Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Curtain of the Tabernacle, one of six illustrated leaves from the Postilla Litteralis (Literal Commentary) of Nicholas of Lyra

ca. 1360–1380
Opaque watercolor, iron-gall ink and gold on vellum
16 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (41.9 x 24.8 cm) Mat: 22 × 16 in. (55.9 × 40.6 cm)
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 2011
Accession Number:
Not on view
One of the most influential university texts of the Middle Ages, the Postilla litteralis provided an extended commentary on the entire Christian Bible. Its author, Nicholas of Lyra, who taught at the University of Paris, was particularly interested in architecture and included numerous diagrams of biblical structures to clarify his explanations. This leaf accompanies a discussion of the Tabernacle from the book of Exodus. It shows the ten panels of the curtain ordered by God to be made “of violet and purple, and scarlet twice-dyed, and fine, twisted linen.”
[ Bruce Ferrini, Akron, Ohio (sold 1987)] ; Schøyen collection, Oslo, Norway ; [ Sam Fogg Ltd., London (sold 2011)]
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 116.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 2011-2012." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 70, no. 2 (Fall 2012). p. 20.

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