Good Reading : March 2004
(coffeetable) 42 (GoodReading) During the Middle Ages the design of bibles underwent a revolution. In line with the importance of religion came a demand for luxurious bibles, which were commissioned by kings, princ- es and persons of high rank, whose wealth ensured that bibles were objects of extraor- dinary craftsmanship. These bibles were painstakingly tran- scribed by monks who toiled for over 12 hours a day in the light-filled summer months creating what are now important works of art, often using the most sumptuous of materials such as gold and silver ink to decorate initials and borders surrounding the introductory chapters. Within the pages of In the Beginning was the Word some of these rare and magnificent bibles are brought to life giving us a breathtaking glimpse into a forgotten craft. let there belight This illustration is from the History Bible, Urach (Swabia), 1463 which relates the history of the world from the Creation to the destruction of Jerusalem (70 AD). This particular scene depicts an Egypt plagued by frogs and mosquitoes and the Pharoah meeting with Moses.