Treasures from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica

Treasures from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica

Paris (France); Florence (Italy) and others — 4th–15th century

From the holdings of the papal library: a collection of 12 single leaves from splendid biblical manuscripts

  1. The Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana is one of the most important libraries in all the world

  2. It is famous above all for its collection of Bibles and biblical manuscripts

  3. This collection of 12 single sheets represents a sample of the library's 80,000 specimens

Treasures from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica

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Description
Treasures from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica

The Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, one of the most important libraries in all the world, is famous above all for its collection of bibles and biblical manuscripts. Among them are true book treasures, not only for the theologically and academically interested, but also for the art historically interested collector. The selection of 12 pages of the most beautiful examples of the collection amaze some through their historical relevance, to others they offer the eye of the beholder a luscious treat.

Treasures from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica

The Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, one of the most important libraries in all the world, is famous above all for its collection of Bibles and biblical manuscripts. Among them are true book treasures, not only for the theologically and academically interested, but also for the art historically interested collector. The selection of 12 pages of the most beautiful examples of the collection amaze some through their historical relevance, to others they offer the eye of the beholder a luscious treat.

Bible Treasures from the 3rd to the 15th Centuries

The Renaissance Bible of Niccolò d`Este, with its opulent adornment and remarkable miniatures, is exemplary of the pomp and magnificence of 15th century biblical manuscripts. Nevertheless, it represents a rare exception: the biblical text was not written down in Latin, but rather in vernacular that was comprehensible to all. This makes the Bible a unicum that is worthy of a selection of the most important manuscripts of the papal collections. The rest of the 12-page compendium is equally exquisite. Among them is a early Christian papyrus with the earliest transmission of the Letters of Peter from the 3rd century. Others include a page from the Lorsch Gospels, a magnificent 9th century manuscript from the Court School of Charlemagne. Additionally selected are a page from an 8th century English manuscript, an initial page from a 9th century North French evangeliary, and a depiction of the enthroned ruler from the Evangeliary of Henry II (11th century). The selected pages come from a span of time encompassing twelve centuries. In total, the collection includes biblical manuscripts from the widest variety of cultural milieus, so also from the Byzantine, Coptic, Arabic, and Hebraic range, from Cairo, Constantinople, or Nineveh (in the Syrian language). The juxtaposition of the most diverse cultural styles and various languages allows various developments to be comprehended. The rich ornamental and artistic layout (sometimes also with gold, naturally) continuously offers the eye of the beholder a reason for closer immersion.

The Most Important Bible Collection in the World

This selection of twelve pages from biblical manuscripts of 9 different centuries offers an exemplary overview of the rich collection of book treasures from the Vatican library. This important and comprehensive Bible collection can naturally only be represented in bullet-point form. Already in the Middle Ages, before the actual founding of the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana by Pope Nicholas V in the 15th century, the papal Bible collection was of great significance. The over 80,000 manuscripts offer a gapless overview of the history of the Holy Scriptures and their various transmissions from the beginning up to this day. As a research institute, the Vatican Bible collection is still open to academics to this day, who occupy themselves with the unique inventories and continuously bring new treasures to light. With the twelves selected pages of the compendium, it offers the opportunity to exemplarily study the most noteworthy of these treasures and to come to grips with the Holy Scriptures in a new way.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Schätze der Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica
Bible Treasures from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – The Vatican Library
Origin
France
Date
4th–15th century

Available facsimile editions:
Treasures from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 2011
Limited Edition: 1995 copies
Detail Picture

Treasures from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica

Patron Portrait – Gospels of Henry II

Holy Roman Emperor Henry II was the last monarch of the Ottonian dynasty and the only German medieval monarch to be canonized. He is also known as Saint Henry the Exuberant due to his personal piety and dedication to both monastic reform and his extensive employment of clerics as imperial officials to balance the interests of the powerful German nobility. He is portrayed here in the classical dress of a Roman emperor, framed by a burnished gold leaf medallion upon which he rests his feet.

Schätze der Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica
Single Page

Treasures from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica

Bible of Niccolò d’Este – St. Jerome

This is a magnificent specimen from Renaissance Ferrara originating from ca. 1430. The uniformity of the flowering tendrils in the frame, backed by gold leaf and featuring the patron’s coat of arms at the top and bottom of the page, is remarkable. Here we see a portrait of St. Jerome, identifiable by the lion he tamed after removing a thorn from its paw.

An unusual architecture of purple and green stands in a nocturnal landscape accented with delicate brushstrokes of gold ink, as are the Saint’s dark under-robe and the fur of a lion. Jerome is pictured in profile with a brilliant golden halo and dressed in the flowing red cloak of a cardinal – a boy is holding his iconic hat, even though cardinals did not exist in his lifetime.

Schätze der Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica
Facsimile Editions

#1 Schätze der Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica

Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 2011
Treasures from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Treasures from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Biblica – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Faksimile Verlag – Lucerne, 2011
Limited Edition: 1995 copies
Binding: The box measures approximately 38.0 x 52.0 x 8.7 cm and is bound with fine burgundy cowhide. It is decorated with a reproduction of the famous Paschalis crucifix dating from the 9th century, which was made exclusively in this size for the Vatican Box.
Commentary: 1 volume by Christine Maria Grafinger
Language: German
1 volume: 12 leaves: 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
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