Les Enluminures

2. Gospel Lessons

The Four Evangelists
Painter of Etienne Sauderat

Immediately following the Calendar are the Gospel Lessons. In a tradition that can be traced back to Carolingian Gospel Books, each of these readings usually had an author portrait as a frontispiece. Sometimes a single miniature presents each of the four evangelists with his symbol at the beginning of the Lessons. Here, in the upper left John takes inspiration from an eagle on the isle of Patmos, while the figure of Satan tempts him. Below Luke holds a scroll on his lap and a quill in his hand, his symbol the ox at his feet. In the upper right, Mark sits at a pulpit, a codex before him and his lion resting next to him. Finally, Matthew holds a book on his lap, while his symbol, an angel, appears before him. The order of the short readings is reflected in the order given above: John, Luke, Mark, and Matthew.

The Painter of Etienne Sauderat is named after a copy of the Propriété des choses in Amiens (Bibl. mun. MS 399) executed in 1447 for Jean de Chalon of Auxerre and signed with a long colophon where he identifies himself as both the scribe and the illuminator.