The Feast Day of Saint Jerome

Today is the feast day of Saint Jerome, one of the four Western Church Fathers and the most important Christian writer (around 341-420). Jerome was from a noble family. He studied theology and lived for several years as a hermit in the desert. Later, Pope Damasus offered him to come to Rome, where he worked on the Latin translation of the Bible, the Vulgata. Hieronymus died very old in the monastery of Bethlehem. In the numerous depictions, Jerome is accompanied by a lion – as is the case here, in the Stundenbuch der Sforza (Book of Hours of Sforza, around 1490). According to the legend, a limping lion visited Jerome when he lived as a hermit in the desert. He was not afraid, but he pulled out a thorn of the lion’s paw and nursed him well. The lion remained with him as a pet.

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The Gospel of Mark

The Gospel of Mark tells how Jesus heals a possessed man in the land of the Gerasers. The exorcised demons leave the mouth of the possessed and take possession of a herd of pigs. They then plunge headlong into the floods. The pig farmer is so infuriated that he, together with other inhabitants, expels Jesus from the country. The healed person does not accompany Jesus, but is sent back home by him to report on Jesus’ miracles. This scene was masterfully realized by the so-called ‚Markuspainter’ around 1425 in the Ottheinrich-Bibel (Ottheinrich Bible). For instance, the pigs in the floods are always painted alternately brownish and grey, so that they can be better distinguished from each other.

The Gospel of Mark

Rev. 25 mei 2021

© Fine Art facsimile-editie, met dank aan Faksimile Verlag.

UNESCO World Book Day

Today is UNESCO World Book Day! A reason for us to take a closer look at the most famous book, the “Book of Books. ” More precisely, the beginning of this book. We show the first page of an Italian Bible written around 870 in the Abbey of San Paolo fuori le Mura in Rome. Here it says: INCIPIT LIBER BRESIT ID IS GENESEOS. Which means, here begins the book of Bresith, the Genesis. “Bresith” is Hebrew and means “beginning. ” The illuminator has entwined the first two letters I and N in such a way that they occupy the complete diagonal of the page.

INCIPIT LIBER BRESIT ID IS GENESEOS

© Fine Art facsimile-editie, met dank aan Verlag Müller & Schindler.

Rev. April 2021

A miniature of the the Stein Quadriptych by Simon Bening

“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.” With these words, the Archangel Gabriel appears before Mary to announce that she will bring God’s Son into the world. It is no coincidence that the solemn festival “Annunciation of the Lord” falls exactly on today’s date, because exactly in 9 months it will be Christmas and we will be celebrating the birth of Jesus.

We are showing you a miniature of the the Stein Quadriptych by Simon Bening – one of the greatest works by probably the most famous illuminator in art history.
The craftsmanship of Europe’s unrivalled master illuminator is particularly impressive, because the size of this miniature is only 7.2 x 5.3 cm.


© Fine Art facsimile-editie, met dank aan Verlag Müller & Schindler.

Rev. Maart 2021

Today is Joseph’s Day!

Today is Joseph’s Day!
The Bible says little about the carpenter Joseph. He was the husband of Mary and the stepfather of Jesus Christ. When Jesus was born, Joseph was very old – which was taken as an explanation of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. When Mary got pregnant, Joseph thought she had cheated on him. But then an angel appeared to him in a dream and explained that the child came from the Holy Spirit. So Joseph remained faithfully to his young wife, cared for her and raised the child with her. The scene, when the angel appears to the sleeping Joseph, is very impressively shown in the Pericopes of Henry II, a famous Ottonian manuscript, originating around 1010 on the island of Reichenau. Joseph was worshipped on 19 March especially in Catholic countries – in Spain this date is still Father’s Day, and this year it is in most of the parts even a bank holiday.

The scene: the angel appears to the sleeping Joseph.

© Fine Art facsimile-editie; met dank aan Verlag Müller & Schindler.

Rev. Maart 2021

What is a Carpet page

In medieval book illumination, a page richly decorated with patterns – later also with people – was called “carpet page”. It is the beginning of a chapter, in evangelicals for example at the beginning of every Gospel. The carpet page could be found in medieval manuscripts of the Christian, but also of the Jewish and Muslim religions. Today we show a beautiful example of a carpet page in a Muslim Quran manuscript (Quran of Ibn al-Bawwāb) from the 11th century.A carpet page in a Muslim Quran manuscript (Quran of Ibn al-Bawwāb) from the 11th century.

A carpet page in a Muslim Quran manuscript (Quran of Ibn al-Bawwāb) from the 11th century.

© Fine Art facsimile van een pagina uit Muslim Quran manuscript (Quran of Ibn al-Bawwāb), met dank aan Verlag Müller & Schindler.

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Rev. Maart 2021

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