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Full text of "Illuminated manuscripts"

^LUMINATED 

- 



J.A.HERBERT 




THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 



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GIFT OF 

Estate of 
Jean Howard McDuffie 




University of California Berkeley 



THE CONNOISSEUR'S LIBRARY 

GENERAL EDITOR: CYRIL DAVENPORT 



ILLUMINATED 
MANUSCRIPTS 



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HRKVIARY OK JOHN THE FEARLESS, DUKK. OF BURGUNDY 

KKHNCH; 1404-19 
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ILLUMINATED 
MANUSCRIPTS 



BY 



J. A. HERBERT 



Connoisseurs 




NEW YORK: G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS 

LONDON: METHUEN & CO. LTD. 
1911 



TO 

SIR GEORGE WARNER 

MAGISTRO DISCIPULUS 



PREFACE 



IN the following pages an attempt is made to sketch 
the history of the illumination of vellum manu- 
scripts, from classical times down to the decay and 
virtual disuse of the art which resulted inevitably, though 
not immediately, from the introduction of printing ; de- 
scribing the main characteristics of each of the most 
important periods and schools, and following the develop- 
ment of the successive styles so far as existing materials 
allow. These materials, for some sections abundant 
almost to excess, are for others scanty, and sometimes 
fail altogether ; so that it is no easy task to make them 
tell an orderly, consecutive, and well-proportioned story. 
The question of proportion is always a difficult one for 
the author of a compendium ; and I must admit that 
exception might be taken to my allotting so much more 
space to a few Classical and Early Christian manuscripts 
than to the vast bulk of French fifteenth century work. 
My defence is that the student of illumination, for whose 
guidance this book is intended, is sure to be already 
familiar with examples of the later work, and to need 
little more than a few hints as to what is best in it ; so 
that a much greater degree of compression is permissible 
and desirable here than in discussing the earlier manu- 
scripts, which are rare, little known, and difficult of 
access, yet have vital significance as marking stages in 
the development of the art. The references in the foot- 
notes, and the classified bibliography and index of manu- 



Vll 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

scripts at the end, will, it is hoped, be of service to the 
reader who wishes to carry his studies further. 

My thanks are due to the late Sir T. Brooke, Mr. 
H. Yates Thompson, and the Rev. E. S. Dewick, for the 
plate from Mr. Bewick's edition of the Metz Pontifical. 
I have also to thank Mr. Thompson for giving me 
repeated access to his splendid collection, and for leave 
to reproduce a page from his Hours of Jeanne de 
Navarre. The plate from Kraus's edition of the Codex 
Egberti is given by kind permission of Messrs. Herder, 
the publishers ; those from the Codex Rossanensis and 
Codex Gertrudianus, by kind permission of my friend 
Dr. A. Haseloff. For the plate from the Peterborough 
Psalter I have to thank the President and Fellows of the 
Society of Antiquaries ; for those from the "Tres Riches 
Heures" and the "Quarante Fouquet," M. Gustave 
Macon, Conservateur-adjoint of the Muse"e Conde". I 
am further indebted to many other possessors or custo- 
dians of manuscripts, notably to M. Omont at Paris, Mr. 
Madan at Oxford, Mr. Palmer at S. Kensington, and 
Pere van den Gheyn at Brussels. Finally, I wish to 
record my gratitude to three friends who have laid me 
under specially great obligations: Miss Evelyn Underhill, 
my colleague Mr. G. F. Hill, and, above all, my depart- 
mental chief, Sir George Warner, Keeper of MSS. in 
the British Museum. The extent of my debt to the 
last-named, indeed, is but faintly suggested on the 
dedication-page and in the footnotes. 

J. A. HERBERT 

i June, 1911 



V1I1 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 



PREFACE, ... ... vii 

LIST OF PLATES, xi 

CHAPTER I. THE ILLUMINATION OF CLASSICAL 

MANUSCRIPTS, i 

II. EARLY CHRISTIAN ILLUMINATION TO 

THE END OF THE SlXTH CENTURY, 14 

III. BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION, . . 36 
IV. CELTIC ILLUMINATION, ... 66 
V. THE CAROLINGIAN RENAISSANCE, . 88 

VI. OUTLINE-DRAWINGS OF THE NINTH, 
TENTH, AND ELEVENTH CEN- 
TURIES, ESPECIALLY IN ENGLAND, IO6 

VII. ENGLISH ILLUMINATION TO A.D. 1200, 122 

,, VIII. GERMAN, FRENCH, AND FLEMISH 

ILLUMINATION, A.D. 900-1200, . 143 

IX. ITALIAN ILLUMINATION BEFORE 1300, 160 
X. ENGLISH ILLUMINATION IN THE 

THIRTEENTH CENTURY, . .174 
XI. FRENCH, FLEMISH, AND GERMAN 
ILLUMINATION IN THE THIRTEENTH 
CENTURY, 192 

XII. ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE APOCALYPSE, 209 



IX 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

PAGE 

CHAPTER XIII. ENGLISH ILLUMINATION IN THE 

FOURTEENTH AND FIFTEENTH 
CENTURIES, .... 220 

,, XIV. FRENCH ILLUMINATION IN THE 

FOURTEENTH CENTURY, . 236 

XV. ITALIAN ILLUMINATION IN THE 

FOURTEENTH CENTURY, . 255 

XVI. FRENCH ILLUMINATION AFTER 

1400, . . 265 

,, XVII. THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE, . 286 

XVIII. FLEMISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 

1300, 306 

NOTE ON THE VARIOUS KINDS OF LlTURGICAL 

ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS, .... 324 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY, 331 

INDEX I MANUSCRIPTS, 341 

II SCRIBES AND ILLUMINATORS, . . 346 

III GENERAL, 347 



LIST OF PLATES 

I. Breviary of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. 

French, 1404-19. Brit. Mus., Harl. 2897 . Frontispiece 

TO FACE PAGE 

II. Virgil. IVth cent. (?). Rome, Vatican, Cod. 3225. [From 

Codices e Vaticanis selecti, vol. i, 1899] .... 6 

III. Gospels (Codex Rossanensis). Vlth cent Rossano 

Cathedral. [From Haseloff, Codex purpureus Rossa- 
nensis, 1898] 25 

IV. Gospels. Byzantine, Xlth cent. Brit. Mus., Burney 19 37 

V. Simeon Metaphrastes. Xl-XIIth cent. Brit. Mus., Add. 

11870 52 

VI. Psalter of Melissenda, Queen of Jerusalem. Byzantine, 

1131-44. Brit. Mus., Egerton 1139 60 

VII. Gospels (Book of Kells). Irish, VII I-IXth cent. Dublin, 
Trin. Coll. [From Abbott, Celtic Ornaments from the 
Book of Kells, 1895] 66 

VIII. Lindisfarne Gospels (Durham Book). Circa 700. Brit. 

Mus., Nero D.'w 74 

IX. Gospels (" Codex Aureus "). Carolingian, circa 800. 

Brit. Mus., Harl. 2788 90 

X. Gospel-book of S. Medard's Abbey, Soissons. Early 

IXth cent. Paris, Bibl. Nat., lat. 8850 ... 94 

XI. Alcuin Bible. Carolingian, IXth cent. Brit. Mus., Add. 

10546 96 

XII. Utrecht Psalter. IXth cent. Utrecht University. [From 

Pal. Soc. Autotype Facsimile, 1874] IJ O 

XIII. Liber Vitae of Newminster, Winchester. Early Xlth 

cent. Brit. Mus., Stowe 944 1 1 8 

XIV. Psalter. English, Xlth cent. Brit. Mus., Tib. C. vi .120 

XV. Grimbald Gospels. Winchester, Xlth cent. Brit. Mus., 

Add. 34890 132 

XVI. Bible. English, XI Ith cent. Winchester Chapter Library 138 

XVII. Life of St. Guthlac. English, late XI Ith cent. Brit. 

Mus., Harley Roll Y. 6 140 

xi 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

XVIII. 



XIX. 

XX. 

XXI. 
XXII. 

XXIII. 
XXIV. 

XXV. 
XXVI. 

XXVIL 
XXVIII. 

XXIX. 
XXX. 

XXXI. 

XXXII. 
XXXIII. 

XXXIV. 
XXXV. 

XXXVI. 

XXXVII. 

XXXVIII. 

xii 



TO FACE PACK 

Codex Egberti. 977-93. Trier, Stadtbibliothek. 

[From Kraus, Die Miniaturen des Cod. Egberti, 1884] 148 

Psalter of Egbert, Archbishop of Trier, 977-93. 
Cividale, Codex Gertrudianus. [From Haseloff, Der 
Psalter Erzbischof Egberts, 1901] . . . . 152 

Exultet Roll. Italian, XI Ith cent. Brit. Mus., Add. 

30337 166 

Psalter. English, early XI I Ith cent. Brit. Mus., 

Roy. i D. x 176 

Psalter of Robert de Lindesey, Abbot of Peter- 
borough, 1220-2. Society of Antiquaries, MS. 59 

Bible. English, XI I Ith cent. Brit. Mus., Roy. I D. i 

Psalter of Prince Alphonso (Tenison Psalter). English, 
1284. Brit. Mus., Add. 24686 .... 

Psalter. French, XI I Ith cent. Brit. Mus., Add. 17868 

Gospel-Lectionary. Paris, late XI I Ith cent. Brit. 
Mus., Add. 17341 

Surgical treatise by Roger of Parma. French, XI I Ith 
cent. Brit. Mus., Sloane 1977 .... 



Somme le Roi. French, circa 1300. Brit. Mus., 
Add. 28162 

Psalter. Flemish, XI I Ith cent. Brit. Mus. Roy., 28. iii 

Apocalypse. English, late XI I Ith cent. Oxford, 
Bodl. Douce 180 

Psalter. English, early XlVth cent. Brit. Mus., 
Roy. 2 B. vii . 

(Same) 

Psalter. East Anglian, early XlVth cent. Brit. 
Mus., Arundel %$ 

Cuttings from a Missal. English, late XlVth cent. 
Brit. Mus., Add. 29704 

Metz Pontifical. 1302-16. Library of H.Y.Thompson, 
Esq. (formerly of Sir T. Brooke, Bart.). [From 
Dewick, Metz Pontifical, 1902] .... 

Horae of Jeanne de Navarre. French, circa 1336-48. 

Library of H. Y. Thompson, Esq. [From H. Y. 

Thompson, Hours of Joan II, Queen of Navarre, 

1899] - - 

S. Augustine, De Civitate Dei. French, late XlVth 

cent. Brit. Mus., Add. 15245 .... 

Horae. Flemish, circa 1300. Brit. Mus., Stowe 17 . 



1 80 
184 

190 
196 

198 
200 

202 
204 

216 

220 

222 
226 
232 

238 



244 

246 
254 



LIST OF PLATES 

TO FACE PAGS 

XXXIX. Niccolo di Ser Sozzo, 1334-6. Siena, Archivio di 

Stato, Caleffo dell' Assunta 258 

XL. " Tres Riches Heures" of Jean, Due de Berry, d. 1416. 
By Paul de Limbourg and his brothers. Chantilly, 
Musee Conde ........ 272 

XLI. Bedford Hours. French, circa 1423. Brit. Mus., Add. 

18850 .... 274 

XLI I. Horae of E. Chevalier, by Jean Fouquet, mid. XVth 
cent. Chantilly, Musee Conde. [From Gruyer, Les 
Quar ante Fouquet, 1897] 280 

XLIII. Horae, School of J. Fouquet. French, arm 1470. Brit. 

Mus., Egerton 2045 282 

XLIV. Leaf from Choir-book. Sienese, early XVth cent. Brit. 

Mus., Add. 35254 C 288 

XLV. Scotus, Quaestiones in Sententias. Italian, 1458-94. 

Brit. Mus., Add. 15273 290 

XLVI. Liberale da Verona. Circa 1475. Siena, Libreria Piccolo- 
mini. Gradual 298 

XLVII. Sforza Book of Hours. Milanese, circa 1490. Brit. 

Mus., Add. 34294. [From Warner, Sforza Book, 1894] 300 

XLVIII. (Same) 302 

XLIX. Mandeville's Travels. Flemish, early XVth cent. Brit. 

Mus., Add. 24189 308 

L. Prayer-book. Flemish, circa 1492. Brit. Mus., Add. 

25698 ... .316 

LI. Horae ("Golf Book"). Flemish, early XVIth cent. Brit. 

Mus., Add. 24098 322 



Xlll 



CORRIGENDA 

Plate VII. For Vllth cent, read VHI-IXth cent. 
Plate XXXV. For Sir T. Brooke, Bart., read H. Y. Thompson, Esq. 
Plate L. For Book of Hours read Prayer-book. 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

CHAPTER I 
THE ILLUMINATION OF CLASSICAL MANUSCRIPTS 

THE opening chapter of a complete history of 
illuminated manuscripts, in the widest sense of 
the term, ought no doubt to be devoted to 
Egyptian papyri. Many of these were richly adorned 
with coloured illustrations ; and specimens of this art A 
survive dating back to the fifteenth century B.C., such as X 
the famous Book of the Dead made for Ani, now in the 
British Museum. But the present work is less ambitious : 
only illuminations on vellum come within its scope, and 
only such of these, for the most part, as are of European 
origin. In one respect, however, we must extend the 
definition of illuminated manuscripts. Strictly speak- 
ing, the term is only applicable to manuscripts which 
are illustrated or ornamented in colours ; some writers 
would even restrict it to those in which the precious 
metals too are used which are "lit up" by gold or silver 
foil. But paintings and outline-drawings are so inti- 
mately connected (at all events, as applied to the 
embellishment of vellum manuscripts) that the latter 
can hardly be excluded from an attempt to describe the 
development of the illuminator's art. 

Tradition assigns the invention of vellum to Eu- 
menes II, king of Pergamum, B.C. 197-158, though the 
skins of animals, more or less specially prepared as 
writing material, had undoubtedly been used in Egypt 
long before his time. But the earliest definite reference 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

to an illuminated manuscript on vellum occurs in 
Martial's Epigrams, written towards the end of the first 
century of the Christian era. Among other inscriptions 
for gifts of various kinds is one for a Virgil on vellum, 
having a portrait of the poet for a frontispiece (xiv. 186) : 

Vergilius in membranis 

Quam brevis inmensum cepit membrana Maronem ! 
Ipsius et vultus prima tabella gerit. 

This gift-book has not survived to our days. It is 
interesting, however, to find that one of the few extant 
remains of classical book-illustration is a Virgil 1 con- 
taining the poet's portrait ; not indeed on the first page, 
but on more than one of those which follow. 

The distich just quoted proves that the art of 
miniature was practised in Martial's time. No speci- 
mens survive, however, which can be assigned to an 
earlier date than the fourth century ; in fact, only three 
illuminated manuscripts of the classical period are now 
known to exist the two Virgils in the Vatican and the 
Iliad at Milan. These are precious both for their rarity, 
and also as an indication of the style of much work 
which has now vanished ; for the Iliad and the smaller 
Virgil show by the fully developed manner of their paint- 
ings that they are less the casual beginnings, than the 
last products, of an art. It seems unlikely, however, 
that this art had ever attained great proportions or 
enjoyed general popularity. No doubt there were many 
classical illuminated manuscripts (as there were many 
manuscripts of all kinds) which have perished, both 
separately and in the wholesale destruction of great 
libraries such as those of Alexandria, Constantinople, 
and Rome. But we may fairly assume that no greater 
proportion of these were destroyed than of other kinds 
Indeed, books with paintings, being always more costl 
than plainly written copies, would be guarded more 

1 Cod. Vat. lat. 3867. 



CLASSICAL MANUSCRIPTS 

carefully, and we might therefore expect more of them 
to survive, relatively to the total number executed. The 
Ambrosian Iliad, for instance, was preserved purely for 
the sake of its pictures, all the plain leaves having long 
ago disappeared. But we find that whilst numerous 
codices of classical texts exist, in a more or less complete 
state, written in the fourth and fifth centuries, if not 
earlier, only the three above mentioned show any trace 
of illumination. 

