Eadfrith of Lindisfarne,
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Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “ Carpet Page ” and “ Incipit Page ” (folio 26v and 27r) of the “ Gospel of Matthew, ” Lindisfarne Gospel , parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches ( London, British Library Cotton, MS Nero D.IV)

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En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Carpet Page” and “Incipit Page” (folio 26v and 27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches (London, British Library Cotton, MS Nero D.IV)

Today we are going to focus on the “Incipit Page” from the Gospel of Saint Matthew.


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

The Lindisfarne Gospels was primarily intended for display and visual impact rather than reading. Its large size and jewel-encrusted cover (now lost) made it impractical for reference. Still, it was complete and accurate, and could be used as part of the liturgy (church service and rituals).

Questions we are trying to answer:

Who made it?

What are its key features?

When was it made?

Where was it made?

How was it made?

Does it resemble any other objects from the same period?

Why was it made?

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Most historians believe that Eadfrith created the Lindisfarne Gospels in order to augment the cult of Saint Cuthbert and to bring stability and reconciliation among the various Christian factions throughout England.

Eadfrith was Bishop of Lindisfarne from 698 to 721.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishop_of_Lindisfarne


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Who was St. Cuthbert?

In 698, the same year that Eadfrith became Bishop of Lindisfarne, Saint Cuthbert’s corpse was discovered to be incorrupt—not decayed since his death eleven years earlier.

This gave impetus to his cult, and to Eadfrith asking the greatest Christian scholar of the time in England, Bede, to write two biographies of Cuthbert.

Bede wrote his first biography of Cuthbert in verse to be sung at mass, in 716. The longer, prose biography was completed around 721.

In his prose biography, Bede provides details about the 45 miracles associated with Cuthbert, including how Cuthbert had cured illnesses and persuaded crows not to eat the barley seed that he had planted to feed the poor.

Cover of the Saint Cuthbert Gospel of Saint John, birch, flax thread, leather and tempera, c. 698, from Monkwearmouth-Jarrow, England, 5.4 x 3.6 inches, from Jarrow, England (London: British Library Add MS 89000)

This Gospel of John was discovered in Saint Cuthbert’s casket in 1104. It is believed to have been buried with his body in 698. On 17 April 2012, the British Library purchased the book for £9 million ($14.3 million) from Stonyhurst College. The Library describes the manuscript as "the earliest surviving intact European book.” All other medieval books before this one have been lost their original covers and have been rebound.

“The incorrupt body of St Cuthbert found in his coffin,” from The Life of Saint Cuthbert, Durham, late 12th century, folio 77r, British Library: Yates Thompson MS26


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Cover of the Saint Cuthbert Gospel of Saint John, birch, flax thread, leather and tempera, c. 698, from Monkwearmouth-Jarrow, England, 5.4 x 3.6 inches, from Jarrow, England (London: British Library Add MS 89000)

Are the cover of Saint Cuthbert’s Gospel book and this page from the Lindisfarne Gospels related stylistically? Do they look similar? How are they different?

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

  • Containing 259 folios (pages), at least 130 animals were slaughtered for the parchment. The British Library has estimated that, if Eadfrith were able to work full time on this project, it would take him two years to complete. Considering he was also Bishop and responsible for running a large institution, their website estimates that it probably took him at least five years to complete

  • Eadfrith had to trade locals for materials to produce his own pigments and paint. The British Library has scanned colors and determined that he made his colors from locally available materials.

  • The pigments he used were created out of lead, iron, arsenic, copper and insect larvae combined with acids in various proportions to create a variety of colors. The binder was egg white.

  • Purples, crimsons and blues from plant extracts such as woad (in the cabbage family), lichens, and sunflower

  • Yellow from orpiment (trisulphide of arsenic)

  • Red/orange from toasted lead

  • Green from copper suspended over vinegar, or by a blue-yellow mix (vergaut)

  • White from chalk, crushed seashell or eggshell

  • Black from oak-galls and iron salts.

  • Pigments were mixed with adhesive beaten egg-white (glair).

  • Some fine details were added in gold-leaf and powdered gold suspended in egg.

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches

Folio 5v 50 and 150x magnification. Tiny red/orange dots from toasted lead fill backgrounds of iron gall ink letters. Crackling is observed on the dots

http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/collectioncare/2013/07/under-the-microscope-with-the-lindisfarne-gospels.html#sthash.FlDadufE.dpuf


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith’s use of lead point (pencil) is unprecedented as was his use of lead point on the opposite side of the sheet (requiring a back-lighted system similar to a light box) to plan the design of a manuscript. Both lead point and the use of a light table are apparently his own invention.

