Illumination Masterclass

, 10.00 - 17.00
Illumination masterclass
Book now
  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email:
  • From £100 – £110
    Concessions available

Create your own medieval miniature on this one-day course

Illuminated manuscripts are among the most dazzling and intriguing objects ever created, and our collection is one of the finest in the world. Join renowned scribe and illuminator Patricia Lovett MBE on our one-day masterclass, and create your own medieval miniature on vellum, inspired by the illuminated manuscripts on display in our Treasures Gallery.

The most luxurious manuscripts were lit up by decorations and pictures in brightly coloured pigments and burnished gold leaf. Under Patricia’s expert guidance, you’ll choose your own miniature animal from a medieval bestiary, and learn the skills and techniques to bring it to life with colour and gold.

You’ll develop your design on prepared vellum (calfskin), apply gold leaf, and add colour in the medieval painting style. Through the course of the day, you’ll learn how medieval scribes created their illuminations, and go home with your own spectacular example.

Can’t make this date? This course will also take place on 29 July 2023.

Courses are for adults aged 18 years and over. If you are aged between 16-17 years, please contact and your parent/guardian will be asked to sign a permission form.


Patricia Lovett MBE is a world-renowned scribe and illuminator who received a National Honour for calligraphy and heritage crafts. She creates artworks on vellum, using gold, colour and quills. She has written extensively on calligraphy and illumination, including The Art and History of Calligraphy, published by the British Library. Patricia co-curated the Calligraphy Today (2012-13) exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, and teaches at a range of institutions including Harvard University and the University of London.

Previous skills, knowledge or experience

None required. This course is suitable for beginners or those with some artistic experience.

Equipment and materials

All materials and equipment will be provided.

Facilities and refreshments

Please note that the Learning Centre will open to participants 15 minutes before the stated start time. Tea and coffee will be served on arrival. Participants should make their own arrangements for lunch.


Please email to discuss any access needs.


When: , 10.00 - 17.00
Price: From £100 – £110
Concessions available
Where: Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book now