The ancient seers and the Christian history of salvation: a golden work of book art by the great Jean Poyer

Sibylline Prophecies

Tours (France) — 1490-1500

Sibylline Prophecies

Sibylline Prophecies

Tours (France) — 1490-1500

  1. A gorgeous late-15th century manuscript from the famous studio of Jean Poyer (active 1465-1503) in Tours

  2. 25 full-page miniatures connect the life story of Jesus with the 12 Sibyls, the famed seers of antiquity

  3. An exceedingly varied design underlines the artistry of the brightly colored, gold-highlighted miniatures

Las Profecías de las Sibilas

Sibylline Prophecies

The Flagellation

In the Middle Ages, the pagan sibyls were repurposed as prophetesses for the coming of Christ and episodes from the Gospels were incorporated: Christ stands tied to a column stripped to the waist as two soldiers are about to flog him, Christ is calm and composed, looking out at the beholder with a look of resignation. His tormentors appear to be dressed like Turks, perhaps representing anxieties in Europe following the Fall of Constantinople and their subsequent invasion of the Balkans.

Sibylline Prophecies

Alternative Titles:
  • Sibyls and Prophets Foretelling Christ the Savior
  • Sibylline Oracles
  • Sibyllae et Prophetae de Christo Salvatore Vaticinantes
  • Die Prophezeiungen der Sibyllen
  • Die Sibyllinischen Propezeiungen
  • Las Profecías de las Sybilas
  • La Sabiduría de las Mujeres
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The Codex icon. 414 of the Bavarian State Library in Munich is a gorgeous late-15th century manuscript from the famous studio of Jean Poyer in Tours. In 25 impressive, large-format miniatures, the life story of Jesus is connected with the prophecies of the 12 Sibyls, and at the same time, the 12 prophets and the Evangelists are encountered here as well. As a true book treasure, the manuscript found itself in the possession of Prince-Elector Maximilian I of Bavaria, whose Residenz, the winter palace of the Bavarian sovereigns in Munich, it adorned.

The Sibylline Prophecies

The Codex icon. 414 of the Bavarian State Library in Munich is a gorgeous late-15th century manuscript from the famous studio of Jean Poyer in Tours. In 25 impressive, large-format miniatures, the life story of Jesus is connected with the prophecies of the 12 Sibyls, and at the same time, the 12 prophets and the Evangelists are encountered here as well. As a true book treasure, the manuscript found itself in the possession of Prince-Elector Maximilian I of Bavaria, whose Residenz, the winter palace of the Bavarian sovereigns in Munich, it adorned.

The Twelve Prophetesses

The cycle of the twelve Sibyls makes this precious, late-15th century French manuscript something truly special. Famed in antiquity as seers, they were reinterpreted from the 2nd century on and were henceforth considered to be prophetesses of Christ in Christian iconography. As such, the Sibyls are depicted in the Munich codex. Alongside this original image program, the manuscript with the title Sibyllae et prophetae de Christo Salvatore vaticinantes (The Sibyls and Prophets Who Foretold the Coming of Christ the Redeemer) is impressive first and foremost because of its exceedingly exquisite artistic furnishing.

A French Manuscript

The manuscript of The Sibylline Prophecies is considered by researchers to be an outstanding work from the studio of Jean Poyer (1445-1504), the famous French illuminator of Tours. It probably arose in the years ca. 1490-1500. The painting of Jean Fouquet probably served as a template. Nonetheless, the manuscript’s Italian influences are clearly recognizable. The Sibyl-cycle is very similar to that of the Hours of Louis de Laval – and was also introduced with a Noah’s Arc scene.

The Magnificent Miniatures

Following this wonderful and elegant depiction of Noah’s Arc in the Munich manuscript are 24 large-format miniatures on 12 double-pages. A depiction of one of the Sibyls is found on each the reverse pages, with a miniature in two registers on the opposite page, respectively: each with a prophet to the left and an Evangelist to the right in the lower register and the corresponding scene from the life of Jesus in the Gospels. The enthroned Sibyls are presented in splendid, precious garments trimmed with fur, brocade, and golden accents. Their prophecies are legible on a scroll (where their names, ages, and further information is also specified). An exceedingly varied design underlines the great artistry of the miniatures. So the throne is depicted in a different location in each miniature, sometimes in profile, sometimes directly facing the beholder. Countless figural reliefs and statues on the walls, the throne, and in the background adorn the scenes. The architectural borders of the wondrously perspectival compositions round out the depictions.

A Treasure of the Prince-Elector’s

Today, the manuscript with the shelf mark Cod.icon. 414 is a gem of the Bavarian State Library. It was presumably acquired from Prince-Elector Maximilian I of Bavaria (1573-1651). Alongside his significance politically, Maximilian is known for the construction of Munich’s Residenz, and for his patronage of arts and culture. The precious French manuscript was in the inventory of his library by 1641 at the latest and was presented in the so-called Chamber Gallery of the Residenz in Munich.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Sibyls and Prophets Foretelling Christ the Savior
Sibylline Oracles
Sibyllae et Prophetae de Christo Salvatore Vaticinantes
Die Prophezeiungen der Sibyllen
Die Sibyllinischen Propezeiungen
Las Profecías de las Sybilas
La Sabiduría de las Mujeres
Size / Format
40 pages / 24.0 x 16.5 cm
Date
1490-1500
Script
Gothic
Illustrations
25 Full-page illuminations: a prelude picture with Noah's arc followed by twelve double-pages: to the left is always one of the 12 Christian Sibylls with their prophecies, the corresponding scene from the Salvation history in the right upper register, prophets and evangelists in the bottom register.
Content
The Sibylline Prophecies and their meaning for the Old and New Testaments
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Las Profecías de las Sibilas

Sibylline Prophecies

The Persian Sibyl

Enthroned with a lantern in her hand and a snake are her feet, the Persian Sibyl’s prophecy reads: “See the animal you will trample. And the Lord of the Terrestrial Globe will be born. And the womb of a virgin will be the people’s salvation.” The Persian Sibyl is supposedly the author of the Sibylline Oracles and whose momentous prophecies include the coming of Alexander the Great.

This porcelain-skinned female figure is depicted in a Persian style hat and a cloth of gold dress trimmed with fur cuffs. Her throne is carved with various figures, as is the gilded architectural frame in which the scene is presented. Roman columns and windows in the background draw one’s eyes to an arid landscape with a castle perched atop a hill.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Sibylline Prophecies“

Las Profecías de las Sibilas
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
Sibylline Prophecies – Cod.icon. 414 – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Munich, Germany)
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Las Profecías de las Sibilas

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
CM Editores – Salamanca, 2016
Limited Edition
375 copies
Binding
The brown leather binding with golden embellishments is a faithful reproduction of the original Book Case
Commentary
1 volume
Language: Spanish
More Information
This edition is printed on 190 gram Italian parchment paper which is adorned with real 24kt goldleaf. The edition is also accompanied by a music CD with Sibylline hymns.
Price Category: €€€
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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