The Uta Codex: Art, Philosophy, and Reform in Eleventh-Century Germany

Overview

Created at the behest of the abbess Uta, it is not only one of the most beautiful of Ottonian manuscripts but also one of the most complex. The collection of liturgical readings is preceded by four full-page frontispieces illustrating the Hand of God, Uta dedicating the codex to the Virgin and Child, a Crucifixion, and Saint Erhard (the convent?s patron saint) celebrating Mass. Four evangelist portraits accompany the readings from each Gospel. In this groundbreaking study, Adam Cohen provides comprehensive ...

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Overview

Created at the behest of the abbess Uta, it is not only one of the most beautiful of Ottonian manuscripts but also one of the most complex. The collection of liturgical readings is preceded by four full-page frontispieces illustrating the Hand of God, Uta dedicating the codex to the Virgin and Child, a Crucifixion, and Saint Erhard (the convent’s patron saint) celebrating Mass. Four evangelist portraits accompany the readings from each Gospel. In this groundbreaking study, Adam Cohen provides comprehensive explications of the codex’s renowned illuminations as well as the first thorough investigation of its historical context.

Cohen shows that the lavish miniatures, among the most elaborate pictures of the Middle Ages, use figures, ornaments, Latin tituli, and geometric schemata to fashion visual exegeses of great range and complexity. Through consideration of questions of function, patronage, and program, Cohen also demonstrates that the codex commemorates the abbess Uta’s efforts to reform conventual life and education. The Uta Codex will be of interest to scholars of medieval art as well as those exploring questions of women, monastic culture, and intellectual life in the Middle Ages.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
US scholar Cohen presents a thorough study of the sumptuous Gospel lectionary made for the Niederm<:u>nster convent in Regensburg, Bavaria, and named after the abbess, Uta, who commissioned it. Explicating the codex's renowned illuminations and exploring its historical context, he shows that the elaborate miniatures use figures, ornaments, Latin titiuli, and geometric schemata to fashion visual exegeses of great range and complexity. He also argues that it commemorated the abbess' efforts to reform convent life. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271019598
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2000
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Adam Cohen has taught at the University of Texas–Austin and the University of California–Berkeley, and has worked in the Department of Manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

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