The picture of the Crucifixion in the Floreffe Bible (London, BL, ADD. MS. 17738, f. 187r): typology as an expression of the history of salvation
THE stylistic and iconographic avant garde of the second half of the twelfth century is represented by the art of the Rhineland and Maasland regions. The imitation of classical antiquity by Nicholas of Verdun originated there, as did the application of the typological method that was so significant in the second half of the century. This makes it all the more astonishing that exhaustive studies dealing with the problems of typology in this period have tended to be the exception and that works like the Floreffe Bible (London, BL, Add. MSS. 77371, 17738), which are important in terms of the history of artistic development, still await detailed iconographic analysis. Wescher saw the Floreffe Bible as the father of a group of manuscripts. S. Gevaert discerned the close connection between this manuscript and the Averbode Gospel (Liège, Bibliothèque de l'Université MS. 363 C) and perceived a stylistic relationship between these manuscripts and enamel art. However, Gevaert altered the 'ranking' of the manuscripts insofar as she felt the Floreffe Bible to be an 'imitation maladroite' of the Averbode Gospel, blaming this on the more schematized gestures and less convincing corporeality of the figures.