Vorau, Stift Vorau, Codex 273

Vorau Picture Bible Facsimile Edition

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The dawn of the Medieval period was characterized by great spiritual, social and economic upheaval. The time's manuscripts reflect these changes, especially picture-Bibles. In them, Biblical narratives are flanked by secular and philosophical digressions. What resulted was a type of universal-history, that extended from Creation to the most recent times. Often penned in the vernacular, history-Bibles provided their readers with religious-educational edification broadened knowledge by making a history-book accessible to the people.

The Vorau Picture Bible: 559 Astonishing Illuminations

Among the roughly 100 history-Bibles in German, the Vorau Picture Bible is unparalleled in its artistic mastery. 559 illuminations in total supplement the Bavarian-Austrian dialect text. The edition includes 4 volumes. The artists used brilliant watercolors, the figures display some kind of unrest showing the artist's attempt to individualize his characters, something strikingly absent from the time's "High Art". The original use of the illuminations was that of interpreting the texts and to illustrate the codex. However, for the present day reader, they document medieval life in an extremely diversified manner, something that makes the Vorau Picture Bible a virtually inexhaustible source for understanding the times in which it was composed.

The Text and the History of the Manuscript

The text of the Vorau Picture Bible, written in red with red and blue initials, was artfully penned in the scriptorium of the Austrian Rulers. Fortunately, we do possess an indication of exactly when the book was composed: folio 447v contains a precious detail written by the scribe himself: "Also hat ein endt dy wibel dy alt ee vnd ein tail der newen ee vnd ist geendt waren in vigilia omnium sanctorum anno domini M °CCCC °67". Therefore, the day in which the codex was completed was 31st October 1467. Although the scribe did not leave us his name, he was likely somebody well versed in religious matters, possibly a cleric born in the South of Germany. Scholars are still unsure about the manuscript's origins and how it came to be preserved at Vorau library. It is first mentioned there in 1733 and has been one of the collection's most treasured items ever since.

We have 6 facsimiles of the manuscript "Vorau Picture Bible":

#1 Die Vorauer Volksbibel (Special Edition in 1 Volume)

Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 1986

  • Commentary (German) by Hutz, F.
  • Limited Edition: 50 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

The facsimile corresponds to the original down to the smallest detail. The photographs necessary for the realization of an exact replica were taken at the library in Vorau. The most modern laser scanner technology made possible the control of all individual color values in each phase of the production process. Each facsimile sheet was subject to a multi-stage original comparison during the production to ensure that the colours matched the original precisely. The printing of the facsimile is on a paper that corresponds to the original paper of the manuscript not only in surface structure and strength, but also through its complete freedom from acid.

Binding

Leather with blind stamping corresponds to the cover of the original.

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€ 3,356

approx US$ 3,643

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€ 5,100

approx US$ 5,536

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#2 Die Vorauer Volksbibel (Full set of 4 volumes)

Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 1989

  • Commentary (German) by Hutz, F.
  • Limited Edition: 480 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

Complete colour facsimile edition of the 920 pp. (fol. 1–458) in original size (405 x 285 mm). With 559 coloured pen-and-ink drawings and numerous initials. Binding: leather (true copy of the original binding). All folios are cut according to the original.

Limited edition: 480 copies, numbered by hand.

The edition includes 4 volumes:
1. The New Testament
2. The Old Testament I
3. The Old Testament II
4. The Old Testament III

1. The New Testament:
Facsimile: Graz 1989. 206 pp. (fol. 355v–458v) with 120 coloured pen-and-ink drawings and 3 historicized initials.
Commentary: F. Hutz, Vorau. 34 pp., 435 x 300 mm, hard cover.

2. The Old Testament I:
Facsimile: Graz 1990. 246 pp. (fol. 1r–123r) with coloured pen-and-ink drawings throughout and initials.
Commentary: F. Hutz, Vorau. 36 pp., 435 x 300 mm, hard cover.

3. The Old Testament II:
Facsimile: Graz 1991. 220 pp. (fol. 123r–232r).
Commentary: F. Hutz, Vorau. 36 pp., 435 x 300 mm, hard cover.

4. The Old Testament III:
Facsimile: Graz 1993. 248 pp. (fol. 232r–355v).
Commentary: F. Hutz, Vorau. 36 pp., 435 x 300 mm, hard cover.

Binding

The leather cover with blind stamping corresponds to the cover of the original.

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€ 3,492

approx US$ 3,791

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€ 7,800

approx US$ 8,467

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#3 Die Vorauer Volksbibel (Volume 1)

Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 1989

  • Commentary (German) by Hutz, F.
  • Limited Edition: 480 copies
  • This facsimile is not complete.

The New Testament with the two prologues. The volume ends with the chronicle of the emperors and popes and the epistle of Rabbi Samuel to Rabbi Isaak.

206 pp. (fol. 355v–458v) with 120 coloured pen-and-ink drawings and 3 historicized initials.

Binding

The leather cover with blind stamping corresponds to the cover of the original.

Used from

€ 1,960

approx US$ 2,128

New from

€ 1,980

approx US$ 2,149

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#4 Die Vorauer Volksbibel (Volume 2)

Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 1990

  • Commentary (German) by Hutz, F.
  • Limited Edition: 480 copies
  • This facsimile is not complete.

The Old Testament, Part I. Content:Register, Preface, books Genesis to Deuteronomy.

246 pp. (fol. 1r–123r) with coloured pen-and-ink drawings throughout and initials.

Binding

The leather cover with blind stamping corresponds to the cover of the original.

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€ 2,136

approx US$ 2,319

New from

€ 2,180

approx US$ 2,366

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#5 Die Vorauer Volksbibel (Volume 3)

Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 1991

  • Commentary (German) by Hutz, F.
  • Limited Edition: 480 copies
  • This facsimile is not complete.

The Old Testament, Part II. Books Josua, Judges, Truth, First and Second Book Samuel, First and Second Book of Kings with the "Story of the Roman Kings".

220 pp. (fol. 123r–232r) with coloured pen-and-ink drawings throughout and initials.

Binding

The leather cover with blind stamping corresponds to the cover of the original.

Used from

€ 2,018

approx US$ 2,190

New from

€ 2,080

approx US$ 2,258

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#6 Die Vorauer Volksbibel (Volume 4)

Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 1993

  • Commentary (German) by Hutz, F.
  • Limited Edition: 480 copies
  • This facsimile is not complete.

The Old Testament, Part III. Content: Books Toby, Ijob, Godilias ("The story of the kings and of the prophets"), Books Ezecghiel, Daniel, Susanna, Bel and Drake, Habakuk, Esra 1, Judith, Esra 2, Nehemia, Esther, First and Second Book of the Makkabeans and abstracts of the Books of the Prohets of the Old Testament.

248 pp. (fol. 232r–355v) with coloured pen-and-ink drawings throughout and initials.

Binding

The leather cover with blind stamping corresponds to the cover of the original.

Used from

€ 2,332

approx US$ 2,532

New from

€ 2,380

approx US$ 2,583

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