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Bible

Biblia Sacra Latina, Versio Vulgata

Vellum leaf from an illuminated Medieval Manuscript
France; Late 13th Century
Latin Text; Angular Gothic Script
40.5 by 27 cm

This copy of the Latin version by St. Jerome was made during the period when France stood at the height of her medieval glory. A decade or two before, Louis IX (Saint Louis), the strongest monarch of his age, had made France the mightiest power in Europe. This favorable political situation rendered possible the "golden age" of the manuscript, and Paris became the center in which the finest manuscripts were written and sold.

In the quarter century from 1275 to 1300, marked advances were effected in the art. The bar borders came to be executed in rich opaque gouache pigments, with ultramarine made of powdered lapis lazuli predominating. The foliage scroll work inside the initial frame created a style that persisted with little or no change for nearly two hundred years. The script was well executed and was without rigidity or tension. All these elements, together with the sparkle which was created by the casual distribution of the burnished gold accents, give to this leaf a striking atmosphere of joyous freedom.
Keywords: 1200s, Bible, decoration, formal, France, gothic, initials, script
Manuscripts | Cary Collection