Dutch History Bible

The Royal Library of the Netherlands holds an illustrated bible known as the Dutch History Bible (Nederlandse Historiebijbel). This 'bible historiale' contains 69 decorated letters at the beginning of Bible books, called historiated initials, and more than 500 miniatures and drawings that illuminate the texts.

The text, in Dutch, is composed from a 14th century Bible translation from Belgian Brabant and from a translation by Johannes Scutken (†1423), a monk. It also contains stories from secular history and sections from Jacob van Maerlant's Rhime Bible.

The illustrations were made by artists from a group now called the Utrecht masters of the first generation. Most of them are anonymous: Alexander Master (a draughtsman), Claes Brouwer, Psalter Master, Masters of Otto van Moerdrecht, Master Azor, Master F, and the Gethsemane Master (illuminators).

This website shows miniatures from the books Esther and Judith.

Related topics: Illuminated manuscripts

Related works of art: