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Athos Holy Mount

Illuminated Manuscripts
5.35 Four Gospels
13th c.
Docheiariou Cod. 22
Parchment, 25 x 18 cm, ff. 235


The Original New Testament

This manuscript contains the Four Gospels prefaced by the canon tables, and other texts. The single-column text of twenty-one lines per page is written in minuscule script, and has red titles and marginal notes. The binding consists of two wooden boards covered with brown leather decorated with embossed geometric and foliate ornamentation.

The manuscript is decorated with red rectangular headpieces and red initials with foliate ornamentation, contemporary with the script. The pictures of the three Evangelists, however, that precede their respective Gospels, Matthew (fol. 11v), Mark (fol. 100v) and Luke (fol. 159v) seem to have been taken from another, smaller and older, manuscript.

The Evangelists' physical proportions, their garments with the drapery full of motion, the stylisation of the hair and the rendering of facial details all suggest a connection with works of the thirteenth century, which, however, preserve elements of the Comnenian art of the late twelfth century.

Bibliography: Brockhaus 1891, p. 239 n. 2. Lambros 1895, p. 237. Aland 1963, p. 112. Lazarev 1967, p. 422, n. 113. Thesauroi 1979, pp. 292-3, figs. 269-70.

Ch. M.-T.
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13th century

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