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The Gospel Harmony of Eusebius
The highlight of the late period from the school of Reichenau
Brescia, Bibliotheca Queriniana, Codex F. II. 1, Monastery of Reichenau, 2nd quarter of the 11th century

Not within the series CODICES SELECTI

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Among the irreplaceable masterpieces of the School of Reichenau is the manuscript Queriniana in Brescia, composed almost exclusively of full-page miniatures, initials and elaborate canon tables. The codex is introduced by 19 leaves, portraying 19 architectural, artfully executed canon arches that frame the Gospel Harmony created by Eusebius in the 4th century. All folios are ornate with a variety of luxurious decorations and none of the many colourful columns is identical; architectural gables and arches, inspired by the classical style, alternate to form a perfectly harmonious composition.

This first section is followed by the Gospel Pericopes and includes eleven full-page miniatures as well as twelve luxury initials facing each other and introducing the different feast days readings. The solemn character of the book is further underlined by a number of initials set on purple ground and preceding the individual readings. The vivid orange fillings further enhance the colourfulness so typical of Ottonian illumination from Reichenau.

This unique manuscript is rarely mentioned in the expert literature, perhaps because of its remote place of conservation, but whoever does so, describes it with the greatest esteem. Its 42 miniatures and initials, all executed in glittering gold, are among the finest examples ever created by artists of the Ottonian period. The monumental feast day Gospels document the beauty and quality of Reichenauian book illumination in its heyday.

The scholarly commentary volume explains all miniatures both for professional and lay readers and deals with the historic and art historic background of the book.

   
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