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Carpet Page” and “Incipit Page” (folio 26v and 27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches (London, British Library Cotton, MS Nero D.IV)


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “St Jerome’s Address to Pope Damasus” (folio 3r) from the Lindisfarne Gospel, tempera on parchment codex, c. 715, from Lindisfarne, England, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches(London: British Library Cotton MS Nero D.IV)

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “St Jerome’s Address to Pope Damasus s” (folio 3r) from the Lindisfarne Gospel, tempera on parchment codex, c. 715, from Lindisfarne, England, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches(London: British Library Cotton MS Nero D.IV)


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “St Jerome’s Address to Pope Damasus” (folio 3v) from the Lindisfarne Gospel, tempera on parchment codex, c. 715, from Lindisfarne, England, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches(London: British Library Cotton MS Nero D.IV)

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “St Jerome’s Address to Pope Damasus” (folio 3r) from the Lindisfarne Gospel, tempera on parchment codex, c. 715, from Lindisfarne, England, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches(London: British Library Cotton MS Nero D.IV)


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith was unable to finish this page before his death, which was in 721. Based on this evidence and the fact that another, less talented scribe added the rubricated text throughout the manuscript, Michelle P. Brown has concluded that the Gospels date to the six-year period before Eadfrith’s death, 715 to 721.

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Carpet Page for St Jerome’s Address to Pope Damasus s” (folio 2v) of the Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches (London, British Library Cotton, MS Nero D.IV)


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches

The first line of text within the frame is the "incipit" text. It is written in Insular Half Uncials, which are the letter forms used throughout the rest of the book. The text of the incipit text reads: "incipit evangelii genelogia mathei," which translates as "[This] begins the genealogy of the evangelist Matthew."


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches

Insular Half Uncials feature mostly minuscules with occasional majuscule letter forms for N, R, and D as well as spacing between the words—a relatively new invention.

http://medievalwriting.50megs.com/scripts/examples/inshalfunc.htm


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches

The page features just a few, first words of a longer text. In this case it features the first sentence of the Gospel of Saint Matthew in Latin: "Liber generationis Iesu Christi filii David filii Abraham" (The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham...).


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches

The first line of the Gospel of Matthew contains the word "liber" (the book) with illuminated letters. The first three initial letters (lib) are much larger and more ornate than the last two (er) in white, emphasizing the number three, which is symbolic of the Christian trinity: the father, son, and holy ghost.

From there, the letters gradually become smaller with each line, a technique of ordered hierarchy referred to as diminuendo.


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

The entire page is framed with a decorative border that surrounds the text--all except the initial letters, which seem to break into and move through the frame.

The patterns in the frame's decorative boarder echo the decorative patterns in the initial letters.

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches

Other than in the brief explanatory "incipit text," there is no use of word spacing. In fact, some words continue from one line to the next. This suggests that Eadfrith did NOT expect anyone to read the page so much as look at it.

Some letters fit into the negative space within and between other letters, such as the E within the C and the A and V within the D.


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches

Repeated letters usually take on varying forms, such as "E" in the first and second lines, "R" in the first, second, and last lines, as well as "A" in the second and last lines, and the two "Ds" in the fourth line.

Ligature: two letters are combined into one shape. For example, the letters f + i are combined into the single glyph "fi" in the last line.

Abbreviations and suspensions are common: some words are shortened and letters are omitted, especially in "nomina sacra" or divine names or titles. The abbreviations are indicated with a tilde (a squiggly line above the text). For example, "Iesu" (Jesus) appears as "IhU" with a tilde on the h, and "Christus" appears as "XRI" with a tilde above the R. The use of abbreviations and suspensions is optional in your own design.


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Some letter shapes are derived from Greek and Runic alphabets--suggesting a harmonious integration of various cultures into one. For example, the diamond-shaped "A" in the second line, the "X" in place of "CH" in the third line, and the "φ" in place of "fi" in the fourth line are derived from the Greek rather than the Latin.

In addition, the "S" and two "Ns" in "generationis" resemble Runic glyphs while retaining their Latin pronunciations. (You must integrate letterforms from these two systems in your own Incipit page.)

Thames zoomorphic mount, silver-gilt, 7.4 inches long, late 8th century, with Anglo-Saxon runes, found in the River Thames, London

Silver coin struck by Leo III to commemorate the coronation of his son, Constantine V, as co-emperor in 720

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Runes

Thames zoomorphic mount, silver-gilt, 7.4 inches long, late 8th century, with Anglo-Saxon runes, found in the River Thames, London

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Thames zoomorphic mount, silver-gilt, 7.4 inches long, late 8th century, with Anglo-Saxon runes, found in the River Thames, London

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Thames zoomorphic mount, silver-gilt, 7.4 inches long, late 8th century, with Anglo-Saxon runes, found in the River Thames, London

.

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches

Runes in the Anglo-Saxon Fuþorc (alphabet), their names, meanings, and values in the Latin alphabet


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith was not the first English scribe to include decorated initial letters with animal forms and decreasing scale of the subsequent letters (diminuendo). He was working within an emerging tradition, which he took to a higher level of intricacy and sophistication.

Detail of the Durham MS A, “Gospel of Mark Incipit page,” (folio 2r) Northumbria, mid 7th-century (Durham Cathedral)

The Cathach of Columcille, folio 21r, late 6th century or early 7th century (Royal Irish Academy, Dublin)

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Incipit Page” (27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches


En wikipedia wiki bishop of lindisfarne

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, “Carpet Page” and “Incipit Page” (folio 26v and 27r) of the “Gospel of Matthew,”Lindisfarne Gospel, parchment codex, c. 715, 14 1/3 × 10 3/4 inches (London, British Library Cotton, MS Nero D.IV)

Today we are going to focus on the “Incipit Page” from the Gospel of Saint Matthew.


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