Accompanied by curator Gabriela Holthuisová from the Bible Museum in Washington, the rare Lipnica Bible arrived at the National Library in Prague on Tuesday, August 31st. It will be exhibited here for two weeks together with other medieval manuscripts. Aktuálně.cz brings a photo report from the installation of the exhibition in the Klementina Mirror Chapel.
“The parchment is incredibly thin and delicate,” curator Gabriele Holthuis admires the Lipnica Bible, although she is far from seeing it for the first time. He still has a huge charm for it. She had just carefully pulled it out of a wooden shipping box, ceremoniously placed it on a table in the Mirror Chapel, and began preparing it for exhibition with Czech colleagues from the National Library.
A group of restorers and experts on medieval manuscripts is formed around the table. “Already at the time of its creation, the book was a fortune,” said the crowd, who admired the details of the manuscript in black-clad plates.
He arrived in the Czech Republic from the USA. It belongs to the collections of the Bible Museum in Washington. Before he got to Prague, he was exhibited in Lipnice. From there, safely to the Czech capital.
The Lipnica Bible was created 600 years ago. At the exhibition in the Mirror Chapel, she is accompanied by several rare manuscripts from the holdings of the National Library.
“It is one of the more expensive late medieval codices and is a silent witness to the turbulent times of the Hussite wars,” said Jan Vojtíšek, head of the National Library’s Department of Manuscripts and Old Prints, about the Bible. “Most likely, it was at least partly created at the Lipnice nad Sázavou castle, which was then in the possession of one of the most powerful men in the Czech Kingdom, Čeňek of Vartemberk,” he added.
Other fates of the manuscript are not known, the Lipnice Bible reappeared only in the 20th century, when it became the property of various Western European collectors. At the beginning of the 21st century, it was included in the collections of the Bible Museum in Washington.
The exhibition called Lipnická bible 1421-2021: The Shield of Faith to Restless Times also presents four codices from the Hussite period from the National Library. At the exhibition, visitors can see the Study New Testament, the Bible of Andrew of Rokycany, the Bible of Sixtus of Ottersdorf, which contains many decorated initials and their decoration surpasses even the Lipnice Bible itself. The last manuscript on display is the John Gaudencia Bible, which over the years has been supplemented by other texts, such as a treatise on vices and virtues or a fragment describing obstacles to marriage.
Admission to the exhibition is free, the organizers will regulate the number of visitors with great interest.