Johannes Gutenberg






The Göttingen Model Book

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Double page of the Göttingen Model Book. Fol. 7v-8r


The Göttingen Model Book dates from the mid-15th century and originally belonged to a monastery. The manuscript arrived in Goettingen in 1770 with the bequest of the library of Johann Friedrich Armand von Uffenbach.

It is a painting book for the drawing of leaves, initials and patterned backgrounds in different color combinations; even the composition of the colors is described in detail. The book decorations described in this manuscript can be found in the earliest period of printing in several Gutenberg Bibles, including the Göttingen copy of the B42.

Not only a visual comparison of the forms and colors - a comparison you yourself can carry out in this presentation - but also microfotographic tests have proven that even the layering of the colors corresponds exactly to the instructions in the manuscript.

With its precise instructions on how to design and intensify colors, the Model Book also played an important role in researching the techniques involved in medieval book illumination - a joint project carried out in Goettingen under the sponsorship of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Volkswagen Foundation.

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