Scribe Writing, probably Eadmer of Canterbury

Unknownabout 1140 - 1150

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Seated on a throne before a writing desk with his book and pen, Eadmer of Canterbury is shown in the act of writing the biography of his friend Anselm. In a reversal of modern expectations, this medieval biography features two portraits of the text's author, while its subject, Anselm of Canterbury, is not pictured at all. There was an established tradition in early medieval manuscript illumination of depicting the author at work. In this portrait, the emphasis on decorative elements is typical of Romanesque manuscript illumination: the polychrome arch and floor tiles, the attenuated and sinuous lines describing the figure, and the fanciful contours of the writing desk.

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  • Title: Scribe Writing, probably Eadmer of Canterbury
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: about 1140 - 1150
  • Location Created: Tournai (probably), Belgium
  • Physical Dimensions: Leaf: 17.8 x 10.8 cm (7 x 4 1/4 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Tempera colors, gold paint, and ink on parchment
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig XI 6, fol. 2v
  • Object Type: Folio
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: Ms. Ludwig XI 6, fol. 2v
  • Department: Manuscripts
  • Culture: Flemish
  • Classification: Manuscripts