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The Grand Medieval Bestiary: Animals in Illuminated Manuscripts Hardcover – December 11, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0789211279 ISBN-10: 0789211270 Edition: Slp

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"This is a huge and beautiful book that feels almost like a trip to the Cloisters between two covers." —New York Daily News

"Rarely have earnest scholarship and sheer wonder come together as comfortably as they have here. And as magical as the original artworks surely are, this unique volume is literally better than the real thing, since it allows us to ogle them closely." —Fine Art Connoisseur

"Every year I try to reserve the adjective "stunning" for one book. This is it." —The Seattle Times holiday gift guide

About the Author

Christian Heck, a senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France and former curator-in-chief of the Unterlinden Museum in Colmar, is an authority on illuminated manuscripts.

Rémy Cordonnier, a researcher at the University of Lille, specializes in medieval iconography.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 620 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press; Slp edition (December 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789211270
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789211279
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13.1 x 4.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 16 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #547,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Would highly recommend to anyone interested in bestiary.
Glen King
I purchased this with the recent Book of Kells by Meehan-also a "must"- and confirm absolute satisfaction with each.
ahigherauthority
The illustrations are magnificent. the writing is clear and concise!
ann g. peirce

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Paperartzy on December 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first saw this book in its French language edition on Amazon's French website in 2011 at a price of just under Euro 385 (discounted from Euro 405!!). At this price the book was way beyond my means, so I was pleasantly surprised when an English language edition appeared on the Amazon UK and US websites at a much more affordable GBP 90. I conjectured that the English language edition must be a 'cut down' version of the French 'Belle reliure', but what the heck I figured, what lover of the art of medieval manuscripts could resist even a cut-down edition displaying some of the world's finest medieval imagery and a text by two specialists from premier French universities? I therefore ordered the book from Amazon US and was amazed when a huge package weighing 16.5lb arrived on my doorstep. This is no cut-down version. With exactly the same number of pages (620) as the French original the book itself is 15.25" tall, 10.75" wide and just under 2.5" thick. Printed on high quality glossy paper in full colour, the book boasts around 600 full colour reproductions of illuminations taken not just from bestiaries, but from a wide range of illuminated manuscripts ranging from the early 8th century up to the early 16th. The book comes protected in a heavy slipcase that adds about 0.5" to the overall dimensions. Accompanying the images are four essay chapters covering general topics, such as the role of animals in medieval life and Christian philosophy that fill the first 105 pages of the book. The following 491 pages provide examples of 100 individual animals that were described in medieval bestiaries together with an essay by Professor Cordonnier outlining the symbolism and myths attached to each in the medieval Christian world view.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Corey Lidster on June 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
About a year ago I first discovered Abbeville Press, a publisher specializing in high-end art monographs. Hieronymus Bosch and Caravaggio, by Larry Silver and John T Spike respectively, were both volumes produced at astonishing levels of quality, beautiful to look at, inside and out. For a bibliophile like myself, seeing the terrible genius of Bosch and the chiaroscuro naturalism of Caravaggio reproduced so faithfully and discussed so intelligently, on high grade paper, 11.5 inches wide by 13.5 inches high, with clothbound covers embossed with gilt -- essentially making each volume into a work of art itself, worthy of its subject-- it was exactly what I'd been hoping for.
With 'The Grand Medieval Bestiary' Abbeville Press has created another work of art in their chosen medium, and this one may be their masterpiece, rivaled only by another Abbeville release, 'Audubon's Birds of America: The Baby Elephant Folio Edition'. These are very, VERY large books; each over 12 inches wide and 16 inches tall, between 625 and 700 pages long, and a near-ridiculous 17-18lbs each. Both come with elegant slipcases with cloth tops and bottoms matching the color of the clothbound covers. The overall appearance is stunning, and once again serves as a perfect format for the incredible art and analysis it houses.
'The Grand Medieval Bestiary' is just as fascinating as it is purported to be, a scholarly work that goes far deeper than most of the other, cheaper volumes aimed at Tolkien-obsessed teens.
With a $185.00 MSRP, the $116.00 I purchased this for seems like a steal... seriously, wait until you see this thing. I ordered the Audubon book at the same time, and the folks at the local post office summoned me all the way into the back to haul the 40lb box out my Damn self.
Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ahigherauthority on March 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
HUGE in linear dimension and weight, but a "must have" for anyone with an interest in antique manuscripts, fine arts, graphic arts, animals (real & imagined) and the stories they tell from candle lighted drawing tables 700+ years ago. I purchased this with the recent Book of Kells by Meehan-also a "must"- and confirm absolute satisfaction with each.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Burman on February 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've seen a lot of illuminated manuscripts, and bestiaries in particular, over the years, but the size, quality of photo reproduction, and information on the history and meaning of each creature in this book make this a very, very special undertaking. The price seems very low from what one actually gets with this treasure.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fast shipment, book is beautiful, in great condition, and a bargain to boot! If you have any interest in animals or Medieval art--buy this book!
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