Foigny Abbey Bible

Description

This giant Bible includes the entire text of the Old and New Testaments. Each biblical book opens with a large initial letter. These initials feature small white dog-like or leonine creatures enmeshed in a swirl of intertwining foliage. The work is in four volumes, and was made at the Cistercian abbey of St Mary of Foigny, in the north of France, which was one of the early daughter houses of Clairvaux established in 1121 by St Bernard (d. 1153).

The Abbey experienced rapid growth and prosperity, and assembled a rich library. A rare survival from that library, these volumes were acquired by Cardinal Richelieu (b. 1585, d. 1642), and then by the Sorbonne with the rest of the Cardinal’s library.

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

Full title:
Foigny Abbey Bible
Created:
4th quarter of the 12th century, Foigny
Format:
Manuscript
Language:
Latin
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
Bibliothèque nationale de France
Shelfmark:
Latin 15177

Full catalogue details

Related articles

French manuscript illumination

Article by:
Charlotte Denoël
Themes:
Christian religion and belief, Making manuscripts, Art and illumination

Drawings and painted decoration in manuscripts ornamented the text as well as illustrated or commented on it. Charlotte Denoël outlines the history of manuscript art in early medieval France.

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