Lot 40
  • 40

The Cleansing of the Temple and Zacchaeus receives Jesus, two miniatures from Ludolph of Saxony’s Vita Christi, in the Spanish translation of Ambrosio Montesino, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Spain, first quarter of the sixteenth century (after 1502)]

3,000 - 5,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Vellum
two cuttings: (a) Cleansing of the Temple, 70mm. by 85mm., with Christ entering the temple followed by the apostles, the ceiling inscribed with “De electione vendentium et ementium de templo”, and Christ holding a banderole and addressing a group of money changers gathered around a table and surrounded by coins, doves and sheep; (b) Zacchaeus receives Jesus, 65mm. by 85mm., Zacchaeus (a tax-collector at Jericho, described as a short man) seated in front of the table holding a scroll “Ecce dimidium bonorum meorum do pauperibus” while Jesus sits in the centre, surrounded by the Apostles, holding a banderole with the reply “Hodie salus facta est …” , reverses with upper and lower portions of column-wide text, written in two sizes of a late gothic Spanish bookhand, ruling in gold, rubric in red, 4-line initial in gold on a red ground, remains of a floral border, one miniature with small pigment losses, else good condition

Catalogue Note

Ludolph of Saxony’s Vita Christi was completed in 1374 and inspired by the Franciscan tradition of meditation on the Passion. It offered a selection of passages from the four Gospels, interspersed with commentaries from the patristic literature, intended to encourage the reader to meditate on their significance. It was enormously popular in Latin and numerous vernacular languages (see also lot 8), and was translated into Spanish by Ambrosio Montesino in 1502. The translation was commissioned by King Ferdinand II of Aragon (1452-1516) and Queen Isabella I of Castile (1451-1504), rulers of Spain and patrons of Christopher Columbus. It was published as the first in the series of devotional books under the patronage of Cardinal Francisco Ximénez de Cisneros. The miniatures here must come from a lavishly illuminated manuscript, probably commissioned by a wealthy individual. Another cutting with Christ blessing from the same manuscript appeared at auction in Guillaumot-Richard in Villefranche sur Saone, 25 January 2014, lot 88.