Tempera and gold leaf on parchment; leather binding: 560 leaves; 10 x 6 1/2 in. (25.3 x 16.5 cm)
Partial and Promised Gift of John L. Feldman, in memory of his father, Alvin Lindberg Feldman, 1997 (1997.320)
In the thirteenth century, Paris, with its renowned university, became Europe's premier center for the creation of illuminated manuscripts. Typical of the work of the city's busy ateliers are the "University Bibles," which were created for a wide range of clients, including clerics, laity, and students, and are characterized by painstaking scribal work and tiny but detailed illustrations. This Bible is one of the finest examples of the type, which survives in relatively large numbers. More richly illustrated (with eighty-one historiated initials) and significantly larger than most such Bibles, it is particularly interesting for its opening of the Book of Genesis, which presents the seven days of Creation in superimposed octofoils and the silhouette of a Dominican kneeling beneath an image of the Crucifixion.