Chartres Bible (second of two volumes)


Named after its probable place of origin, The Chartres Bible is divided in two volumes. (The first is now BnF, Latin 55). From the style of the painting, it appears that one artist was responsible for directing the decoration of the entire Bible, offering invaluable evidence of artistic life in Chartres in the twelfth century.

The scale and luxury of the manuscript, including its spacious layout and elegant decoration, suggest that the book was commissioned by a wealthy patron. A possible candidate is Geoffrey of Lèves, the bishop of Chartres (r. 1115–49), who played an active role in ecclesiastical and political life.

The Bible is documented at the abbey of St Denis, now in the north of Paris, from the 13th century. Therefore, it is possible that the manuscript was a gift from Geoffrey to the influential Abbot Suger of St Denis (r. 1122–1151), a close advisor to the King.

This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.

Full title:
The Chartres Bible
Mid-12th century, Chartres
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
Bibliothèque nationale de France
Latin 116

Full catalogue details

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