Gothic Picture Bible

French illumination in Gothic style

This colourful Picture Bible, without any text, reflects the wide variety of developments that took place in French illumination during the 13th century. Preciously decorated small-size prayer books slowly replaced the large formats of the Romanesque period, finally giving way to richly illustrated Picture Bibles. Multi-coloured stained glass windows, just recently introduced at the time, also inspired the art of illumination, as both their forms and motifs recalled the illustrated cycles of Bibles and prayer books.

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Elegance and sumptuous colour in a minimum of space

 

The painted manuscript, today bound together with the Vienna volume, comprises 14 pages in different frames, each holding six circular miniatures reminiscent of stained glass windows, totalling 84 Old Testament and New Testament scenes executed in the elegant style of the high Gothic period with a highly detailed painting technique. The varied backgrounds alternate in vivid red and blue tones and are set in quatrefoil motifs of glowing gold, a typical feature of the superb cathedral windows made in the Gothic style of 13th-century France.

 

The biblical narrative in sensitive, expressive images

The scenes depict biblical narrative using elaborate attributes and gestures, beginning with the six days of Creation. The Old Testament cycle concludes with the then very popular story of Joseph, which in this case extends to as many as five painted plates. The New Testament illustrations begin with the Annunciation, the Nativity and the Infancy of Christ, and end with the Resurrection and the Last Judgment.

Faithful facsimile edition of the illuminated manuscript, Cod. Ser. N. 2611, fol. 1–22 of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna, produced around 1350 in Paris. 44 pages. Format: 13.2×17.5cm. Limited to 850 numbered copies worldwide. Bordeaux red leather binding with blind tooling.

80-page academic commentary volume by Michaela Krieger.

Both volumes in a black silk case with gold medallion

Weight 2 kg

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