The Jaharis Gospel Lectionary
The Story of a Byzantine Book
November 10, 2009
144 pages, 8 1/2 x 11
2 b/w + 100 color illus.
Published in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Until 2008 the Jaharis Lectionary was a hidden treasure: an illuminated Byzantine manuscript that was almost entirely unknown, even to scholars. Superbly preserved, it is arguably the most important Byzantine work to come to the Metropolitan Museum’s renowned collection since the 1917 gifts of J. Pierpont Morgan. It represents the apogee of Constantinopolitan craftsmanship around the year 1100.
In this important study, John Lowden, a leading expert on Byzantine manuscripts, discusses his discoveries about this extraordinary manuscript within the broader context of Byzantine book illumination. He traces the book’s history from its acquisition to its production in Constantinople. By detailed analysis and comparison, the author shows how the manuscript was made for use in the patriarchal church of Hagia Sophia.
John Lowden is Professor of the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.
‘The quality of the production, especially the numerous illustrations and elegant design, will ensure that anyone interested in middle Byzantine manuscripts will want a copy of this book.’ — Lyn Rodery, The Art Newspaper, April 2010
'This beautifully illustrated and produced volume is an insightful and systematic study of the life of the Jaharis Gospel Lectionary and a significant contribution to the field of Byzantine history and codicology…. Lowden's accomplished work will be a lasting work of reference to manuscript scholars and book historians alike, but will also give pleasure to readers unfamiliar with the Byzantine world.' — Kristine Rose, Art and Christianity Enquiry