Bible moralisée of Naples

Bible moralisée of Naples f. 12r (Gen. 5: 24)

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f. 12r (Gen. 5: 24)

“Here God takes Enoch in the cloud.”

Enoch’s assumption up into heaven foreshadows Elijah’s and is a prelude to the tale of Noah and the flood. Enoch, shown in profile as a bust with his hands joined, is depicted in a disc rimmed with clouds beneath a bust of God. One might expect this event to be typologically likened to Christ’s Ascension but far from it: Enoch being carried away in a cloud is Jesus who appears to his people and takes them to heavenly company. In the Bible of Naples, unlike the images in the French Bible of Naples and the French Bible of Vienna, Christ is shown not as a bust but standing and appearing to his people whom he grasps by the hand and takes them to heaven in a cloud. The two Bibles of Vienna give pride of place to Peter and Paul. The three-volume Bibles repeat the standing Christ featured in the Bible of Naples, but position him on the right with, as in the Latin Bible of Vienna, Peter and Paul in the front row of the martyrs.

Yves Christe
University of Geneva
Marianne Besseyre
Illuminated Manuscripts Research Center, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Fragment of the Bible moralisée of Naples commentary volume


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