Genealogy of Christ

Genealogy of Christ Facsimile Edition

Italy — 1320–1340

Created by the chancellor of the University of Paris: Old Testament family trees by Peter of Poitiers in the rare form of a scroll

  1. This Old Testament teaching tool was created by the scholar Peter of Poitiers in the rare form of a scroll

  2. The scroll arranges the most important biblical people in the form of interconnected family trees

  3. Peter of Poitiers (ca. 1130–1215) studied at the University of Paris and was later named chancellor of this very university

Genealogy of Christ

  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Genealogy of Christ

The Genealogy of Christ is a scroll that was made as a teaching tool by the scholar Peter of Poitiers (ca. 1130–1215). It shows the most important people and events of the Old Testament, clearly and comprehensives summarized in family trees. Various colors make the structure easy to understand and remember. The scroll was used a learning aid for teaching in classrooms and the University of Paris.

Genealogy of Christ

A manuscript on a vellum scroll that was intended to serve as a learning aid in biblical instruction arose during the Gothic Middle Ages. Peter of Poitiers, the chancellor of the University of Paris, composed this manuscript, which was to be used as a study aid on the walls of classrooms. The scroll arranges the most important biblical people in the form of family trees in connection with one another and in doing so makes the story of the Old Testament more easily understood. The work is furnished with a variety of various color accents in order to differentiate the contents. Around 50 handwritten copies of the genealogy from the time period of the 13th to the 15th centuries still exist today.

A Free Educational Aid

The Genealogy of Christ was used as a didactic aid on classroom walls. Poor schoolchildren and clerics who were not in the financial position to buy books for themselves had a free synopsis of the most important biblical people and events. The story of the Old Testament could be analyzed at a glance and was easily imprinted through the compact depictions.

Theological Tradition

Peter of Poitiers was an educated theologian from France. He lived in Paris ca. 1130 to 1205. He studied at the University of Paris and was later named chancellor of this very university. He published several orthodox teachings and lectures in numerous handwritten codices. The Genealogy of Christ is his most attractive work. The scroll is divided into the six different ages of humanity, according to the tradition of which, the Sixth Age was begun with the birth of Christ and was ended with his crucifixion. The most important people were summarized bearing the complexity of the stories in mind. Thus the content of the Bible was clearly articulated.

Various Color Accents

The people and individual aspects of the biblical passages of the genealogy were furnished with a variety of different colors. The gender and status of people in the society could be easily distinguished from one another. Women’s names, for example, were surrounded by fresh green frames. Kings were consigned with a luminous red color and prophets were set in a deep blue color base. The various temporal epochs were also made easily discernable through the use of different colors. These noteworthy learning aids of the Middle Ages were so beloved, that they were frequently copied from the 13th to the 15th centuries. Today the original edition of the scroll is found in the Biblioteca Casantense in Rome.


Alternative Titles
Genealogía de Cristo
Genealogie Christi
Abstammung Jesu
Genealogia di Cristo
Généalogie du Christ
Genealogia de Cristo
Size / Format
1 roll / 384.0 × 19.3 cm
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Genealogy of Christ – Biblioteca Casanatense (Rome, Italy) Facsimile Edition
M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 1999
Limited Edition: 987 copies
Detail Picture

Genealogy of Christ

King David

Rather than being depicted as the composer of the Psalms and holding a lyre, as is typical in Christian art, David is depicted here as a crowned medieval king holding a scepter with his head framed by a golden halo. King David looks directly at the beholder with kind eyes and a long, straight nose – the only facial features that aren’t hidden by a shaggy beard. Dressed in the style of the 14th century, he wears a patterned tunic with a cloak adorned by a cross pulled over his left shoulder.

Genealogía de Cristo
Single Page

Genealogy of Christ


Unlike the rest of this rare scroll, which is painted using a wide-variety of colors, this most-iconic of Christian scenes is presented here in semi-grisaille – executed entirely by using shading and only embellished by the use of gold leaf for the halos. This is also a minimalist depiction of the Crucifixion scene, excluding all other figures save for the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist.

This miniature is so stripped down that Golgotha is represented by a skull and only the smallest bump of a hill. However, the beholder is thus allowed to focus on the strokes from the skillful hand of the artist: a perfectly balanced composition, a detailed and naturalistic fall of folds, delicate shading, and subtle yet expressive countenances.

Genealogía de Cristo
Facsimile Editions

#1 Genealogía de Cristo

M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 1999

Publisher: M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 1999
Limited Edition: 987 copies
Binding: Deep red leather embossed in gold
Commentary: 1 volume (164 pages) by Miguel C. Vivancos, Angela Adriana Cavarra, Carlos Miranda and Ana Domínguez Rodríguez

Language: Spanish
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: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Price: Log in here!
You might also be interested in:
Cathechism of Fray Pedro de Gante Facsimile Edition
Cathechism of Fray Pedro de Gante
Mexico – 1525–1528

Christian teachings in the visual language of Mexico's indigenous people: the fascinating masterpiece of the missionary, Flemish Franciscan, and likely illegitimate son of Emperor Maximilian I, Fray Pedro de Gante

Experience More
Koran of Muley Zaidan Facsimile Edition
Koran of Muley Zaidan
Mosque of the Al-Badi Palace, Marrakech (Morocco) – 1599

A masterpiece of Islamic illumination for Sultan Muley Zaidan: an extraordinary Moroccan manuscript from El Escorial

Experience More
Blog articles worth reading
Filter selection