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Glanzlichter der Buchkunst 22/2, The Berthold Sacramentary
Price: € 98,00   Standing order price: € 85,00
Date: 2014     ISBN: 978-3-201-01987-3

Commentary in German and English

There are only very few books which stand out from the relatively large medieval production of prime quality manuscripts, one of them being the Berthold Sacramentary. It was produced upon the request of Abbot Berthold, probably immediately after the big fire of 1215 in which the library of the monastery was severely damaged, and surpasses all comparable books of the late Romanesque period in both formal and material aspects.

Incredibly rich book illumination

21 full-page miniatures, 7 historical paintings, 6 full-length, 12 half-length and 52 smaller decorated initials, 18 figural initials and 12 calendar plates form the decorative apparatus of the book which is covering a total of 165 parchment folios. This huge quantity of pictures is paralleled with truly extraordinary quality. They are the work of an anonymous miniaturist, referred to as the Berthold master, who was obviously far ahead of his time: a vigorous and dramatic representation of the narrative, a new plasticity achieved by modelling colour application, and an inexhaustible decorative proficiency, are all important features of the magnificent miniatures.

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