31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

Heart-Shaped Books – Day Twenty-Three of Medieval Manuscripts

I found this heart-shaped book of hours on pinterest and was immediately intrigued, so I've started researching heart-shaped (or cordiform) manuscripts in general. So far, I've found a few, but none are accompanied by an abundance of information. So far, I've found four thanks to this post, which has some great photos, too. I particularly enjoyed a Danish book of… Continue reading Heart-Shaped Books – Day Twenty-Three of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

Visigothic Script – Day Twenty-Two of Medieval Manuscripts

I always get excited when I find a great new (or at least new-to-me) website about medieval manuscripts, and today, I just discovered litteravisigothica.com, which is dedicated to the study of Visigothic script. Visigothic script a form of writing used in Hispania, specifically the Iberian Peninsula area, roughly between the 8th and 12th centuries A.D. (source).  It is… Continue reading Visigothic Script – Day Twenty-Two of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

Medieval Pattern Books – Day Twenty-One of Medieval Manuscripts

I found a medieval pattern book while browsing the inventory of Les Enluminures, an international art gallery specializing in medieval manuscripts and related works of art. I loved learning that such things exist, so I set out to find more of them. The one shown above is owned by the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library… Continue reading Medieval Pattern Books – Day Twenty-One of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

St. Cuthbert’s Gospel – Day Twenty of Medieval Manuscripts

I'm starting to realize that I prefer older (pre-10th century) medieval manuscripts to later ones. I think I'm attracted to older manuscripts' inherent mysteries - we simply don't know as much about their makers or original owners. Accordingly, today's feature is the St. Cuthbert Gospel, a seventh-century English gospel book now owned by the British… Continue reading St. Cuthbert’s Gospel – Day Twenty of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

Non-European Medieval – Day Nineteen of Medieval Manuscripts

Those of you who follow my Gargoyle of the Day feature should be well aware by now that I'm a big fan of finding elements we typically associate with the art of the European Middle Ages in non-European settings. Well, what is true about my love of non-European gargoyles also holds true in the world… Continue reading Non-European Medieval – Day Nineteen of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

What in the World? – Day Eighteen of Medieval Manuscripts

One of the things that I love about illuminated manuscripts is their frequent capacity for complete and inexplicable weirdness. Amidst the beautiful decoration, perfect lettering, and pious illustrations that fill many manuscripts' pages, you can also find grotesque or fantastical creatures, anthropomorphized animals, and figures carrying out a variety of bizarre or even vulgar behaviors.… Continue reading What in the World? – Day Eighteen of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

The Book of Durrow – Day Seventeen of Medieval Manuscripts

The Book of Durrow has always been fascinating to me, probably because it was the first medieval manuscript I studied in college. The Book of Durrow is stylistically related to the Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels, both of which I've previously discussed, but the Book of Durrow pre-dates the other two. In fact, it is the earliest-known… Continue reading The Book of Durrow – Day Seventeen of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

Vernacular Literature – Day Sixteen of Medieval Manuscripts

Today's post builds off my of most recent one. I want to talk about manuscripts containing vernacular literature, or popular stories written in the commonly-spoken language of a country (perhaps French or German), rather than in scholarly or sacred languages such as Latin. In this category were romances, epics, poems, adventure stories, legends, and other works of literature read for pleasure… Continue reading Vernacular Literature – Day Sixteen of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

The Roman de the Rose – Day Fifteen of Medieval Manuscripts

The Roman de la Rose is a thirteenth-century French poem concerning an allegorical love story between a young man and a rose. Began by French writer Guillaume de Lorris and finished after his death by Jean de Meun, the poem was very popular in medieval France and was the subject of many richly-illustrated manuscripts. The story and its rich symbolism… Continue reading The Roman de the Rose – Day Fifteen of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

Bindings – Day Fourteen of Medieval Manuscripts

Illuminations and illustrations are certainly beautiful and interesting, but we haven't yet talked about the bindings in which medieval manuscripts were housed. You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but considering how expensive and time-consuming as medieval manuscripts were to produce, it stands to reason that they would have elaborate and sturdy… Continue reading Bindings – Day Fourteen of Medieval Manuscripts