French Picture Bible

One of the greatest graphic-arts innovations of medieval Europe is the Bible Moralisée, a thirteenth-century reconception of the Christian Bible as thousands of short "comic strips" that each compare one topic from the Old and the New Testament with an explanation in ordinary French.

The Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in Rome possesses just one Bible Moralisée (BM), which was made in Paris in about 1410 and is a later evolution of this work with just 76 images (vastly fewer than the 5,112 of the greatest of them all, BNF fr. 167). The appearance online of the Vatican BM, Reg.lat.25, on October 2, 2015 is major news. It has many fine illuminations including this scene of  David in a running stream listening to the word of God:

A BM is not to be confused with a Biblia Pauperum (which I discussed a couple of years ago on this blog), nor is it the same as an Angevin Legendary (BAV released one online this year), although both those latter types are also bibles in pictures. The great expert on BMs, John Lowden, published an article in 2005 that explores the place of Reg.lat.25 in the BM tradition: "The Bible Moralisée in the Fifteenth Century and the Challenge of the Bible Historiale," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 68 (2005) pp. 73-136 (click the link or go to Jstor to read it).

There were 147 new releases on October 2. Here is the full list:
  1. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.179,
  2. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.188,
  3. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.191,
  4. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.195,
  5. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.196,
  6. Barb.lat.4030,
  7. Barb.lat.4037,
  8. Barb.lat.4092,
  9. Barb.lat.4113,
  10. Barb.lat.5695 ,
  11. Borg.copt.109.cass.VII.fasc.23,
  12. Borg.copt.109.cass.VII.fasc.65.2,
  13. Borg.copt.109.cass.VIII.fasc.26,
  14. Borg.copt.109.cass.VIII.fasc.27,
  15. Borg.copt.109.cass.VIII.fasc.28,
  16. Borg.copt.109.cass.X.fasc.31,
  17. Borg.copt.109.cass.X.fasc.32,
  18. Borg.copt.109.cass.XI.fasc.33,
  19. Borg.copt.109.cass.XI.fasc.34,
  20. Borg.copt.109.cass.XI.fasc.36,
  21. Borg.copt.109.cass.XI.fasc.37, Gospel of Matthew, chapters 10-12 (thanks @TuomasLevanen)
  22. Borg.lat.384, Antonio Pucci, various works
  23. Borgh.236, Aristotle, Metaphysics and Physics
  24. Borgh.248, Rottfried: civil law, canon law
  25. Borgh.321, Bonaventure
  26. Borgh.347, Henry of Ghent, Quaestiones
  27. Cappon.86,
  28. Cappon.106,
  29. Cappon.194,
  30. Cappon.252.pt.A,
  31. Cappon.252.pt.C,
  32. Cappon.288,
  33. Cappon.309,
  34. Chig.G.VIII.222,
  35. Chig.L.VIII.294,
  36. Ferr.698,
  37. Ott.gr.472,
  38. Ott.lat.2229,
  39. Ott.lat.2373,
  40. Ott.lat.2865, Dante, Divine Comedy
  41. Patetta.1769,
  42. Reg.lat.25, 15th-century Bible Moralisée, a French-language commentary on the bible (discussed above)
  43. Reg.lat.352, a collection of miscellaneous orations, notes on historical antiquities of Rome and medical prescriptions
  44. Reg.lat.1945, Livy, Ab Urbe Condita
  45. Ross.487, Dante, with this fine opening illumination:
  46. Ross.711, many fine pageantry/heraldry images in the German-language Stamm- und Turnierbuch aus der Kraichgauer Ritterschaft um 1615:
