MINIATURIST, French
(active around 870 in Saint-Denis)

Codex Aureus

870
Manuscript (Clm. 14000), 420 x 330 mm
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich

This codex containing the four gospels (126 folios) was commissioned by Emperor Charles the Bald (reigned 840-877). The Latin text is illustrated by 7 full-page miniatures, 12 canon tables and 10 decorative pages. The codex is considered the masterpiece of the second court school of Charles the Bald. The first scriptorium was that at the monastery of St. Martin in Tours, which in 855 was destroyed by the Norsemen. Its place in the annals of book illumination was taken by Charles the Bald's second court school, the abbey of St. Denis in Paris.

Folio 5v shows the enthroned sovereign in costly regalia beneath a colourful baldachin. He is attended by his men-in-arms bearing swords, lances and shields, and flanked by female personifications of parts of his empire, Francia and Gotica. The following page (folio 6r) shows a visionary representation of Charles with the twenty-four elders in adoration of the Lamb.

The manuscript was preserved in the Abbey of St. Emmeram, Regensburg by the eleventh century, where it was much admired and was copied for Henry II.