Biblia pauperum


The name Biblia Pauperum (Bible for the Poor) is somewhat misleading since this book is not a bible, nor for the poor. In terms of content, it is a complicated presentation of text and illustration of related scenes from the Old and New Testament, thematically organized per page. Technically, it is is a xylographic book, a blockbook whose pictures and text were produced by impressions from wooden blocks carved in relief (one block per page). Blockbooks are rare and were only produced in the Netherlands and Germany between 1460 and 1490. In total, not more than 120 copies of the genre survive. The copy in the JCB originates from a monastery in Bruges (Belgium) and is incomplete (the pages 1-3, 13, and 21 are facsimiles).

More From The Collection