Exhibitions/ Art Object

Hebrew Bible: Horseshoe Arches (fols. 434v-435)

Illuminated by Joseph the Frenchman
Made in Spain
Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment
Overall: 11 7/16 x 8 7/8 x 3 15/16 in., 9.464lb. (29 x 22.5 x 10 cm, 4.293kg)
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:
Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, Lisbon (BNP, IL.72)
Not on view
Some of the most inventive decoration in this bible resides in the compendium of Hebrew grammar included at the back of the book. Each double-page spread of the supplementary text provided the artist, Joseph the Frenchman, with an opportunity to experiment with elaborate framing devices. This one, in a manner more typical of medieval Hebrew bibles from Spain, makes use of both the palette and patterns associated with Islamic art, as well as the horseshoe arches characteristic of Spanish architecture, both Islamic and Christian.