Last week, I attended the New York Antiquarian Book Fair and enjoyed taking a close look at the medieval illuminated manuscripts offered for sale there. This opportunity reminded me how manuscripts' greatest qualities are best enjoyed in person.
My thoughts on Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts, a really excellent and informative book about twelve, world-class medieval manuscripts.
The Office of the Dead (f.99) from the Belles Heures of Jean de Berry. French, c. 1405-9. The Cloisters Collection. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (CC0 1.0) Today is the last installment of 31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts. I hope everyone has enjoyed seeing and reading about all these beautiful books over the past… Continue reading The Office of the Dead – Day Thirty-One of Medieval Manuscripts
I'm just going to carry on with this Halloween theme. Apocalypse manuscripts contain St. John the Divine's writings in the Book of Revelation, including supposed details about the end of the world. Remember that the saved and the damned are supposed to have very different experiences in the end, so Apocalypse manuscripts frequently have some pretty extreme… Continue reading Apocalypse Manuscripts – Day Thirty of Medieval Manuscripts
In preparation for Halloween, I decided that today's post should have something to do with something magical(ish) and eventually settled on alchemy. Alchemy is probably more of pseudo science than it is magic, but it was in Harry Potter, so I'll let this slide. Alchemical treatises and illustrations were common in manuscripts of the Western and… Continue reading Alchemical Manuscripts – Day Twenty-Nine of Medieval Manuscripts
As the month of October is winding down, so is 31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts. While my posts about medieval manuscripts may be slowing down - I'll continue to write about them, just not every single day - I hope that your interest in the subject will remain. In that spirit, today's post is going to be about… Continue reading Where to Enjoy Manuscripts Online – Day Twenty-Eight of Medieval Manuscripts
The Hours of Catherine of Cleves is a fifteenth-century Dutch book of hours that was owned by a controversial duchess of Guelders. According to the Morgan Library and agreed upon by pretty much every other source I read, the manuscript is "the greatest Dutch illuminated manuscript in the world" (Morgan Library website). The Morgan's description… Continue reading The Hours of Catherine of Cleves – Day Twenty-Seven of Medieval Manuscripts
I couldn't wrap up thirty-one days of medieval manuscripts without featuring at least one Bible! The Morgan Library's Crusader Bible (MS M.638) was made in Paris in the 1240s. It presents the Old Testament completely in pictures; there's very little text, none of which is original to the book. The manuscript is famous for the… Continue reading The Morgan Library Crusader Bible – Day Twenty-Six of Medieval Manuscripts
I have wanted to write about lapidaries for most of the past month, but I lacked a good source article until now. What are lapidaries, you ask? Unfortunately, they’re not books about rabbits, which I briefly believed as a college freshman, due to the similarity of the French word for rabbit, lapin. Lapidaries are, in fact, books about gemstones… Continue reading Lapidaries – Day Twenty-Five of Medieval Manuscripts
Following day twenty-three's post about cordiform manuscripts, I've started looking into other uniquely-shaped manuscripts. Manuscript historian extraordinaire Erik Kwakkel wrote a great post, "Strange Medieval Manuscripts" on this topic last year. I can't discuss this topic nearly as well as Kwakkel did, but here are some of my favorites from his article and in general:… Continue reading Weird Manuscripts – Day Twenty-Four of Medieval Manuscripts