Reichenau Epistolary

or Hildesheim Orationale.

This parchment manuscript from the beginning of the 11th century was written in Seeon Abbey and decorated at the most prominent centre for book illustration of the time: The Benedictine monastery in Reichenau, an island in Lake Constance. It is thought to have been endowed to Hildesheim cathedral by emperor Henry II in 1022 alongside another liturgical book, the Reichenau Pericopes, which, from the end of the 17th century on, can be found at the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.

Because of its rich and artistically high-quality layout (nine full pages of gouache on gold and six pages with initials) it is counted among the most important pieces of Ottonian book illustration.