Date: ca. 1250–75

Geography: Made in Paris, France

Culture: French

Medium: Tempera and gold on parchment; leather binding

Dimensions: Overall (closed): 10 1/2 x 7 1/8 x 3 1/2 in. (26.6 x 18.1 x 8.9 cm)
single folio: 9 15/16 x 6 1/2 in. (25.3 x 16.5 cm)

Classification: Manuscripts and Illuminations

Credit Line: Gift of John L. Feldman, in memory of his father, Alvin Lindberg Feldman, and his mother, Rosemily Petrison Feldman, 1997

Accession Number: 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.