This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.
Open Content images tend to be large in file-size. To avoid potential data charges from your carrier, we recommend making sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network before downloading.
Not currently on view
De Natura Avium; De Pastoribus et Ovibus; Bestiarium; Mirabilia Mundi; Philosophia Mundi; On the Soul
Thérouanne ?, France (formerly Flanders), Europe (Place created)
1278 to 1299
Tempera colors, pen and ink, gold leaf, and gold paint on parchment bound between pasteboard covered with paneled calf
Leaf: 23.3 × 16.4 cm (9 3/16 × 6 7/16 in.)
A bestiary is a collection of stories about animals, birds, fish, plants, and even stones, whose properties were interpreted as reflections of the divine order of God. During the 1200s, curiosity about the natural world was so prevalent that the illustrated bestiary reached the height of its popularity. In addition to the main text of the bestiary, this manuscript contains five other studies of the natural world: treatises on birds, astronomy, the relation of the soul to the body, and a remarkable series of seven full-page miniatures illustrating the exotic peoples believed to inhabit the world.
In the introduction, the author states, "What the mind of simple people would scarcely be able to capture with its mental eye, it can at least capture with its physical one." The "simple people" were beginning students at the monastery who could read Latin but for whom complex theological material was new and difficult. The lively and entertaining images found in this manuscript were intended to help readers remember the contents of the works.
Gothic Manuscript Illumination: 1250-1375 (January 16 to March 13, 1985) (fols. 117v - 118)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 16 to March 31, 1985
Secular Manuscripts (October 21, 1986 to January 4, 1987) (fols. 117v - 118)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 21, 1986 to January 4, 1987
Illuminated Gothic Manuscripts (January 20 to April 5, 1987) (fols. 118v - 119)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 20 to April 5, 1987
Illuminated Secular Manuscripts (July 17 to September 30, 1990) (fols. 117v - 118)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 17 to September 30, 1990
Illuminated Secular Manuscripts (January 24 to April 9, 1995) (fols. 117v - 118)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 24 to April 9, 1995
Ten Centuries of French Illumination (April 23 to July 7, 1996) (fols. 111v - 112)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 23 to July 7, 1996
Illuminating the Mind's Eye: Memory and Medieval Book Arts (July 23 to October 6, 1996) (fols. 2v - 3)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 23 to October 6, 1996
Medieval Mastery: Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold (800-1475) (September 21 to December 8, 2002) (fols. 117v - 118)
- Stedelijk Museum Vander Kelen-Mertens (Leuven), September 21 to December 8, 2002
The Glory of the Gothic Page (December 16, 2003 to March 7, 2004) (fols. 73v - 74)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 16, 2003 to March 7, 2004
The Medieval Bookshelf: From Romance to Astronomy (January 24 to April 9, 2006) (fols. 111v - 112)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 24 to April 9, 2006
Medieval Beasts (May 1 to July 29, 2007) (fols. 118v - 119)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 1 to July 29, 2007
Gothic Grandeur: Manuscript Illumination 1200-1350 (December 13, 2011 to May 13, 2012) (fols. 73v - 74; fols. 94v - 95)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 13, 2011 to May 13, 2012
Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts (January 22 to June 26, 2016) (fols. 117v - 118 and fols. 119v - 120)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 22 to June 26, 2016
Remembering Antiquity: The Ancient World Through Medieval Eyes (January 24 to May 28, 2017) (fols. 157v - 158)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 24 to May 28, 2017
Bernard, Edward, and Humphrey Wanley. Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliae et Hiberniae : in unum collecti, cum indice alphabetico (Oxoniae : E theatro Sheldoniano, 1697), vol 2, p. 106, no. 4072.8.
Cockerell, Sydney Carlyle. Exhibition of Illuminated Manuscripts, exh. cat. (London: Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1908), pp. 40-41.
Warner, George. Descriptive Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts in the Library of C. W. Dyson Perrins. 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1920), p. 83.
James, Montague Rhodes. The Bestiary, being a reproduction in full of the manuscript Ii. 4. 26 in the University Library, Cambridge, with supplementary plates from other manuscripts of English origin, and a preliminary study of the Latin bestiary as current in England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1928), pp. 10, 11, 25.
Sotheby's, London. The Dyson Perrins Collection: Part I. December 9, 1958, p. 23, lot 7.
McCulloch, Florence. Mediaeval Latin and French Bestiaries (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1962), p. 30.
