Front cover of Lindau Gospels

Front cover of Lindau Gospels

Date ca. 870

Movement Early Medieval | Carolingian

Medium Gold and jewels

Dimensions 13.75 x 10.5″

Housed at The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York


As in the Carolingian tradition, protecting and upholding the written word was of utmost importance—this protective and decorative cover meets this purpose nicely. The jewels are not inlaid, but rather rest upon raised turrets, allowing reflected light from beneath to shine through; the jewels protect the gold repoussé figures. Unlike in Byzantine works, Christ does not appear in pain and does not even appear to hang from the Cross; rather it looks as though he stand upon a shelf.