What is an antiphonal? What is an incipit? This superbly illustrated book answers these and many other questions about the making of illuminated manuscripts, offering definitions of the techniques, processes, and materials used, and discussion of their textual and illustrative contents. Concise and readable explanations of all the most frequently encountered technical terms are included, with examples to clarify and illustrate each point.
Reproducing a wealth of illustrations from the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum and The British Library - many of them in colour - this guide is invaluable to anyone wishing to increase their enjoyment and understanding of illuminated manuscripts, and those needing clarification of specific terms.
Foreword by the author
This guide is designed to provide information for the public, students, and professionals alike about the history of manuscript production and its study: the contexts of production and the people involved (contained in entries such as SCRIBE, ILLUMINATOR, MASTER, WORKSHOP, STATIONER, PATRON, SCRIPTORIUM, MONASTIC PRODUCTION, and SECULAR PRODUCTION); the physical processes and techniques employed (CODICOLOGY); the types of text encountered (from liturgical volumes used in the performance of the MASS and DIVINE OFFICE and others, such as the BOOK OF HOURS, made for private devotions, to CLASSICAL and MEDICAL TEXTS as well as the ROMANCES and APOCALYPSES commissioned by secular patrons); and the terminology applied to the elements, styles, and forms of ILLUMINATION.
Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts covers works made in the West from Antiquity until the early modern period and the establishment of printing, but reference is also made to later periods when relevant. The manuscript production of non-Western cultures could not be included, since such subjects as Hebrew and Islamic manuscripts are complex fields in their own right. However, important influences of non-Western cultures on the production of manuscripts in the West are cited in various entries.
I should like to thank the following for their invaluable advice and assistance on this project: the staff of the manuscripts department and the photographic, publication, and design offices of the J. Paul Getty Museum and the British Library, especially Thomas Kren, Janet Backhouse, John Harris, Kurt Hauser, Elizabeth Teviotdale, Jane Carr, David Way, Peter Kidd, Erik Inglis, and Nancy Turner; as well as Linda Brownrigg, Philip Lewis, Sheila Schwartz, and Patricia Stirnemann. I should also like to acknowledge a particular debt of gratitude to William Noel for his unstinting assistance and friendship and to my husband, Cecil Brown, for his understanding and support during this endeavor, as ever.
Michelle P Brown is a Curator of the Manuscript Collections of The British Library.
1st edition 1994, Pb, 128pp, full of illustrations, many in full colour, 15.5 x 23.5 cm