Bible of Federico da Montefeltro

Mss. Urb. Lat. 1 e Urb. Lat. 2 - Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)

Alternate Titles:

Bibbia di Federico da Montefeltro, Bibel des Federico da Montefeltro

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Alternate Titles

Bibbia di Federico da Montefeltro
Bibel des Federico da Montefeltro

Extent / Format

1,104 pages / 59.8 x 44.3 cm


Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino

Artist / School

Artists: Francesco di Antonio del Chierico (1433 - 1494)
Attavante degli Attavanti (1452 - 1525)
Francesco Rosselli and others
Scribe: Hugues Commineau (Ugo de Comminelli)


35 large miniatures

Short description

The Bible of Frederico de Montefeltro was made in Italy between 1476 and 1478. One of the most famous Italian Renaissance artists designed the valuable manuscript in a superb collaboration. The large-format miniatures of the work are reminiscent of great Italian Renaissance painting in their quality.

Facsimile editions available


Bible of Federico da Montefeltro

The Italian Renaissance was an epoch in the history of art and culture, in which new standards were set. The painting and illumination of Italian Renaissance artists remains unsurpassed up to our own times. A particularly outstanding monument of illumination during the Renaissance is the Bible of Frederico da Montefeltro. The work, comprising over 1,000 pages in a large format of nearly 60cm x 45cm, is adorned with 35 full page miniatures and numerous additional embellishments of incomparable quality. It is a codex that belongs among the highest achievements of visual- and book art of the medieval world.

Montefeltro, Patron of the Arts

Federico da Montefeltro was a famous Italian Renaissance prince and the Duke of Urbino. The ruler, who was active as an extremely successful mercenary before the beginning of his rule, was an enthusiastic art collector and book lover. According to written traditions, he began his collections of valuable books and writings around the middle of the 1450’s. No acquisition was too expensive for him, no luxury too great. The Duke’s bible was the crown jewel of his sophisticated book collection

Prominent Artists

The outstanding bible was written by Ugo Comminelli da Mézières and was furnished with breathtaking, refined illustrations in only two years by Francesco di Antonio de Chierico in Florence. Both of the masters were employed at the court of the Medici family and were counted among the most talented Italian artists. The Renaissance prince and world-renowned art lover Lorenzo de Medici himself made his gifted court painter available to Montefeltro as a loan, so to speak. Working alongside Francesco thereon were such famous names in the history of illumination as Attavante degli Attavanti, Francesco Rosselli, and probably also Davide Ghirlandaio, the brother of the popular artists Domenico.

Outstanding Illumination

The illuminated bible not only impresses through its astounding size and its comprehensiveness. The 35 large-format miniatures, with which the manuscript is illustrated, count among the most valuable illumination of the Renaissance. Each picture can be considered as an independent painting. The miniatures retain the rich and pompous style of Florentine art. The pictures indicate the distinct influences of the most important representatives of the Tuscan Renaissance. Hardly any other codex from this time boasts a similarly overwhelming picture cycle. The valuable original edition of the work is found today in the Biblioteca de Apostolica in the Vatican.

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