Northumberland Bestiary Now Available On Line

The Northumberland Bestiary, a book of drawings and texts of real and imaginary animals, can now be seen in digital form. The thirteenth-century book is among 10,000 works of art made available in high-resolution images without fees and restrictions by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles as part of an open-access policy.

The seventy-five-page manuscript, which was created in London around the 1250s or 1260s, contains 112 coloured ink drawings ranging from goats to the hydra. The first few images are taken from the Bible, including one showing Adam naming some of the birds and animals. Originally owned by the Duke of Northumberland (and formerly Alnwick Castle MS 447), the volume was sold in 1990 to a private collector and bought by the Getty in 2007.

The bestiary can be seen by searching for Northumberland Bestiary on the Getty Museum’s website, and a short video montage of selected pages can be viewed here.

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