Codex 862 from the National Library  –  Another Gospel with missing miniatures? Cover Image
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Ръкопис 862 от Националната библиотека – още едно евангелие с изчезнали миниатюри?
Codex 862 from the National Library – Another Gospel with missing miniatures?

Author(s): Elissaveta Moussakova
Subject(s): Cultural history
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: Folios missing from the quires at the beginning of each of the Four Gospels from the Cod . 862 of St .Cyril and St . Methodius National Library in Sofia (CMNL), suggest that once there were portrait miniatures of the Evangelists . A correspondence between the codicological and palaeographical features of this and two other copies of the Gospels – CMNL 484 and Cod . 18 of the Ecclesiastical historical Archive Institute (EhAI), both with full-page miniatures sharing stylistic and icono- graphical characteristics, lend support to this suspicion. Taking into consideration the year 1623, when the precious metal cover of EhAI 18 has been crafted, and the data obtained from the analysis of the paper water-marks, it is possible to state that all the three codices could have been written between the early 20s and the 30s of the 17th c . While EhAI 18 and CMNL 862 could be attributed to the same, anonymous, scribe, CMNL 484 is a work of a different hand, though possibly of the same atelier with a high standard of scribal rules . Whether Vratsa could be regarded as the place of origin of the three Gospels is still an open question but the mutual visual repertoire, as confirmed by other patterns, offers a strong argument in favor of their common origin . The proposed reconstruction of a group of Gospels with full-page portraits of the Evangelists, a rare practice in the 17th c . Bulgarian manuscript illumination, opens the way to speculations about the strategy of discerning, implemented by the local workshops: demon- strated by a preference for certain models, it is difficult to trace down to the source, when considering the intricate relations between individual copies.

  • Issue Year: 2009
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 38-44
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: Bulgarian