It may seem strange that the masterpieces of Greek 
and Roman literature, with their wealth of material, 
and with the numerous models afforded by paintings and 
sculptures of the best periods of Greek art, should not 
have produced a large and influential school of book- 
illustration. But illumination is an art which appeals 
chiefly to the class of mind that enjoys detailed beauty, 
small refinements, exquisite finish. The genius of Roman 
art was quite other than this. It was an art of display, 
which expressed itself chiefly in statuary, architecture, 
mural paintings ; the ornamentation of great surfaces of 
the house and street. It raised triumphal arches and 
splendid tombs, but did not trouble itself much about 
the enrichment of books for private pleasure. The 
illuminated Homer or Virgil was always the fancy of 
an individual, never the necessity of the library. 

One sort of book, however the Calendar seems to 
have been illustrated with paintings from a very early 
period, if we may accept the available evidence, which 
is rather of a second-hand kind, coming mainly, in fact, 
from a seventeenth century copy of a ninth century 
manuscript, which is supposed in its turn to have been 
copied from a fourth century original, now lost. This 
copy, now in the Barberini Library at Rome, 1 was made 
for that accurate and unprejudiced antiquary Peiresc, 
who showed a patience and common sense, in his deal- 

1 Published by J. Strzygowski, Die Calenderbilder des Chronograph* n vom 
Jahre 354, Berlin, 1888 (Jahrbuch des k. deutschen archaol. Instituts, Erganz- 
ungsheft i.). 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

ings with antiquity, far beyond the average of his own, 
or even of a later, day. It bears many evidences of 
authenticity, as well as some indication of the copyist's 
desire to " improve upon " his original. In a word, we 
have fairly good reason for believing the fourth century 
original to have been illustrated, and that in much the 
same way as the later copies, so far as the subjects are 
concerned ; but it would be rash to draw any inference 
from the existing pictures as to the style of execution, or 
even the details of composition, of the lost archetype. 1 

The work in question is generally known as the 
Calendar of the Sons of Constantine, and its date is 
fixed, by the " Natales Caesarum " and other chrono- 
logical notes, at the year 354 A.D. It purports to have 
been executed, probably at Rome, by Furius Dionysius 
Filocalus for a patron named Valentine. The drawings 
with which it is illustrated represent the cities of Rome, 
Alexandria, Constantinople, and Trier, personified in true 
classic fashion as female figures Trier as an Amazon 
leading a captive barbarian ; the planets, the sun and 
moon, the months, the signs of the zodiac. There are 
also portraits of Constantius II and Constantius Gallus 
Caesar. The figures of the months are specially interest- 
ing as the forerunners of the delightful Calendar-pictures 
prefixed to the Psalters and Books of Hours of the 
Middle Ages. They are generally nude or half-draped 
youths, and symbolize, more or less directly, the occupa- 
tions proper to the various seasons. Thus March is a 
shepherd-boy, pointing upwards to a swallow ; October, 
with a basket of fruit, is taking a hare from a trap. These 

1 The danger is well exemplified by a thirteenth century copy (Paris, Bibl. 
Nat., nouv. acq. lat. 1359) of an eleventh century chronicle of the abbey of 
S. Martin des Champs (Brit. Mus., Add. 11662). The miniatures in the copy 
correspond exactly with the drawings in the original as to subject and position in 
the text ; but there the resemblance ceases. The later illustrator, with the sound 
artistic instinct which characterized his time, made no pretence of imitating the 
crude designs of his predecessor. See M. Prou in the Revue de I'arf chrttien, 
1890, pp. 122-8. On the other hand, some of the drawings in Harl. 603 
(eleventh century), are almost exact reproductions of those in the ninth century 
Utrecht Psalter. 



CLASSICAL MANUSCRIPTS 

month-pictures exist, not only in the copies made for 
Peiresc, but also in a fifteenth century MS. at Vienna, 
from which Strzygowski has published five (Jan- 
uary, April to July) to make good the deficiencies of 
the Barberini MS. The Vienna pictures are rectangular, 
without any ornamental framing ; but those in Peiresc's 
copy are placed in decorated frames, with a pediment sur- 
mounted by a lunette addition, decorated with debased 
classical patterns, such as the Greek scroll, cable, egg-and- 
dog-tooth, very carelessly executed. Unless these are 
the tasteful addition of the ninth century copyist a not 
improbable hypothesis we have here the only evidence 
that classical illuminators ornamented, as well as illus- 
trated, their books. The miniatures in the classical texts 
which we shall next consider are pictorial only ; it is 
not until the sixth century that we meet with other in- 
stances of the use of decorative borders and conventional 
ornament. 

Of the three classical manuscripts to which we have 
already referred, by far the best is the smaller of the two 
Virgils in the Vatican. 1 Its pictures are not all of equal 
merit, but the best are painted in so mature a manner, 
with so dexterous a technique, as to make one feel very 
sure that we have in them the only surviving work of 
a large and developed school of illumination. It has 
been very carefully studied by M. Pierre de Nolhac, 2 and 
published in photographic facsimile by the authorities of 
the Vatican Library. 3 In its present fragmentary state 
it consists of seventy-five leaves, containing parts of the 
Georgics and of the Aeneid ; about one-fifth or one-sixth, 
perhaps, of the original manuscript. Nothing is known 
of its history until the fifteenth century, when it was at 
Naples, in the possession of Gioviano Pontano. In trac- 

1 Cod. Vat. lat. 3225, sometimes called "Schedae Vaticanae," but more 
generally known as "the Vatican Virgil"; the larger and artistically inferior 
Virgil, Cod. Vat. lat. 3867, being styled " Codex Romanus." 

2 In Notices et Extraits, xxxv., pt. ii., 1897, pp. 683-791. 

3 frogmen fa et Picturae Vergiiiana Codicis Vaticani 3225, Rome, 1899 (vol. i. 
of Codices e Vaticanis sekcti phototypice expressi}. 




ing its subsequent adventures, M. de Nolhac has shown 
that it must have been seen by Raphael, who was in- 
spired by more than one of its designs. The text is 
written throughout by one hand, in rustic capitals, a kind 
of script notoriously difficult to date with any confidence. 
The best judges concur, however, in assigning it on 
palaeographical grounds to the fourth century ; and the 
fine execution of the earlier miniatures, the really classical 
pose and style of the figures, point to this rather than to 
a later date, when the artistic decadence consequent on 
the barbarian invasions was far advanced. 

The book has now fifty miniatures, six occupying the 
full page, the remainder from half to two-thirds of a page. 
Each is enclosed in a rectangular frame of red, black, and 
white bands, the red decorated with gilt lozenges. There 
are nine illustrations of the Georgics, and forty-one of the 
Aeneid. In these paintings M. de Nolhac finds the work 
of three separate artists, of the same school and period, 
but of very different degrees of merit. To the best of the 
three (A) he assigns the Georgics series, pictures 1-9 ; to 
the worst (B), pictures 10-25 ; the remainder he gives to a 
third artist (C), inferior to A, but better than B. Sig. 
Venturi 1 agrees in attributing the first nine pictures to A, 
but would also credit him with thirteen of the C series 
(26-32, 40-4, 46) ; and he is disposed to assign seven of 
the B series (11, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24) and three of the 
C series (35, 38, 45) to a fourth artist. It would be 
presumptuous to attempt to judge between these two 
distinguished critics. Provisionally, however, M. de 
Nolhac's hypothesis may be accepted as at least highly 
probable. 

The illustrator of the Georgics 2 was evidently a painter 
of great skill and taste. His pastoral pictures show 
something of that sense of the idyllic in country life 
which is peculiar to the cultured dweller in cities. His 
figures, too, are well posed, graceful, in good proportion ; 
the animals natural and full of movement. The freedom 

1 Storia del? Arte Italiana, i., 1901, pp. 312-26. 2 See plate ii. 

6 



PLATE II 




VIRGIL. IViH CENT O) 

ROMK, VATICAN, COP. 3225 



CLASSICAL MANUSCRIPTS 

and sense of space in these little pictures are truly artistic. 
They are painted with the direct touch of a person accus- 
tomed to work in a ductile medium. The colours are 
thick ; many of the miniatures have suffered through 
this, the thickest layers having flaked off. There is no 
trace of preliminary outline-drawing. The soft handling 
of the draperies is very different from the crisp, hard 
manner of the Byzantine painters. The artist, too, is 
something of a naturalist. Not content with telling a 
story, he also composes a credible scene. His back- 
grounds have recess, his trees are not mere symbols ; he 
even has some idea of perspective, both aerial and linear. 
As for his personages, slight and graceful in type, they 
seem to stand midway between the wall-paintings of 
Pompeii and those late-classical mosaics of Ravenna 
(Tomb of Galla Placidia and Baptistery of the Orthodox), 
which show a suppleness and sense of movement not 
yet crushed by the formalism and part-spiritual, part- 
decorative aims of Byzantine art. 

Many of these excellences, however, belong to the 
individual artist, not to his school. The first sixteen of 
the Aeneid illustrations, be they by one hand or two, 
show a sad falling-off. Good modelling and composition 
vanish, so does delicacy in sense of colour. The artist 
(assuming him to be but one in any case, the main 
characteristics are the same throughout) illustrates his 
subject, often with a certain vigour, but does not make a 
picture out of it. Often he loses all sense of proportion, 
tiny buildings being combined with figures twice their 
height. There is no hint of perspective ; the painting in 
general is coarse and careless, and the attempts at facial 
expression merely grotesque. Perhaps the seven minia- 
tures assigned by Sig. Venturi to a different hand are a 
trifle worse than some of the others ; but all are bad, 
especially when compared with the charming pictures 
which precede them. 

A marked improvement begins with Picture 26, and 
is sustained, more or less completely, to the end of the 

7 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

volume. The modelling and colouring become decidedly 
better ; and in some of the pictures, such as the Death 
of Dido (27), there is a distinct effort to represent emotion. 
Individual figures and buildings are well done, but the 
artist lacks the power of successful combination. The 
miniature of Latinus receiving the Trojan envoys (41), 
however, is a really charming picture. The late-classical 
temple in the forest is painted with great delicacy, while 
the contrast between the cold, severe architecture and the 
deeps of the woods has not only been felt, but is communi- 
cated to the spectator. 

The colour throughout the manuscript is deep, rich, 
and harmonious ; and the first and third hands show 
considerable understanding of gradation, e.g. in the 
Boat-race scene (28), where the sea gradually changes 
from a dark tint in the foreground to pale green in the 
distance. The high lights of draperies and accessories 
are touched with gold. The flesh-tints are always brick- 
red, and recall (says M. de Nolhac) those of the Pompeian 
wall-paintings. Foliage is a dark green, in parts nearly 
black ; but the second artist, in his careless hurry, some- 
times uses blue. Otherwise, all three painters seem to 
have practically used the same paint-box, only distributing 
their tints with varying degrees of skill. 

After the Vatican Virgil it seems natural to mention 
the fragments of the Iliad, now in the Ambrosian Library 
at Milan; 1 for the two manuscripts have much in common. 
The Iliad fragments consist of fifty-two separate leaves 
of vellum, containing fifty-eight miniatures, all the full 
width of the page, but of various heights. These are 
mostly on only one side of the leaf, the other side having 
portions of the text, in uncial writing of the fifth 
century ; and it is evident that the book in its original 
state was a complete Iliad, profusely illustrated, com- 

1 Homeri Iliadis pictae fragmenta Ambrosiana phototypice edita, with preface 
by A. M. Ceriani, Milan, 1905. See too Pal. Soc., i. 39, 40, 50, 51. The 
engravings published by Mai in 1819 and 1835 are not exact enough to be satis- 
factory for study, but his descriptions (which Ceriani reprints) are invaluable. 

8 



CLASSICAL MANUSCRIPTS 

prising (according to Ceriani's estimate) 386 leaves with 
about 240 miniatures. What survives has evidently 
been preserved solely for its artistic interest : not only 
have the leaves been cut down as far as possible with- 
out encroaching on the pictures, but the text on the 
verso pages was covered, until Mai's time, with a paper 
backing, which was apparently put there as early as the 
thirteenth century. 

Most of the miniatures are so stained and worn that 
it is difficult to judge of their original appearance. A 
largeness and freedom of manner, however, are evident, 
suggestive rather of mural painting than of illumination. 
Fine juxtaposition of mass is aimed at, rather than 
subtlety of line. It seems not improbable that the 
designs may have been copied from frescoes or other 
large paintings of the Augustan age, since lost. The 
style of the best is certainly Graeco-Roman, but the 
work is most unequal, some of the compositions being 
full of dignity, whilst others, weak, scattered, and lack- 
ing in proportion, seem to proceed from a different and 
very inferior school. Here, perhaps, antique models 
failed the artist. Many childish devices appear, such as 
making the slain in battle-pieces only half the size of 
the living, and the ridiculous perhaps only symbolic 
representation of Troy as a tiny walled space containing 
half a dozen soldiers. On the other hand, there are 
many charming single figures, especially Thetis, the 
winged Night, Apollo with his garland, sprig, and lyre, 
and the river-god Scamander ; some of the battle-scenes, 
too, are full of life and vigour. There does not seem 
to be, even in the best pictures, anything like the fine 
artistic feeling and finished execution of the best minia- 
tures in the Vatican Virgil ; but the average merit of 
the book is perhaps higher. The pictures are enclosed 
in plain banded frames of red and blue. The favourite 
tints are white, blue, green, and purple, with a pre- 
ponderance of red ; no gold is used, its place being taken 
by a bright yellow. Some of the outlines are in pale 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

ink ; two of the pictures have landscape backgrounds, 
in the rest the backgrounds are plain. The coloured 
nimbi worn by the gods Zeus purple, Aphrodite green, 
the others blue are not without interest for the student 
of Christian iconography. 

