Facts and interesting information about Medieval Art, specifically
Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts,
during the Middle Ages
The illumination or
decoration of manuscripts was one of the most common forms of Medieval Art.
The word illuminated comes the Latin word 'illuminare'
meaning adorn, enlighten or illuminate and is defined as the embellishment
of a manuscript with luminous colors (especially gold). The artist who
produced the sumptuous artwork on illuminated manuscripts were called
Illuminators. Illuminators could be male or female (see
Hildegard of Bingen) and were members
of monasteries or convents.
- Medieval Monks
Medieval Monks were dedicated to a pious
and religious life in monasteries and painstakingly copied religious texts
and embellished these manuscripts with rich colors which often featured the
use of gold and silver. The monks worked in the Scriptorium which was the
room in a monastery used by clerics or scribes to copy manuscripts of
religious text. The production of these beautiful illuminated manuscripts
brought both wealth and prestige to the monasteries. The different types of
Illuminated manuscripts ranged from using miniature illuminations or full
page illuminations to decorate the religious text.
Creating Illuminated Manuscripts
Illuminated Manuscripts were generally
written in ink on parchment or vellum. Parchment was made by brushing,
stretching and drying calf, sheep, or goat skin. The best quality of
parchment was called vellum and traditionally made of unsplit calf skin. The
text was first written by a scribe and then the gilding, or the application
of gold leaf, formed the first stage in the painting process of illumination
by the illuminator. The application of color was then added following a
- The Decorations
The decorations found in
illuminated manuscripts included the following art work:
Illuminated Manuscripts History Overview
The Illuminated Manuscripts
containing Medieval Religious Art was created largely for the Christian Catholic Church.
Christian art and religious iconography began, about two hundred years after
the death of Christ and the earliest surviving illuminated manuscripts are
from the period 400AD. Illuminated manuscripts are classified into their
historic periods and types including Byzantine
manuscripts, Romanesque manuscripts,
Gothic manuscripts and Renaissance manuscripts.
During the the late Middle Ages
manuscripts began to be produced on paper and were printed which rapidly led
to the decline of illumination.
Medieval Art - Illuminated Manuscripts
The Medieval Times website provides interesting facts, history and information about the great artists and important historical events which scatter the Medieval History books on the subject of Illuminated Manuscripts. The Medieval Times Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts about the fascinating subject of Illuminated Manuscripts during the historical period of the Middle Ages. The content of this article on Medieval art provides free educational details, facts and information for reference and research for schools, colleges and homework for history courses and history coursework.