Artistic Innovation and Cultural Exchange: Sephardic Book Illumination ca. 1300, Burgos-Tudela-Soria

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Around 1260, after a few decades of consolidation, the illuminated Sephardic Bible reached its peak development in Toledo. Carpet pages inspired by the prevalent local mudejar visual culture were the focus of the illumination. The special close connection between the communities of Toledo and Burgos, and the constant Jewish mobility between northern Castile and southern Navarre spread the tradition of the illuminated biblical codex to regions where the mudejar visual culture was not predominant as it was in Toledo. These northern areas not only had a long local Romanesque tradition, but also became crossroads of various cultures. The resulting diversity, which provided fertile ground for creativity, affected the Sephardic book art that flourished in these areas around 1300. Two particular manuscripts that exemplify the phenomenon constitute the heart of this discussion: The Second Kennicott Bible of the Bodleian collection in Oxford and the famous Cervera Bible housed today in Lisbon. Shedding new light on these two manuscripts, each speaking a different visual language, will enable us to reveal the innovative profile of the books themselves and of the region in which they were produced.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)117-140
Number of pages24
JournalCodex Aquilarensis
StatePublished - 2020


  • Biblical codex
  • Diversity
  • Gothic
  • Northern Castile
  • Royal mudejar art
  • Sephardic illumination
  • Tudela

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • History


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