Bible, Tempera and gold on parchment; leather binding, French


ca. 1250–75
Made in Paris, France
Tempera and gold on parchment; leather binding
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)
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:
Not on view
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.
From the Carthusian Abbey of Fontaine-Notre-Dame, Bourg-Fontaine (after 1325); Jean Budé, Paris; Guillaume Budé, Paris; President de Saint-André ; Jesuit Collège de Clermont, Paris (dispersed 1589-1610); Byron Holland ; Sir Sydney Cockerell, Cambridge; Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, London (sold 1933); William Permain, London; William Randolph Hearst (American), New York and San Simeon (until 1944); [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1944-1948)]; Joel and Maxine Spitz, Glencoe, Illinois (1948); [ Sotheby's, London (British)(November 29, 1990, lot 98)]; John L. Feldman, Lakewood, Colorado (until 1997)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Hearst, the Collector," November 16, 2008–March 1, 2009.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1997-1998." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 56, no. 2 (Fall 1998). p. 17.

Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 137, pp. 115–16.

Levkoff, Mary L., ed. Hearst, the Collector. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2008. no. 126, p. 237.