Featuring an extensive pictorial cycle, the Saint Peter Pericopes from Saint Erentrud is an exceptional liturgical manuscript created around 1150 that showcases the height of Romanesque illumination in Salzburg. Following an index of pericopes set within arcades of gold and silver, the manuscript contains Gospel pericopes—excerpts from the biblical accounts of the life of Christ. Fifty-five of these are introduced by miniatures with scenes on New Testament themes and images of saints.
Framed with ornate decorative or architectural motifs and set on burnished gold grounds, the manuscript's miniatures offer luxurious visualizations of their accompanying texts and the saints being commemorated.
Golden Backgrounds for Sacred Scenes
The gold leaf backgrounds of the manuscript's miniatures impart grandeur to all the scenes, whatever the subject. In the miniature of Christ Healing a Leper, for example, the leper—despite his nakedness, countless sores, and unruly hair—is imparted a certain dignity as a figure silhouetted against the shimmering ground (fol. 24r).
Saint Rupert Pictured
The manuscript is known as the "Saint Peter Pericopes" because of its possible origin at Saint Peter's at Salzburg, a Benedictine monastic community reestablished by the missionary Saint Rupert, who served as abbot, in the eighth century. Rupert is one of the few non-biblical saints pictured in the manuscript: he is shown in liturgical vestments flanked by monks (fol. 32v).
Golden Letters for Precious Words
The large and professional Caroline Minuscule—a late example of this script—was probably written by a single scribe. Display capitals in red and blue are used for headings, and the first few mentions of the Virgin Mary in the text are written in capitals in alternating black and red ink.
Eighty-four painted initials and one monogram introduce the readings. Set on blue grounds and composed of elegant scrollwork in gleaming gold, the letters often include flowers and sometimes incorporate birds. The initial I introducing the pericope taken from the opening of Saint John's Gospel is a notable exception: a stately eagle-headed man holding a scroll—the symbol of the evangelist—forms the elongated letter (fol. 10v).
Founded by Saint Rupert
The Benedictine convent of Saint Erentrud auf dem Nonnberg was founded by Saint Rupert. His niece was its first abbess and the eventual namesake of the institution. A late thirteenth- or early fourteenth-century inscription in the manuscript (fol. 104v) attests that the book was in the convent at least from this point. Nothing in the book's contents, however, suggests that the codex was made onsite or originally destined for the convent.
The manuscripts owned by the convent were given to the Hofbibliothek in Munich in 1815. The holdings of the Hofbibliothek formed the foundation collection of the Hof- und Staatsbibliothek in 1829, renamed the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in 1919.
We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Saint Peter Pericopes from Saint Erentrud": Perikopenbuch aus St. Erentrud in Salzburg facsimile edition, published by Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 2016Request Info / Price