The last of the miniatures that make up the unusual picture cycle before the text of this Ottonian sacramentary, the Pentecost scene represents the biblical description literally, with the apostles sitting in a house as "parted tongues of fire alight on each one of them." The illuminator has rendered the flames that indicate the descent of the Holy Spirit in orange on each apostle's forehead and hair. The turn of their heads expresses their agitation, while the glow from the gold ground infuses the scene with intense spirituality.

The illuminator used contrasting color to define the forms, for example, highlighting the apostles' maroon outer cloaks with blue. The artist's emulation of Byzantine modeling techniques provides further evidence of the Ottonians' interest in Byzantium and classical culture.


  • Title: Pentecost (Main View)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: about 1025–1050
  • Location Created: Mainz, Germany; Fulda, Germany
  • Type: Folio
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Tempera colors and gold on parchment
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 83.MF.77.20v
  • Culture: Ottonian
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig V 2, fol. 20v
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Manuscripts (Documents)

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