Color of the Middle Ages Reimagined : A Retrospective of Dr. Carl Nordenfalk and his 1976 Exhibition of Medieval Manuscript Facsimiles

Der Uta-Codex

Overview of Facsimile Editions 

Der Uta-Codex : Frühe Regensburger Buchmalerei in Vollendung
Current facsimile in Frick Fine Arts collection
Authors: Karl-George Pfändtner and Brigitte Gullath
Published: Lucerne, Switzerland: Quaternio Verlag Luzern, 2012
Frick Fine Arts Cage ND3359.U82 P43 2012

In Color of the Middle Ages, Dr. Nordenfalk displayed these facsimiles: 
Minituren des frühen Mittelalters
Bern, Iris Verlag Laupen, 1951
Le Haut Moyen Age (Les grands siècles de la peinture), 
Geneva, Editions d'art Albert Skira, 1957
They were open to these pages: 
a. St. Erhard saying Mass
b. Crucifixion with symbolic motifs 

Overview of the Original Manuscript

The Uta Codex, Munich, Bavarian State Library, Clm. 13601 is an "evangeliary," or a collection of Gospel readings, that was used for Mass services. The manuscript was completed by the Regensburg monastery of St. Emmeram in the year 1025 CE at the request of Uta, the abbess of the Niedermünster nunnery, also in Regensburg. According to manuscript scholar Adam Cohen, the Uta Codex is not only distinguishable due to its opulent and complex illuminations, but it is also a remarkable piece of evidence marking the burgeoning development of female monastic houses during this period of Ottonian Germany. With a female abbess as the book's patron, the codex is representative of Ottonian female intellectual and spiritual life.

For Uta and the nuns of Niedermünster, the miniatures in this codex commemorated the Benedictine reform of their monastery, and they outlined the ideals of monastic life. Therefore, the complex illuminations reveal the rich philosophical and cultural achievements of the early-eleventh-century Ottonian world. In was in this spirit that Carl Nordenfalk wrote of the Uta Codex, "For the first time the miniature is put to the service of scholastic philosophy." The Uta Codex demonstrates that the monastic community in Regensburg was not subservient to the prevailing dogmas, but instead, they were adopting and transforming existing ideas to make an entirely new visual and philosophical discourse. 

Cohen, Adam S. The Uta Codex: Art, Philosophy, and Reform in Eleventh-Century Germany. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000.


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