Johann Buno (1617–1697).
Bilder-Bibel: darinn die Bücher Altes und Neuen Testaments durch alle Capitel in annemliche Bilder kürtzlich gebracht.
Hamburg: Arnold Lichtenstein, 1680. (BRB1015)

In this picture Bible by Johann Buno, a Lutheran school teacher in Lüneburg, the fifty-four engravings illustrate virtually every chapter of the scriptures. Within each engraving, the individual pictorial elements represent particular chapters, while the entire image evokes a larger form that is symbolic of the biblical book as a whole. For example, in the exhibited opening the twenty-four chapters of the Gospel of Luke are represented within the shape of the evangelist’s traditional symbolic attribute, the winged ox. Chapter 1 is depicted at the upper left, between the horns of the ox, with images of the temple incense of Zacharia (verses 8–11), the Archangel Gabriel’s Annunciation to the Virgin Mary (verses 26–28), and the joyous leaping of the fetal St. John the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth (verse 44). The adjacent citation of “Es. 40” refers to the prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 40, which describes the Baptist as the voice that cries in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord. Although unusual in their complexity, Buno’s images are consistent with the Lutheran attitude toward the visual arts in that they are used not for veneration, but for pious instruction.

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