Bible Moralisee

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Moralized Bible


The "Bible Moralise" in the Fifteenth Century and the Challenge of the "Bible Historiale" Author(s): John Lowden Reviewed work(s): Source: Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Vol. 68 (2005), pp. 73-136 Published by: The Warburg Institute Stable URL: . Accessed: 06/03/2013 22:02Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

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THE BIBLE MORALISEEIN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY AND THE CHALLENGE OF THE BIBLE HISTORIALE*John Lowden paper considers the previouslyunrecognisedconnection between two ostensiblyvery differenttypes of illuminatedFrench Bible, each regarded as a high point of medievalbook production,namelythe Biblemoralisee the and both types were new developmentsof the thirteenth Bible historiale. Although century,the focus here will require a wide-ranginginvestigationinto the Bible in moralisee the fifteenthcentury.The Biblemoralisee began as a picturebook of the Bible in which, on everypage, four short biblicalexcerptswere accompanied and each text was accompaniedby an image in a medalby brief moralisations, lion, making eight texts and images per page. The arrangementof texts and With thousandsof images,they imageswas uniqueto the Biblesmoralisees. literally are the most ambitiousattemptsto illustratethe Bible ever made, and providea was moralisingcommentary,pictorial and verbal.The Bible historiale a French vernacular translationof the full Bible, the text expandedby inclusion of much of the biblical paraphrase and commentaryfound in Peter Comestor'sHistoria scholastica. text of many Bibleshistoriales accompaniedby images, but The was was to the vast bulk of a Biblehistoriale due primarily its very lengthytext. By the and early fifteenth century,however,the distinctions between Biblesmoralisees were beginning to become less clear-cut, and it is againstthis Bibleshistoriales that the presentdiscussionneeds to be seen. background The four Biblesmoralisees were produced in Paris in the twenties and that thirtiesof the thirteenthcenturycontinueto be the subjectof numerousstudies. They are Vienna, OesterreichischeNationalbibliothek [hereafterONB] MS 2554; ONB MS 1179;the 'Oxford-Paris-London5 manuscript(Oxford,Bodleian MS Bodley 270b; Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France [hereafter Library BnF] MS latin 11560; London, British Library [hereafterBL] MSS Harley In 1526-27); and the Biblia de San Luis in the treasuryof Toledo Cathedral.1* I am most gratefulto the custodians of the studiedhere for permissionto examine manuscripts them. Acknowledgementsfor specific help and advice are also due to Louis-JacquesBataillon, Nicole Beriou,Ilona Hans-Collas,Martinede Reu, Genevieve Hasenohr, Anne D. Hedeman, Peter Kidd, Anne Korteweg,Scot McKendrick,Richard and Mary Rouse, Pascal Schandel, and Patricia Readersfor this Journalmade valuable Stirnemann. MartinDavieson incunabula. especially suggestions, The conventionsused for transcription those of areConseils pour I'edition des textes medievaux, fasc. i,

Conseils ed. generaux, F. Vieillard,O. Guyotjeannin, Paris2001. 1. For generalbibliography J. Lowden, The seeMaking of the Bibles Moralisees, I, The Manuscripts,

Park2000, pp. 333-51.A full bibliography University is maintainedon the author'sCourtauldInstitute website under 'Bibles moralisees:ElectronicBibliMost of the 'Bibleof St Louis'is in Toledo, ography'.



