Abbey Bible

Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

The Manuscript Files: A Medieval Holiday Message

A nativity scene in the Abbey Bible / Italian

On the opening page of the Abbey Bible, the first image we encounter is this roundel containing a scene of the Nativity of Christ. According to Christian tradition, late in her pregnancy Mary traveled with Joseph to Bethlehem for a… More»

Also tagged , , , , , , , 2 Responses
Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Time for a Manuscript Close-Up! Welcoming the Abbey Bible to the Museum

Erene Rafik Morcos documenting the Abbey Bible in the Manuscripts Study Room at the J. Paul Getty Museum

The 13th-century illuminated manuscript known as the Abbey Bible recently joined the collection of the Getty Museum—and when the special book arrived, the task of documenting it fell to me. This meant I had to spend a lot of time… More»

Also tagged , , , , , , 3 Responses
Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Far from Marginal: Images in the Margins of the Abbey Bible

Dominican and Franciscan Friars Singing at Lecterns, Conducted by Christ in the Abbey Bible / Italian

We use the word “marginal” to dismiss something as unimportant or trivial. But images in the margins of medieval books are so important they get their own name, marginalia, a Latin term that simply means “things in the margins.” Sometimes… More»

Also tagged , , , , 3 Responses
  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Tumblr

    • photo from Tumblr

      #ThyCaptionBe: Don’t Be So Crabby

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      Jaws reference or some rather nasty surf and turf? It’s actually a depiction of the astrological symbol for Cancer.

      Here’s the full story:

      This peasant might be tired from working in the hot sun, but this is no time to go for a swim to cool off! 

      We all know there’s a risk of encountering creepy crawlers when out gardening, but that giant sinister lobster lurking in the water is actually a crab – the astrological symbol for Cancer. 

      Medieval prayer books often include a yearly calendar at the beginning of the text listing important feast days. Each month is usually accompanied by illuminations of seasonal activities and zodiacal signs, such as this one for the month of June.

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.


  • Flickr