From these two books, which retain in an enfeebled 
form something of the grand and gracious manner of 
Graeco-Roman art, how great is the drop to our third and 
last classical manuscript ! This is the larger illustrated 
Virgil 1 of the Vatican Library, numbered Cod. Vat. 
lat. 3867 and called the " Codex Romanus." Thanks 
to similarity of subject, age, and place, it has been per- 
sistently confused, even by those who should know 
better, with the probably older and certainly infinitely 
superior Cod. Vat. lat. 3225 described above the 
Vatican Virgil par excellence. The Codex Romanus is 
a large, coarsely executed manuscript, whose exceeding 
ugliness has even caused some critics to suggest that it 
was decorated as a sort of artistic joke for the amuse- 
ment of a Roman schoolboy ! As the text, however, is 
as debased as the illustration, it would seem that its 
imperfections are the result of ignorance, not of a 
strained sense of humour. Expert opinion is divided 
as to its age: the form of writing rustic capitals 
of an early type has led the editors of the Palaeo- 

fraphical Society 3 to assign it provisionally to the 
rst half of the fourth century, or possibly the closing 
years of the third ; while other critics, judging by the 
corruptness of the text and the crudeness of the paint- 
ings, would relegate it to the sixth century or even later. 
The Vatican editors review the rival opinions carefully 
in their learned preface ; their own judgment is that the 
manuscript is not later than the sixth century, nor earlier 
than the end of the fourth. The book certainly seems 
to belong to a period when the classical style had become 

1 Picturae . . . Cod. Vat. 3867, Rome, 1902 (vol. ii. of Codices e Vaticanis 
sclecti phototypict expressi). 

2 Series i., pi. 113-14, and introd. p. vii. 

10 



CLASSICAL MANUSCRIPTS 

a dead tradition, not a living force. This is strikingly 
apparent when one compares the feeble portraits of 
Virgil, which occur on three of the earlier pages, with 
their indubitable though distant prototype, the superb 
mosaic-portrait of Virgil sitting between Clio and 
Melpomene, recently found at Susa and published by 
the Fondation Eugene Piot. 1 But the shortcomings of 
the manuscript may perhaps be indications, not of late 
date, but of provincial origin. Inscriptions at the begin- 
ning and end show that in the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries it belonged to the abbey of S. Denis near 
Paris ; and its editors suggest that it may possibly have 
been there from the eighth century onwards. In that 
case it might be presumed, without gross improbability, 
to represent a praiseworthy effort on the part of a Gaulish 
scribe and artist for the delectation of some wealthy 
patron ; and to have visited Italy for the first time when 
it made its way, between 1455 and 1475, into the 
Papal Library. 

Unlike its more comely neighbour and the Milan Iliad, 
the Codex Romanus is nearly complete ; it consists of 
309 leaves of very fine vellum, containing nearly the 
whole of the Eclogues, Georgics, and Aeneid. There are 
nineteen miniatures, many of them full-page, all of the 
full width of the text, mostly enclosed in rough banded 
borders of red and gold. The first seven (including the 
three portraits of the poet) illustrate the Eclogues, the 
next two the Georgics, and the last ten the Aeneid. The 
drawing is rough throughout, and the colouring harsh. 
The Virgil-portrait, which is twice repeated with practic- 
ally no variation, and some of the scenes in the Aeneid 
were doubtless copied as well as the painter could 
from classical models. These were not necessarily minia- 
tures ; the patron's house may well have been adorned, 
like that at Susa, with a series of mosaics illustrating the 
Aeneid. In the rest, where the painter probably had 
nothing but his own imagination to guide him, the 

1 Man. et Mlm.) iv, 1897, pi. xx, pp. 233-44. 

II 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

designs are childish, grotesque, and monotonous, par- 
ticularly in the pastoral pictures. It is perhaps worth 
noting that the nimbus here occurs, not only as in the 
Ambrosian Iliad as an attribute of the gods in council, 
but also on the heads of Aeneas and others when sitting 
in state, whether for consultation or feasting. 

On the whole, the Codex Romanus is of little use 
for the study of classical illuminations ; and its chance 
survival has done injustice to their memory. It is on 
the Ambrosian Iliad and the Vatican Virgil that our ideas 
of Roman miniature must be based ; and perhaps also on 
a further series of books which, though not dating from 
such early times, seem to have preserved the ancient 
traditions with great fidelity. These are the illustrated 
copies of the Comedies of Terence, many of which have 
survived to us from the ninth and later centuries ; l they 
seem to have enjoyed a great and unique popularity 
during the Dark Ages, and indeed right down to the 
twelfth century. Though differing considerably in age, 
they are much alike in style. A more or less fixed tradi- 
tion for their illustration had evidently been early set up, 
probably in classical times ; and since there are few more 
absolute despots than an established iconography, this 
tradition was never disobeyed. 

By far the best of these manuscripts is No. 3868 in the 
Vatican Library. It is of the ninth century ; and its 
finely painted miniatures have been said to make nearly 
all other illuminated copies of the Latin classics look 
squalid in comparison. 2 Of the remainder, perhaps the 
Paris MS. 7899, also ninth century, deserves the lead- 
ing place. The Ambrosian MS. H. 75 inf., tenth century, 
is imperfect ; it is copiously illustrated with rough but 
very expressive outline-drawings, tinted in blue and 
brown, of figures the dramatis personae of the plays 

1 Terentius. Cod. Ambros. H, 75 inf. phototypice editus, ed. Bethe, Leyden, 
1903 (vol. viii of De Vries, Codices Graeci ct Latini); with ninety one reproduc- 
tions from other Terence MSS. and printed books. 

2 Ibid., col. 10. 



12 



CLASSICAL MANUSCRIPTS 

sometimes with suggestions of a building, but with no 
attempt at background or illusion. Complete manu- 
scripts usually have a portrait of Terence at the beginning, 
supported by two actors in comic masks. After this 
come the Comedies, with numerous sketches of the male 
and female performers gesticulating and pointing at one 
another in violent and apparently angry conversation. 
The men are nearly always masked ; the ladies have 
streaming hair, and their attitudes and expressions are 
full of excitement. At the beginning of each play is 
a sketch of the faces of the characters, arranged in tiers, 
often looking out from the front of a theatre, but some- 
times simply enclosed in a rectangular frame. 

With the Terence codices our meagre supply of clas- 
sical manuscripts comes to an end. There is an Iliad 1 in 
S. Mark's Library at Venice, of the tenth or eleventh 
century, but its few marginal drawings and full-page 
pictures are aesthetically negligible. The same may be 
said of the drawings of constellations which occur in 
manuscripts of Cicero's Aratea. An Aeneid was illu- 
minated in 1198 by the monk Giovanni Alighieri, in gold 
and colours, and was preserved down to 1782 in the 
Carmelites' library at Ferrara; 2 but this was probably an 
isolated exception. The medieval Church, mother of the 
medieval arts, turned the art of the miniaturist to more 
pious uses than the illustration of pagan texts. Not until 
the fourteenth century was far advanced does the supply 
of illuminated classics recommence. Then, and still 
more in the following century, when the Renaissance had 
brought Greek and Latin literature into fashion again, we 
get a superb series of illustrated codices by Italian and 
French artists ; but these, being classical only in subject, 
will be best treated along with other works of their school 
and date. 

1 Homeri Ilias cum scholiis Cod. Ven. A, Marcianus 454, ed. D. Comparetti, 
Leyden, 1901 (De Vries, Codd. Gr. et Lat., vol. vi). 

2 See Brit. Mus., Add. MS. 22347, ff. 69, ^b ; J. W. Bradley, Did. of 
Miniaturists ) i, 1887, p. 22. 

13 



CHAPTER II 

EARLY CHRISTIAN ILLUMINATION TO THE 
END OF THE SIXTH CENTURY 

WHEN in A.D. 330 the seat of Imperial govern- 
ment was removed from Rome to Byzantium, 
the centre of intellectual and artistic activity 
also moved eastwards. By this time the long-decadent 
Graeco-Roman art, the pagan world from which it had 
come, were almost dead. New influences were gradually 
making themselves felt : influences which finally devel- 
oped, on their aesthetic side, into that which we call the 
Byzantine manner. 

Battles have long raged about the question as to 
whence this new style drew its chief inspiration : whether 
from Syria or Alexandria, Byzantium or Rome. All, it 
would seem, contributed something towards it. This, 
however, is not the place for detailed discussion of ques- 
tions which belong to the general history of art ; the 
reader who wishes to grapple with the " Byzantine 
question" must study the writings of those who have 
devoted themselves to it. 1 Here, we are concerned with 
the evolution of style only in so far as it affects the art of 
illumination, which is seen, in the period which we are 
considering, " standing between two worlds " : taking 
something from the past as the early Christians took 
the symbols of the Catacombs but re-making the ele- 

1 For a concise summary of most of the contesting theories see F. X. Kraus, 
Gtschichte der christlichcn Kunst y i (Freiburg i. B., 1896), pp. 538-50. But the 
literature has grown considerably in recent years ; for fuller and more up-to-date 
treatment see M. Gabriel Millet's chapter on "L'art byzantin" in A. Michel's 
Histoire de I* Art, i, pt. i (Paris, 1905), pp. 127-301, with an extensive bibliography 
at the end. 

14 



EARLY CHRISTIAN ILLUMINATION 

ments derived from that past in the light of a new 
inspiration. 

The new style, which resulted from the conflicting in- 
fluences and eclectic culture of the early Byzantine Empire, 
is found fully developed in the mosaics of the sixth cen- 
tury. In illumination, if we judge as we must from 
surviving manuscripts, the process of assimilation was a 
slower one. Book-illustration lagged behind the other 
arts ; and at the time when the great mosaics of Ravenna 
were being produced it showed, alongside the character- 
istics which link it with those works, strange barbarisms 
and survivals of dead tradition. The manuscripts which 
remain to us, however, are so few in number and so 
diverse in manner, and so little is known of their birth- 
place or their date, that the task of tracing their evolution 
is extremely difficult ; the attempt to pronounce with any 
certainty upon the tendencies which they represent, practi- 
cally a hopeless one. 

It would be misleading to give the name Byzantine to 
these manuscripts of the transition period, for that peculiar 
and well-defined manner which is known as the Byzantine 
style is not yet developed in them. They show us an art 
which was in a fluid and transitional state, old memories 
and new ideas existing side by side. In some, the decay 
of the classical manner is still far more apparent than the 
new influence; in none has the new influence really " found 
itself " and attained the proportions of a style. Produced 
apparently in various parts of Europe and Western Asia, 
written mostly in Greek and under ecclesiastical influences, 
they are best described, perhaps, by the general name of 
Early Christian; since the new aesthetic ideals which 
they begin to exhibit, if not wholly to be attributed to the 
definite triumph of the Christian religion, at any rate 
developed side by side with it. 

It is notorious that the early Church adapted, so far 
as she could, the elements of pagan symbolism to Christian 
use. The paintings of the Catacombs prove this suffi- 
ciently, and their testimony is confirmed by the manuscripts 

15 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

of the Early Christian period. This free adaptation of 
classical art is conspicuous in the first of the manuscripts 
which we have here to consider, so far as we can judge 
from its present much-damaged condition. This is the 
Quedlinburg Itala MS., 1 which consists of five leaves from 
a copy of the " Itala," or Old Latin version of the Bible, 
written on vellum in fourth or early fifth century uncials. 
In the seventeenth century the manuscript appears to 
have been at Quedlinburg, in Prussian Saxony, and to have 
fallen there into the hands of a bookbinder who thought 
it just good enough to use for lining-up the covers of his 
books. At all events, these five leaves were found there 
two in 1865, two in 1869, one in 1887 in the bindings 
of seventeenth century municipal and ecclesiastical records. 
The last leaf contains text only ; the other four, now in 
the Royal Library at Berlin, have one side filled with 
text (parts of the books of Samuel and Kings), and the 
other with illustrative miniatures, usually four to a page, 
in compartments formed by broad red bands. It has 
been suggested that one of the Saxon emperors may have 
brought the manuscript from Italy and given it to the 
monastery at Quedlinburg ; but this is merely a conjec- 
ture. Certainly the pictures show close affinities with 
those in the Vatican Virgil, especially with those which 
M. de Nolhac assigns to the third hand ; there is the 
same use of gold for heightening effects in dress and 
other accessories, the same antique conception of the 
human figure. The paintings are in thick body-colour, 
much of which has now disappeared, leaving the pre- 
liminary outlines bare (note the departure from the pure 
brush-work of the Virgil) ; but enough remains to give 
us some idea of the bright colouring and forcible model- 
ling of these pictures in their original state. There are 
already traces of the method of treating the face with 
sharp high lights upon the forehead, which afterwards 
became a mark of the Byzantine school. The peeling of 

1 Die Quedlinburger Itala-miniaturen der k. Bibl. in Berlin, ed. Victor 
Schultze, Munich, 1898. 

16 



EARLY CHRISTIAN ILLUMINATION 

the colours has revealed a curious feature in the shape of 
instructions to the artist, written in cursive script across 
the field of the pictures. 

Classical methods still survive in the next great relic 
of Early Christian illumination, the Cotton Genesis. Pre- 
sented to Henry VIII by two Greek bishops who, we are 
told, had brought it from Philippi, it was given by Queen 
Elizabeth to her Greek teacher, Sir John Fortescue, and 
by him again to Sir Robert Cotton. In 1618 Cotton 
lent it to Peiresc to collate its text ; and that enthusiastic, 
if somewhat unscrupulous, antiquary made various pre- 
texts for keeping it until he had had many of the pictures 
copied. He intended to have had them all engraved, 
but the project fell through, Cotton insisting at last on 
the return of the manuscript ; and only two of the copies 
are extant. 1 This is much to be regretted ; for the fire 
at Ashburnham House, in 1731, which wrought such havoc 
in the Cottonian Library, left only a mass of charred 
fragments to represent this once beautiful and precious 
volume. Some of these went astray, and are now in the 
Baptist College at Bristol ; the rest, 150 pieces in all, 
have been inlaid in paper leaves, and are preserved in 
the British Museum. 2 

In its original state the manuscript contained the 
Septuagint version of Genesis, in uncial writing of the 
fifth or sixth century, illustrated with about 250 minia- 
tures. None of these have survived completely ; but 
the best-preserved fragments suggest strongly that the 
illumination of the book was a last bright flicker on the 
part of the expiring classical school. In many respects 
it reminds one of the best miniatures of the Vatican 
Virgil and of the Ambrosian Iliad. It shows traces of 
that suavity and grace which art, in her new and severely 
dogmatic mood, was soon to lose. On one or two of the 

1 Paris, Bibl. Nat., fr. 9350, ff. 31, 32, published with Peiresc's letters by 
H. Omont, Facsimiles des Miniatures des MSS. grecs, 1902. The second one may 
be compared with its now mutilated original, Otho B. vi, f. 18. 

2 Otho B. vi. See Cat. Anc. MSS., i, p. 20, pi. 8. 

2 17 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

pages finely designed figures, finished with deep rich 
colour and much use of fine gold lines, still remain to 
show us what these pictures must have been in their 
glory. That of Lot receiving the Angels (f. 260), one of 
the best of these fragments, has still its delicate back- 
ground of undulating country, the distant lake seen blue 
between the hills ; all treated with a greater care and 
naturalism than we shall find in the manuscripts of the 
definitely formed Byzantine school. The angels, beauti- 
ful figures in rich draperies which combine the old 
fashions of Rome with the new ones of Byzantium in 
an interesting way, are painted with a high degree of 
finish. There is nothing barbarous here, though perhaps 
the thick dark outline, which surrounds the figures and 
indicates the details of the faces, is a decline from the 
softer modelling of the artist of the Georgics in Vat. 3225. 
Another charming fragment is f. 24, Hagar and the 
Angel. Not much more than suggestions of the angel's 
figure remain, but the left-hand portion of the picture is 
complete, showing Hagar seated on a boulder beside the 
well, with the wilderness stretching white beyond her to 
the horizon ; modelling, drapery, and landscape are again 
excellent. The faces too are often treated with masterly 
skill, e.g. Eve on f. 3b, or Abraham's followers on f. 19, 
especially one seen three-quarter face, with exquisite 
features and eyes full of live expression. In some of 
the miniatures, as, for instance, Abraham and the Angels 
(f. 25), there is a trace of a more formal manner, stiff and 
hieratic, with severe modelling, which, coupled with the 
unclassical costumes, has been claimed as evidence of 
Byzantine origin. Other critics find traces of barbaric 
influence in the manuscript, e.g. Kraus, 1 who finds this 
in the "bearded heads," though as a matter of fact most 
of them are beardless ! But any general imputation of 
barbarism is emphatically contradicted by the assured 
and graceful drawing still to be found in many of the 

1 Op. at., i, p. 459. 
18 



EARLY CHRISTIAN ILLUMINATION 

fragments, by the careful harmony of the colours, and by 
the indescribable but obviously classical trend of the 
whole work. 

