Monday, January 24, 2011

The Anjou Bible

Long known to scholars of Naples for its frontispieces of Robert of Anjou and the royal Angevin genealogy, the Malines (Mechelen) Bible is one of the most magnificent manuscripts of the Angevin period — and one of the most important visual sources for the reigns of Robert of Anjou and Giovanna I. A new edition has just been published in print facsimile and online. The print volume, The Anjou Bible: Naples 1340. A Royal Manuscript Revealed, edited by Lieve Watteeuw and Jan Van der Stock (Paris, Leuven & Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2010), offers a collection of twelve essays by such noted experts as John Lowden, Frans Gistelinck, Cathleen A. Fleck, Alessandro Tomei and Stefania Paone, Michelle Duran, Nicolas Bock, Alessandra Perriccioli (Saggese), Luc Dequeker, Pierre Delsaerdt, Marina Van Bos, Roberto Padoan, Marvin E. Klein, Gerrit de Bruin, Barnard J. Aalderink, and Ted A.G. Steemers.

The new book covers the provenance, codicology, conservation and restoration of the manuscript, its creation and artists and its cultural and political contexts. The print volume is accompanied by extensive annotations, an excellent bibliography, and full-color reproductions of every illustrated folio in the manuscript.

In November 2010 the Anjou Bible Research Project (Illuminare, K.U. Leuven) mounted a far-ranging exhibition and series of panels around the restoration. Even more important, the complete series of illustrated folios is now available online, free and open access, with an excellent high-resolution image viewer at: .