Ostromir Gospel


Second half of 16th cent.

Q (245 185). 397 leaves.
Paper. Ink, cinnabar, colours, gold.

It is written in a semi-uncial hand.

The illumination of the manuscript includes four head-pieces in the New Byzantine style, containing medallions with Evangelist portraits (fols. 27r, 117r, 183r, 293r), one head-piece without a medallion (fol. 327r), initial letters in the New Byzantine style. Headings are written in cinnabar.

The manuscript was donated to the Solovetsky Monastery by Priest Kassian. Head-pieces at the starts of the Gospels are the main decoration of the codex. They represent an extremely rare type for medieval Russian book heritage. Each of four rectangular head-pieces, decorated with the New Byzantine ornament on a gold background, includes round medallion with a Evangelist portrait. The traditional image, miniaturized to the dimensions of the medallion, reproduced very accurately in detail. Circles of the medallions are drawn by a compass.

In 1928 the manuscript came into the State Public Library along with the collection of the Solovetsky Monastery.

Shelfmark: . . 128/128.

© The National Library of Russia, 2007