Edmondston, Elizabeth. "Unfamiliar Libraries IX: Sion College," The Book Collector 14 no. 2 (Summer 1965), p. 172, pls. 2,3.
May, Helmut, ed. Weltkunst aus Privatbesitz, exh. cat. (Cologne: Druckerei J. P. Bachem, 1968), no. D60.
Ohly, Friedrich. "Probleme der mittelalterlichen Bedeutungsforschung und das Taubenbild des Hugo de Folieto." Frühmittelalterliche Studien 2 (1968), p. 200, no. 15.
Wittkower, Rudolf. "Marvels of the East. A Study in the History of Monsters." Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 5 (1942; repr.,Liechtenstein: Kraus Reprint, 1968), p. 177n4.
Ker, Neil Ripley. Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries. 5 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969-2002), vol. 1 (1969), pp. 283-85.
Stahl, Harvey. "Le Bestiaire de Douai." Revue de l'Art 8 (1970), p. 8n10.
Stones, Alison M. "Sacred and Profane Art: Secular and Liturgical Book-Illumination in the Thirteenth Century." In The Epic in Medieval Society: Aesthetic and Moral Values. Harald Scholler, ed. (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1977), p. 108n27.
Sotheby's, London. Catalogue of Important and Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts the Property of Sion College. June 13, 1977, p. 71-77, lot. 72, ill., frontispiece.
Mazal, Otto. Buchkunst der Romanik (Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1978), p. 92.
Häring, Nicholas Martin. "Notes on the 'Liber Avium' of Hugues de Fouilloy." Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 46 (1979), p. 75, no. 33.
Plotzek, Joachim M. "Bestiarium, Illustrationen," Lexikon des Mittelalters 1 (Munich: Artemis Verlag, 1980), col. 2072 - 2080.
Friedman, John Block. The Monstrous Races in Medieval Art and Thought (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1981), pp. 9 12, 15, 17, 19, 21, 27, 39, 132, 134, 162, 213, n. 16; figs. 2, 3, 9, 12, 18.
Clark, Willene B. "The Illustrated Medieval Aviary and the Lay-Brotherhood." Gesta 21, no. 1 (1982), p. 73, no. 23.
"Manuscript Acquisitions: The Ludwig Collection." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 12 (1984), p. 305, no. 128.
von Euw, Anton, and Joachim M. Plotzek. Die Handschriften der Sammlung Ludwig. 4 vols. (Cologne: Schnütgen-Museum, 1979-1985), vol. 4 (1985), pp. 188-206.
Yapp, William Brunsdon "A New Look at English Bestiaries." Medium Aevum 54, no. 1 (January 1, 1985), p. 14n11.
Plotzek, Joachim M. "Mirabilia mundi," In Ornamenta Ecclesiae: Kunst und Künstler der Romanik, exh. cat. Anton Legner, ed. 3 vols. (Cologne: Schnütgen Museum, 1985), vol. 1 (1985), pp. 107, 109.
Oliver, Judith. Gothic Manuscript Illumination in the Diocese of Liege (c. 1250-c. 1330). 2 vols. (Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters, 1988), I, 163.
Clark, Willene B., and Meradith T. McMunn, eds. Beasts and Birds of the Middle Ages: The Bestiary and Its Legacy. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989), p. 197.
Harris, Kate. "Patrons, Buyers and Owners: The Evidence for Ownership and the Rôle of Book Owners in Book Production and the Book Trade," In Book Production and the Book Trade in Britain 1375-1475, Jeremy Griffiths and Derek Pearsall, eds.(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989), p. 175.
Hamburger, Jeffrey F. The Rothschild Canticles: Art and Mysticism in Flanders and the Rhineland circa 1300 (New Haven and London, 1990), pp. 209, 211, 298, no. 44.
Alexander, Jonathan J.G. "Labeur and Presse: Ideological Representations of Medieval Peasant Labor." Art Bulletin 72, no. 3 (March 1990), p. 449, fig. 18.
Touwaide, Alain. "Visions du monde médiéval à travers les manuscrits enluminées du J. P. Getty Museum (Malibu)." Scriptorium 45, no. 1 (1991), pp. 299, no. 2.13, 301, 302.
Alexander, Jonathan J. G. Medieval Illuminators and Their Methods of Work (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), pp. 45, 171n24, fig. 66.
Clark, Willene B. The Medieval Book of Birds: Hugh of Fouilloy's Aviarium (Binghamton: University of New York at Binghamton, 1992), p. 62, no. 29, fig. 2, 54, 55a-b.
