Czech Bible of 1506
[Czech Bible]. Biblii Czěská, w Benatkach tisstěná.
Venice: Petrus Lichtenstein, 1506. (31462)
A medieval translation of the Bible into Czech, revised by the Bohemian “heretic” Jan Hus (c. 1369–1415), was first printed at Prague in 1488. The exhibited Bible is the second edition of 1506, edited by Jan Gindrzysky of Saaz and Thomas Molek of Hradec. Financed by three wealthy citizens of Prague, this richly illustrated Bible was published in Venice, the leading center of printing in Europe at that time and a major center for woodcut illustration.
In the exhibited opening of Genesis 1, the left-hand page features woodcuts of the Six Days of Creation within an ornamental border. An even more elaborate white-on-black border surrounds the first page of text, which incorporates a central woodcut of God the Creator and two border scenes of decapitation: Judith with the head of Holofernes (Judith 13:6–8) above, and David with the head of Goliath (1 Samuel 17) below. The remainder of the Bible features occasional woodcuts that are much smaller and simpler in design.