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The Liber Aureus
Price: € 98,00   Standing order price: € 85,00
Date: 2008     ISBN: 978-3-201-01901-9

Images: 106 pages
Commentary: Anton v. Euw and Werner Vogler, ca. 80 pages, 13.2 x 19.5cm
ISBN: 978-3-201-01901-9

The “Golden Book” (Liber Aureus) of the Rhaetian Benedict Abbey Pfäfers is kept in the monastery archive of  St. Gallen and represents an exceedingly remarkable document containing many aspects of Middle Age art and cultural history. In its available form, the codex connects three different sections:

Section 1 contains a gospel lectionary, whose lavishly formal book decoration and style holds to the tradition of the famous school of the Reichenauer Monastery. 4 full pages, framed like art panels with depictions of the four Evangelists which are set against a precious marbled crimson background mark the beginning of the individual Gospels. All in all 31 selected readings from this Gospel text are introduced by carefully arranged golden initials overlapped by lavish vegetative twines.

Section 2 consists of a list of abbots from Pfäfers, records of possession and text of rights. The continuous feathered design clearly show characteristics of international Gothic which date back to the 1400s.
Section 3 written around 1450 finally translates a gospel lectionary section about text of rights from Latin into German.

The two different epoch styles of the Ottonian-Salic and the international Gothic, the rarely occurring sequence of gospel lectionary text (John, Mark, Mathew and Luke) and the illuminative entries about the organization and regime, as well as the changing positions regarding rights and possession of the Abbey Pfäfers, represent the distinctive uniqueness of the Liber Aureus.
Above all however, this codex with its unusual composition, grants one a window into the spiritual and material livelihood of monks in a medieval monastery.

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