(active 1420s in Toledo)

Alba Bible

Collection of the Duke of Alba, Madrid

The Alba Bible is an illuminated manuscript translation of the Old Testament made directly from Hebrew into Mediaeval Castilian. The translation was carried out under the direction of Moses Arragel, rabbi of the Jewish community of Maqueda in the Spanish province of Toledo, at the behest of Don Luis de Guzmán, Grand Master of the military-religious Order of Calatrava. Although the text of the Alba Bible was the product of Rabbi Arragel, the elaborate artistic detail is wholly the product of Franciscans of Toledo.

The work comprises 513 pages and a rich collection of 334 miniatures that illustrate passages from the religious text. The present picture shows a page of the Alba Bible painted by Christians under Rabbinic supervision. Here Don Luis, the patron, sits enthroned. Below him, beneath the towers, are two theologians who worked with the Jews on the translation. At the bottom, Rabbi Moses Arragel presents the finished book to Don Luis

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.