13th Century

The Morgan Crusader Bible

Pierpont Morgan Library. Manuscript. M.638.[facsimile] Die Kreuzritterbibel = The  Morgan Crusader Bible = La Bible des croisades. Luzern : Faksimile Verlag ; New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, c1998-c1999.  
BS 715.5 C7 1998 Special Colllections Vault

The Morgan Crusader Bible was originally a Picture Bible without text created for and likely commissioned by Louis IX, the crusader king of France (1226-1270). It presented Old Testament history with an emphasis on holy war and kingship.  Sometime after the death of Louis IX, unknown scribes added Latin texts to the margins of the manuscript.  There are also more modern inscriptions added including Persian and Judeo-Persian.

Six painters participated in the illumination of the Gothic Crusader Bible. Their miniatures are not only different in style but also in terms of colouring. A very clear difference is discernible in the rich use of gold. The original binding was lost during the centuries. However, the Bodleian Library in Oxford still possesses a manuscript which King Louis IX commissioned around the same time as the Crusader Bible and which still is in its original Gothic de luxe leather binding. That binding was used as a model for this fine art facsimile edition.

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