Hansell, Peter, and Jean Hansell. A Dovecote Heritage (Bath: Millstream Books, 1992), p. 179, ill.
Klemm, Elisabeth. "Zwischen Didaktik, Moral und Satire: Beobachtungen zu Tieren und Monstren in der Buchmalerei," Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte 46/47 (1993-94), pp. 294n30, 295n33-34.
Toman, Rolf ed., Die Kunst der Romanik (Cologne: Könemann, 1996), pp. 438, 440, ill.
Purcell, Rosamond. Special Cases: Natural Anomalies and Historical Monsters (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1997), p. 133, ill.
Smeyers, Maurits. Flemish Miniatures from the 8th to the mid-16th Century: The Medieval World on Parchment (Turnhout: Brepols, 1999), pp. 129, 172, no. 36.
Friedman, John Block. The Monstrous Races in Medieval Art and Thought (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2000), pp. 10, 11, 17, 21, 27, 39, 132-34, 162, figs. 2,3,9,12,18.
Preedy, Lee, and William Noel, eds. Medieval Mastery: Book Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold, 800-1475, exh. cat. Lee Preedy and Greta Arblaster-Holmer, trans. (Leuven: Stedelijk Museum Vander Kelen-Mertens; with Uitgecerij Davidsfonds and Brepols Publishers, 2002), pp. 206-7, no. 40, ill., entry by Brigitte Dekeyzer.
Duchet-Suchaux, Gaston, and Michel Pastoreau, Le Bestiaire Mééval (Paris: Éditions Léopard d'Or, 2002), pl. 12.
Strickland, Debra Higgs. Saracens, Demons, and Jews: Making Monsters in Medieval Art (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2003), pp. 42-48, 269, figs. 7,8.
Willing, Antje. "Orbis apertus. Zur Quellenkritik mittelalterlicher Kartographie," Archiv fur Kulturgeschichte 86, no. 2 (2004), pp. 292-93, 294n39, 295n41-42, 296-97, 300-2, 304, 311, figs. 3a-f.
Earle, Thomas Foster, and Kate J.P. Lowe, eds. Black Africans in Renaissance Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 65, fig. 17.
Chekin, Leonid S. Northern Eurasia in Medieval Cartography: Inventory, Text, Translation, and Commentary (Turnhout: Brepols, 2006), p. 118, no. VIII.8.2, fig. VIII.8.2, cover.
Kren, Thomas. French Illuminated Manuscripts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), pp. xv, 35-37, ill.
Morrison, Elizabeth. Beasts: Factual & Fantastic (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum; London: The British Library, 2007), pp. 21-22, 84, 88-89, figs. 13, 71.
Morrison, Elizabeth, and Anne D. Hedeman, eds. Imagining the Past in France: History in Manuscript Painting, 1250-1500 (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 117n10, under no. 8, entry by Anne D. Hedeman; p. 120n14, under no. 9, entry by Elizabeth Morrison.
Heck, Christian, and Rémy Cordonnier. Le bestiaire médiéval: L'animal dans les manuscrits enluminés (Paris: Éditions Citadelles & Mazenod, 2011), pp. 490, 493, ill.
Stones, Alison. Gothic Manuscripts 1260-1320. 2 vols. (London: Harvey Miller, 2013), part 1 (2013), vol. 1, pp. 22, 39, 45, 69, 82, figs. 769-73; vol. 2, no. III-122, pp. 195, 301, 432, 506, 508, 510, 540, 543-47, 548, 597; part 2 (2014), vol. 2, p. 239.
Europa in der Welt des Mittelalters: ein Colloquium für und mit Michael Borgolte, 24-25 Mai, 2013. Tillmann Loshe and Benjamin Scheller, eds. (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2014), cover ill.
Goehring, Margaret. Space, Place and Ornament: The Function of Landscape in Medieval Manuscript Illumination (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014), pp. 92-93, fig. 47.
Kempf, Damien, and Maria L. Gilbert. Medieval Monsters (London: British Library, 2015), p. 12, ill.
Russo, Alessandra, Gerhard Wolf, and Diana Fane. 2015. Images take flight: feather art in Mexico and Europe (1400-1700) (Munich: Hirmer, 2015), pp.74, 77, fig. 55.
Speculum 91, no. 1 (January 2016), cover ill.
Pyke, Louis M. Scorpion (London: Reaktion Books, 2016), p. 71.
Keene, Bryan. "Il Medioevo Globale: Visioni del Mondo al Getty Museum." Alumina 14, no. 52 (January-March 2016), p. 47, ill.