Mainzer Evangeliar - Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg Ms 13

Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg


The gospels are still regarded as the "Word of God" and honoured as a central witness of faith. The Gospel books, which were produced in the early Middle Ages with great skill and great material expense, were therefore treasures whose sheer presence meant enrichment and distinction, and proved the power and status of the person commissioning them. The "Golden Mainz Gospels" from the 13th century, written on precious calf vellum, is one of the most important of these magnificent manuscripts produced in this epoch, written entirely in gold and decorated with a remarkably large number of excellent miniatures (71 pieces). Originally created for the Mainz Cathedral, the work has been in the possession of the Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg since the time of Carl Theodor von Dalberg (1802-1817) and offers an insight into the tradition of worship practice in the Diocese of Mainz. It is an unusual work in several respects: it was "behind the times" (the time of the Golden Gospel Books, for example, was much earlier), had highly modern book illumination (early Gothic jagged style) and was of unknown provenance for a long time. The iconographic dependence on stained glass windows in the upper church of the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi finally made it possible to attribute the work to Archbishop Gerhard I von Daum (1251-1259) of Mainz as the patron or recipient. Although the scriptorium and painter's workshop could be assigned to the Middle Rhine or Mainz art landscape, they could not be localised. The model for the typeface proportions and the format of the miniatures was most probably the golden Gospel Book from Echternach from 1043-1046. Quelle: Gönna, S.: Ein goldenes Evangelienbuch aus dem alten Mainzer Domschatz: zur Geschichte des "Mainzer Evangeliars" (Hofbibl. Aschaff., Ms. 13). In: Archiv für mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte. 50,1998, S. 131-15. //


Karin L. Kuhn

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