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Peter of Poitiers' Historical genealogy of Christ

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This English manuscript was created in the early thirteenth century soon after the death of its author, Peter of Poitiers, theologian and Chancellor of the University of Paris from 1193 to 1205. It is an early copy of his text, the Compendium historiae in genealogia Christi. Intended as a teaching aid, the work provides a visual genealogy of Christ comprised of portraits in roundels, accompanied by a text discussing the historical background of Christ's lineage. It also includes episodes from biblical history, including Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, the Nativity, the Virgin and Child, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. Early manuscripts like this tend to be in the form of a book, and other examples can be found in London, British Library Cotton MS Faustina B VII, and Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 83. Later manuscripts of this text are often presented in roll form.
Date Description Narrative
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Text and Image: Medieval Book Illustration. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1986.
Provenance Made in England, early thirteenth century; Quaritch, London; William Salloch, Ossining, New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Sale, 1981; Walters Art Museum, 1981, by purchase [Catalog 375, no. 43].
Credit Museum purchase, 1981

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early 13th century (Gothic)
ink and pigments on heavy, cream-colored parchment with edges darkened from use between
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
H: 13 9/16 × W: 9 5/8 in. (34.4 × 24.5 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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