Contact: Kathy Oathout


St. Petersburg, FL (March 3, 2006) Florida International Museum (FIM) is pleased to announce thatthe earliest known work of noted Venetian illuminator Cristoforo Cortese is now a part of the highly popular exhibit, Ink & Blood: Scared Treasures of the Bible . Entitled Christ Enthroned and David Playing the Psaltery , the major piece is a richly ornamented letter “B” and is dated circa 1401-1405. “This important artwork is a major addition to the exhibit,” said Craig Salazar, Chief Operating Officer of Ink & Blood . “There are sister leaves to this wonderful piece in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Its vibrant color and delicate detail are breathtaking.”

Cortese was possibly the most important Venetian illuminator working at the end of the 14 th century to the middle of the 15 th century. Christ Enthroned and David Playing the Psaltery comes from a dismantled, long-lost Antiphonal made for the nuns of the Corpus Domini, a Venetian nunnery founded in 1394. Gold leaf on parchment, the miniature artistically follows the opening page of a Psalter illuminated by Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci in 1368 in Florence and this close similarity of style points to the manifest influence of Gherarducci's style on Cortese's art.

Ink & Blood: Sacred Treasures of the Bible, is the world's largest, most comprehensive exhibition on the history of the Bible. The exhibit, which includes authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments, ancient Biblical manuscripts and 5,000-year-old pictographic clay tablets from ancient Mesopotamia , will be on display at FIM until May 14, 2006 . The unprecedented exhibit includes more than 100 Hebrew, Greek and Latin manuscripts and related artifacts. Those pieces together tell a unique story; ­the complete history of the Bible, with an emphasis on the Bible in English version. The exhibition also contains material relevant to students of English literature, Spanish and Hebrew as well as American and European history, art and archaeology.

Hours for this special exhibition: Monday – Saturday 9 am – 6 pm ; Sunday 12 noon – 6 pm; last admission at 5 p.m. (Closed Easter). Admission for the Ink & Blood E xhibit Only: Adults $16, Seniors/Military $14, Students $9, Toddlers 6 and under – free. Audio tours are available for an extra fee.  Group, Corporate and School Rates are also available at 1.877.332.4253. For more information please contact Eileen Conte, at 727.341.7901.

For more information please contact the Florida International Museum at 727-341-7900 or view the museum’s website at www.floridamuseum.org.

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The Florida International Museum is a non-profit educational institution supported, in part, by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Florida Arts Council, State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the City of St. Petersburg. Other major sponsors include Progress Energy, Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, and St. Petersburg Times.