MINIATURIST, French
(active around 840 in Tours)

Moutier-Grandval Bible

c. 840
Manuscript (Add. Ms. 10546), 510 x 375 mm
British Library, London

This manuscript received its name from the Swiss abbey of Moutier-Grandval to which it belonged in the late 16th century. It was produced in the monastery of Tours, a leading centre of Bible reform and production. It is one of the two oldest surviving Carolingian illustrated Bible manuscript. It contains 449 folios illustrated with4 full-page miniatures, 1 framed incipit page, 55 initials and 4 canon tables.

Folio 5v is the title page to Genesis. It shows the favoured strip composition of the time. The strips are arranged like lines of the text making the "picture text" more easily legible. The use of trees and figure changes as a means of structuring the individual scenes is a typically Byzantine device. In the third strip from the top, on the left, Eve is shown standing next to the tree and reaching for the apple. She turns around and hands it to Adam. This figure turn, this succession of scenes, is one of the standard themes of Byzantine pictorial narrative.