    This is Heinrich of Saxony:
  47. Sbath.723,
  48. Urb.lat.3, Four Gospels, 10th century (catalog)
  49. Urb.lat.9, Psalter (Vulgate)
  50. Urb.lat.12, Job, Catholic Epistles, etc, glossed by Walafried Strabo and Anselm of Laon
  51. Urb.lat.23, Thomas Aquinas, On Job
  52. Urb.lat.25, Thomas Aquinas, On Isaiah and On Matthew
  53. Urb.lat.28, Thomas Aquinas, On Luke
  54. Urb.lat.30, Origen of Alexandria, various in Rufinus's Latin
  55. Urb.lat.32, John Chrysostom, some Basil the Great (catalog)
  56. Urb.lat.36, John Chrysostom, Damasus
  57. Urb.lat.37, Hilary of Poitiers
  58. Urb.lat.38, ditto
  59. Urb.lat.40, Ambrose of Milan, letters, other works
  60. Urb.lat.49, Martyrdom of Jerome and of Adonis (catalog)
  61. Urb.lat.54, Pseudo-Jerome, Breviarium in Psalmos
  62. Urb.lat.58, Lactantius and Pseudo-Lactantius, 15th century
  63. Urb.lat.60, Gregory of Nazianz, John Chrysostom
  64. Urb.lat.62, Pseudo-Dionysius and John of Damascus
  65. Urb.lat.63, Cyprian, Letters, and Pontius (catalog)
  66. Urb.lat.64, Tertullian
  67. Urb.lat.66, Augustine, Vigilius
  68. Urb.lat.68, Augustine on Gospel of John
  69. Urb.lat.70, Augustine, Vigilius
  70. Urb.lat.71, Augustine
  71. Urb.lat.72, Augustine
  72. Urb.lat.74, Augustine on Psalms
  73. Urb.lat.75, ditto
  74. Urb.lat.79, Augustine, De Trinitate, etc
  75. Urb.lat.80, Augustine, Letters, Pelagius
  76. Urb.lat.83, Augustine, Contra Faustum Manichaem
  77. Urb.lat.84, Augustine, Cyprian, Alcuin, Pope Innocent I
  78. Urb.lat.88, Haymo of Halberstadt, Bede, Hugh of Folieto, etc. (catalog)
  79. Urb.lat.91, Bernard of Clairvaux, various
  80. Urb.lat.95, Peter Damian, Peter Chrysologus
  81. Urb.lat.98, Gregory the Great, Ambrose
  82. Urb.lat.100, Bede, Leo the Great
  83. Urb.lat.104, Birgitta, Revelations (catalog)
  84. Urb.lat.106, Hugh on heresy, Isidore
  85. Urb.lat.107, Hugh of St Victor, Anselm, John of Damascus
  86. Urb.lat.108, Hugh of St Victor and others, sermons, etc
  87. Urb.lat.111, Franciscan Breviarium Romanum
  88. Urb.lat.113, William Durant, Rationale of the Divine Offices (Rationale divinorum officiorum) (1286), an exhaustive interpretation of the symbolism of ecclesiastical liturgy and architecture
  89. Urb.lat.117, Duns Scotus and Peter Lombard (catalog)
  90. Urb.lat.121, Francis of Mayron
  91. Urb.lat.127, Thomas Aquinas
  92. Urb.lat.130, ditto
  93. Urb.lat.132, ditto, from Summa
  94. Urb.lat.134, ditto, De Veritate
  95. Urb.lat.137, Thomas Aquinas
  96. Urb.lat.139, ditto
  97. Urb.lat.152, Alvarius Pelagius
  98. Urb.lat.154, Giannozzo Manetti (1396-1459), Italian hebraist who collected many of the Hebrew manuscripts now at the Vatican, Against the Jews. See the Jewish Encyclopaedia.
  99. Urb.lat.179, letters etc of Pseudo-Isidore (and the real Isidore?)
  100. Urb.lat.188, philosophical commentaries of Boethius, a 14th-15th century manuscript. Sadly, the Commentary on the Isagogue of Porphyry seems to lack the famous arbor porphyriana diagram. I had this manuscript listed on my arbor page as a potential source of the diagram, but will now have to scratch it from the list.
  101. Urb.lat.199, Apuleius, fine Renaissance manuscript with floral illuminated initials
  102. Vat.ebr.110, three tracts of Talmud B (thanks @TuomasLevanen)
