Top of page

Book/Printed Material Bible of Borso d'Este. Biblia latina

[ Volume 1 ]

More Resources

[ Volume 2 ]

About this Item


  • Bible of Borso d'Este.

Other Title

  • Biblia latina


  • The magnificent Bible of Borso d'Este represents the zenith of Ferrarese miniature painting and one of the highpoints of Italian Renaissance manuscript illumination. It was commissioned by Borso d'Este (1413--71), the first duke of Ferrara, who intended it as a demonstration of the splendor of the House of Este, which at the time was competing with Florence and the court of the Medici for international status. The manuscript was completed between 1455 and 1461, the same time that Johann Gutenberg was producing the first printed Bible from moveable type. The Bible consists of two folio volumes of more than 1,000 individual illuminations. The leaves are all richly illuminated, with painted vignettes that portray scenes from the Bible, historical events, the Estense coat of arms, and views of nature. The beginning of each of the books of the Bible is decorated with an elaborate architectural border and richly colored designs. The illuminations are by a team of artists led by Taddeo Crivelli and Franco dei Russi that also included Girolamo da Cremona, Marco dell'Avogadro, and Giorgio d'Alemagna. The text was written in a fine Renaissance hand by the Bolognese scribe Pietro Paolo Marone. In 1598, following the transfer of Ferrara to papal control, the Estense family abandoned Ferrara for its new seat of ducal power in Modena, taking with them their paintings, sculptures, and books. The Bible remained in Modena until 1859, when the city became part of the new Kingdom of Italy. Francesco V d'Austria-Este fled to Vienna, taking with him many family possessions, including the Bible. In 1923, the industrialist Giovanni Treccani degli Alfieri acquired the Bible from a Parisian antiquarian bookseller. As a sign of respect for the Republic of Italy, he returned the Bible to the Biblioteca Estense in Modena. In the second half of the 18th century a new binding was made. The Bible was crudely trimmed and part of its decoration was lost from the upper and outer margins. The binding was again replaced in 1961.


  • Borso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, Modena, and Reggio, 1413-1471 Patron.
  • Crivelli, Taddeo, flourished 1451-1476 Illuminator.
  • Giorgio d'Alemagna, flourished 1441-1479 Illuminator.
  • Girolamo da Cremona, flourished 1467-1483 Illuminator.
  • Marco dell'Avogadro Illuminator.
  • Russi, Franco dei, flourished 1453-1482 Illuminator.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [1455 to 1461]


  • -  Italy
  • -  1455 to 1461
  • -  Bible
  • -  Illuminations
  • -  Miniatures (Illuminations)


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  "Also called: Bibbia di Borso d'Este. Shelfmark: Lat. 422-423 = V.G.12-13"--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
  • -  Original resource extent: 2 volumes (311 sheets and 293 sheets) ; 26.5 x 37.5 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: Estense Library, Modena.
  • -  Content in Latin.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Illuminated Manuscripts from Europe

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667830

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright or other restrictions in the World Digital Library Collection. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse. Researchers are encouraged to review the source information attached to each item. For information on contacting WDL partner organizations, see this archived list of partners

The Library asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here.

Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For additional information and contact information for many of the partner organizations, see this archived capture of the World Digital Library site from 2021.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Borso D'Este, Duke Of Ferrara, Modena, And Reggio, Patron, Taddeo Crivelli, Flourished Illuminator Giorgio D'Alemagna, Flourished Illuminator Girolamo Da Cremona, Marco Dell'Avogadro Illuminator, and Franco Dei Russi. Bible of Borso d'Este. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1461, 1455] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Borso D'Este, D. O. F., Crivelli, T., Giorgio D'Alemagna, F. I., Girolamo Da Cremona, F. I., Marco Dell'Avogadro Illuminator & Russi, F. D. (1455) Bible of Borso d'Este. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1461] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Borso D'Este, Duke Of Ferrara, Modena, And Reggio, Patron, et al. Bible of Borso d'Este. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1461, 1455] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.