifixion page, a single, continuous strand defines the cross, and two others comprise the frame, all interlocking into a cohesive whole. Exuberant though the interlace may be, it does not detract from the focus on Christ’s role in salvation history and the painter has masterfully conveyed both the human figure, especially in the musculature of Christ’s torso, and the pathos of the event.

An Italian Scribe in France

The work of the scribe of the Beauvais Sacramentary can be found in a French Gospel lectionary, written according to its dedicatory inscription, by a scribe “from Italy, which surpasses all realms of intellectual brilliance” (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 1126). Aspects of his writing show a familiarity with Milanese conventions, and it seems that this Italian scribe was employed in manuscript creation north of the Alps much as teams of Lombard sculptors helped to create the new stone churches of early Capetian France.

Codicology
Alternative Titles
Sakramentar von Beauvais
Size / Format
20 pages / 23.2 × 17.8 cm
Date
Around 1025
Style
Language
Illustrations
Countless gold and silver parts, two miniatures, six ornamented pages reproduced in 23 Karat gold and silver
Das Sakramentar von Beauvais (Real Gold Edition)

Sacramentary of Beauvais

Crucifixion – Te Igitur

This extraordinary composition of purple, silver, and gold is attributed to a certain Nivardus of Milan. The cross of this Crucifixion scene forms the opening “T” of the Eucharistic prayer Te igitur. Christ is shown triumphant over death with his eyes wide open: gold dots represent the nails in his feet and hands, but there is no blood and he seems to stand rather than hang.

The figures of the Virgin Mary and St. John the Evangelist flank the cross, each with a hand raised to their respective faces in a gesture of sadness, conveying the human suffering of the event. The image, especially with regard to the attitudes of the Virgin and John, is reminiscent of Crucifixion scenes found in contemporary manuscripts from Lombardy.

2 available facsimile edition(s) of „Sacramentary of Beauvais“

Das Sakramentar von Beauvais (Real Gold Edition) Facsimile

Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
Sacramentary of Beauvais – Ms. Ludwig V 1 – Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA)
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Das Sakramentar von Beauvais (Real Gold Edition) Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 2010
Limited Edition
111 copies
Binding
Hand-made cover of parchment. Facsimile and Commentary will be delivered in a luxury leather case.
Commentary
1 volume by Elizabeth C. Teviotdale
Languages: German, English

The scientific commentary volume will be written by Dr. Elizabeth C. Teviotdale (Michigan). In it she reveals the origins and history of the manuscript and provides a detailed description of the miniatures, the pages with decorative initials and the entire artistic accoutrements. The commentary volume will be published in English and German.
More Information
All folios are cut according to the original.
from 980 €
Edition available
Price: Login here!

Das Sakramentar von Beauvais (Normal Edition) Facsimile

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Das Sakramentar von Beauvais (Normal Edition) Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 2010
Limited Edition
444 copies
Binding
Hand-made cover of parchment. Facsimile and Commentary will be delivered in a luxury leather case.
Commentary
1 volume by Elizabeth C. Teviotdale
Languages: German, English

The scientific commentary volume will be written by Dr. Elizabeth C. Teviotdale (Michigan). In it she reveals the origins and history of the manuscript and provides a detailed description of the miniatures, the pages with decorative initials and the entire artistic accoutrements. The commentary volume will be published in English and German.
More Information
All folios are cut according to the original.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Please ask for a quote!
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