Sacramentary (Main View (.19v) / book image source)


The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Archbishop Bardo of Mainz probably gave this Ottonian sacramentary, containing the prayers recited during the Mass, to the church of Saint Aubin in Namur, Belgium, at its founding in 1046. Unlike most manuscripts that have survived from the Middle Ages, this particularly rare book still retains its medieval binding. The earliest parts of the binding date from a century after the book's manufacture, while other portions were added in the later Middle Ages. Its lavish embellishment and the use of precious metals such as gold and silver on the cover suggest that the manuscript was given special honor in the cathedral. There it was probably kept in the treasury and only used on special feast days.

The sacramentary opens with a rare cycle of six full-page miniatures from the New Testament preceding the main text. The style of the miniatures is at once imposing and lively, abstract and naturalistic. Reviving forms and motives from Roman classical art, the illuminators established a powerfully calm and majestic style.


  • Title: Sacramentary (Main View (.19v) / book image source)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: about 1025–1050
  • Location Created: Fulda, Germany; Mainz, Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: Leaf: 26.7 × 18.9 cm (10 1/2 × 7 7/16 in.)
  • Type: Manuscript
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Tempera colors, gold, and ink on parchment bound between oak boards covered with red silk, fitted with hammered and engraved silver and copper
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 83.MF.77
  • Culture: Ottonian
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig V 2
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Manuscripts (Documents)

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