Biblia Pauperum Apocalypsis: The Weimar Manuscript

Cod. Fol. max. 4 - Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek (Weimar, Germany)

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Biblia Pauperum. Apocalypsis: Die Weimarer Handschrift

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Codiology

Alternate Titles

Biblia Pauperum. Apocalypsis: Die Weimarer Handschrift

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This gem of late-medieval illumination presents itself as a unique specimen of the so-called Pauper’s Bible, its content focusing on the Book of Revelation and the Last Judgement. These fascinating biblical tales are visualized by impressive, unpretentious, and expressive miniatures. Miniaturists from the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter and Paul in Erfurt were responsible for this 14th century historical treasure.

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Biblia Pauperum Apocalypsis: The Weimar Manuscript

A large-format depiction presents ** the author of the Apocalypse, John the Evangelist himself**, as he writes the biblical text. Here he is accompanied by his Evangelist’s symbol, the eagle with spread wings. Alongside this miniature, which depicts the background story so to speak, the Weimar Biblia Pauperum offers a broad spectrum of fascinating pictures from the Book of Revelation: creatures with multiple heads, fire-spitting dragons, knights, angels and demons, and finally God as redeemer and savior.

A Unique Illuminated Manuscript from Erfurt

This manuscript is a unique specimen within the Biblia Pauperum genre – literally a pauper’s Bible, which was meant to visualize biblical events in pictures for the social strata that could not read. The Weimar Biblia Pauperum contains impressive depictions of the Apocalypse, the Revelation of John from the last book of the New Testament.
This late-medieval illuminated manuscript originated ca. 1340/50 at the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter and Paul in Erfurt. It was finally acquired in 1809 by the ducal library in Weimar and is found today under the shelf mark Cod. Fol. max. 4 in the famous Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek.

Unpretentious Pictures with Great Expressiveness

The Weimar Biblia Pauperum presents the fantastically terrifying pictures of the Apocalypse on 22 pages in large-format depictions. Here the content is reduced to its essentials and thus offers a wonderful inside view into the multifarious worlds of the Apocalypse. Additionally, the miniatures are illustrated with a few banderoles, which contain quotes from the Book of Revelation as well as a commentary. The content of the Weimar Biblia Pauperum boasts an all-around extremely high-quality design in bright colors and even with precious gold!

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