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The Book of Miracles

Hardcover with booklet in clamshell box, 12.6 x 8.5 in., 7.70 lb, 560 pages
US$ 150

Newly uncovered illuminations from the Renaissance depicting fantastic and miraculous phenomena

Apocalypse then

Newly uncovered illuminations from the Renaissance depicting miraculous phenomena
The Book of Miracles that first surfaced a few years ago and recently made its way into an American private collection is one of the most spectacular new discoveries in the field of Renaissance art. The nearly complete surviving illustrated manuscript, which was created in the Swabian Imperial Free City of Augsburg around 1550, is composed of 169 pages with large-format illustrations in gouache and watercolor depicting wondrous and often eerie celestial phenomena, constellations, conflagrations, and floods as well as other catastrophes and occurrences. It deals with events ranging from the creation of the world and incidents drawn from the Old Testament, ancient tradition, and medieval chronicles to those that took place in the immediate present of the book’s author and, with the illustrations of the visionary Book of Revelation, even includes the future end of the world.

The surprisingly modern-looking, sometimes hallucinatory illustrations and the cursory descriptions of the Book of Miracles strikingly convey a unique view of the concerns and anxieties of the 16th century, of apocalyptic thinking and eschatological expectation. The present facsimile volume reproduces the Book of Miracles in its entirety for the first time and thus makes one of the most important works of the German Renaissance finally available to art lovers and scholars. The introduction puts the codex in its cultural and historical context, and an extensive description of the manuscript and its miniatures, as well as a complete transcript of the text, accompany the facsimile in an appendix.
The authors

Till-Holger Borchert studied art history, musicology, and German literature at the universities of Bonn and Bloomington (IN). An acknowledged expert on Early Netherlandish painting, he has worked as chief curator at the Groeningemuseum in Bruges since 2002 and as Director of the Bruges Museum since 2014. Borchert teaches art history at the universities of Aachen, Memphis (TN), and Middlebury (VT) and has curated exhibitions in Brussels, Rome, Madrid, and New York. He heads the Flemish Research Centre for the Arts in the Burgundian Netherlands.

Joshua P. Waterman studied art history at Oregon State University and received a PhD from Princeton University for his dissertation on interrelations of literature and visual art of the Silesian Baroque. The proven expert on German art of the late medieval and early modern periods worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and was Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Currently he is a research associate at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg. He has collaborated on exhibitions in New York, Philadelphia, Cologne, and Bruges.

The Book of Miracles
Hardcover with booklet in clamshell box, 12.6 x 8.5 in., 7.70 lb, 560 pages