ArtworksExtensively Decorated Latin BibleCircle of artists which illuminated the Bible of Jean de Cardaillac, France, possibly Toulouse, last quarter of the 13th century.The decoration of this manuscript can be attributed to the circle of artists which illuminated the Bible of Jean de Cardaillac. The decoration consists of historiated initials with vegetal extensions, often with small drolleries, and is typical of the earliest gothic illumination in its emphasis on line and colour. The group can probably be located in Toulouse.1of 3
The very extensive decoration of the present manuscript is arranged hierarchically, to indicate the relative importance of the various texts, so that full or almost full-page initials mark the openings of the first prologue, Genesis and the first Gospel, historiated initials mark the beginning of each book and illuminated initials mark the Prologues. The complex Genesis initial with its bar borders and grotesques is particularly close to that in the Cardaillac Bible.
At least two artists worked on the decoration, one perhaps of a later generation than the other. The more advanced illuminator executed the figure of St. Jerome. The distinctive metallic yellow and soft grey of the palette, also seen in the Cardaillac Bible, are indicative of the increasing range of colours available to artists in the later years of the 13th century. The majority of the initials were executed by one or more artists whose figure style is characterised by variety of pose, lively gestures, physiognomies with almond-shaped eyes and the use of shading to give a three-dimensional quality to drapery, all also features of the illumination of the Cardaillac Bible.
This work is now in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art.