The miniatures which now remain are all enclosed in 
plain banded borders of red, black, and white or pale 
ye low ; they are of the same width as the text, and are 
placed sometimes above it, sometimes below, occasionally 
two on a page, with or without a few lines of text between. 
Thus in general arrangement, as well as in the absence of 
conventional ornament, the manuscript agrees with the 
Vatican Virgil. The composition of the subjects at 
least, of such as can still be traced has been studied in 
detail by Dr. J. J. Tikkanen, 1 who points out that the 
designs recur in later representations of scenes from 
Genesis, notably in the series of mosaics which adorn the 
atrio of S. Mark's at Venice. 

Court life at Byzantium, as we know, was characterized 
by pomp and ostentatious splendour of all kinds. Among 
other ways, the prevalent taste for luxury found expres- 
sion in the production of sumptuous manuscripts, written 
in gold or silver uncials upon purple vellum, " burdens 
rather than books," as S. Jerome called them about the 
end of the fourth century, in a well-known passage of his 
Preface to Job. To this class, though to a somewhat 
later time, belong the next three manuscripts on our list : 
the Vienna Genesis, and the Rossano and Sinope Gospels. 
A still closer bond unites them, for their mutual resem- 
blances are so striking as to leave little room for hesita- 
tion in referring all three to the same period and locality. 
The period is in all probability the first half of the sixth 
century. The locality is more doubtful perhaps Byzan- 
tium itself, perhaps Syria, perhaps Asia Minor ; Sig. 
Mufioz, their most recent critic of authority, decides for 
the last. 2 

1 Archivio Storico dell' Arte, i, 1888-9, PP- 2I2 > 2 57> 34^; republished in 
German, in an expanded form and with many additional illustrations, in Ada 
Societatis Sdentiarum Fennicae, xvii (Helsingfors, 1891), p. 205. 

2 A. Munoz, // Codice Purpureo di Rossano e il Frammento Sinopense, Rome, 
1907, p. 27 ; but see A. Haseloff in L'Arte, 1907, p. 471. 

19 




ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Nothing is known of the history of the Vienna 
Genesis 1 before its entry, between 1609 and 1670, into 
the Imperial Library at Vienna, where it is now preserved 
under the denomination Cod. Theol. graec. 31 ; nothing, 
that is, beyond an inference that it had previously been 
in Italy. 2 It consists of twenty-four leaves of vellum, 
stained in the dull and unpleasant purple so fashionable 
in the Dark Ages, and containing forty-eight miniatures, 
one on each page. The text, which fills the upper part of 
the page, is in silver uncials. It is not a complete copy 
of the Book of Genesis ; apart from lacunae due to the 
loss of leaves, large portions are omitted in fact, the 
scribe seems only to have aimed at supplying a con- 
tinuous narrative to explain the illustrations. Evidently 
this was a sumptuous Bible picture-book, probably one 
of a large class which vanished either in consequence of 
the iconoclastic controversy, or during the innumerable 
"alarums and excursions" of the time. When we re- 
member that, in Constantinople alone, the Senate House 
and the great church of S. Sophia, with all their treasures 
of sacred and profane art, had been twice burnt down 
before the end of the sixth century ; when we think of 
the wholesale destruction of sacred images and pictures 
doubtless including pictured books by the Iconoclasts, 
which began in 725 under Leo the I saurian, and con- 
tinued for over a century ; the sacking of Constantinople 
in 1204, and its capture by the Turks in 1453, it is not 
difficult to understand why so few manuscripts dating from 
early Byzantine times remain to us. The rest have gone 
the way of other " missing links," to the confusion of the 
systematic historian. 

The Vienna Genesis, therefore, may be taken as the 

1 Die Wiener Genesis, ed. Wilhelm Ritter von Hartel and Franz Wickhoff, 
1895 ; forming a Beilage to vols. xv and xvi of the Vienna Jahrbuch der 
kunsthist. Sammlungen. See too Kondakoff, Hist, de ? Art byzantin> i, 1886, 
pp. 78-91. 

2 So Hartel, p. 99. Kraus says (i, 454) that it was acquired by " Angelo " 
Busbecke in Constantinople, about 1562, for the Imperial Library, evidently con- 
fusing it with the Dioscorides. See Busbecq's Life and Letters ; 1881, i, 417. 

2O 



EARLY CHRISTIAN ILLUMINATION 

sole representative of a once numerous family of books. 
It is in fine preservation, and has long been one of the 
most celebrated of Early Christian manuscripts. Com- 
pared with the Cotton Genesis and the Quedlinburg Itala, 
redolent as they are of classical sentiment and tradition, 
its art seems crude and barbarous. But one cannot help 
being struck by one outstanding characteristic the extra- 
ordinary vivacity which the artist has given to his scenes. 
In spite of drawing which is rough and faulty, often 
grotesque, and of colouring which is sometimes inhar- 
monious enough to suggest complete carelessness of 
aesthetic possibilities, these little pictures live. They do 
not charm, but they arrest the attention. They display 
a positive genius for the direct telling of a story. Never 
was artist more "literary" than the illustrator of this 
book. The telling of Bible history, not the production of 
beauty, was his aim ; but his stiff little figures, with their 
coarsely marked features and often absurd proportions, 
have the fascination which belongs to all fresh and active 
things. 

Another characteristic of the Vienna Genesis is the 
persistent use of the "continuous" treatment, i.e. the 
representation in one picture, without any division, of 
successive scenes or moments in a narrative. This 
method, which became popular with all the arts in the 
Middle Ages, was already known in classical times ; 
indeed, the reliefs of Trajan's column afford the most 
perfect example of its use. It occurs once in the Vatican 
Virgil, viz. in the Laocoon scene ; but this is the first 
manuscript in which its capabilities are thoroughly ex- 
ploited. In other respects the book is more conservative. 
We find in it many survivals from classical art, notably 
that old pagan device which took so strong a hold upon 
the Christian imagination the personification of natural 
things. In the picture of Rebecca at the Well, the 
spring, besides being represented naturalistically, also 
appears as a half-draped nymph of distinctly classical 
type, pouring water from her urn ; recalling the personifi- 

21 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

cation of Jordan in the famous fifth century mosaic of 
the Baptism of Christ, in the Baptistery at Ravenna. 1 

Many details of costume and ceremonial in these 
miniatures have been recognized as Byzantine ; but the 
dignity of the fully developed Byzantine style is not even 
remotely suggested. The work is that of artists pos- 
sessed of lively visual imagination but insufficient 
technical skill. The characters are personified success- 
fully, and the types are well preserved, so that Joseph, 
Jacob, and other individuals are instantly recognizable in 
all the scenes where they appear. We see the stories 
briskly acted, as it were, by rather ridiculous marionettes. 
Backgrounds are introduced, for the most part, only to 
the extent required for the comprehension of the subject ; 
but in the last twelve miniatures, and a few of the others, 
an attempt is made to heighten the pictorial effect by 
painting in a background, usually of greyish blue. The 
rest are painted direct on the purple vellum, sometimes 
within a plain red rectangular frame. Many are in two 
compartments, one above the other, but with no division 
except a strip of colour to represent the ground of the 
upper picture. 

The Codex Rossanensis 2 is a book of very different 
character, though its superficial resemblances to the 
Vienna Genesis point to its being of much the same 
date and provenance. There is a change in the painter's 
standpoint, and tendencies begin to appear which after- 
wards became characteristic of Greek artists. It was 
unknown to the outer world until 1879, when a lucky 
chance revealed it to the eminent theologians Drs. 
Harnack and von Gebhardt. Rossano, in whose cathe- 
dral it is preserved, is an ancient city of Calabria, which 

1 Venturi, Storia dell' Arte ital., i, pp. 127, 284; Diehl, Ravenne, 1903, 

PP- Si 37, 40- 

2 O. von Gebhardt and A. Harnack, Evangeliorum Codex graecus purpureus 
Rossanensis, Leipzig, 1880. The miniatures were first published photographically 
by A. Haseloff, Codex purpureus Rossanensis, Berlin, 1898; afterwards, in colour, 
by A. Munoz, // Codice Purpureo di Rossano e il Frammento Sinopense, Rome, 
1907. 

22 



EARLY CHRISTIAN ILLUMINATION 

long maintained its Byzantine character. The Greek rite 
and language were used in its church down to the 
fifteenth century ; and as late as the middle of the 
eighteenth the Gospel on Palm Sunday was read in 
Greek. Hence the survival of a Greek service-book is 
not very surprising. There is no tradition as to how the 
manuscript came there ; perhaps, as has been suggested, 
it was the gift of an Emperor, or of a Patriarch of 
Constantinople. Its Eastern origin is clear, not only 
from the style and iconography of the pictures, but also 
from the remarkable agreement of its text with that of 
the fragment found a few years ago at Sinope, 1 and with 
that of the dismembered codex known to Biblical students 
as N, which was almost certainly written either at Con- 
stantinople or in Asia Minor. 2 

Nearly half the Codex Rossanensis is wanting, prob- 
ably through fire, of which there are traces on some of 
the surviving pages ; but luckily no damage has been 
done to the illuminated pages which remain. Of these 
there are fifteen, viz. twelve miniatures representing 
scenes from the life and parables of our Lord, a decora- 
tive frontispiece to the Tables of Canons, an ornamental 
border framing the first page of the Epistle from Euse- 
bius to Carpianus, and a miniature of S. Mark. All but 
the last are at the beginning of the volume, which con- 
tains nearly the whole of the first two Gospels in Greek ; 
the portrait of S. Mark is prefixed to his Gospel. When 
complete, the manuscript no doubt contained the four 
Gospels, with portraits of all the Evangelists, and with a 
longer series, probably, than now exists at the beginning. 
The Eusebian Canons must have followed the Epistle 
to Carpianus ; and it is likely, as we shall see later, that 
they were enclosed in ornamental arcades. All the leaves 
are of purple vellum, and the text is in silver uncials, 
except the opening lines of each Gospel, which are in gold. 

1 See H. Omont in Notices et Extraits, xxxvi, pt. ii, 1901, p. 608. 

2 See H. S. Cronin, Codex purpureus Petropolitanus (Texts and Studies^ 
vol. v, No. 4, Cambridge, 1899), pp. xv, xli, xliii. 

23 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Of the twelve miniatures at the beginning, one is in 
two compartments, filling the whole page : in the upper, 
Christ before Pilate ; in the lower, Judas returning 
the thirty pieces and hanging himself. The next 
page is entirely filled with the "Christ or Barabbas" 
scene. But in the other ten pages the miniature occupies 
the upper half only, the lower half being filled with a 
singular device, by which the eye is "brought to the 
picture," and which marks the introduction of that elabo- 
rate symbolism so congenial to the Byzantine tempera- 
ment. This is the presence below each picture of four 
half-length figures of Old Testament prophets and types 
of Christ, who stand in tribunes inscribed with appropriate 
texts, and point upwards, each with his right hand, to 
the fulfilment of their prophecies. All have the nimbus. 
David appears most frequently, sometimes thrice on one 
page ; he and Solomon are represented alike, with fair 
hair and short brown beards, and are distinguished by 
their crowns. The others are Moses, Isaiah, Sirach, and 
seven of the minor prophets ; they are depicted indiffer- 
ently, so far as individual discrimination goes, with one 
or other of three or four well-defined types of face. 
Hosea, for instance, has on one page a smooth, youthful 
face, which elsewhere does duty for Moses ; on another, 
he is an old man with white hair and beard. But this 
apparent carelessness in no way diminishes the symbolic 
effect : they are important, not as persons, but as heralds 
of the Messiah, and their high office is to proclaim His 
presence, and to point out the mystical significance of 
His acts. 

The choice of subjects too is in some respects un- 
usual, and is instinct with the same theological spirit. 
Some of the compositions are, of course, those common to 
nearly all pictorial treatments of the life of Christ, e.g. 
the raising of Lazarus, the entry into Jerusalem, the Last 
Supper, Gethsemane, Christ before Pilate. Other sub- 
jects in the book, however, are less familiar. The fine 
dramatic episode of the choice between Christ and 
24 



EARLY CHRISTIAN ILLUMINATION 

Barabbas, here specially noticeable for the supernatural 
character given to Christ, soon dropped out of the tra- 
ditional series. When in later times it became usual to 
represent the Crucifixion, no doubt the earlier scenes of 
the Passion were condensed. Two parables also are re- 
markable for their unusual treatment, viz. those of the 
wise and foolish virgins and of the good Samaritan. In 
the first, we see in the centre a closed door, barring the 
five foolish virgins out from Paradise, within which 
Christ stands, accompanied by the five wise virgins, who 
wear white cloaks and hold aloft their lamps, which have 
rather the appearance of flaming torches. The river of 
Eden, with its four heads, appears in the foreground, and 
in the background is a suggestion of a wooded park. In 
the second, the good Samaritan is represented by Christ 
Himself, three distinct phases in the story being in one 
undivided miniature the only unequivocal instance of 
" continuous " treatment in the book. Christ, assisted by 
an angel, tends the wounded man, who lies prostrate on 
the ground ; the second and third scenes are combined 
in true " continuous " method,- our Lord being depicted 
as at the same time leading a mule on which the 
wounded man is seated, and giving money to the inn- 
keeper. 

But perhaps the most arresting pages in the whole 
book are the two which follow the miniature of the Last 
Supper and of Christ washing the disciples' feet. Under 
the form of the distribution of bread and wine to the 
apostles, they symbolize the mystical institution of the 
Mass. 1 The communicants approach in procession ; the 
foremost, who is in the act of partaking, bows low and 
bends the knee, while the others stand or advance with 
devout expectancy expressed in every gesture. Christ, 
here the priest rather than the Redeemer, makes the 
initiate a participant in His own sacrifice. In this, as 
in the figures of the prophets, the theological spirit of 
Byzantine art clearly declares itself. In the distribution 

1 See plate iii. 

25 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

of bread, Christ is at the extreme left-hand side of the 
picture, and the communicants approach from right to 
left ; but this arrangement is reversed in the picture 
of Christ giving the cup. This circumstance has led 
Sig. Munoz to argue, with much force, that the com- 
position of the two miniatures must have been derived 
from a design which combined both scenes in a single 
picture. The Eastern Church possesses many such 
representations of the " Double Communion " in mosaic, 
though none of those now extant can be dated earlier 
than the eleventh century. 1 They have in the centre an 
altar, at each end of which is a figure of Christ as priest, 
sometimes accompanied by an angel as deacon, giving 
the sacred elements to the apostles, who advance in 
procession from right and left. 

It is interesting, again, to find that at this early date 
the iconography of some of the principal scenes in the 
life of Christ had already become settled. Here we 
recognize the same arrangement of the personages, the 
same way of telling the story, that occurs again and 
again, almost without variation, in liturgical manuscripts 
of the Middle Ages. In the Raising of Lazarus, for 
instance, one of the spectators covers his nose with his 
cloak as the corpse issues from the grave a touch of 
realism which wandered down the centuries, and appears, 
to give only a couple of instances, in Giotto's fresco in 
the Arena at Padua, 2 and in a fourteenth century East 
Anglian Psalter in the British Museum. 3 In the Entry 
to Jerusalem, again, the main outlines of composition 
are exactly the same as in almost any medieval minia- 
ture of the subject : the advance of Christ from left to 
right ; the multitude carrying palm-branches, or spreading 
garments for the ass to tread upon ; the spectators who 
climb trees to get a better view all these are found in 

1 See P. Perdrizet and L. Chesnay in Fond. E. Piot, Man. et Mem. t x, 
pp. 123-44, pi. xii. 

2 See No. 24 of the woodcuts published by the Arundel Society, 1855. 

3 Arund. 83, f. i24b. 

26 



EARLY CHRISTIAN ILLUMINATION 

the Codex Rossanensis, and persisted unchanged down 
to the time of the Italian Renaissance. 

