MINIATURIST, French
(active 816-835 in Reims)

Ebbo Gospels

816-35
Manuscript (Ms. 1), 260 x 208 mm
Bibliothèque municipale, Epernay

This manuscript, containing the four gospels in Latin on 178 folios, was commissioned by Ebbo, Archbishop of Reims (c. 775—851). It is illustrated with 4 evangelist portraits, 4 initial pages and 12 canon tables.

The illustrations of this manuscript, written in gold, together with the pictures in the Vienna Coronation Gospels, mark a new phase in Carolingian book illumination, closely modelled on the illusionistic painterly style of late Antiquity. The miniatures move away from the Byzantine example and develop a style of their own. This style is best appreciated in the portrait of the Evangelist St Luke on folio 90v, in the nervous and shimmering drapery and in the painterly, treatment of the landscape in the background.

The illuminator of the manuscript is called the Ebbo (or Ebo) Master.