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Gutenberg Bible Leaf

A work made of letterpress in black with initials in red and blue on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of letterpress in black with initials in red and blue on ivory laid paper.

Date:

1454/55

Artist:

Johannes Gutenberg
German, c. 1398-1468

About this artwork

As the first book printed in the Western world using movable type, the Gutenberg Bible is justifiably famous. Copies of the complete book are so exceptionally rare that there are only a handful in the United States and none in the Chicago area. Yet this single sheet has long been part of the Art Institute’s collection, hidden within a 1921 “leaf book” that also includes an explanatory essay discussing this “noble fragment.” This page originated from a copy of the Gutenberg Bible lacking the first volume, which was disbound by the noted book dealer Gabriel Wells. Each isolated page has thus become a holy relic of sorts to the bibliographers of early printing.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Johannes Gutenberg (Publisher)

Title

Gutenberg Bible Leaf

Origin

Mainz

Date

Printed 1454–1455

Medium

Letterpress in black with initials in red and blue on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

287 × 193 mm (text); 392 × 285 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Gift of Martin C. Schwab

Reference Number

1922.2210

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/91678/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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