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Athos Holy Mount

Illuminated Manuscripts
5.13 Four Gospels
13th c.
Xeropotamou Cod. 115
Parchment, 27 x 20.5 cm, ff. 552


The Original New Testament

Of the portraits of the four Evangelists which usually adorn the four Gospels, this manuscript lacks that of Matthew at the beginning, whilst it preserves those of Mark (fol. 162v), Luke (fol. 260v) and John (fol. 419v); the portrait of Matthew appears to have been cut out at a later date together with the chapter table of his Gospel. The Evangelists are portrayed seated on cushioned seats, the first two in the scribal pose and the third in the contemplative one; the rendering of the Evangelists represents thirteenth-century illumination of a high artistic standard. The background is purely of gold, while the frame of each picture consists of a broad band with classicizing motifs. In its 552 folios, the codex comprises the text of the four Gospels in miniscule script; John's Gospel breaks off just before the end, which is missing. The titles are executed in red-gold majuscules. The binding consists of wood and brown leather, without fly-leaves. The condition of the codex could be described as fair.

Bibliography: Lambros 1895, p. 206. Thesauroi 1973, pp. 476-7, figs. 426-8.

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