The Medieval World, C. 400–1300

Carolingian and Ottonian Art

What is the Godescalc Gospel Lectionary?

The Godescalc Gospel Lectionary was one of the first Carolingian illuminated manuscripts to use the new Caroline script, and was named for a scribe who signed his name in the book. Produced at the court scriptorium at Aachen, it was meant to be read aloud, and commemorated the 781 baptism of Charlemagne’s son. The Godescalc Gospel Lectionary is notable for its artistic naturalism and incorporation of ancient Roman styles. The luxurious manuscript, with gold and silver lettering, and extensive use of the color purple (one of the most expensive pigments), served as an artistic inspiration and a model for later Gospel books.


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