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Hebrew Bible: Artist’s Colophon and Arms of Castile-León (fols. 448v-449)

Illuminated by Joseph the Frenchman

Not on view

Few medieval manuscripts mention the name of the artist responsible for their decoration, but this bible devotes an entire page to the signature of the illuminator. Playfully transforming the Hebrew letters into images of intertwined animals, he writes, "I, Joseph the Frenchman, illustrated and completed this book."
The right-hand page, which concludes the grammatical compendium that accompanies the sacred text, displays a pair of six-pointed stars enclosing a lion and a castle—the respective symbols of the northern Spanish kingdoms of Leon and Castile, where the patron may have lived.

Illuminated by Joseph the Frenchman, Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment

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Week 2, Nov 29–Dec 4: End of Pentateuch-Sleeping Lion