Jeweled Binding with Virgin and Child Surrounded by Evangelists, Five Saints, and Two Virtues
Berthold Sacramentary, in Latin
Illuminated by the Master of the Berthold Sacramentary
Germany, Weingarten Abbey
293 x 204 mm
Purchased by J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1926
The Berthold Sacramentary, the masterpiece of Weingarten illumination, is the finest, most luxurious German manuscript of the time. A major monument of Romanesque art, the book retains its original jeweled binding. The cover is dominated by a silver-gilt high relief figure of the Virgin and Child, anchored by a framed cross. Surrounding the Virgin, whose prominence reflects her important cult in Weingarten, are twelve repoussé figures identified by inscriptions: the four Evangelists, the archangels Michael and Gabriel, the virtues Virginity and Humility, SS. Oswald and Martin (patron saints), St. Nicholas, and Abbot Berthold himself.