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Not to be confused with Poor Man's Bible.
Three episodes from a block-book Biblia Pauperum illustrating typological correspondences between the Old and New Testaments: Eve and the serpent, the Annunciation, Gideon's miracle

The Biblia pauperum ("Paupers' Bible") was a tradition of picture Bibles beginning probably with Ansgar, and a common printed block-book in the later Middle Ages to visualize the typological correspondences between the Old and New Testaments. Unlike a simple "illustrated Bible", where the pictures are subordinated to the text, these Bibles placed the illustration in the centre, with only a brief text or sometimes no text at all. Words spoken by the figures in the miniatures could be written on scrolls coming out of their mouths. To this extent one might see parallels with modern cartoon strips.

The tradition is a further simplification of the Bible moralisée tradition, which was similar but with more text. Like these, the Biblia pauperum was usually in the local vernacular language, rather than Latin.

History[edit]

Originally Paupers' Bibles took the form of colourful hand-painted illuminated manuscripts on vellum, though in the fifteenth century printed examples with woodcuts took over. The Biblia pauperum was among the commonest works put out in block-book form, mainly in the Netherlands and Germany, where both text and images were done entirely in a single woodcut for each page. The first of many editions printed using movable type was printed in German, in Bamberg in about 1462 by Albrecht Pfister; there were about eighteen incunabulum editions.[1][2] A Biblia pauperum was not intended to be bought by the poor — some manuscripts were opulent and very expensive, although the block-book versions were far cheaper, and probably affordable by parish priests. The simpler versions were however probably used by the clergy as a teaching aid for those who could not read, which included most of the population. The name Biblia pauperum was applied by German scholars in the 1930s.

Each group of images in the Biblia pauperum is dedicated to one event from the Gospels, which is accompanied by two slightly smaller pictures of Old Testament events which prefigure the central one, according to belief of medieval theologians in typology; these parallels are explained in two blocks of text, and each of the three Biblical scene is introduced with a Latin verse. Four Prophets hold scrolls with quotations from their Books, which prefigure the same event from the Gospels. For example, the scene of Longinus spearing Jesus as he hangs on the Cross is accompanied by God bringing forth Eve from the side of Adam, and Moses striking the rock so that water flowed forth, together with prophecies of Zechariah, the Psalms, the Lamentations and Amos.[3]

The earliest manuscripts of the Biblia Pauperum were made in Bavaria and Austria in the 14th century, they have 34–36 groups. Later versions add more scenes, and one of the most detailed versions is the 50-part blockbook version, produced in the Netherlands in the time 1480-1495

Alternatives[edit]

The Biblia was rivalled by the Speculum Humanae Salvationis (Mirror of Human Salvation), another very popular compilation of typological pairings, with rather more text than the Biblia. The iconographical programmes of these books are shared with many other forms of medieval art, including stained glass windows and carvings of biblical subjects. Since books are more portable than these, they may well have been important in transmitting new developments in depicting the subjects. Most subjects, such as the Annunciation to the Shepherds, can be seen in a very similar form at different dates, in different media and different countries.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ J. Victor Scholderer (1912). "'Albrecht Pfister of Bamberg' (book review)". The Library. S3-III: 230–6. doi:10.1093/library/s3-iii.10.230. 
  2. ^ ISTC British Library
  3. ^ http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/vpc/VPC_search/record.php?record=34879 Faksimile].

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblia_pauperum — Please support Wikipedia.
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L'affresco di San Nicola di Bari e parte della Crocifissione nella chiesa di San Giovanni Evangelista ad Alvito. Video di Nicola Severino.

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Pretty cool song, a bit melodic though, but that doesn't take away the brutality! Band: Veritas Mentis Song: Biblia Pauperum Album: Promo (2006) Origin: Austria.

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Il dettaglio di uno degli affreschi della chiesa della Maddalena in cui si riconosce l'opera di Antonio da Alatri.

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145 news items

 
Aleteia
Thu, 06 Nov 2014 07:33:45 -0800

La visita del Papa Francisco el próximo 21 de junio a Turín (Italia) será el culmen de las iniciativas ligadas a la ostensión de la i Sindone (19 abril -24 junio 2015) y a la celebración del segundo centenario del nacimiento de san Juan Bosco. Evento ...
 
Aleteia
Wed, 05 Nov 2014 09:53:05 -0800

Nosiglia: Questo telo è una catechesi vivente, una Biblia pauperum come si diceva un tempo. La “Bibbia dei poveri” non è fatta da parole, ma da immagini e pitture. I Vangeli ci presentano il corpo martoriato di Gesù e noi ritroviamo questi segni nella ...

WalesOnline

WalesOnline
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:06:36 -0700

They became known as the Biblia Pauperum, or Poor Man's Bible. As the champion and embodiment of the Christian ideal, St. George has been claimed by many states and kingdoms as their patron. He was the saint invoked by soldiers, a symbol of manly ...
 
Gazeta Wyborcza
Tue, 12 Nov 2013 07:15:44 -0800

Swoistą Biblią pauperum jest także serial "Biblia", który przywołał wspomnienia włoskich filmów, które nam w szkole puszczano. Dzieło owo jest zrobione z prawdziwie tandetnym rozmachem, bohaterowie Starego Testamentu prezentują olśniewająco białe ...

Slate Magazine

Slate Magazine
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:45:02 -0700

Apocalypse in a Biblia Pauperum illuminated at Erfurt around the time of the Great Famine of An illustration of the apocalypse in a Biblia Pauperum from around the time of the European famine of 1315–1317. Death ("Mors") rides a lion whose long tail ...

Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk
Fri, 25 Apr 2014 11:53:55 -0700

What might have helped him was the programme of pictures found in the sort of early printed books later known as the Biblia Pauperum. This pattern had been taken by Cardinal Morton, Henry VII's Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury, when in ...
 
Religión en Libertad (blog)
Tue, 10 Sep 2013 15:56:42 -0700

Existen importantes ejemplares de biblia pauperum en la Biblioteca Nacional de París. En la Biblioteca Británica se exhibe un maravilloso ejemplar del s. XV conocido como la “Biblia de oro”. Aunque el género procedía de talleres menores, ello no obsta ...
 
Gazeta Wyborcza
Mon, 15 Apr 2013 02:46:49 -0700

Zapomnijcie o "Grze o tron". Do diabła z "House of Cards". Za Atlantykiem najpopularniejszym serialem jest "Biblia" nadawana przez History Channel. Przy 13 mln widzów "Mad Men" ze swoim 3,4 mln odbiorców może się schować. Ewangeliczna opowieść ...
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