Exhibitions/ Art Object

Leaves from the Bernward Bible

early 11th century
German (Hildesheim)
Opaque paint, gold, and silver on parchment
Overall: 17 11/16 x 13 9/16 in. (45 x 34.5 cm) Overall (Footprint Dimensions): 17 15/16 x 27 3/16 in. (45.5 x 69 cm)
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:
Dom-Museum Hildesheim (DS 61)
Not on view
The Bernward Bible is the only complete Ottonian Bible to survive from the tenth and early eleventh centuries. (It is currently disbound as the manuscript undergoes conservation.) It exemplifies the virtuosity of Ottonian calligraphy, lavishly decorated with intricately detailed ornamental initials. In comparison, the canon tables are surprisingly sparse. The similarity of the lettering of this Bible and the Guntbald Sacramentary (nearby) suggests that Bishop Bernward commissioned this volume as well.
St. Michael's Monastery, Hildesheim (since early 11th century); Cathedral Treasury, Hildesheim (19th century); Dom-Museum Hildesheim Documentation: Victor Heinrich Elbern, Der Hildesheimer Domschatz (Hildesheim: Lax, 1969), no. 61; Michael Brandt and Arne Eggebrecht, eds., Bernward von Hildesheim und das Zeitalter der Ottonen: Katalog der Ausstellung, Hildesheim 1993 (Hildesheim: Bernward Verlag/Mainz: Ph. v. Zabern, 1993), vol. 2, pp. 568-570.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Medieval Treasures from Hildesheim," September 16, 2013–January 5, 2014.