Die Berg Predigt (Sermon on the Mount)
In Geman, illuminated manuscript on paper
Vienna, Austria, March 21, 1920
Created in 1920 by Gustav Zimpel (1904-1954), the nephew of Gustav Klimt and the younger brother of Julius Zimpel, this pocket-sized manuscript is a copy of the Sermon on the Mount. It is a fascinating work of art of astonishing originality. Caroline minuscule utterly transformed under the influence of twentieth-century modernist typography is enclosed by simple frames of color against black grounds. Burnished gold historiated initials introduce each chapter, and ten full-page illuminations offer expressive interpretations of the text: Adam and Eve are the adulterous couple, houses built on a rock topple into the sea, and a man with arms upraised fulfills the law, the latter an uncanny echo of Edouard Munch’s Scream.