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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 2: Shooting of the Father's Corpse
Purchased in 1929; PML 26984
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

This is the frontispiece to the second volume of the 1471 bible. The text appears to have been printed on a frayed piece of parchment suspended from an architectural monument—one of the most ambitious pictorial illusions in a Venetian book created during the Renaissance.

The framed picture at top illustrates the Shooting of the Father's Corpse, one of the apocryphal judgments of Solomon. In an inheritance dispute between the true son of a recently deceased man and an impostor, the actual son kneels before the suspended corpse, while the impostor reveals his counterfeit status by following King Solomon's command to shoot at the corpse.

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