Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Msc. Bibl. 140

Bamberg Apocalypse Facsimile Edition

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Produced at the turn of the millennium on the order of the Emperor Otto III, the Bamberg Apocalypse is a masterwork of Ottonian book illumination. Created at the major cultural and artistic center of Reichenau abbey, the richly endowed manuscript is notable for its jewel-toned colors, gilded backgrounds, and intensity of gesture and movement. In addition to vivid illustrations of events from the life of Christ and of the end of the world, the luxurious book includes a remarkable representation of the young Otto III crowned by Saints Peter and Paul and given obeisance by personifications of the Empire. The only surviving example of an illuminated Apocalypse cycle in Ottonian art, the Bamberg Apocalypse is a crowning achievement of Ottonian political ideology.

The manuscript contains the Latin text of the Book of Revelation followed by a Lectionary that includes readings for major feasts from the Nativity to Pentecost. The book is not tailored to daily liturgical use. Its excellent state of preservation speaks to its main function as a splendid display object.

A Vibrant Tale of Divine Judgment

In addition to fifty illustrations of scenes from the Book of Revelation, the Bamberg Apocalypse includes five full-page miniatures, each preceding a Gospel reading, and over a hundred gilded initials. Between the Apocalypse and the Lectionary sections is the opening of a young Christ-like Otto III.

The paintings depart from the naturalism of the Carolingian tradition, instead favoring the schematized forms, hieratic scaling, symbolic or gold backgrounds, and crisp contours that are distinctive markers of Ottonian style.

Considered part of the Liuthar School of Reichenau abbey, the Bamberg Apocalypse is consistent in style, iconography, and script with two Gospel Books commissioned by Otto III, one held at Aachen (Aachen Cathedral Treasury, Inv. no. 25) and the other at Munich (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm. 4453), and the Pericopes of Henry II (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm. 4452).

Monks at the Service of the Empire

The text is written almost entirely in Caroline Miniscule and was executed by one primary and two secondary scribes. Each section opens with a colored and gold interlace initial.

The first line of each reading is written in gold uncials, and three of the readings as well as all tituli are in a display script of Rustic Capitals on purple ground. Like the illuminations, the script is consistent with other works of the Liuthar School.

A UNESCO Treasure

Unfinished at the time of Otto III’s death, the Bamberg Apocalypse was completed under his cousin and heir Henry II. The new Emperor, alongside Empress Cunigunde, donated the codex to the collegiate church of St. Stephen’s at Bamberg, perhaps on the occasion of the foundation and construction of the church around 1007–1009 or upon its dedication in 1020.

Following the secularization of St. Stephen’s, the book joined the Bamberg State Library in 1805. In 2004 the Bamberg Apocalypse, along with nine other illuminated manuscripts from Reichenau, was added to the UNESCO Memory of the World International Register.

Binding description

Originally, the silver gilt cover of the Bamberg Apocalypse was inscribed with the names Henry II and Cunigunde and was decorated with a large oval agate plate of Islamic origin surrounded by dozens of precious stones. While the rest of the cover was sold at auction, the central agate is kept at the treasury of the Munich Residence.

We have 3 facsimiles of the manuscript "Bamberg Apocalypse":

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Manuscript book description compiled by Sasha Gorjeltchan.
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#1 Ausgewählte Miniaturen der Bamberger Apokalypse

Frankfurt: Insel Verlag, 1961

+ 5

Ausgewählte Miniaturen der Bamberger Apokalypse, Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Msc. Bibl. 140, Facsimile edition by Insel Verlag
Facsimile edition by Insel Verlag

+ 5

Ausgewählte Miniaturen der Bamberger Apokalypse, Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Msc. Bibl. 140, Facsimile edition by Insel Verlag
Facsimile edition by Insel Verlag

+ 5

Ausgewählte Miniaturen der Bamberger Apokalypse, Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Msc. Bibl. 140, Facsimile edition by Insel Verlag
Facsimile edition by Insel Verlag

+ 5

Ausgewählte Miniaturen der Bamberger Apokalypse, Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Msc. Bibl. 140, Facsimile edition by Insel Verlag
Facsimile edition by Insel Verlag

+ 5

Ausgewählte Miniaturen der Bamberger Apokalypse, Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Msc. Bibl. 140, Facsimile edition by Insel Verlag
Facsimile edition by Insel Verlag

+ 5

Ausgewählte Miniaturen der Bamberger Apokalypse, Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Msc. Bibl. 140, Facsimile edition by Insel Verlag
Facsimile edition by Insel Verlag
  • Commentary (German) by Oehms, Ludwig
  • Collection: a selection of documents associated by a common thread and collected by the publisher in a single edition.

Collection of 12 individual facsimile leaves from the Bamberger Apocalypse (Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Msc. Bibl. 140).

1. fol. 4v: John is instructed to write to the communities of Ephesus and Smyrna (Apoc. 2, 1-7, 8-11)

2. fol. 9r: Writing order to the community of Laodicea (Apoc. 3, 14-22)

3. fol. 10v: The enthroned in heaven (Apoc. 4, 1-8)

4. fol. 24v: The blowing of the sixth trumpet - the four Euphrates angels and the mounted troops (Apoc. 9, 13-19)

5. fol. 29v: The Woman of the Apocalypse and the Dragon (Apoc. 11, 19-12, 5)

6. fol. 31v: The dragon chases the woman (Apoc. 12, 13-16)

7 fol. 45r: The fall of Babylon (Apoc. 18, 1-20)

8. fol. 46r: The angel with the millstone (Apoc. 18, 21)

9. fol. 57r: The stream of living water (Apoc. 22, 1-9)

10. fol. 61v: Opening page of the evangeliary

11. fol. 63v: Birth and proclamation of birth by the shepherds

12. fol. 68v: Crucifixion and burial

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#2 Bamberger Apokalypse

Lucerne or Munich: Faksimile Verlag, 2001

Bamberger Apokalypse, Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Ms. Bibl. 140, Bamberger Apokalypse facsimile edition by Faksimile Verlag.
Bamberger Apokalypse facsimile edition by Faksimile Verlag.
  • Commentary (German) by Baumgärtel-Fleischmann, Renate; Shalem, Avinoam; Christe, Yves; Pippal, Martina; Schneidmüller, Bernd; Wind, Peter; Wünsche, Peter; Klein, Peter K.
  • Limited Edition: 980 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Bamberg Apocalypse: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

In the enclosed expert commentary, specialists treat the history of the manuscript, including the mystery of its commission, and examine the different iconography traditions present in the illustration of the Apocalypse and the Gospel Lectionary. A theological and philological study of the Apocalypse text intends to make this singular work accessible to a wider public. Both the facsimile and the commentary volume come in a protective acrylic glass box.

Binding

The precious original binding made of red silk has been re-created according to the example of another manuscript of Henry II and woven especially for this facsimile edition using the traditional technique.

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#3 L'Apocalisse di Bamberg

Rome: Salerno Editrice, 2001

L'Apocalisse di Bamberg, Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Ms. Bibl. 140, L'Apocalisse di Bamberg, facsimile edition by Salerno Editrice
L'Apocalisse di Bamberg, facsimile edition by Salerno Editrice
  • Commentary (Italian) by Baumgärtel-Fleischmann, Renate; Shalem, Avinoam; Christe, Yves; Pippal, Martina; Schneidmüller, Bernd; Wind, Peter; Wünsche, Peter; Klein, Peter K.
  • Limited Edition: 980 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Bamberg Apocalypse: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

Our Price

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