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Ebbo Gospels. St. Matthew. done in the Shivering Style,  c. 824   illuminated Gospel Book, from the  Carolingian Era

The Ebbo Gospels are fantastic examples of the Shivering Style

shivering style related to manuscript illumination

About the Ebbo Gospels

The Gospel was written and illuminated at a scriptorium at Hautvillers monastery in France for Archbishop Eboo of Rheims. Ebbo was a peasant who rose in the clerical ranks to become  archbishopric of Reims. Under his wisdom and guidance the monastery became the major center of learning and illumination in Europe. The Gospel of Ebbo miniature painting is an example of a unique style called 'the shivering style' that came to distinguish the Reims school. The holy figures appear to shiver with a passion filled religious fervor.

 Carolingian art centered around Manuscript Illumination, which thrived in Charlemagne's empire.  After Christianity had spread throughout the length and breadth of the empire, the emperor created his own artistic institutions and his own system of patronage. Charlemagne desired to re-establish the art and cultural accomplishments of classical Rome. He  supported  numerous artistic and cultural endeavors, including monastic centers that were established to create and reproduce illuminated manuscripts. These early artists were Franks who had modeled their style after the works of Greek, Roman and Middle Eastern  artists. They strove to capture the mysterious and mystical nature of early Christianity.  The church made use of a wide range of art-works for spiritual comfort and instruction.

The miniature painting of the Irish, Gallic, and German monks was a melding together of painting and calligraphy. From the scrolls and flourishes purely calligraphic human forms are constructed.  The figures they painted are as severe as judges, and with pitiless dignity, they stare from the pages like threatening tables of law, demanding submission, fear, and obedience, but according neither mercy, comfort or redemption.  for spiritual comfort and instruction.


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