The minuter details, however, of the miniatures in 
this manuscript have been shown conclusively by 
Dr. Haseloff and Sig. Munoz to prove its affinity to 
the monuments of Eastern Christendom, as distinct 
from Western ; e.g. Lazarus stands upright at the 
mouth of a cave, instead of rising from a recumbent 
posture in a coffin ; and in the Entry into Jerusalem 
Christ sits sideways, facing the spectator, whereas in 
Western art He sits astride. Mention has already been 
made of the resemblance to the Vienna Genesis, which 
shows itself mainly in the facial types and in details of 
architecture and costume ; also it must be said in the 
painter's lack of knowledge how to suggest a picture 
in three dimensions. There is little perspective, no 
atmosphere, no background, except in the Gethsemane 
scene, where the purple rocks of the foreground fade 
into inky darkness in the distance, with a blue and star- 
spangled sky above, and in some slight touches in the 
Parable of the Virgins. But the miniatures show a 
decided advance on the art of the Vienna Genesis. 
They are quiet in manner, with a sense of arrested 
movement very different from the brisk action of that 
work. A great dignity marks the conception of the 
characters, especially that of Christ, whose figure some- 
times (as in the Trial before Pilate, and still more in 
the Choice between Christ and Barabbas) does actually 
suggest a spiritual presence. Here He is no more the 
beardless young god of the earliest Christian art, the 
so-called sarcophagus type ; but a mature man with dark 
hair and beard, dressed in a deep blue robe and gold 
mantle, and wearing a gold nimbus on which the out- 
lines of a cross patee are traced in double lines in a 
rather unusual way. Even in such animated scenes as 
the Entry into Jerusalem, the artist has succeeded in 
giving to His face and figure a grave, serene, and most 
impressive majesty. We are made conscious, through- 

27 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

out, that weighty things are happening in a solemn and 
inevitable way ; and mere technical shortcomings are 
atoned for by sincerity and depth of feeling. 

The two ornamental pages, though slight in them- 
selves, deserve notice as early examples perhaps the 
earliest extant of purely decorative illumination. In 
the frontispiece to the canon-tables the title is enclosed 
within two concentric circles, the space between which is 
filled (except for medallion half-length portraits of the 
Evangelists, arranged symmetrically) with overlapping 
discs of various colours. Only the first page remains of 
the Epistle to Carpianus. The text is surrounded by a 
rectangular frame of gold, bounded by black lines and 
having pink rosettes, flowering plants in natural colours, 
black doves with white wings, and ducks of varied 
plumage painted upon it at regular intervals so as to 
form a symmetrical scheme. A similar interest attaches 
to the full-page miniature of S. Mark, who sits in a sort 
of basket-work arm-chair, his implements on a table beside 
him, and writes his Gospel on a roll spread over his knees, 
at the dictation of a nun-like woman who stands over 
him, and who has been interpreted as a personification of 
Divine Wisdom. She does not appear in later miniatures; 
in Western art her place is taken by the Evangelist's 
emblem. The architectural setting too is of an unusual 
type : a semicircular shell-pediment, coloured blue, pink, 
and gold in strips radiating fan-wise from the centre, and 
flanked by sharp-pointed gables terminating in gold discs, 
rests on an entablature supported by two pillars. In its 
composition generally, however, as well as in many of the 
actual details, this miniature may be regarded as the 
prototype of the long series of Byzantine, Celtic, and 
Carol ingian Evangelist-portraits, which usually formed 
the chief adornment of manuscripts of the Gospels. 

For twenty years the Codex Rossanensis was the only 

known representative of its class. But a second came to 

light in April, 1900, when the National Library in Paris 

acquired a precious fragment, which a French officer had 

28 



EARLY CHRISTIAN ILLUMINATION 

discovered a few months before in the Greek colony of 
Sinope, on the northern coast of Asia Minor. 1 It is now 
numbered Suppl. gr. 1286, but is better known as the 
Codex Sinopensis. It consists of forty-three leaves of 
purple vellum, containing about a third of S. Matthew's 
Gospel in Greek, written throughout in gold uncials 
(unique in this respect among Greek Gospel-books), with 
five miniatures. The text, which M. Omont published in 
1 90 1, 2 is of the same recension as the Codex Rossanensis ; 
the date is in all probability nearly the same ; and the 
miniatures in the two manuscripts are closely allied. 3 
Another leaf, which must have been in its proper place 
(between ff. 2 1 and 22) as recently as the end of the eigh- 
teenth century, is in the Gymnasium at Mariupol, near 
the Sea of Azov. 

The miniatures in the Codex Sinopensis do not fill 
the whole page, but only the lower margin, coming below 
the text which they illustrate. Hence, they are on a 
smaller scale than those of the Rossano book ; their 
execution is much cruder, less finished and dignified, 
suggesting an earlier phase in the development of the 
school. There are two prophets, instead of four, to each 
miniature ; and instead of being ranged below the picture 
and pointing to it with uplifted arm and hand, in the 
emphatic manner of the Codex Rossanensis, they stand 
one on each side, their tribunes bounding the picture and 
somewhat dwarfing it, and themselves looking down on 
it and timidly extending two fingers ; a much weaker 
conception. The subjects are the death of S. John the 
Baptist, the two miracles of feeding the multitude (the 
first badly mutilated), Christ healing the two blind men, 
and cursing the barren fig-tree. The figures are painted 
directly on the purple vellum, as in the Codex Rossa- 

1 First announced by M. H. Omont in the Comptes rendues of the Acad. 
des inscr. et belles-lettres, 1900, p. 215. 

2 Not. et Extr., xxxvi, ii, pp. 599-675. 

J The four complete ones of Cod. Sinop. have been reproduced in Not. et 
Extr. as above, and (in colours) in Fond. E. Piot, Mon. et M<!m. t vii, 1901, pi. 
xvi-xix ; all five in Omont, Facsimiles, pi. A, B, and in Mufioz, op. tit., pi. A, B. 

29 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

nensis, but with still less attempt at background or per- 
spective ; not even the ground beneath their feet is in- 
dicated, except in the third picture, where the people sit 
in tiers on the grass. The anatomy and proportions are 
poor, the heads being usually too large for the stunted 
bodies and limbs. As in the Codex Rossanensis, Christ 
is represented with dark hair and beard, but the majestic 
calm and dignity so noticeable there are lacking ; and the 
compositions are altogether more vivacious, less static. 
On the other hand, the artist has sometimes succeeded 
admirably with the faces, which are on the whole less 
ceremonial and more instinct with human life and indi- 
viduality than those of the principal characters in the 
other manuscript, e.g. the expression of gentle benevo- 
lence with which Christ regards the two blind men, the 
fine thoughtful face of Moses in the third miniature, or 
the wild unkempt hermit who stands for Habakkuk in 
the fifth. The prophets here too are nimbed ; David 
appears four times, always wearing a crown with a double 
row of pearls ; Moses thrice, with a different . face each 
time ; Isaiah, Habakkuk, and Daniel once each, the last 
a beardless youth wearing a high cap adorned with 
pearls. 

The ornamental pages of the Codex Rossanensis are 
paralleled by fragments of two other Greek Gospel-books 
of the sixth or early seventh century, one in the British 
Museum, 1 the other in the Imperial Library at Vienna. 2 
The former consists of two imperfect leaves of vellum, 
gilded on both sides, and containing parts of the Epistle 
to Carpianus and of the Eusebian Canons. The Epistle 
is framed in a depressed arch, the Canon-tables in round- 
arched arcades ; columns, pediment, and arches profusely 
decorated with geometrical patterns and other conven- 

1 Add. 5111, ff. 10, ii. See Cat. Anc. MSS., i, p. 21, pi. n. Two pages 
were reproduced by Haseloff, Cod, purp. Ross.^ pp. 44, 45 ; and all four, in colour, 
by H. Shaw, Illuminated Ornaments, 1833. 

2 No. 847, ff. 1-6 ; described and reproduced, partly in colour, by F. Wick- 
hoff in the Vienna fahrbuch, xiv, 1893, pp. 196-213. 

30 



EARLY CHRISTIAN ILLUMINATION 

tional ornament, especially floral scroll-work ; with 
medallion-heads of saints, mostly of similar type to those 
in the Rossano title-page ; and with birds, fishes, and 
flowers. The colours, among which blue and carmine 
predominate, are wonderfully fresh and well preserved, 
and stand out brightly against the gold ground which, 
though faded, still serves to suggest the pristine splendour 
of the manuscript. Especially noteworthy is the natural- 
ism, both in colour and form, of a plant which springs 
from the capital of one of the columns on the first page : 
stalk, leaves, buds, and full-blown flower with deep 
crimson petals, all have the appearance of being faithfully 
copied from nature. 

The Vienna fragment contains the Eusebian Canons, 
with frontispiece, and a title-page for the four Gospels. 
It is bound up at the beginning of a Latin manuscript 
(Rufinus) of about the same age, which has an almost 
identical frontispiece. The design in both is rigidly sym- 
metrical ; it consists of a cross enclosed by two concentric 
circles, and standing on a sort of Y-shaped device which 
spreads out at the foot, below the circles, into two wavy 
lines ; each of these ends in a leaf, and has a flowering plant 
growing out of it. In the Greek page, the wavy lines 
also support two peacocks facing one another ; the Latin 
has instead two birds of less determinate species (Prof. 
Wickhoff confidently calls them doves) just below the 
arms of the cross. This close agreement is of great 
interest, though not so helpful as it would be if the 
provenance of the two manuscripts were known. The 
Canon-tables are in arcades, usually round-arched, but 
with a gable top in one place ; the arches and shafts of 
columns are covered with ornamental patterns, including 
cable, zigzag, and strapwork, and on one page are birds 
pecking at fruit. The title-page has a double banded 
frame covered similarly with decoration, but produces 
a less pleasing effect. 

Our next manuscript is of Asiatic origin, but its con- 
nection with European art is too unmistakable and vital 

31 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

for us to ignore it. Among its many points of interest 
is a welcome feature all too rare in these early manu- 
scripts, and not so frequent as might be wished among 
those of later date in the shape of an inscription 
telling us when, where, and by whom it was written. It 
is a copy of the four Gospels in Syriac, written in 586 
by Rabula the Calligrapher in the monastery of S. John 
at Zagba, in Mesopotamia, and now preserved in the 
Laurentian Library at Florence. 1 Like the two Greek 
fragments which we have just noticed, and like almost all 
later Greek manuscripts of the Gospels, it contains the 
Eusebian Canons in decorated arcades. It has also 
seven full-page miniatures of surpassing interest for the 
history of Christian art, especially the four at the end of 
the book, which represent the Crucifixion, the Ascension, 
Pentecost, and Christ enthroned in a sanctuary. The 
Crucifixion appears here for the first time in illumination, 
and there are few extant examples of its treatment, in any 
form of art, which can be assigned with any confidence 
to an earlier date. As in many of the oldest represen- 
tations of the subject, Christ wears a long sleeveless tunic 
(colobium), whilst the two thieves are draped in loin- 
cloths only. Above the arms of the cross are the sun 
and moon, emblems of mourning nature which recur 
again and again, e.g. in an English Psalter of the thirteenth 
century. 2 Longinus pierces the Saviour's right side with 
a lance, while a soldier stands on the other side holding 
up the sponge filled with vinegar. At the foot of the 
cross sit three soldiers dividing the raiment. The Virgin 
and S. John, and the three Maries, form the extreme left 
and right groups of the picture. Its special importance 

1 Fully described in the Catalogues of S. E. Assemani, 1742, p. i, and 
A. M. Biscioni, 1752, i, p. 44. Both have woodcuts of the twenty-six illuminated 
pages, which are also engraved by R. Garrucci, Storia della Arte Cristiana, iii, 
1876, taw. 128-40. For photographic reproductions see Venturi, i, pp. 162, 163, 
and C. Diehl, fusftnien, 1901, pi. iv, v, p. 500. Doubts have been raised as to the 
authenticity of the inscription, but may be disregarded in view of Ceriani's note in 
Studia Biblica, ii, 1890, p. 251. 

2 See pi. xxii. 

32 



EARLY CHRISTIAN ILLUMINATION 

is iconographical rather than artistic, but from the latter 
point of view too it has just claims to consideration. 
There is a sketchiness and lack of finish about this minia- 
ture, as about all the illuminations in the volume ; but the 
work is always wonderfully effective and expressive, and 
at times succeeds in conveying the idea of spiritual beauty 
and grandeur. In the Pentecost scene, for instance, there 
is great dignity in the figure of the Virgin, who stands in 
the central foreground with the apostles grouped about 
her, a composition which is repeated down to the end of the 
fifteenth century. The arcades are decorated with zigzag, 
check, meander, and other patterns, and peacocks and 
other birds appear on many of the pages, usually stand- 
ing on the arches. On the margins outside the arcading 
is a series of small paintings of scenes from the Gospel- 
history. Among these is the Annunciation, in the divided 
form familiar to students of medieval Italian art : the 
angel in the left-hand margin, the Virgin in the right. 
Another very interesting scene recalls the " Double Com- 
munion " of the Codex Rossanensis, but the treatment is 
very different and far less solemn and impressive : Christ 
holds the cup in His left hand, while with the right He 
gives bread to one of the apostles, behind whom the other 
ten stand clustered. On the same page is the Entry into 
Jerusalem, much more compressed than in the Rossano 
book, but agreeing closely with it. A comparison of the 
two manuscripts has indeed led some critics to claim 
a Syrian origin for the Codex Rossanensis. But on the 
other hand it has been suggested that the Rabula Codex 
was copied from a Greek original a suggestion to which 
the blundered inscription " Loginos " in Greek uncials, 
over the head of Longinus, seems to lend some support. 
Whatever may be the truth as to these theories, there can 
be no doubt that Byzantine and Western art owed much 
to Syrian influence. 

This has been brought out clearly if perhaps with 
something of the pardonable exaggeration of a pioneer 
by Dr. Strzygowski, especially in his valuable monograph 
3 33 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

on the Etschmiadzin Gospel-book. 1 This is a tenth cen- 
tury copy of the Gospels in Armenian, bound up with 
two sets of illuminated pages in which he recognizes, 
largely from their resemblance to the Rabula-book, the 
work of Syrian painters of the sixth century. The same 
details of ornament decorated arcades, peacocks, ducks, 
foliage, etc. occur in both manuscripts, besides many of 
the same compositions. The most interesting feature, 
perhaps, is a sanctuary with a convex dome, not unlike a 
Chinese pagoda, surmounted by cross and orb and sup- 
ported by Corinthian columns. This appears in a 
somewhat modified form in the Rabula-book, 2 and is 
repeated, with striking exactness, in the " Fountain of 
Life" pictures of the Carolingian Gospel-books of the 
ninth century ; 8 a conclusive proof of the indebtedness of 
Carolingian to Eastern art. 

