c 1240-50 Bible Leaf - Miniature of St Peter holding Key


Original leaf from a 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. A.D. 1240-50.

Verso contains a scribal omission added in the lower right margin – this omission was to be inserted in the text and is surrounded by a red box indicating that the ''transcription had been systematically checked for accuracy'' (De Hamel, Scribes and Illuminators, p. 43).

The illuminated and historiated five-line ''P'' depicts St. Peter holding the key to heaven.

The text begins the First Epistle of St. Peter the Apostle (through Chapter 3:21): ''Petrus apostolus Iesu Christi…'' (Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ…Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy hath regenerated us unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king…).

The zoomorphic extender contains a wonderful creature that appears to be gazing up at St. Peter.

The book from which this leaf came was a very high-quality production, scribed in the Johannes Grusch Workshop in Paris. Other leaves from this same book were exhibited in the Jeanne Blackburn Collection at the Cleveland Art Museum (pl. 7 & 8).

Presented in an archival 14x11'' mat.


  • Inventory# IM-669