c 1240-50 Bible Leaf - Miniature of St. Paul - creatures


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript pocket Bible with illuminations from the Johannes Grusch Atelier. Latin gothic minuscule script, ruled in red and written in brown ink, on animal vellum. (150 x 100 mm - 6 x 4").

Rubricated chapter numbers, initials and marginalia in red and blue. 44 lines of text in double columns (12 lines per inch!).

France: Paris, c. 1240-50 A.D.

One five-line historiated initial in pink with white tracery on a dark blue ground extending into margin & becoming a dragon-like creature. The center of the initial portrays Paul seated, holding his common attribute – a sword - in colors of orange, gold, blue, pink and white.

One three-line illuminated initial in blue, gold, orange, pink &white extending into the margin; Four two-line initials alternating in red with extensive blue penwork & blue with red penwork – all extending into the margin.

Text is from II Thessalonians 1:4 – 3:18: ''Ita ut et…'' (So that we ourselves also glory in you in the churches of God…). The historiated initial ''P'' opens I Timothy: 1:1 – 3:1: ''Paulus apostolus…'' (Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ…the law is good, if a man use it lawfully: Knowing this, that the law is not made for the just man, but for the unjust…A faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief…).

This leaf originates from a book of very high quality - scribed in the Johannes Grusch Workshop in Paris. Calligraphy is excellent & the vellum is of the finest - extremely thin & white.

Provenance: This leaf is from a “portable” Bible of the Crusades period & would have been used in abstract study of theology or preaching of the Gospel around medieval countryside.

Two other leaves with miniatures from the same manuscript reside in the Jeanne Blackburn Collection at the Cleveland Art Museum (pl. 7 & 8).

Presented in an archival 14x11'' mat.

  • Inventory# IM-3202