Drawings Of Gemstones, In Matthew Paris's 'Book Of Additions'
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Matthew Paris (c. 1200-1259) became a monk of St. Albans in 1217, and in 1236 became the abbey chronicler, a task which allowed him to exercise and explore his talents as a scribe, and as an accomplished and inventive artist. Most of this manuscript is written in Matthew's own distinctive handwriting, as are the miniatures, except for some added in the 14th century. Known by Matthew as his 'Book of Additions', it contains a variety of miscellaneous texts and images.
Matthew records in words and coloured drawings the rings and gems which were in the treasury of the abbey. The large uncoloured drawing shows a roman engraved cameo depicting Mars.