Ostromir Gospel

Miniature of St Luka the Evangelist

Ostromir Gospel. Short Aprakos.
1056 - 1057. One of scribes: Deacon Gregory

F (355 290). 294 leaves.
Parchment. Ink, cinnabar, colours, gold.

Written in a uncial script by three hands. Text has ekphonetic notation (fols. 2ra - 16vb, 54rb - 55rb, 140rb, 141ra, 176va - 179rb, 211ra - 211vb, 247va).

3 miniatures (fols. 1 v, 87 v, 126). Head-pieces are decorated with the ornament of petals, reminiscent of cloisonne enamel. There are one large head-piece (fol. 2) and 18 small. About 250 (242) large initials, where geometrical ornament is often interwoven with zoomorphic and anthropomorphic elements. Headings are written in gold on a dark cherry-coloured background, some titles are in ink.

The Ostromir Gospel was held at St Sophia's Cathedral in Novgorod, then at the Resurrection Church in the Moscow Kremlin. In 1720, Peter the Great ordered it to be taken to St. Petersburg. In 1805, it was discovered by Ja. Druzhinin, the private secretary Catherine II, among the late Empress' belongings. In 1806 Emperor Alexander I gave orders for the Ostromir Gospel to be passed to the Manuscript Department of the Public Library where it has been kept to the present day.

Shelfmark: . F..I.5.

You can view folios of the Ostromir Gospel (in the Russian interface)

© The National Library of Russia, 2007