Fool from BL Royal 15 D III, f. 262
Detail of a miniature of the fool holding a stick and using a small animal to play as if it were the bagpipes, and two men, one of whom is David, at the beginning of Psalm 52. Image taken from f. 262 of Bible historiale, the early version. Written in French.
Bible Historiale was composed between 1291 and 1295 by priest and canon Guyart des Moulins, who added a prologue in 1297 announcing his recent election as dean of his canonial chapter at the collegial church of Saint Pierre d'Aire-sur-la-Lys. Describing his own role as translating and "ordering" the text, Guyart censored or omitted portions of the Bible that "should not, according to reason, be translated", rearranged materials "so that the laity might find them better ordered" and, on rare occasions, added further commentaries of his own or from other sources to produce the work known as the Bible Historiale. The work was copied in many manuscripts, of which more than a hundred survive, most of them richly illuminated, some with more than 300 miniatures, including La Bible historiale complétée (Proverbs - Revelation), France, Central (Paris?), Grand Bible historiale complétée à prologues, and more.