New York, The Morgan Library & Museum, Ms M. 240
Toledo, Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada

Bible of Saint Louis Facsimile Edition

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676

approx US$ 794


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€ 690


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Made for Louis IX the Saint, this Picture Bible, also called the Rich Bible of Toledo, is a bible in three volumes, commissioned by Blanche of Castille between 1226 and 1234 for his son king Louis IX of France. The king was still alive when, between 1226 and 1270, the manuscript was brought to the Cathedral of Toledo. In the sixteenth century, eight pages were detached from the codex and provided with a leather binding. Since 1906, these few folios have been kept in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York as MS M240.

The Picture Bible of Saint Louis: Typological Readings of the Bible

The Bible of Saint Louis is a moralized bible, a kind of book produced in the thirteenth century showing specific features. These manuscripts, large in format, contain selections of the text of the Bible, along with commentaries and illuminations.

It is typical of the moralized bible that the illuminations pair scenes from both the Old and New Testament. The decoration shows the harmony among the events described in the Bible.

The miniatures, framed in medallions as it is common to represent scenes in stained glasses, encourage the beholder to understand the theological and moral meanings of the Bible. The fragment of the Bible of Saint Louis that is now preserved in New York shows eight illuminations on each page.

The miniatures are fashioned with brilliant colors over a gilded background. The paired scenes are enclosed in a block completed with four biblical passages in Latin. The text in the codex in New York contains 56 passages taken from the Book of Revelation.

The Patron of the Manuscript

The last page of the fragment at the Morgan Library presents two scenes. The upper half of the composition features a queen and a young king. The figures do not hold attributes identifying them, but it is probable that they are the queen Blanche of Castille and her son Louis IX.

The female figure is enthroned, wearing her regal cloak and a veil, and she is portrayed in conversation with Louis IX, who listens. According to scholars, the scene works as a visual dedication of the Bible by Blanche of Castille to the young king.

The decoration suggests that the book was made between 1226 and 1234, because the king is featured young and unmarried; thus, the book should be dated to the period between his coronation and his wedding. The lower section of the page depicts two other figures, smaller in size and lower in rank than the queen and the king represented above.

The figure to the left is a cleric, as we can infer from his tonsure. A scribe is featured while working on a moralized bible. What is happening in the scene is that the cleric instructs the scribe and oversees the making of the Bible.

The abundant use of gold along with precious pigments and the high quality of the decoration of the Picture Bible of Saint Louis make it probable that the codex was made for the young king.

We have 3 facsimiles of the manuscript "Bible of Saint Louis":

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#1 Biblia de San Luis

Barcelona: M. Moleiro Editor, 2000
We are not official distributor of this publisher. We do, however, supply pre-owned, like-new copies of their publications.

  • Commentary (Spanish) by Gonzálvez, R.; Hernández, F.J.; González, M.; Lowden, J.; Reinhardt, K.; Boespflug, F.; Zaluska, Y.; Christe, Y.
  • Limited Edition: 987
  • Full-size color reproduction of one or more portions of the original document, Bible of Saint Louis: 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 this edition all three volumes of the original manuscript have been faithfully reproduced, including the leaves from the Pierpont Morgan Library

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#2 Die Bibel Ludwigs des Heiligen (Normal Edition)

Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 1995-1996

  • Commentary (English, German) by Stork, Hans-Walter
  • Limited Edition: 980 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of one or more portions of the original document, Bible of Saint Louis: 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.

This edition reproduces only the fragment of 8 folios kept in The Morgan Library & Museum, Ms M. 240 in full color and original size.

The facsimile features 56 picture-medallions, 1 full-page miniature, illustrations and gold-like ornamentation.

Binding

The facsimile pages are bound in a so parchment-like paper binding.

Used from

€ 676

approx US$ 794


New from

€ 690

approx US$ 810


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#3 Die Bibel Ludwigs des Heiligen (Real Gold Edition)

Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 1995-1996

  • Commentary (English, German) by Stork, Hans-Walter
  • Limited Edition: 250 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of one or more portions of the original document, Bible of Saint Louis: 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.

This edition reproduces only the fragment of 8 folios kept in The Morgan Library & Museum, Ms M. 240 in full color and original size.

The facsimile features 56 picture-medallions, 1 full-page miniature, illustrations and ornamentation in real gold.

Binding

Blind embossed leather, commentary volume cloth. Facsimile in a cassette.

Used and new from

€ 970

approx US$ 1,139


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