Illuminated Manuscripts

Manuscript means ‘handwritten’ in Latin.  The term illuminated beans brightened- lit up in Latin. In the times when printing was not invented, books were written by hand and some decorations or illustrations were added. Since they were very expensive and time consuming to make, since printing was invented illuminated manuscripts disappeared. A famous example for an illuminated manuscript is ‘The Book of Kells’. The Book of Kells is famous for its intricate and rich decorations.

The Book of Kells contains Christian Gospels written in various colors of ink. It is an Irish manuscript. It is said to be unfinished. The way the text is written is that it is one long line across the page. Miniatures accompany these texts. The decorations are very complex and high quality.  The thing with this book is that practicality is not important but rather the appearence is important.


Above, an image of Virigin and Child. This is the oldest image of Virgin Mary in a Western manuscript known.




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