From the early Middle Ages onwards many monasteries produced libelli (small books), each of which contained the life of their patron saint. This illustrated copy includes the Life and Miracles of St Nicholas (d. c. 343), a bishop saint from Myra who was extremely popular in the East. When his relics were transferred from Myra to Bari in southern Italy in 1087, he became a popular saint in the West as well.
The deluxe manuscript was made towards the end of the 11th century, perhaps in the priory of St Arnoul de Crépy, north of Paris, founded between 935 and 943 by the lords of Crépy. Although most of its buildings have been destroyed, the priory is known to have had a chapel dedicated to St Nicholas.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Article by:
- Tuija Ainonen
- Christian religion and belief, Art and illumination
The veneration of saints was an integral part of medieval culture. Tuija Ainonen examines a collection of manuscripts that contain saints’ lives and portraits.
- Article by:
- Charlotte Denoël
- Art and illumination, Christian religion and belief, Making manuscripts
Drawings and painted decoration in manuscripts ornamented the text as well as illustrated or commented on it. Charlotte Denoël outlines the history of manuscript art in early medieval France.