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contrast, some, but not all, of the Bibles moralisees produced in the fifteenth have been almost entirely overlooked.They are strikinglydisparatein century content. Madrid, BibliotecaNacional MS 10232 (the 'Bible of Osuna',Toledo c. 1430) contains a transcriptionof the Latin texts of the entire three-volume of ToledoBiblemoralisee, the additionof a Castiliantranslation all its moralwith isations.2 has, however,no images.The 'Heures de Rohan',BnF MS lat. 9471 It c. 1430), is a profuselyillustratedBook of Hours of superlativequality, (Angers which includesmarginalimages and accompanying caption-liketexts in French, The and derivedfroma Biblemoralisee^ extendingfrom Genesisto Deuteronomy.3 element of BnF lat. 9471 is the 'Neapolitan model of the Biblemoralisee putative Bible', BnF fr. 9561 (Naples c. 1325-40), a biblical picture book descended in with some as yet undefinedfashionfrom a 'true'Biblemoralisee^ texts in French, relatedto ONB MS 2554 (Parisc. 1220-25), and extendingfrom Genesis closely to Judges.4 furtherfifteenth-century Six manuscripts, togetherwith an incunable, the are all descended in some way from yet another Bible moralisee^ mid-fourBible of King Jean II le Bon, BnF MS fr. 167 (Paris 1349-52).5 teenth-century They will be the subjectof this paper.All of them are (or were), like BnF fr. 167, completeBibles in one (generallylarge)volume.They are BnF MS fr. 166 (Paris c. 1400-04 and later);6 Vatican City, BibliotecaApostolicaVaticana [hereafter MS BAV]MS Reg. lat. 25 (Parisc. 1410);7Ghent, Universiteitsbibliotheek 141 BnF MS fr. 897 (Bruges (Parisc. 1420);8BL Add. MS 15248 (Brugesc. 1455);9 c. 1455-60);10 The Hague, KoninklijkeBibliotheek [hereafterKB] MS 76 E 7(Bruges c. 1455-60);11 and LExposicion et la vraie declaracionde la Bible (printed at Lyons c. 1477). I2Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada, except for 8 folios preserved in New York, Pierpont Morgan Library MS M. 240. See now Biblia de San Luis. Biblia rica de Toledo, facs. edn, 3 vols, Barcelona 1999; the accompanying scholarly edition is Biblia de San Luis: Catedral Primada de Toledo,2 vols (1, Textos;11, Estudios), ed. R. Gonzalvez Ruiz with M. Vivancos Gomez and J.-P. Aniel, Barcelona 2002-04. 2. See Biblia de San Luis: Catedral Primada de Toledos(as in n. 1), I, pp. 253-507 (the Osuna text is edited by M. Vivancos). See also R. Haussherr, 'Drei Texthandschriften der Bible moralisee', in Festschrift fiir Eduard Trierzum 60. Geburtstag,Berlin 1981, pp. 35-65 (37-38, 48); M. Morreale, 'La "Biblia Moralizada" latino-castellano de la Biblioteca Nacional (MS 10232)', Spanische Forschungender Gorresgesellschaft, ser. 1, Gesammelte Aufsdtze zur Kulturgeschichte Spaniens,xxix, 1978, pp. 437-56. 3. Paris 1400. Les arts sous CharlesVI, exhib. cat. (Louvre), Paris 2004, no. 232, with further bibliography; A. de Laborde, La Bible moralisee conservee a Oxford,Paris et Londres,5 vols, Paris 1911-27, v, pp. 117-22, pis 768-81. 4. Y. Christe and L. Brugger, 'Quelques images de la Genese, de l'Exode et du Levitique dans la Bible moralisee napolitaine de Paris et les Bibles moralisees du debut du XIIF siecle', in Iconographica. Melanges offertsa Piotr Skubiszewski, ed. R. Favreau and M.-H. Debies, Poitiers 1999, pp. 49-61; idem, 'Une Bible moralisee meconnue: la Bible napolitaine de Paris (BnF, ms fr. 9561, fol. ir-ii2v)', Arte cristiana, xci, 2003, pp. 237-51; Laborde (as in n. 3), v,pp. 114-17, pis 759-67. 5. Lowden (as in n. 1), 1, pp. 221-50; Lart a la cour de Bourgogne, exhib. cat., Dijon 2004, no. 28; F. Avril, 'Un chef d'oeuvre de l'enluminure sous la regne de Jean le Bon: la Bible moralisee manuscrit francais 167 de la Bibliotheque Nationale', Monumentset memoires, LVlll,1972, pp. 91-125. 6. Pans 1400 (as in n. 3), no. 184; Lowden (as in n. 1), pp. 251-84. 7. / Vangeli dei popoli, exhib. cat., Rome 2000, no. 94. Haussherr (as in n. 2), pp. 48-49, 56. 8. Haussherr (as in n. 2), pp. 56-58. First placed in an art historical context by C. Nordenfalk, Kung Praktiksoch DrottningTeoris Jaktbok, Stockholm 1955, pp. 61, 94, fig. 66. 9. Laborde (as in n. 3), pp. 123-28, pis 788-89. 10. Laborde (as in n. 3), pp. 133-36, pis 806-07.

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In what follows I shall seek to establish with precision the relationships and among these six later Biblesmoralisees, between them and their actual or hypothetical model or models. I shall also attempt to account for the ways Biblesmoralisees (one they differ from the core group of seven fully-illustrated In BnF fr. 166, is in both categories).13 sum I hope to lay stable manuscript, foundationsfor a more comprehensivestudy which could explorethe evidence of these six manuscripts and the incunable broadly and systematically.My principalargumentis that these manuscriptsbear witness to a challengeto the in Biblemoralisee the course of the fifteenthcenturyfrom a very differentkind of I illustratedbook, namely the Bible historiale. also emphasisethe role of workshop models and records, rather than costly manuscripts, in the process of transmission.And I draw attention to the fact that these later Biblesmoralisees representmajorcommissionsby leading aristocraticbibliophilesof the period, and deserveto be rescuedfrom their currentrelativeobscurity.Paris, BnF MS frangais 166

to The earliest of the six fifteenth-centuryBiblesmoralisees descend from the albeitselectively, Bible of JeanII le Bon, BnF fr. 167,has alreadybeen intensively, Biblesmorastudied. BnF fr. 166 is th