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Gospels of Otto III

A magnum opus of Ottonian illumination: the Gospels of Otto III emerged around the year 1000 as a magnum opus of Ottonian illumination from the influential scriptorium of the Reichenau Monastery on Lake Constance, the center of occidental illumination at that time. The splendid liturgical manuscript was a commission of Emperor Otto III and came into the possession of the Cathedral of Bamberg under his successor, Henry II. Altogether, over 30 full-page miniatures, wonderful canonical tables, and marvelous initial pages present the high quality of the art of the Reichenau Liuthar-school and give a glimpse into the great Ottonian illumination of the late 10th century with their splendid paintings on gold backgrounds.

Behind this wonderwork of ornamentation an initial is actually hiding!

Splendid gold and high-quality purple adorn the imperial codex.

The adornment of the canon tables is clearly reminiscent of a Greek temple…