Wonder at these amazing hand-painted books of past ages and marvel at the vibrant colours used – these are works of art that were made for bishops, kings and queens.
Before the introduction of printing to Western Europe during the mid-15th century, all books were written by hand, a process that was slow and demanding, sometimes routinely laborious, yet often creatively glorious. The most luxurious manuscripts were ‘illuminated’ with the addition of brightly-coloured decoration and burnished gold leaf. They are among the most dazzling and intriguing objects ever created, and the British Library’s collection is one of the finest in the world. The selection here can only hint at the breadth and depth of this collection which spans almost 1,000 years of history, and reflects a range of countries, cultures, languages and faiths.
Roman de la RoseView images from this item (1)
Melisende PsalterView images from this item (1)
Carmina RegiaView images from this item (2)
Coronation book of Charles V of FranceView images from this item (4)
Sherborne MissalView images from this item (1)
Bedford HoursView images from this item (4)
The Golf bookView images from this item (4)
Copyright: © British Library
Phulban - a Persian romanceView images from this item (1)
Indian miniature paintingView images from this item (1)
Sforza HoursView images from this item (1)
Miscellany of Iskandar SultanView images from this item (1)
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