Bible of Lyon

Bible of Lyon

Lyon (France) — 1541-1543

From the court painter of King Henry VIII: A beautifully printed Bible with 16 graphics by Hans Holbein the Younger

  1. Latin translations of biblical texts from ancient sources, among them is the rare 3 Maccabees

  2. Hans Holbein the Younger, court painter to King Henry VIII (1491–1547), contributed 16 graphics to the work

  3. Copies of this "lost" Bible were confiscated and destroyed in the turmoil of the Counter-Reformation

Bible of Lyon

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Bible of Lyon

The so-called Lost Bible of Lyon can look back on an eventful history, as a controversial and renowned, yet eventually forbidden work of the 16th century. It contains Latin translations of biblical texts from ancient sources, among them is the rare 3 Maccabees. Printed in the 1640’s by Jean Mareschal in Lyon, the Bible of Lyon was confiscated and destroyed in the turmoil of the Counter-Reformation and only survives today in ten specimens.

Bible of Lyon

The so-called Lost Bible of Lyon can look back on an eventful history, as a controversial and renowned, yet eventually forbidden work of the 16th century. It contains Latin translations of biblical texts from ancient sources, among them is the rare 3 Maccabees. Printed in the 1640’s by Jean Mareschal in Lyon, the Bible of Lyon was confiscated and destroyed in the turmoil of the Counter-Reformation and only survives today in ten specimens.

A Forbidden Text

Jean Mareschal (ca. 1510–1590) was a printer and publisher in Lyon. He published a Bible in the years 1541–1543 that relied on ancient biblical texts. This originated from various sources and collected biblical texts, commentaries, excerpts, clarifications, etc. Thus the Bible of Lyon contains, inter alia, 3 Maccabees in Mareschal’s own translation – the first Latin translation of this text! The Book of Maccabees was nevertheless repudiated as an apocryphal text five years later at the Council of Trent. The printer in Lyon was pursued from then on by the Inquisition and had to flee to Heidelberg. His bible suffered a similar fate, it was confiscated and destroyed and thus only ten specimens survive today.

Illustrations by a Master of the Renaissance

One of these rare specimens of the so-called Lost Bible of Lyon is stored in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice. The 632 pages of the printed book were illustrated by 100+ small illustrations and three full-page lithographs. The significant Renaissance painter Hans Holbein the Younger contributed 16 graphics with biblical representations – so-called icons. Hans Holbein the Younger (1498–1543) is considered to be one of the greatest artists of his time. Born in Augsburg, in the course of his life he came to England by way of Basel and France and there became the court painter for Henry VIII!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Lyoneser Bibel
Bibbia di Lione
La Bibbia Perduta
Verlorene Bibel von Lyon
Size / Format
632 pages / 35.0 × 24.0 cm
Origin
France
Date
1541-1543
Language
Illustrations
3 full-page lithographs, 100+ smaller illustrations
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Bible of Lyon – Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (Venice, Italy)
Vallecchi – Florence, 1998
Limited Edition: 1999 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 La Bibbia Perduta

Vallecchi – Florence, 1998

Publisher: Vallecchi – Florence, 1998
Limited Edition: 1999 copies
Binding: Handbound and handsewn leather binding embossed with gold patterns and insignias. Solid wood case.
Commentary: 1 volume by Giancarlo Gaeta, Marcello Brusegan, and Monica Centanni
Language: Italian
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
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