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January, Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year

Illuminated Manuscripts

Illuminated manuscripts are the ancestors of our illustrated books. Famous examples are the Book of Kells, Les Très Riches Heures de Jean de France, Duc de Berry, and Medieval Bestiaries.

During the Middle Ages, le livre d’images (the picture book) was very popular. If one couldn’t read, the image must have been a delight. The most popular book of the Middle Ages was the Légende dorée (The Golden Legend), by Jacobus de Voragine. It was a hagiography, lives of saints and martyrs, but it outsold the Bible. The first printed Bible is the Gutenberg Bible, which I have not discussed yet.



Sources and Resources

  1. Bestiary.ca
  2. Labours of the Month
  3. The Walters Art Museum


Muhammad ibn Mustafa Izmiri, Illuminated Double-Page Incipit [first words] (Courtesy Walters Art Museum)


Historiated Letter, Book of Kells  Photo credit: Wikipedia)

© Micheline Walker
1 January 2016