The Sibyls and Prophets Foretelling Christ the Savior


This manuscript, entitled Sibyllae et prophetae de Christo Salvatore vaticinantes (The sibyls and prophets foretelling Christ the Savior), is possibly a product of the workshop of the French illuminator Jean Poyer (circa 1445–1504) of Tours. The sibyls were female seers from the ancient world whose prophecies it was thought foretold the coming of Christ. This work consists of 25 large illuminations: a depiction of Noah's ark and 12 double-page spreads. The left side of each of the double pages depicts one of the sibyls, who is paired on the right side with a scene from the life of Christ and the history of salvation that she was said to have prophesied. The scenes on the right are accompanied by an Old Testament prophet and an evangelist. The manuscript probably was acquired by Elector Maximilian I of Bavaria (1573–1651), more as a work of art than a book. It therefore was kept in the elector’s art collection. Only in 1785 was it incorporated into the library.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Tours, France


Title in Original Language

Sibyllae et prophetae de Christo Salvatore vaticinantes


Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

23 sheets, parchment : color illustrations ; 25 x 17.5 centimeters


  • BSB Shelfmark Cod.icon. 414

Last updated: October 17, 2017