The famous Vienna Dioscorides 4 is probably of earlier 
date than any but the first two of the manuscripts already 
mentioned in this chapter. Belonging as it does, how- 
ever, to an entirely different class, it is best considered 
separately. The six full-page miniatures at the beginning 
form a link between the decaying Graeco- Roman art and 
the later Byzantine school ; while the numerous and 
exquisite coloured drawings of plants and animals, with 
which the text is illustrated, make this manuscript the 
common ancestor of all the illuminated herbals and 
bestiaries of the Medieval and Renaissance periods. In 
this respect too it connects classical with medieval art ; 
for Pliny 5 tells us that it was the custom for Greek 
medical writers to illustrate their works with paintings 

1 Das Etsckmiadzin-Evangdiar. Bcitragc zur Geschichte der armenischcn, 
ravennatischtn und syro-dgyptischen Kunst, Vienna, 1891 (Byzant. Denkmdlcr, i). 

2 Garrucci, tav. 129. 

3 See pi. x. 

* Published in complete facsimile, with introduction by A. von Premerstein 
and others, as torn, x (pts. i and ii) of De Vries, Codd. Gr. et Lat., 1906. Shorter 
notices abound ; the most useful is that by E. Diez, " Die Miniaturen des Wiener 
Dioskurides," in Byz. Denkm., iii, 1903, pp. 1-69. 

5 Nat. Hist., xxv, 4. 

34 



EARLY CHRISTIAN ILLUSTRATION 

of herbs. Since he goes on to complain of their general 
inadequacy, the Dioscorides probably represents the high- 
water mark of this branch of illumination, most of its 
successors falling far short of it in delicacy of execution. 
The six miniatures at the beginning are all badly rubbed, 
and the first (a peacock with outspread tail) is mutilated 
in addition. The second and third are of famous physi- 
cians in groups of seven, including Chiron the Centaur ; 
the fourth illustrates the fable of the mandrake uprooted 
at the cost of a dog's life, and the fifth Dioscorides writing 
the description of the mandrake while an artist paints it, 
a lady personifying Discovery in both pictures. All these 
four are enclosed in banded frames, ornamented with 
wreaths, quatrefoils, lozenges, and scroll-work. The sixth 
is the dedication-page, 1 and shows the manuscript to have 
been executed for the Princess Juliana Anicia, probably 
in 512, on the occasion of her founding a church at 
Honoratae, a suburb of Constantinople ; but at any rate 
before her death in 52y-8. 2 It is a portrait of Juliana, 
enthroned between Prudence and Magnanimity in the 
central panel formed by two interlacing squares inscribed 
in a circle. The geometrical framework is adorned with 
cable-pattern, and in the interstices charming little putti 
play with emblems of the various arts patronized by the 
Princess. The composition of the group is exactly that 
of contemporary consular diptychs, 3 but the framing 
rather recalls mosaic ornament of an earlier period. 
Thus the transitional condition of art at the time is well 
exemplified by this manuscript, which forms as it were a 
symbolic link between the Classical and Byzantine styles. 

1 Often reproduced, e.g. in Kraus, i, p. 429; Venturi, i, p. 141. A splendid 
reproduction in colours accompanies Dr. A. von Premerstein's valuable article in 
the Vienna Jahrbuch^ xxiv, pp. 105-24. 

2 See the facsimile ed., introd., cols. 7-9. 
8 Cf. Venturi, i, p. 367. 



35 



CHAPTER III 
BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

PRACTICALLY no Greek illuminated manuscripts 
of the seventh and eighth centuries have survived, 
and they do not begin to be plentiful until the 
closing years of the ninth : a lacuna largely due, no doubt, 
to the Iconoclastic controversy, which raged from 725 to 
842, and which, though mainly concerned with paintings 
on a larger scale, must have been unfavourable to the 
preservation and production of works of art of all kinds. 
There is an evident continuity of tradition, however, be- 
tween the Early Christian illuminations and those of the 
later, more definitely formed Byzantine school. Many of 
these later manuscripts were written and illuminated in 
Italy, especially in Southern Italy, where Greek influence 
persisted long after the decay of the Empire had become 
far advanced ; many too were doubtless produced in the 
cities and monasteries of Western Asia, until the Turkish 
invasion swept away their civilization. But it is convenient 
and appropriate to group them all together under the name 
Byzantine, for a certain well-marked and easily recog- 
nizable manner is common to all; and this manner, 
whencesoever it primarily drew its chief inspiration, 
certainly flourished conspicuously in and about Byzantium 
itself, under the patronage of the Imperial court. The 
leading principles of Byzantine illumination became fixed, 
it would seem, about the end of the ninth century, in the 
time of Basil the Macedonian ; it reached its highest per- 
fection in the tenth and eleventh centuries, and then fell 
gradually into decadence until at last, lifeless in conception 
and coarse and weak in execution, it no longer deserved 
the name of art. 
36 



PLATE IV 




GOSPELS. BYZANTINE, X!TH CENT. 

BRIT. MUS. BURNEY 19 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

What, then, are the characteristics of this school, as 
we find them exhibited in the manuscripts of its great 
period? It has long been the custom to identify 
Byzantinism with formalism in art : with stately decora- 
tion rather than life, with the presentation of idea rather 
than of action. We know it as the conserving force which 
kept intact for centuries the traditional composition of 
sacred themes ; we see its last descendants in the icons 
of the Greek Church, which still interpret the truths of 
eternity to the twentieth century in the artistic language 
of the tenth. This static, traditional, symbolic quality, 
however, only represents one of the main influences 
which went to the making of Byzantine art at its prime, 
though it happens to be the one which has survived to the 
present day, and which has become familiar to the casual 
tourist in the mosaics of Ravenna and other places. In 
the Greek illuminations of the ninth century we find 
not one but three styles or ideals, and endless combin- 
ations and permutations of these three, struggling for 
mastery. 

The first of these, and perhaps the strongest, is the 
static or conservative ideal. This sets before it the re- 
presentation of arrested action, not violent movement ; 
aims at dignity, not energy. The Codex Rossanensis 
already hints at the beginning of this style, which at its 
best possessed a power of rendering spiritual values, of 
translating supernatural or natural majesty into terms of 
colour and line, which no other artistic system has ever 
approached. The main purpose of this art was theological, 
dogmatic, liturgical ; profoundly anti-realistic, it preferred 
the solemn presentation of mysteries to the picturing of 
events. It achieved its purpose by a deliberate sub- 
ordination of naturalism to idea. Its personages are 
symbols of something greater than themselves ; their 
formal outlines, their carefully folded draperies, enhance 
like the vestments of priests the hieratic effect. In fact, 
there is a close parallel between Byzantine art of this 
kind and those formal liturgies and grave ceremonies 

37 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

which succeed by their very stateliness and remoteness 
from actuality in raising the mind to a plane of rapture 
and awe. 

There can be little doubt that Byzantine illumination 
of this type was largely influenced by the contemporary 
art of mosaic. Many of its miniatures are but mosaics in 
little, and reproduce the usual accessories of such mosaics 
as are still to be seen in churches of the Byzantine style, 
just as Western illuminators of the thirteenth and four- 
teenth centuries copied the sculptured decorations of 
Gothic architecture. To the influence of mosaic may 
probably be traced the stiffness of the forms, the majestic 
pose of the figures, perhaps too the depth and richness of 
the colouring. 

The second stream of influence, however, owes nothing 
to contemporary architecture or the style of decoration 
evolved in connection with it. Its origins are classical ; 
and we find it in the ninth century existing side by side 
with the hieratic style, as in the early Italian Renaissance 
the pointed and classical styles dwelt together. It 
is evident that under Basil the Macedonian and his 
successors, after the long puritanic period of the Icono- 
clasts, beauty came into fashion again, and artists were 
called upon to satisfy the aesthetic cravings, as well as the 
religious instincts, of their clients. The masterpieces of 
classical art, of which many then existed that have since 
perished, were pressed into the service as models. Some 
miniatures, especially of the tenth century, are so imbued 
with the classical spirit that they have been held to be 
copies of lost originals dating back to the earliest periods 
of Christian art. But it is more probable that sugges- 
tions were adopted, or groups or single figures copied, 
from pagan paintings or sculptures of still greater an- 
tiquity. Whatever be the truth on this point, classical 
influence, at any rate, is evident and strongly marked ; 
and that not only in such devices as the personification 
of qualities (e.g. Strength, Repentance, and so on), or of 
rivers, mountains, and towns, but also in the treatment of 
38 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

individual figures and groups, and occasionally in the 
composition of a whole picture, as in the famous repre- 
sentation of David as Orpheus. 

Finally, that lively and primitive manner, full of brisk 
movement and vividly depicted action, so noticeable in 
the Vienna Genesis, survived along with the Neo-Classical 
style and that remote and impassive dignity which de- 
scends from the Codex Rossanensis and the Ravenna 
mosaics. Many of the best manuscripts of the tenth and 
eleventh centuries show this manner in a high degree, 
sometimes actually in conjunction with the static style. 
In the representation of a martyrdom, for instance, the 
executioners are often animated figures, going about their 
horrid work with the utmost vigour, while the saint a 
symbol of divine patience rather than the portrait of a 
living man seems wrapped in another atmosphere than 
that of his persecutors. 

The Vatican Library possesses a copy of Ptolemy's 
Tables, 1 written in 814, and adorned with representations 
of the sun, moon, months, hours, and signs of the zodiac, 
painted on blue or gold grounds ; apparently carrying on 
the tradition of the Calendar of Filocalus, which has 
been noticed in chapter i. Astronomical and geographical 
personifications also appear in the Christian Topography 
of Cosmas Indicopleustes, composed about 547-9 on 
Mount Sinai, where its author, a native of Alexandria, 
had settled as a monk after a life of travel had earned 
him his surname. This work must have been illustrated 
from the first, as Dr. Strzygowski points out, 2 the text 
abounding in references to the diagrams and other illus- 
trations. The best known, and probably the oldest, of 



1 Cod. Vat. gr. 1291. See P. de Nolhac in Gazette Archlol^ 1887, p. 233, 
and La Bibliothique de Fulvio Orsini, 1887, P- 68; A. Riegl, Die mittelalt. 
Kalenderillustration, in Mitthtihingen d, Inst. f. oest. Geschichtsforschung, x, 1889, 
p. 70. 

2 Der Bilderkreis des gr. Physiologus, des Kosmas Indikopleustes und Oktateuch> 
nach Hss. dtr Bibl. zu Smyrna, 1899 (Krumbacher's Byzant Archiv. Hef, tz), 
P- 54- 

39 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

the existing copies is the one preserved in the Vatican. 1 
It has been assigned by some critics to the seventh, or 
even to the sixth, century ; but we think it safer to accept 
the verdict of the editors of the New Palaeographical 
Society, who place it in the ninth century. Its minia- 
tures, like those of most Byzantine manuscripts, are 
much disfigured through the colours flaking off ; but it is 
evident, from what remains, that in finish and technique 
a great advance has been made on the Codex Rossa- 
nensis. Most of the subjects are Biblical, and the treat- 
ment is generally formal and anti-realistic, an effect which 
is heightened by the entire lack of background, giving 
the figures a disconnected appearance. The heads are in 
many cases too big for the bodies ; and that excessive 
pleating of the draperies, which became a foible of Byzan- 
tine painters, is already noticeable. Isolated figures, how- 
ever, are rich in solemn charm, such as the Madonna who 
stands with Christ, S. John the Baptist, Zacharias, and 
Elizabeth, in one of the full-page miniatures. In others, 
again, animation is portrayed with some success, as in 
the picture of the Babylonians amazed at the backward 
motion of the sun. 

One of the best and most valuable documents for the 
study of Byzantine illumination of the ninth century is 
the Paris copy of the Sermons of S. Gregory Nazianzen, 2 
a large volume with forty-six full-page miniatures, ap- 
parently executed for the Emperor Basil I (867-886), 
whose portrait, standing between the prophet Elijah and 
the archangel Gabriel, fills one of the pages, and whose 
patron S. Basil also figures prominently. Another page 
represents the Empress Eudocia with her two young 
sons Leo and Alexander; her eldest son, Constantine, 
who died in 880, is ignored, so the manuscript may be 
dated 880-6. Three distinct styles, all characteristic of 

1 Le miniature della topografia cristiana di Cosma Indicopkustc, Cod. Vat. gr. 
699, ed. C. Stornajolo, 1908 (Codd. e Vat. selecti, vol. x). See too EArte, 1909, 
pp. 160-2; New Pal. Soc. y pi. 24; Venturi, i, pp. 153-7; Diehl, Jttstinien, 
pi. iii, pp. 265, 401, 411. 

2 Bibl. Nat., gr. 510. See Omont, Facsimiles, pp. 10-31, pi. xv-lx. 

40 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

Byzantine illumination, are shown in the miniatures. 
First we have the archaic manner which recalls the 
Vienna Genesis : animated compositions in the " con- 
tinuous " method, but quite lacking all sense of beauty ; 
the figures are short, stiff, and awkward, with absurdly 
big heads and protruding eyes, and the attempts to 
render facial expression are generally grotesque. The 
miniatures painted in this manner are mostly on a com- 
paratively small scale ; several scenes on one page, either 
in separate panels or in a continuous series without 
division. The history of Jonah, for instance, is treated 
altogether in the continuous method, the whole story 
being crowded into one picture ; that of Joseph combines 
both methods, the page being divided into five compart- 
ments, each of which contains several scenes ; while a 
third page is in twelve compartments, each illustrating 
the martyrdom of an apostle. The other subjects are 
mostly Biblical ; they include a picture of the Crucifixion 
with Christ in a long sleeveless tunic, and adhering in 
many other respects to the primitive type of the Rabula 
manuscript. 

The second manner concerns itself solely with orna- 
mental effect, and tends to stiff magnificence. In it we 
have the stately, bejewelled, highly decorative pages 
which recall the most gorgeous of the Byzantine 
mosaics. It is most noticeable in the portraits of Basil 
and Eudocia, already mentioned, and in the impressive 
figure of S. Helena, who stands, vested as empress, with 
three other saints in a splendid full-page miniature of an 
angel proclaiming the Redemption. This style was evi- 
dently considered the right thing for imperial portraits. 
We find it so used in many later manuscripts, e.g. for the 
portraits of Alexius Comnenus (Emperor 1081-1118) in 
a Vatican manuscript, 1 and for those of Nicephorus 
Botaniates (Emperor 1078-81) in the Paris manuscript 
of the Homilies of S. John Chrysostom ; 2 in one of the 

1 No. 666, see Venturi, ii, pp. 462, 476. 

2 Bibl. Nat., Coislin 79 ; Omont, pi. bci-lxiv. 

41 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

latter, representing Nicephorus with his chief officials, it 
is exaggerated into grotesquely wooden formalism. It is 
sometimes spoken of as "debased Byzantine"; but it 
certainly co-existed with the best manner of Byzantine 
painting, and was probably recognized as expressing 
perhaps with a touch of satire the quintessence of 
courtly ceremony. In the Gregory Nazianzen, for in- 
stance, it is found side by side with miniatures in which 
the prevailing influence is classical. Of these last, the 
most celebrated is the Vision of Ezekiel ; they are not 
yet frankly Graeco-Roman, like many later miniatures 
(especially of the tenth and eleventh centuries), but com- 
bine the tightly clinging Byzantine draperies with the 
freer pose of classically conceived figures. 

