The spectacular Crusader Bible is one of the greatest illuminated manuscripts in the world, renowned as much for its unrivalled and boldly colored illustrations as it is for its fascinating history. The work brings Old Testament stories alive in bright images replete with medieval castles, towns, and battling knights in armor, all set in thirteenth-century France. The picture book, which was likely made in Paris about 1250, has long been associated with the court of Louis IX, the pious crusader king of France and builder of the Sainte-Chapelle. The book originally had no text, but along the way inscriptions were added in Latin, Persian, and Judeo-Persian, indicative of changing owners. The manuscript made an incredible journey from France to Italy, Poland, Persia, Egypt, England, and finally, New York.
(Picture: The Morgan Library & Museum)