Weltchronik (World Chronicle)


The 243 illustrations in this copy of Henry of Munich’s World Chronicle entertained and edified aristocratic readers. As part of the work’s expansive paraphrase of Jewish scripture in German verse, one miniature shows King David battling the Philistines; the other shows David playing his harp and followed by trumpeters, leading the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem. When the oxen hauling the ark stumbled, Uzzah, the son of Abinadab, sought to steady it with his hand, in violation of the law, and was immediately struck down, as seen at the center. The oblong formats spanning both text columns lend the images narrative thrust. While depicting distant historical events, the lively miniatures would have evoked contemporary military customs and courtly pageantry for the manuscript’s readers.

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Henry of Munich
Weltchronik (World Chronicle), in German
Germany, Regensburg, ca. 1360
The Morgan Library & Museum, MS M.769, fols. 181v–182r
Purchased, 1931