May 24, 2010

Single Leaf from a Biblia Pauperum: Christ Crowned with Thorns (recto)

Single Leaf from a Biblia Pauperum: Christ Crowned with Thorns (recto)

c. 1410

Part of a set. See all set records

Ink and tempera on vellum

Sheet: 19.8 x 14.2 cm (7 13/16 x 5 9/16 in.)

Gift in honor of William M. Milliken from members of his staff, 1919-1958 1958.255.a



Also known as the "Poor Man's Bible," the Biblia Pauperum was a simple picture book used to explain biblical prophecies and symbolism. These volumes served as an aid for preachers to demonstrate the unity of the Bible. The iconography of these popular books juxtaposed two Old Testament scenes with one from the life of Christ. In this example, the image of Christ crowned with thorns. The Biblia Pauperum appeared first in manuscript form in the 1200s, became a popular picture book with miniatures in the 1300s, and after 1450 it emerged as a print book with woodcuts.

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