Saint Matthew

Unknownabout 1120 - 1140

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

In this Gospel book, a portrait of the author prefaces each evangelist's account of the life of Jesus. In the miniature that opens the gospel of Matthew, the saint sits on a luxuriously cushioned throne before a lectern. Holding a quill pen and a knife, he writes the opening lines of his gospel in the book on the lectern: Liber generationis ih[es]u xp[ist]i filii David filii habrah[am] (The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham). The gold and silver letters above Matthew's head announce his Gospel: "The beginning of the holy gospel according to Matthew." The artist applied rich colors in bold geometric patterns, using burnished gold against deep blue behind the saint and gold and silver writing on reddish-purple for the inscription above. The vibrant colors, robust figure, and patterned drapery are all characteristic of the Romanesque style of illumination.

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  • Title: Saint Matthew
  • Date Created: about 1120 - 1140
  • Location Created: Helmarshausen, Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: w16.5 x h22.9 cm
  • Type: Folio
  • Rights: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • External Link: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=3267
  • Medium: "Tempera colors, gold, and silver on parchment"
  • illuminator: Unknown
  • Terms of Use: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • Subject: Saint Matthew