Gospels. Abingdon
between 1084 and 1097
192 f. 330 x 250 mm.

Bibliothèque municipale de Rouen, ms. 32 ( A 21)


Having been written and illuminated in England, in the monastery of Abingdon, this manuscript is no less a Norman work. In fact, it was executed on the orders of the abbot of Abingdon, Rainaud (1084-1097), a former monk of Jumièges, with a view to it being offered as a gift to his abbey of origin.
In its writing and decoration, it closely matches the Jumièges bible group. In particular it has the same use of red ink in the outline of the initials.
In folio 14, a large letter L begins the gospel of saint Matthew. In the corner of the L, saint George, armed with a sword and shield, is fighting the dragon, whose tail which ends in foliage, entwines between his legs. The princess is represented in bust form, in a medallion positioned in the centre of the vertical stem of the letter. A precious binding in gold work, which disappeared in 1623, once protected this manuscript.