Miniatures with a polished gold background in the Byzantine style: a French picture Bible from the 12th century with criticism of the Crusades

Illustrated Bible of The Hague

Benedictine Abbey of St. Bertin (France) — 1190–1200; Added text: 1290–1300

Illustrated Bible of The Hague

Illustrated Bible of The Hague

Benedictine Abbey of St. Bertin (France) — 1190–1200; Added text: 1290–1300

  1. This splendid 12th century manuscript exhibits clear Byzantine influences like burnished gold backgrounds

  2. Imagery from the Old and New Testaments is appended by a reproachful text concerning the Second Crusade

  3. The highly-coveted manuscript was owned by King William I of the Netherlands (1772–1843) and other bibliophiles

Biblia Ilustrada de La Haya

Illustrated Bible of The Hague

Moses Parting the Red Sea

The Pharaoh, his soldiers, and all their chariots are shown being swept away by the waters of the Red Sea as Moses leads the Israelites to safety. This miracle and demonstration of God’s power galvanized the faith of the Israelites as they prepare for their 40-year-ordeal in the desert. On the left, the Israelites proceed with understandably concerned faces as Moses keeps his arm and staff raised, their divine protection symbolized by a diamond-patterned gold leaf background.

Illustrated Bible of The Hague

Alternative Titles:
  • Biblia Ilustrada de La Haya
  • Illustrierte Bibel von Den Haag
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
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Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology
Short Description

The so-called Illustrated Bible of The Hague is a 12th century French manuscript that has been illustrated from end-to-end. It originated in the Benedictine Abbey of St. Bertin in the northwest of France, but exhibits clear Byzantine influences nonetheless. Presumably, even the name of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos is connected to the manuscript, as can be guessed from a reproachful text against Rome concerning the Second Crusade on two pages in the book. 172 images in total illustrate the Old and New Testament in marvelous, precious miniatures. A manuscript with a truly exciting story!

Illustrated Bible of The Hague

The so-called Illustrated Bible of The Hague is a 12th century French manuscript that has been illustrated from end-to-end. It originated in the Benedictine Abbey of St. Bertin in the northwest of France, but exhibits clear Byzantine influences nonetheless. Presumably, even the name of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos is connected to the manuscript, as can be guessed from a reproachful text against Rome concerning the Second Crusade on two pages in the book. 172 images in total illustrate the Old and New Testament in marvelous, precious miniatures. A manuscript with a truly exciting story!

The Bible Illustrations

A total 45 full-page miniatures illustrate the 94 pages of the so-called Illustrated Bible of The Hague, each of which is divided into four image fields. As a result, there is a comprehensive pictorial décor of 172 illustrations altogether with scenes from the Old and New Testaments. They present the cycle of Salvation, beginning with the tale of Adam and Eve and ending with the Last Judgement. Additionally, a few tales of the lives and martyrdoms of saints are pictorially represented.

France and Byzantium

The precious manuscript with text in Latin and French originated at the end of the 12th century, it was finally appended with an additional text a century later. The illustrated Bible originates from the Benedictine Abbey of St. Bertin in the northwest of France. Nonetheless, the treatment of the miniatures, some of them presented against gold backgrounds, clearly indicates Byzantine influences. An extremely vivid color scheme, splendid gold figures, and flat representations distinguish the paintings in colorful decorative frames.

The Byzantine Emperor and the Dutch King

An additional indication of a Byzantine connection is hidden in the manuscript: aside from the clear Byzantine influences in the miniatures, one can find an indictment against the Second Crusade and against Rome on both the first and last pages of the manuscript. This has led to the assumption that the manuscript was originally a commission of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos (1118–1180). Additionally, the marvelous illustrations of the Bible probably served originally as the preface of a Psalter. In the 18th century, the manuscript of the Illustrated Bible of The Hague found itself in the possession of Joseph Désiré Lupus before it was acquired by King William I of the Netherlands. It finally reached the Koninklijke Bibliotheek von den Haag in 1823.

Codicology
Alternative Titles
Biblia Ilustrada de La Haya
Illustrierte Bibel von Den Haag
Size / Format
94 pages / 25.5 × 16.5 cm
Date
1190–1200; Added text: 1290–1300
Style
Illustrations
172 colored images in 45 full-page miniatures
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Biblia Ilustrada de La Haya

Illustrated Bible of The Hague

Map of Jerusalem

Surrounded by other important biblical sites like Bethlehem, Bethany, and Jericho, this is a schematic map of the city of Jerusalem resembling a mappa mundi. Prominent landmarks in the city are depicted including its main gates, the Temple of Solomon, and Golgotha. It is composed of bright primary colors and is generously embellished with glimmering gold leaf.

The bas-de-page miniature reminds us that this manuscript was created in the 12th century during the height of the Crusades: it shows a Crusader knight dressed in white pursuing a wounded enemy on horseback. The burnished gold background of this and other miniatures points to the influence of Byzantine art in France and the rest of the West during this period.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Illustrated Bible of The Hague“

Biblia Ilustrada de La Haya Facsimile

Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Illustrated Bible of The Hague – KB, 76 F5
 – Koninklijke Bibliotheek den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands)
Imageof

Biblia Ilustrada de La Haya Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Orbis Mediaevalis – Madrid, 2011
Limited Edition
695 copies
Binding
Green velvet with two silver clasps bearing Greek crosses and a decorative piece on the front and back covers
Commentary
1 volume by Gregorio Solera, Ed Van der Vlist, Eberhard König, Ana B. Sanchez Prieto, and David Lopez Menaza
Language: Spanish
More Information
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
Price: Login here!
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