Illuminating the Middle Ages: Interactions with Manuscripts
Maggie Crosland and Teresa Lane
Summer School – Online
Monday 7 – Friday 11 June 2021
Illuminated manuscripts are among the most beautiful works of art to survive from the Middle Ages, but they are also often some of the most mysterious. They are now generally locked away in libraries or archives, and even when exhibited we can only see two pages of a volume at one time. In this course we shall use a variety of methods, including digital facsimiles, to explore some of the most extraordinary examples of medieval manuscript illumination.
We shall specifically consider the history of manuscript illumination from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries, a period which saw extraordinary developments in artistic innovation across all media. We shall explore the transition of manuscripts from products of the monastic scriptorium to those of professional trade networks in cities across Europe. Another focus will be the different ways in which people engaged with their manuscripts. Finally, we shall consider the fact that illuminated manuscripts were not standalone items but were used alongside a wide array of devotional objects, from rosary beads to altarpieces.
This course is co-taught by specialists of late medieval French manuscripts and Anglo Saxon art respectively.