Bible Historiale, 2 vols.

Object Details

Title:

Bible Historiale, 2 vols.

Artist/Maker(s):

Master of Jean de Mandeville (French, active 1350 - 1370)

Guyart des Moulins (French, 1251 - ?, active 1291 - 1294)

Peter Comestor (French, about 1100 - about 1179)

Guyart des Moulins (French, 1251 - ?, active 1291 - 1294)

Culture:

French

Place(s):

Paris, France (Place created)

Date:

about 1360 - 1370

Medium:

Tempera on parchment

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Compiled at the end of the 1200s by Guiart des Moulins and subsequently expanded, the Historical Bible was the most popular Bible in French of the Middle Ages (it is called the Bible historiale in French). It includes French translations of all the books of the Bible, a series of commentaries written in the 1100s by the scholar Peter Comestor and translated by Guiart from Latin into French, and additional commentaries and glosses authored by Guiart himself. This compilation is called the Historical Biblebecause the commentaries stressed the role of scripture as a record of historical events. Thus, in most illuminated copies, the book of Genesis, the first of the historical books of the Bible, is profusely illustrated, while non-historical books, like those of the prophets, receive only one illumination each. The many extant copies of the Historical Bibleattest to the desire of increasing numbers of lay people to have a complete Bible available in French. More than seventy miniatures illustrate the Getty Museum's two-volume Historical Bible, focusing largely on the narrative aspects of the texts. The Master of Jean de Mandeville, the anonymous master responsible for the majority of the illuminations, painted the costumes of his figures in grisaille, a monochrome technique popular in Paris in the 1300s. The contrasting brightly patterned backgrounds underscore the three-dimensionality of the delicately drawn, palely colored figures.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Dix siècles de livres français (July 9 to October 2, 1949) (no. 27; vol. 1, fol.1 (not known if vol. 2 exhibition))
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lucerne, July 9 to October 2, 1949
A Thousand Years of the Bible: Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (January 15 to March 31, 1991) (no. 19; vol. 2, fols. 86v-87)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), January 15 to March 31, 1991
Medieval Beasts (May 1 to July 29, 2007) (no. 19; vol. 2, fols. 86v-87)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 1 to July 29, 2007
Bibliography

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Quaritch, Bernard. Facsimiles of Illustrations in Biblical and Liturgical Manuscripts executed in various countries during the XI-XVI centuries now in the possession of Bernard Quaritch (London: Bernard Quaritch, 1892), pp. 11-12, pls. 14-17.

Bourgeois, Pierre, and Julien Cain, eds. Dix siècles de livres français, exh. cat. (Lucerne: Musée des beaux-arts de Lucerne, 1949), no. 27, pl. 7.

La Librarie de Charles V, exh. cat. (Paris: Bibliothèque National, 1968), pp. 105-6, no. 184, pp. 113-14, no. 197, pp. 119-20, no. 206.

Sneddon, Clive R. "The 'Bible du XIIIe Siecle': Its Medieval Public in the Light of Its Manuscript Tradition." In The Bible and Medieval Culture. W. Lourdaux and D. Verhelst, eds. (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1979), pp. 127-40.

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Andås, Margrete S. "Art and Ritual in the Liminal Zone." In The Medieval Cathedral of Trondheim: Architectural and Ritual Constructions in their European Contexts. Margrete Syrstad Andås, et al eds. Ritus et Artes 3 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2007), p. 77.

Rosenberg, Gary D. "The measure of man and landscape in the Renaissance and Scientific Revolution." In The Revolution in Geology from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Gary D. Rosenberg, ed. (Boulder, CO: The Geological Society of America, 2009), pp. 13-15, fig. 1a.

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), pp. 95, under no. 2, entry by Elizabeth Morrison; pp. 166-68, no. 22, ill., entry by Elizabeth Morrison; p. 177, under no. 25, entry by Anne D. Hedeman; p. 219, under no. 36, entry by Elizabeth Morrison.

Scott, Margaret. Fashion in the Middle Ages (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011), pp. 23, 33, fig. 18.

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