Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

I was lucky to get to photograph one of the first bibles printed, by Preuss of Strassborg in 1486. This Textus Biblie was printed twenty years after the Gutenberg Bible, and is the first printed book with a date on the title page.

Back in the fifteenth century, books were printed in one color (black). The decorations and illuminated paintings were added on a one-off basis. So there are some versions of this bible that were never finished by an artist, but otherwise each copy is different.

The illuminated illustration above shows animals from the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis, and the one below, on the first page of the Textus Biblie, probably shows Saint Jerome at work on an edition of the bible.

It was great getting to handle (very carefully!) such an old and rare book.

Textus Biblie by Preuss of Strassburg

View this image larger.

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