Medieval Life, Personages, Celtic Art, Calligraphy and Illuminated Manuscripts
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Category — Illuminated Manuscript Galleries

The Joy of Illuminated Writing and Your Favorite Fictional Monks

I came across two news stories this morning about some of my favorite things. The first is, of course, about illuminated writing and an exhibition at the Ghetty in southern California. I’m always feel a little sad that I never made it to the Ghetty while I lived in San Diego but it was a very long and tedious drive. Danna Staff has a wonderful post in her physics blog titled The Caligrapher’s Golden Touch. I think she captures the joy and excitement that we feel as admirers of illuminated writing.

I was not a gum-chewing child–but I was an amateur calligrapher, in addition to being infatuated with illuminated manuscripts. After looking at Ingmire’s series at the Getty, I thought, “Maybe I’ll try this when I get home!”

The second news item is from the Guardian: Force of habit: who are your favourite fictional monks? I vote for Brother Cadfael. I love that series and I have it all on DVD. Who is your favorite fictional monk?

March 21, 2012   2 Comments

CBS News 60 Minutes Visits the Vatican Library

I hope everyone stayed tuned to CBS after the Masters yesterday to watch 60 Minutes. They did a marvelous piece on the Vatican Library with Morely Safer as host.  In case you missed it, video is available at CBS News.

April 11, 2011   Comments Off on CBS News 60 Minutes Visits the Vatican Library

The Vatican Library – The Pope’s Library

Biography of the Popes, scribe was Bartolomeo San VitoSince the Pope is visiting, I thought I’d call attention to the Vatican Library Exhibit on the Library of Congress web site. It’s a very informative short history of Rome and the library with a gallery of book manuscripts including many that are illuminated. The history of the Vatican Library is a fascinating story and what book lover hasn’t imagined roaming those stacks and finding a long lost book? From the Library of Congress page:

The Vatican Library, in fact, became a center of the revival of classical culture known as the Renaissance. Its librarians were often distinguished scholars. Historians and philosophers, clerics and magicians visited the collections and borrowed books from them. By 1581, when the French writer Michel de Montaigne visited Rome, the treasures of the Vatican had become a mandatory stop on any well-informed traveller’s Roman itinerary. To his delight, Montaigne was shown ancient Roman and ancient Chinese manuscripts, the love letters of Henry VIII, and the classics of history and philosophy (many of which can be seen in this exhibition). Then, as now, the Vatican Library was one of the greatest in the Western world.

April 16, 2008   Comments Off on The Vatican Library – The Pope’s Library

The Museum of Biblical Art in New York City Exhibiting 50 Medieval artworks in “Realms of Faith: Medieval Art from the Walters Art Museum”

Window Panel with Saint Vincent on the RackThe Walters Art Museum in Baltimore has one of the premiere collections of Medieval Art in the United States. Fifty works from this splendid collection are on exhibit in the Museum of Biblical Art in New York City (MOBIA) through July 13 of 2008. From the Home News Tribune:

In this exhibition, a selection of both rarely seen and well-known pieces, from geographic origins that stretch from Spain to Turkey and Russia to North Africa, provide the viewer with an introduction to the great diversity of medieval art forms and styles.

Delving into the art, history and religion of the Middle Ages, visitors will discover the ritual function of religious objects and the rich symbolic meanings the artworks had for their medieval users. With an array of public programs that include a family-friendly Medieval Fair, “Realms of Faith” is designed to open a window onto the past.

The MOBIA web site (link above) offers a beautiful on-line slide show of some of the items in this featured exhibit. From MOBIA:

Unlike today’s world, in which we commonly insert a divide between the sacred and secular realms, during the medieval period Christians sought biblical connections to all aspects of their everyday lives. Artists in the western European nations and eastern Byzantine Empire alike expressed their personal faith and satisfied the desires of their patrons by creating objects that served as “crafted confessions” of their beliefs. Supplemented by books and loose leaves from the collection of the American Bible Society, these declarations of devotion demonstrate the inspirational adaptability of Christian ideas, which provided a catalyst for the manufacture of medieval artworks. In a museum setting, it is easy to forget that these objects were not made to be set within glass cages. They were vital components of the living faiths of the people who used them. The impact these artworks exerted is examined in three arenas of medieval life: the Realm of Liturgical Celebration, the Realm of Private Devotion, and the Realm of Domestic Life.

This sounds like a great show but if you can’t get there make sure and visit MOBIA’s site and Walters Museum site to see the art on-line.

March 15, 2008   Comments Off on The Museum of Biblical Art in New York City Exhibiting 50 Medieval artworks in “Realms of Faith: Medieval Art from the Walters Art Museum”

Medieval Treasures from the Cleveland Museum of Art Travel to the Ghetty

Hours of Queen Isabella the CatholicThe Cleveland Museum of Art is the holder of many rare and beautiful medieval treasures including the Hours of Queen Isabella the Catholic, Queen of Spain, shown on the left. If you are in southern California this fall, you will be able to view part of this collection at the J. Paul Ghetty Museum. From the Ghetty press release:

The Cleveland Museum of Art houses one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Early Christian, Byzantine and European Medieval art in the world. This remarkable collection was largely acquired over a period of 90 years and formed by two of America’s most distinguished medievalists, the museum’s second director, William Milliken, and the collection’s former curator, William Wixom. The Cleveland Museum of Art’s $258 million renovation and expansion project created the opportunity for the first traveling exhibition to showcase more than 120 masterpieces in a variety of media from its medieval collection. Some of these objects will travel for the first time since they were acquired by the Cleveland Museum of Art.

“This exhibition offers a unique opportunity to bring some of the world’s finest medieval treasures to Los Angeles,” says Michael Brand, director, the J. Paul Getty Museum. ”It will present highlights from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s collection chronologically according to their place of origin, allowing visitors to appreciate the aesthetics of a particular time and place, as well as understand the general artistic progression during this significant period in European art.”

[tags]cleveland museum of art, j. paul ghetty museum of art, medieval manuscript, medieval art[/tags]

August 22, 2007   Comments Off on Medieval Treasures from the Cleveland Museum of Art Travel to the Ghetty