Christ Enthroned from the Godescalc Gospels
Date ca. 781-83
Movement Early Medieval | Carolingian
Medium Tempera on vellum
Dimensions 12.625 x 8.25″
Housed at Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris
It was Charlemagne’s ambitions to revive education and literacy within his empire; therefore, a massive royal academy was created to serve as a scriptorium—this is one of the earliest works from it. Roman motifs (garden background) combine with Hiberno-Saxon ones (interlacing frame). Christ’s eyes are enlarged to create a direct relationship with the viewer; his robs are outlined to show where they might fall naturally, while white highlights upon his feet, face and hands help create spatial relation.