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Look Inside Early Medieval Bible Illumination and the Ashburnham Pentateuch

Early Medieval Bible Illumination and the Ashburnham Pentateuch


  • Date Published: June 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107402003

£ 32.99

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About the Authors
  • This book focuses on the Ashburnham Pentateuch, an early medieval illuminated manuscript of the Old Testament whose pictures are among the earliest surviving and most extensive biblical illustrations. Dorothy Verkerk shows how the lively and complex illustrations of Genesis and Exodus, which incorporate references to contemporary life, were used to explain important church teachings. She provides a key to understanding the relationship between the text and pictures. Verkerk also argues that the manuscript was created in Italy, thereby solving a mystery that has baffled scholars for the last century and demonstrating that early medieval Italian artists were capable of complex innovations in the field of the visual arts.

    • Lively and accessible text
    • Methodologically innovative
    • Settles the question of origin
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is a valuable study for the emergence of a dominant medieval Christian approach to biblical interpretation.' Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

    '… narrated in great detail …' Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107402003
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • contains: 36 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. A painted primer
    2. Script, text, illuminations, provenance
    3. Principal narratives
    4. The right order of life
    5. The Italian origin considered
    6. An Italian manuscript
    7. A Roman clergy.

  • Author

    Dorothy Verkerk, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    Dorothy Verkerk is Associate Professor of Art History and Fellow of the Institute for Arts and Humanities at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A scholar of early medieval art, she has contributed to The Art Bulletin, Journal for Medieval and Early Modern History and Mitteilungen zur Christlichen Archäolgie.

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