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Gifts from the Byzantine Court
Three Illuminated Manuscript Leaves at Dumbarton Oaks
Gary Vikan

The holdings of the Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Collection include three detached manuscript leaves. “The detached leaves, consisting of two Evangelist portraits and a text page with figurative initial, are known to have come from a pair of de luxe eleventh-century manuscripts. Moreover, by an unusual and happy coincidence, both of those precious books carry dedication notices naming members of the Byzantine court aristocracy, both were given to known monasteries, and in both instances the donor had left the court to take monastic vows. This small booklet is devoted to those three manuscripts leaves and to their fascinating history as courtly gifts.”