Map of the Holy Land, from Chronica majora, vol. I
Written and illustrated by Matthew Paris (British, ca. 1200–1259)
Made in Saint Albans, England
Opaque watercolor and ink on parchment; 151 folios
14 1/4 × 9 3/4 in. (36.2 × 24.8 cm)
Manuscripts and Illuminations
The Master and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (MS 26)
Not on view
The port of Acre, a principal arrival point for European Christian pilgrims, dominates this map of the Holy Land, created by an English monk, Matthew Paris. Other sites shown include the city of Tyre, famous for its glassware, in the lower left corner and Mount Ararat in Armenia, where Noah’s ark was believed to have landed, beneath the fold-up flap at the top left. The square, walled city of Jerusalem appears on the right page, with the Dome of the Rock, the Aqsa Mosque, and the Tomb of Jesus all highlighted. Matthew’s vividly detailed journey to Jerusalem was one of the imagination: an armchair traveler, he never ventured to the Holy Land.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven," September 26, 2016–January 8, 2017.