Medieval Manuscripts


These manuscript leaves were selected to illustrate the art of the manuscript during the period of its greatest development and influence. They have been taken from books written in various European scriptoria by Benedictine, Franciscan, Carthusian, Dominican, and other orders of monks. Many are enriched with handsome borders, initial letters, and line-endings rendered in color, and twenty-five are illuminated with burnished gold or silver. The texts include the Bible, various church service books, the writings of the Church fathers, and some of the Classics. Changes in book hands from the revived carolingian to the angular and round gothic, the bâtarde, and humanistic style of writing are illustrated. Tools, materials, and their use and preparation are described, and some methods of dating and allocating the provenance of the book from which the leaf was taken are pointed out on the label attached to each of the leaves. The manuscript leaves are held in the Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Graphic Arts Collection, RIT Library.

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