When we reach the tenth century, however, we find 
that the transitional phase represented by the Gregory 
Nazianzen has passed. The Paris Psalter, 1 with its 
allied manuscripts, and the Vatican Joshua Roll 2 are 
absolutely pagan in their art, if Christian in their sub- 
ject. In fact, many of the compositions of the Joshua 
Roll are so full of the classical spirit that one is tempted 
to regard it as a production of the third or fourth century. 
But the Greek text which accompanies the drawings is 
written in minuscules of the tenth century; 3 and the 
drawings themselves are more nearly akin to miniatures 
of that period of classical renaissance than to any actually 
existing ones of earlier date, so we hesitate to accept the 
theory that a tenth century scribe, having found the 
pictured roll, proceeded to fill in the text. Another 
hypothesis, put forward by some critics of this much- 
disputed work, is that the pictures are a faithful copy 
from a much earlier original. It must be admitted that 

1 Bibl. Nat., gr. 139; Omont, pi. i-xiv. 

2 Cod. Vat. Pal. gr. 431 ; published photographically, partly in colour, by 
the Vatican authorities, // rotulo di Giosite, Hoepli, Milan, 1905. See too 
Pal. Soc., i, 1 08. 

3 It is true that some of the figures have titles written against them in 
capitals; but this feature also occurs in such manuscripts as Pans 139 and 
Vat. Reg. gr. i, both of the tenth century. 

' 42 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

this view derives some support from the fact that gaps 
are left in the text, as though the scribe had sometimes 
been unable to read his original. This fact, however, 
only tends to prove that an earlier series of illustrations 
existed, having the same subjects as those in the Joshua 
Roll. It does not at all necessarily follow that the treat- 
ment was the same ; and indeed it is difficult to believe 
that a mere servile copyist could have produced these 
spirited groups of soldiers, these charming and spon- 
taneous personifications of cities, rivers, and mountains. 
On the other hand, it seems likely enough that the actual 
compositions, in their main outlines, were taken from 
earlier designs. It has been pointed out that many of 
the subjects are found in the fifth century mosaics of 
S. Maria Maggiore ;* and we have seen in the Cotton 
Genesis an example of an illustrated Biblical codex 
dating back to the same period. The artist, then, may 
have had before his eyes an earlier set of illustrations, 
though it is highly improbable that he contented himself 
with copying them. 

The history of the Joshua Roll is not known farther 
back than 1571, when it appears in a list of the manu- 
scripts owned by Ulrich Fugger ; but there are some 
accounts on the back, in Greek, written in the thirteenth 
century, showing that it was then in Greek hands. Its 
form is unusual, and it is not easy to see precisely for 
what purpose it was intended perhaps as designs for 
a series of mural paintings. It is now in fifteen separate 
membranes, placed between the leaves of a large album ; 
but until 1902 these membranes were glued together, 
end to end, and formed one long roll of vellum, thirty- 
two feet by about one foot originally much longer, for 
it is clearly imperfect both at beginning and end. The 
back was left blank, and the front covered with drawings 
of the deeds of Joshua, forming a continuous series 
throughout the length of the roll, with abridged extracts 
from the Greek text of the book of Joshua, explaining 

1 See Venturi, i, 380. 

43 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

the several scenes, written in short columns below 
them. The outlines are drawn in brown ink, and some 
parts have been lightly tinted. Critics have doubted 
whether this incomplete colouring is not the work of a 
later hand ; but if the drawings were meant to serve as 
models for mural paintings, the artist may well have 
thought it enough to indicate the respective colours of 
the various objects : armour blue, draperies brown, and 
so on. But whatever may be the true solution of the 
problems which confront the student of the Joshua Roll, 
no one could refuse to consider it a masterpiece. The 
drawings are broad in treatment, correct as to anatomy, 
and full of movement. In such scenes as the carrying 
of the Ark of the Covenant, or others in which crowds 
of soldiers are represented, depth as well as linear ex- 
tension is suggested. The figures have unity with their 
surroundings, and the artist evidently aimed at pro- 
ducing an illusionist picture, not merely at representing 
an event. The influence of classical art is everywhere 
strikingly apparent ; nowhere more so than in the 
personifications of cities, some of which are extremely 
beautiful, especially the graceful goddesses who repre- 
sent Ai and Jericho. The whole composition has been 
compared, not unjustly, to the series of reliefs on 
Trajan's column. 

The Paris Psalter, Bibl. Nat. gr. 139, is one of the 
most beautiful of Byzantine manuscripts. Acquired in 
Constantinople by a French ambassador in the sixteenth 
century, it had probably belonged to the Imperial Library. 
The text is in minuscules of the tenth century ; and the 
fourteen full-page miniatures are doubtless of the same 
date, though M. Omont has shown that the fourteen 
leaves which contain them (each on a verso page, with 
the recto blank) are independent of the quires of text, 
and might possibly, therefore, have been inserted later. 1 
The first of these is the famous picture of David with 
the harp, inspired by Melody ; a design which seems to 



p. 5 
44 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

have become justly popular from the moment of its pro- 
duction. It appears again and again in later manu- 
scripts, slavishly copied by hands of varied degrees of 
incompetence. 1 In all of them the main features of the 
composition are reproduced, and some repeat every 
detail : Melody sitting at David's right hand, with her 
hand on his shoulder ; Echo, as a nymph peeping round 
a pillar in the corner ; the reclining figure in the fore- 
ground who represents Bethlehem ; even the individual 
animals which have been charmed to stillness by the 
music. But the Paris miniature is far superior to the 
others in freedom, grace, and proportion ; and we can 
hardly be wrong in regarding it as their archetype. Its 
very excellence makes us doubtful about accepting the 
view that it is a copy of a lost antique representation of 
Orpheus. That the artist had much of the classical 
spirit is very plain ; the central group, for instance, may 
be compared with a Pompeian painting of the death of 
Adonis. 2 But Byzantine miniatures of the tenth century 
abound in evidence of a classical renaissance ; and the 
miniature in question, while doubtless owing its original 
idea to some Graeco-Roman picture of Orpheus taming 
the beasts, seems likely, from its free handling and easy 
grace, to have been the work of a brilliant artist who 
had absorbed the spirit of his model, rather than an 
exact copy made by a patient craftsman. Copies are 
nearly always tight and laboured qualities not to be 
detected in this work. 

Many of the other miniatures of the Paris Psalter, 
though perhaps not so beautiful as that of David and 
Melody, show the same classical influence, and rise to a 
high artistic level. Especially good are David slaying 
the Lion, with a beautiful Diana-like personification of 
Strength coming to his assistance ; and Isaiah receiving 
inspiration, standing between the figures of Dawn and 

1 See Venturi, ii, fig. 306-11. To these may be added Brit. Mus., Add. 
36928, f. 44b, late eleventh century. 
- Museo BorbonicO) ix, pi. 37. 

45 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Night. Dawn is a boy holding up a torch ; the more 
poetically conceived Night is a regal-looking woman, her 
torch drooping and half-extinguished, and a scarf thrown 
like a cloud above her head. The effect is somewhat 
marred by the figure of Isaiah, whose draperies cling 
tightly in the manner already noted as characteristic of 
Byzantine painting. Two other fine pages are Nathan 
rebuking David, with Penitence standing near ; and the 
Prayer of Hezekiah. A third page, David in imperial 
garb, standing between Wisdom and Prophecy, combines 
classic grace and dignity with the more rigid symmetry 
of a late-Roman consular diptych. 

The remaining eight miniatures are probably the work 
of an inferior hand ; they are akin to the Biblical scenes 
in the Gregory Nazianzen, and show little or no trace of 
classical influence, except in a few isolated figures, such 
as the personification of Meekness in the Anointing of 
David, or the charming nymph representing Boastfulness, 
who flees in dismay from the side of Goliath. We have 
in them crowded compositions, filled with vigorous but 
undignified and often ill-proportioned figures the heads 
usually too big, and the legs too short. In the colouring 
too there is a noticeable falling off. Some of the scenes, 
however, are interesting on other than purely aesthetic 
grounds, e.g. the Crowning of David, who stands on a 
shield upheld by soldiers, illustrating the picturesque 
coronation ceremony of the Byzantine Emperors. 1 

The Paris Psalter is the best, as well as probably the 
earliest, extant example of what has been called the " aris- 
tocratic" group of Psalters, in contradistinction to the 
" monastic-theological " group, in which there are no full- 
page miniatures, but only marginal illustrations. 2 Other 
members of the group are No. 54 in the Ambrosiana, and 
two Mount Athos MSS., Vatopedi 609 and Pantocrator 
49, of the tenth and eleventh centuries. 8 A small volume 

1 See Bury, Later Roman Empire, ii, 70. 

2 Tikkanen, Die Psalttrillustration im Mittelalter, 1895, etc. 

3 Michel, i, i, 221-5. 
46 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

recently acquired by the British Museum 1 belongs to the 
same class ; it was executed about the end of the eleventh 
century, and contains eight full-page miniatures, mostly of 
subjects represented in the Paris manuscript. The colours 
have flaked off badly, so that some of the pictures are 
scarcely recognizable ; but enough remains of the " David 
and Melody" composition and others to show that, although 
painted with much delicacy, they are lacking in ease and 
freedom. One feature worth noting is the magenta priming 
which appears where the gold background has peeled away; 
in most Byzantine manuscripts the gold leaf and pigments 
seem to have been laid directly on the vellum without any 
preliminary ground, though some twelfth century and later 
manuscripts show traces of red priming below the gold. 2 A 
much more stately volume is the Vatican Psalter, Cod. 
Vat. Pal. gr. 381, but of later date (twelfth to thirteenth 
century) and with only four miniatures, 3 each filling the 
whole page. Three of these are plainly derived from the 
Paris Psalter, with which they agree in practically every 
detail of composition, though far inferior in execution ; 
these are David and Melody, David standing between 
Wisdom and Prophecy, and Moses receiving the law on 
Mount Sinai. The fourth miniature repeats this last sub- 
ject, differently treated, and perhaps represents the renewal 
of the tables ; it was no doubt copied from some illus- 
trated Biblical manuscript, but the subject seems to have 
been comparatively rare. 

With these Psalters must be classed a fine Bible in 
the Vatican, Cod. Vat. Reg. gr. i. This, a votive offering 
in honour of the Virgin, was given by Leo the Patrician, 
a high official of the Imperial palace ; and so is probably 
a fair sample of the best work of the court miniaturists of 
the time, i.e. the first half of the tenth century. Leo's 
gift comprised the whole Bible, in two volumes ; but only 

1 Add. 36928. 

2 e.g. Brit. Mus., Add. 35030; also 19352, noticed below. 

3 Collczione. Paleografica Vaticana, L Miniature della Bibbia Cod. Vat. JReg. 
gr. i e del Salterio Cod. Vat. Pal. gr. 381, Milan, 1905. 

47 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

vol. i remains, containing the text from Genesis to Psalms, 
with eighteen full-page miniatures, which have been pub- 
lished in the same volume with the four from the Psalter 
just mentioned. Two of these are identical in composition 
with miniatures in the Paris Psalter, viz. Moses on Mount 
Sinai and Samuel anointing David. A third, the Coro- 
nation of Solomon, differs only in names and minor details 
from the Coronation of David in the Paris manuscript. 
Other pages correspond equally closely with those of the 
Paris Gregory Nazianzen ; while in style, as in probable 
date, the painting stands midway between that of the two 
Paris books more finished than the Gregory, rougher 
than the Psalter. 

The Neo-classical wave was spent by the end of the 
tenth century. Illuminations of later date show little 
trace of its influence, apart from direct imitations of older 
manuscripts, as in the Psalters already mentioned or in 
the Octateuch MSS. Of these there are five extant, of 
the eleventh and twelfth centuries : two in the Vatican, 1 
one at Smyrna, 2 one on Mount Athos, 3 and one in the 
Seraglio at Constantinople. 4 They contain the first 
eight books of the Bible, in Greek, illustrated with a 
great abundance of small miniatures. Their artistic 
merit is not particularly great in this respect one of the 
latest, the Vatican MS. 746, is decidedly the best; but 
they are of interest from their extraordinarily close agree- 
ment with one another, not only in the choice of subjects, 
but in the mode of treatment down to the minutest details 
of iconography. Moreover, it is obvious that the illus- 
trations of the book of Joshua must have been derived 
from the Joshua Roll, or at least from a common ancestor. 

1 Gr. 746 and 747. Many of the miniatures are published in the introduction 
to II rotulo di Giosue, 1905. 

2 Strzygowski, Bilderkreis, pp. 113-26, pi. xxxi-xl. 

3 Vatopedi 515, described by H. Brockhaus, Die Kunst in den Athos-Klostcrn, 
Leipzig, 1891, pp. 212-17. 

4 For reproductions, see Album to vol. xii of the Bulletin de F Institut Archlol. 
Russe a Constantinople ; 1907, which also contains many of the Smyrna and 
Vatopedi miniatures. 

48 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

Just the same groups occur, in the same antique garb, 
though not handled in the same masterly way ; the same 
personifications of cities, but with faint relics only of the 
delicate grace and charm of the original. One of these 
has by mistake been put in the picture following that to 
which it properly belonged ; proving clearly that the 
archetype must have been a continuous series of paint- 
ings, whether the Vatican Joshua Roll or a lost one of 
similar design. 1 

Of the " monastic-theological " family of Psalters, i.e. 
those with only marginal illustrations, the earliest extant 
specimens date from the end of the ninth century. 2 The 
British Museum possesses a very fine example, 3 written 
in 1066 by the arch-priest Theodore of Caesarea for 
Michael, Abbot of the Studium monastery at Constanti- 
nople. Almost every one of its 208 leaves has the 
margins filled with paintings, for the most part executed 
with great delicacy. There are no backgrounds ; the 
figures, with such few accessories as were indispensable 
for the representation of the scenes depicted, are painted 
direct on the plain vellum page, and so have at the first 
glance a quaint appearance of standing or walking upon 
nothing. .The pigments have flaked away in many places ; 
and an inspection of the places where this has happened 
discloses two interesting facts. In the first place, it is 
clear that the gold leaf was laid on a red priming, but 
where colours were used there is no trace of any pre- 
liminary preparation of the vellum surface. Secondly, 
outlines were drawn with the pen, very lightly, apparently 
in watered ink, before the colours were laid on ; except 
where precise definition of form was not wanted, as in 
the case of watercourses, which are represented by broad 
wavy lines of blue. The figures, which are, of course, on 

1 Strzygowski, p. 120. 

z Tikkanen, i, pp. n seq. For the one on Mount Athos, Pantocrator 61, 
see Brockhaus, pp. 177-83, pi. 17-20. 

8 Add. 19352. See Pal, Soc., i, 53; F. G. Kenyon, Facsimiles of Biblical 
MSS,, 190, pi. vii; G. F. Warner, Reproductions from Illuminated MSS., ser. 
ii, 1907, pi. 2, 3. 

4 49 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

a small scale, dainty rather than majestic, are on the 
whole admirably drawn, graceful, and well proportioned ; 
and the varied scenes are vividly portrayed, despite the 
lack of background. The animated style predominates, 
but not to the exclusion of the statuesque, which is often 
used for single figures, e.g. for David standing, with 
hands uplifted in adoration, before an icon of the 
Saviour a subject which recurs on page after page. 
The colouring is subdued for the most part, one of the 
prevailing tints being an almost leaden blue ; but the 
pages are brightened up with touches of gold in the 
draperies, and with copious use of red, and the general 
effect is pleasing and harmonious. 

