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Biblia
Printed on vellum by Vindelinus de Spira in Venice, 1 August 1471
Translated into Italian by Niccolò Malermi.
Opening, Volume 1: Creation of Eve
Purchased in 1929; PML 26983
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Professional illuminators supplied borders and initials for some of the first books printed in Venice, a center of the book trade with an affluent clientele prepared to pay handsomely for special copies decorated no less lavishly than the illuminated manuscripts of the day. An anonymous miniaturist known as the Master of the Putti produced this stunning trompe l'oeil frontispiece for the second volume of the Malermi Bible, the first edition of the Bible translated into Italian. In the framed miniature, Solomon reveals the rightful heir to an estate by having him and his heartless brothers shoot at their father's corpse, a task beyond the powers of a truly devoted son.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.