he Golden Bible Picturebook is a fascinating example of manuscript illumination consisting of 93 superb miniatures painted on burnished gold backgrounds. These are accompanied by sayings of the prophets and short texts in gold, red and blue Gothic script. The book was produced at the beginning of the golden age of Dutch book illumination in Den Haag, at the court of Albrecht of Bavaria. Today the original is kept in the British Library in London, where it bears the shelfmark MS 5.
The illustrative cycles in the Biblia Pauperum provide a commentary and explanation of important episodes in the life of Christ by juxtaposing them with individual scenes from the Old Testament, which in turn foreshadow events connected with the redemption.
Astonishingly, the Golden Bible Picturebook has been the subject of very little research, so the Fine Art Facsimile Edition was a perfect opportunity for the full investigation which the manuscripts significance and originality merit.
The 70 pages in the manuscript contain a total of 93 miniatures which are reproduced in their original size of 384 x 179 mm. The lavish crimson biding with its rich gold tooling and royal coat of arms is hand made using complex traditional methods. The leaves are gilt edged on all three exposed sides. The Fine Art Facsimile Publishers of Switzerland were fortunate in securing the assistance of internationally recognised experts, whose findings are discussed in a trilingual (English, French and German) commentary volume. The Facsimile is limited to 980 copies world-wide.
A documentation kit containing 1 sample page, in the original size, from the Biblia Pauperum Fine Art Facsimile Volume, plus an illustrated, 12 page information brochure, is available for $US48.