Miniature manuscript;10 Facts You Must Know

Miniated Manuscripts.It is the art of working in miniatures, creating objects of small dimensions and delicately worked.The manuscripts illuminated texts are supplemented with capitularies, borders and letters thumbnails

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  • 1 Description
  • 2 Origin
  • 3 Great illustrators
  • 4 Art of miniature portraits
  • 5 Sources

Description of Miniature manuscript

The miniature manuscripts are calligraphic codices , or scrolls and books drawn by hand, enriched by the artists with decorations and paintings. They are decorated and illustrated in different ways. By means of the miniature manuscript the historical reality of the times is reflected, in the same way its contents address issues of daily life, the climate , society , worked in detail.

Handwritten book containing graphics , drawings or images that are smaller than the original. In many cases these drawings are an accompaniment to the first letter with which the page or chapter of said book begins. The miniatures drawn in the books acquire outstanding aesthetic beauty in many of the books.

Sources of Miniature manuscript

The art of miniaturized manuscripts was created in monasteries in the 5th-20th centuries or so. Among the most famous manuscripts for different reasons are: Manuscript where the Glosas Silenses and Emilianenses appear (the first known documented remains of the Castilian language) and Comments on the apocalypse of Blessed Santo Toribio de Liébana.

These books are indispensable in these times since there were no printers and it was the only way to obtain a copy of a book with also highly valued illustrations because they are made by hand.

Great illustrators

The great names in the art of miniatures and illustrated books are linked to the workshops of French or Flemish illustrators such as Jean de Poucelle, Jaquemart de Hesdin or the Limbourg brothers; and Tuscan painters like Simone Martini and others.During the period of Gothic painting , books are works that facilitate cultural exchange and consequently the dissemination of artistic trends by the Cortes and other artistic centers throughout Europe.

Books such as the “Breviary of Philip the Fair”, the “Psalter of Saint Louis”, the “Psalter of Queen Mary” and very especially the book of “The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry” by the Limbourg brothers are justly outstanding. , preserved in the Condé de Chantilly Museum (France).

In Spain , the oldest illustrated manuscripts date from the 11th century in the first Romanesque; They are the “Ripoll Bible”, from the Ripoll Monastery and the “San Pedro de Roda Bible”, from the old San Pedro de Roda Monastery. Both monasteries are in Catalonia , but the books are currently: the first in the Vatican Library and the second in the National Library in Paris.

Other illustrated books from the ancient kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula are: Liber Testamentorum of the cathedral of Oviedo, made in the 12th century by order of Bishop Pelayo, with extraordinary miniatures executed in full page, with a complete range of colors and abundant additions of gold and silver.

The collection of “Codices” of the works of Alfonso X , the Wise, full of narrative scenes on various themes, constitute a valuable testimony of his time.

Miniature manuscript Art

Miniature portraits, as well as other miniature genres (court scenes, landscapes), developed from the 16th century on . They consisted of portraits or small pictures embedded in various objects such as medallions, table clocks, jewelers or other similar objects. The frame for portraits is often an oval medallion.

This new type of miniature painting was done in a great variety of pictorial techniques such as oil on copper, tin, enamel or ivory, gouache on parchment or cardboard, or since the 18th century watercolors or gouache on ivory.

Great painters such as Goya and Fragonard made miniature portraits one more facet of their activity. There were painters who dedicated themselves to this art almost exclusively. In the 19th century, with the development of photography, the decline of this art began.

In England it developed as a form or technique independent of the rest of painting, starting from the work of painters such as Holbein the Younger, Isaac Oliver and S. Cooper, who achieved perfection in this art.

In France painters such as J. Petitot were relevant, who exquisitely portrayed King Louis XIV and the characters of the Court, as well as Jacques Augustin or JB Isabey in the Napoleon era .

The oval portrait of the Archduke of Carlos of Austria, (pretender to the throne of Spain during the War of Succession), by Pere Crosells, stands out in the production of the Kingdom of Valencia, which was one of those who took his side.

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