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Book cover with scenes from the life of Christ: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This cover is one of a pair commissioned from a Florentine workshop by the French cardinal Jean La Balue for his personal copy of the Gospels. The decoration includes scenes from the New Testament (the Baptism of Christ, the Raising of Lazarus) and images of the church fathers, angels, and sphinxes. In 1469, while imprisoned for high treason by King Louis XI, Cardinal La Balue gave his gospel book to Pope Paul II, hoping the pope could intercede with the king. After eleven years of negotiations, the pope secured Balue’s release.The niello technique used on this object involves engraving the design on silver sheets, filling the incised lines with a powder of sulfur, silver, lead, and copper, then heating the powder, which solidifies and turns black, creating striking surface contrasts.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009