Va: Illuminated Manuscripts Pb**

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9781851773862: Va: Illuminated Manuscripts Pb**
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Illuminated manuscripts are widely recognised as among the most beautiful objects of the western world. This is a book about their making: about the many talents involved in producing the missals, Books of Hours, breviaries and bibles that astonish us still with their richness and beauty. The original illuminated manuscripts were collaborative productions, with different specialists contributing script, initials, borders, illustration, and binding to the work.

Rowan Watson's study is both scholarly and rich in anecdote; he not only brings individual scribes and book dealers vividly to life but throws light on the commercial and religious environments in which they worked, and on the co-operative working practices devised for their production. Having looked at the individual elements of the illuminated page, the author then turns his attention to a sequence of splendid leaves from some of the great illuminated masterpieces in the museum's collection. He also discusses how early books were marketed and sold, and ends with a look at the survival of illumination after the advent of the printing press and its revival in the nineteenth century at the hands of pioneering designers such as Owen Jones and William Morris.

The illustrations are drawn from the exceptional and largely unpublished collections of the V&A, and the text offers us an entirely new look at the subject, treating illumination as a key to the history of the period, as much as an expression of medieval and Renaissance (and neo-Gothic) styles and sensibility.

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