The Most Beautiful Bibles

The Bible, as the tradition of the Word of God, was of course at the center of medieval book art. Especially since the Old and New Testament stories were ideally suited to be retold in pictures. You can find a selection of the most beautiful and magnificent of these Bibles here.

Morgan Crusader's Bible

Paris (France) — ca. 1250

From Louis the Saint to the Persian Shah to New York City: one of the most richly illuminated and famous manuscripts of the Middle Ages

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A milestone in the history of mankind: the most beautiful edition of Gutenberg's famous Bible, richly decorated with gold

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Bible of Borso d'Este

Ferrara or Modena (Italy) — 1455-1461

Each one of the 1,200 pages has been masterfully illuminated with incredible attention to detail: the grandiose climax of the Renaissance

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Bible moralisée

Paris (France) — 1220-1230

God as the architect of the world with compass in hand: a unique masterpiece with 1,000 golden medallions that is not only famous for its opening miniature

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Kennicott Bible

La Coruña (Spain) — 1476

One of the most important and beautiful manuscripts in Spain: the Hebrew Bible of Moses Ibn Zaraba

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Pamplona Bible

Navarre (Spain) — ca. 1200

Decorated with almost 1,000 miniatures but irrevocably exposed to decay: one of the most beautiful picture Bibles of the Middle Ages, created for the King of Navarre

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Codex Etschmiadzin

Noravank Monastery (Armenia) — ca. 989

The "Queen of the Biblical Texts" adorned with early miniatures: an exact translation of the Bible from the 5th century

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Bible moralisée of Naples

Naples (Italy) — 1340-1350

Picture strips for the Old Testament and full-page miniatures for the New: a visually stunning masterpiece created by the greatest artists of the early Italian Renaissance

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Bible of Federico da Montefeltro

Urbino (Italy) — 1476-1478

A huge, two-volume masterpiece with grandiose miniature paintings: the luxury Bible for one of the richest princes of the Italian Renaissance

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Picture Bible of Saint Louis

Paris (France) — 1226-1234

Furnished with 4,800+ golden picture medallions: one of the most extensive and magnificent works in the history of book illumination

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Ottheinrich's Bible

Regensburg (Germany) — 1425-1430 und ca. 1530

A masterpiece of the Gothic and German Renaissance: the first illustrated New Testament Bible in German

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Picture Bible of Manchester

France — ca. 1250

Luminous Gothic miniatures on a golden background: a magnificently illuminated picture bible from northern France containing the Old Testament and the story of Jacob

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Wenceslas Bible

Prague (Czechia) — 1389-1400

Made in the famous Wenceslas workshop in Prague: a mammoth bible in German with 646 fantastic miniatures for the German emperor

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Bible moralisée of the Limbourg Brothers

France — 1402-1404; 1450-1465; 1485-1493

Commissioned by Duke Philip the Bold: a masterpiece with over 500 miniatures by the Limbourg Brothers and over 250 miniatures by other masters

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Biblia Veteris Testamenti

Frankfurt am Main (Germany) — 1551

Each of the more than 400 pages that illustrate this picture Bible: masterful, colored copperplates and woodcuts by Sebald Beham, the student of Albrecht Dürer

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