  103. Vat.ebr.122,
  104. Vat.et.260,
  105. Vat.gr.316, with Septuagint text, Rahlfs 667, 10th century, reportedly containing material from prophets and Ezekiel (thanks to Rick Brannan (his blog) for these notes)
  106. Vat.gr.2066,
  107. Vat.gr.2442,
  108. Vat.lat.1, a 15th-century Vulgate Latin bible
  109. Vat.lat.20, the Bologna Bible, one of the major illuminated bibles. Here is a detail from the Letter to the Colossians:
  110. Vat.lat.31, a 16th-century Latin bible
  111. Vat.lat.71, Glosses on Paralipomenon (Chronicles)
  112. Vat.lat.73, Glosses on Tobias, Esther, Judith, Ruth
  113. Vat.lat.81, a 12th-century graeco-latin Psalter Gallicanum with Canticles, Beuron number 264 on account of this text containing many Vetus Latina elements. In Septuagint studies, this is Rahlfs 1297, notes Rick Brannan (his blog)  
  114. Vat.lat.89, commentary on psalms Gilbert of Poitiers, palimpsest layer Pliny the Younger
  115. Vat.lat.98, Augustine of Hippo on psalms
  116. Vat.lat.109, Anselm of Laon, commentary on Jeremiah and Daniel. Particularly interesting is the appended biblical chronicle manuscript, from fol. 218v onwards
  117. Vat.lat.161, Nicholas of Lyra on Job, Proverbs, etc.
  118. Vat.lat.170, Dionysius Areopagita, Epistulae etc, 15th-century manuscript
  119. Vat.lat.209, Origen of Alexandria, homilies on Leviticus, Rufinus translation, 12th century, fine figural initials including this:
  120. Vat.lat.229, Eusebius of Caesarea, Praeparatio Evangelica
  121. Vat.lat.264, Ambrose of Milan, c.340-397, on Luke, plus sermons
  122. Vat.lat.271, Ambrose of Milan, On Hexaemeron (creation)
  123. Vat.lat.272, ditto
  124. Vat.lat.280, Ambrose of Milan, 83 letters
  125. Vat.lat.282, Ambrose of Milan, various essays
  126. Vat.lat.283, Ambrosiaster commentary, plus Augustine letters
  127. Vat.lat.285, Ambrose of Milan, letters
  128. Vat.lat.289, Ambrose of Milan, letters, essays, homilies
  129. Vat.lat.290, Ambrose of Milan, various
  130. Vat.lat.294, Ambrose of Milan, De officiis ministrorum libri I-III
  131. Vat.lat.297, Ambrose of Milan, De excessu fratris sui Satyri
  132. Vat.lat.301, Basil the Great, On Hexaemeron
  133. Vat.lat.302, ditto
  134. Vat.lat.304, Basil the Great, various
  135. Vat.lat.306, John Chrysostom
  136. Vat.lat.307, Gregory of Nazianz, in Rufinus translation
  137. Vat.lat.313, John of Damascus, On Orthodox Faith
  138. Vat.lat.314, Ambrose of Milan, diverse
  139. Vat.lat.319, Jerome of Stridon, letter to Eustochium on Isaiah
  140. Vat.lat.320, Jerome, Commentationum in Isaiam, libri I-XVIII, with fine opening illumination of Jerome with stigmata (spoiled by the watermark: will that go away some day?)
  141. Vat.lat.321, Jerome, exposition on Isaiah
  142. Vat.lat.336, Rabanus Maurus (and Jerome?) on epistles
  143. Vat.lat.2835, poetry by Antonius Thebaldeus 1463-1537
  144. Vat.lat.3205, troubador songs, from Provence
  145. Vat.lat.3214, Dante
  146. Vat.lat.3389, autograph, poetry by Antonius Thebaldeus 1463-1537
  147. Vat.slav.8, psalms, canticles, Marian hymns
As always, if you can add or correct details, use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for more news on digitizations. [This is Piggin's Unofficial List 26.]

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