The chief value of the Theodore Psalter, however, 
lies in the wealth and variety of its illustrations, rather 
than its purely artistic interest. The painter was not 
hampered in his choice of subjects by a sense of con- 
gruity. To illustrate the text was his purpose, whether 
by naively literal or elaborately symbolical methods. For 
instance, Ps. xi. 2 is represented by three wicked men 
shooting arrows with malicious vigour at the upright in 
heart (f. lob) ; Ps. xii. 3, by an angel standing on the 
boaster's chest and snipping off " the tongue that speak- 
eth proud things" (f. nb); Ps. Ixxviii. 25, by an angel 
giving a cake to an old man (f. 102); Ps. cxxvii. i, by 
workmen with ladder, pulleys, etc., building a house 
(f. 170) ; and so on. Pictorial renderings of a less elemen- 
tary kind are given to such passages as Ps. xxxix. 6, 
where we see porters and mule laden with money-bags, 
which the young heir is emptying at a girl's feet (f. 47). 
Ps. Ixxviii, cv, and cvi are accompanied by pictures of 
the plagues of Egypt and the wanderings of the Israelites 
(ff. 99b-io4b, 14^-44) ; and other scenes from the Old 
Testament appear, not only like these in direct illustra- 
tion of the text, but allusively, as when the translation 
of Elijah is used to illustrate Ps. xlii. 6, or Job on the 
dunghill for Ps. cxiii. 7 (ff. 5ib, 154). As in the Vatican 
Bible, Reg. gr. i, and the Paris Psalter, gr. 139, we 
so 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

have a coronation scene : opposite Ps. xxi. 3 stands 
Hezekiah, robed like a Byzantine Emperor, on a shield 
upborne by soldiers, while an angel reaching down from 
heaven sets "a crown of pure gold on his head" (f. 21). 
Pictures from the life of David are naturally to be found 
throughout the volume ; including two charming pages 
at the end of the Psalms (ff. iSqb, 190) which are filled 
with a consecutive series, Christ sending down an angel 
to David as he plays the flute among his flocks, David's 
colloquy with the angel, and finally his being anointed 
by Samuel. 

The "monastic-theological" character of the book 
comes out in the scenes from the New Testament, the lives 
of saints and the history of the Eastern Church, which 
form a very large part of its illumination. The prophetic 
element in the Psalter is emphasized here, especially in 
pictures of the Gospel-story, where David often appears 
at one side pointing, as in the Codex Rossanensis, to the 
fulfilment of his prophecy. Many of the subjects are 
repeated in different parts of the book, with striking 
variations in the treatment a fact which shows that the 
Byzantine rule of unchanging iconography had its ex- 
ceptions. For instance, there are miniatures of the 
Crucifixion on ff. 8jb, 96, ij2b. In the second of these 
Christ wears a loin-cloth, in the two others the colobium; 
in the first and second Longinus with his spear is on the 
left, but the right-hand side has in the first the soldier 
with the hyssop, in the second the Virgin and S. John ; 
in the third, the only figures besides Christ are the 
Virgin and S. John, standing on the right and left re- 
spectively, and bending over His feet. On f. 152 is a 
representation of the Double Communion, inferior in 
impressive solemnity and depth of feeling to the Codex 
Rossanensis, but interesting because of the figures of 
David and Melchizedek, who stand as witnesses on either 
side. The Iconoclastic Controversy is graphically de- 
picted on f. 2yb : the Patriarch Nicephorus and his 
friend Theodore, abbot of the Studium, are shown 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

supporting an icon, and again protesting before the 
Emperor Leo, while his myrmidons are busy destroying 
the sacred images. The book shows no hint of the 
earlier classical revival, except in the somewhat grotesque 
personifications of rivers as men with urns, and of the 
winds as men blowing trumpets, and a representation of 
the Sun-god in his chariot on f. 6ib, opposite Ps. 1. i. 

Some of the illustrations of the Theodore Psalter were 
drawn from the lives of saints ; for these the icono- 
graphy had already become settled, probably soon after 
the completion of the great work of Simeon Metaphrastes, 
who flourished under Constantine Porphyrogenitus 
(912-58) and collected and amplified the lives of the 
early Christian saints. A Menology, abridged from 
his voluminous compilation, was made for Basil II 
(976-1025), and is now in the Vatican Library j 1 or rather, 
all that remains of it, viz. the portion for the half-year 
from September to February. It is a stately volume of 
215 leaves, containing a miniature on each page, with the 
artist's name inscribed against it on the margin. Eight 
artists were employed, including two (Michael and 
Simeon) who are surnamed " of Blachernae " ; so the 
manuscript was probably executed at Constantinople by 
the leading court miniaturists. It is certainly one of the 
finest surviving examples of its kind. There is not 
much width of range, the saints being usually depicted 
either in the orans attitude, standing rigidly with uplifted 
hands, or else while undergoing martyrdom ; and despite 
the beauty of much of the painting, an effect of monotony 
is produced by the endless series of nuns and bishops 
standing before arcaded parapets or flanked by hills of 
impossible symmetry even the livelier movements of 
the executioners tend to become stereotyped. All the 

1 Cod. Vat. gr. 1613. The text, with Latin translation and with engravings 
of the miniatures, was published by Card. A. Albani, Menologium Graecorum, 
Urbino, 1727 ; and the whole manuscript has since been reproduced, II Menologio 
di Basilio //, Turin, 1907 (vol. viii of Codd. e Vat, selecti). See too Beissel, Vat. 
Min., 1893, pi. xvi, New Pal. Soc., pi. 4, and Al Sommo Pont. Leone XIII 
omaggio giubilare della Bibl. Vat., 1888, pi. i (in colour). 

52 



PLATE V 



T3LVJUUUT Trap JL 



,' "l 
t frjy n.1 (JLCU rt I 




SIMEON METAPHRASTES. XI-XIlxH CENT. 

BKIT. MUS. ADI). 11870 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

miniatures have gold backgrounds, and a strong family 
likeness altogether, so that it is difficult to recognize the 
individual characteristics of the several painters ; Panto- 
leon, Michael the Little, and Simeon of Blachernae seem, 
however, to have been decidedly the best artists the 
others were perhaps only painstaking and highly trained 
imitators. One of the most beautiful miniatures in the 
book is Simeon of Blachernae's painting of the Nativity. 1 
The whole scene is in the open air, as it usually is in 
Byzantine art. In the centre lies the Babe in the manger, 
at the mouth of a cavern half-way up a hill. Mary sits 
on the rocks beside His head, Joseph below her to the 
left : and the centre of the foreground shows the Babe 
being washed in a bath which stands in a flowery 
meadow. At the top of the hill are two angels, and a 
third on the right-hand slope proclaims the glad tidings 
to an aged shepherd. The composition is symmetrical, 
but not to excess ; and the whole picture is full of grace 
and charm. The Adoration of the Magi, which follows 
on the next page, is also by Simeon ; it too has great 
merit, especially in the figures of Mary and the Child, 
and of the angel who leads the Magi into their presence ; 
but it is marred by the grotesque costume of the foremost 
Mage, who crouches impossibly while still advancing with 
his gift. Another fine miniature, 2 by Pantoleon, repre- 
sents the miracle of S. Michael and the hermit Archippus 
a subject which we meet again in the Metaphrastes of 
the British Museum. 

Landscape backgrounds figure largely in the Vatican 
Menology, treated according to the peculiar traditions of 
Byzantine painters and their successors the early Italian 
masters. The development of these traditions, from their 
first germs in Pompeian wall-paintings down to their last 
survival in the works of such painters as Benozzo 
Gozzoli and Filippo Lippi, has been traced by W. Kallab 

1 Menologio, p. 271 ; but Beissel's plate is more pleasing. 

2 Afenologio, p. 17. 

53 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

in an interesting and copiously illustrated monograph ; l 
and we need not do more than mention the subject very 
briefly here. The most striking feature in Byzantine 
landscape is the curiously conventional treatment of hills, 
which are represented as truncated cones with smooth, 
level table-tops, and with steep, symmetrical and abso- 
lutely smooth and arid slopes, often interrupted at regular 
intervals by ledges of the same evenness as the summits. 
Lower down are crags and boulders of similar form, like 
the stumps of neatly sawn-off tree-trunks. There is a far- 
away resemblance to some basaltic formations, such as 
Fingal's Cave or the Giant's Causeway, but the treatment 
is essentially non-naturalistic ; it had become traditional 
before the end of the tenth century, and it persisted, in 
the Eastern Empire and Italy, till well on in the fifteenth. 
Many of the compositions of the Vatican Menology 
are reproduced, on a smaller scale but with almost equal 
delicacy and finish, in a copy of the Lives of Saints for 
September, from Metaphrastes, executed about the end of 
the eleventh century or beginning of the twelfth. 2 At the 
head of each legend is a miniature, richly framed in 
ornament. One of these (f. 60) represents the Archangel 
Michael turning aside a torrent from the church and 
dwelling-place of the devout hermit Archippus. 3 This 
was plainly inspired by Pantoleon's painting in the 
Menology ; the subject seems to have been a popular one 
it occurs on f. 125 of the Theodore Psalter. Another 
subject, S. John in his old age dictating the Gospel to his 
youthful disciple S. Prochorus (f. iQyb), occurs frequently 
in Greek Gospel-books, as we shall see presently. Six of 
the other headpieces contain scenes from the saints' lives 
and passions, in series of four or five small medallions. 
The remaining fourteen have single miniatures, like the 
two already mentioned. Seven of them represent martyr- 

1 " Die toscanische Landschaftsmalerei im xiv und XY Jahrhundert," in the 
Vienna Jahrbuch> xxi, 1900, pp. 1-90. 

2 Brit. Mus., Add. 11870. 

3 PL v. 

54 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

doms ; in the other seven the saints stand upright, some- 
times in the regular orans pose, sometimes holding a small 
cross in the right hand. 1 The backgrounds are in reddish 
gold ; the figures, painted in body-colour and highly 
finished, are long and slender, the faces dignified and 
pensive in expression, the draperies carefully shaded and 
arranged in fine folds. This is Byzantine work of a high 
order; rich and harmonious in colour, conceived in the 
solemn and ceremonial manner proper to the school. 
The saints, both male and female, are of ascetic type, 
with emaciated frames, contrasting strongly with the 
vigorous muscularity of their executioners. Apart from 
the figures, the treatment is conventional, as in the 
Vatican Menology. The artist places his martyrdoms 
among impossible hills, his saintly nuns and confessors 
before arcades and porticoes devoid of perspective, and 
prettily but improbably coloured in red, blue or green. 

The Metaphrastes is the first of the manuscripts 
which we have been considering to show in a perfect 
form the characteristic conventional ornament of the By- 
zantine school. This ornament, in the best examples of 
great richness and beauty, irresistibly reminds every one 
who sees it for the first time of some Oriental pattern- 
work, and especially of Persian carpets or enamels. It is 
generally used at the beginning of a book or chapter, 
sometimes forming a framework or pendant to a minia- 
ture, as here, 8 but more often alone, the miniature (if any) 
being on a separate page within a plain banded frame, as 
in most of the Gospel-books. The form is square or 
oblong, sometimes with short depending borders. The 
decoration consists of a repeat-pattern of geometrical 
elements circles, lozenges, and quatrefoils together 
with strictly conventionalized flower and leaf ornaments. 
Sometimes the design is so close as to seem a mere 
floriated network ; sometimes it has a rich border, and 
a more open pattern within. The ground is gold ; the 

1 See Warner, Reproductions ; i, r, for one of the latter class. 

2 PI. v. 

55 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

pattern is in the deep blue of Persian enamel, with myrtle- 
green and a little red. In later work pink, light blue, 
mauve, and other secondary shades are introduced ; but 
as a general rule the better the example the nearer it 
keeps to the original blue-and-green effect. The whole 
is relieved with minute touches of white, which become 
coarse and heavy as the style deteriorates. A really good 
piece of this ornament is like nothing so much as a fine 
Persian praying-rug on a small scale ; and it seems likely 
that the idea may have been borrowed from the Arabs, 
whose civilization was more or less in touch with that of 
Byzantium from the seventh century onwards. But it 
must be admitted that a scheme of decoration, out of 
which that now in question might conceivably have been 
evolved, appears at a still earlier date in Byzantine archi- 
tecture, e.g. in the altar-screen and capitals at the church 
of San Vitale, Ravenna. 1 Obscure though the origin and 
early development of this headpiece may be, its succes- 
sive stages of decadence may easily be seen from the 
long series of Gospel-books to be considered presently. 

Byzantine miniature was at its prime in the tenth 
century the age of the Joshua Roll and the Paris 
Psalter ; but the next two centuries produced many 
manuscripts of great beauty and interest. Among these 
may be mentioned the Vatican Homilies of the monk 
Jacobus (Cod. Vat. gr. 1162, nth cent.), a perfect ex- 
ample of the Byzantine conventual manner, and of addi- 
tional interest because its exquisitely finished, if formal, 
groups of saints and angels can be compared with the 
laboriously careful, but greatly inferior, copies in a 
twelfth century manuscript at Paris (Bibl. Nat., gr. 
I2o8). 2 Another fine manuscript of the eleventh century 
is the Scala Paradisi of John Climacus in the Vatican 

1 See Venturi, i, fig. 76-8, 82 ; C. Ricci, Jtavenna, 1902, pp. 35-7, 40, 41. 
But a Moslem derivation is more probable. See the illustrations to F. Sarre's 
article on "Makam Ali am Euphrat " in the Berlin Jahrbuch^ xxix, 1908, 
pp. 63-76. 

2 Beissel, Vat. Afin., pi. 15 ; Venturi, ii, pp 468-75, fig. 329-41. 

56 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

(gr. 394), 1 setting forth the toilsome ascent of the spiritual 
ladder by means of allegorical miniatures and drawings, 
delicately executed in a manner somewhat resembling 
that of the Metaphrastes. Other copies of this treatise 
are extant, with independent but inferior illustrations. 2 

The so-called Melissenda Psalter in the British 
Museum 3 exemplifies the strange mingling of East and 
West brought about by the Crusades. Unlike the other 
manuscripts considered in this chapter, it is written in 
Latin, and its small, finely formed minuscules bespeak a 
Prankish scribe of no mean skill. The Calendar-orna- 
ments too, consisting of the signs of the zodiac painted 
on gold grounds in small medallions, are Western in 
character ; and so are the elaborate decorative initials at 
the beginning and principal divisions of the Psalter. 
But the miniatures, while purely Byzantine in icono- 
graphy, are curiously un-Byzantine in colouring. The 
book is generally supposed to have been executed for 
Melissenda, eldest daughter of Baldwin II, king of 
Jerusalem, and of the Armenian princess Emorfia, his 
queen. Melissenda was married in 1129 to Fulk of 
Anjou, and was crowned with him on Baldwin's death in 
1131. Throughout Fulk's reign she took an active part 
in the government, and for some years after his death in 
1144 she held the regency for their young son, Baldwin 
III ; she died at Jerusalem in 1161. Her name does not 
appear anywhere in the book, but the Calendar records 
the deaths of her parents (but not that of Fulk) and the 
capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders (July 15, 1099), 
and the prayers contain many phrases which tend to 
show that the book was written in the Holy City. More- 
over, its sumptuous appearance, in binding enriched 
with beautiful ivory carvings and studded with turquoises 

1 Beissel, pi. 14; Venturi ii, pp. 478-85, fig. 343-4; Pal. Soc., i, 155. 

2 See Tikkanen in Ada Societatis Stientiarum Fennicac, xix, 1893, No. 2. 

3 Eg. 1139. See New Pal. Soc., pi. 140; Warner, Reproductions > iii, 6. All 
the illuminations have been reproduced in colour, but not satisfactorily, by A. 
Du Sommerard, Les Arts au MoyenAge, 1838-46, Album, ser. 8, pi. 12-16. 

57 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

and rubies, makes it fully worthy of a royal patron. So 
we will not dispute its traditional association with Queen 
Melissenda's name ; but it contains some phrases which 
suggest that it was intended, not for her own use, but for 
presentation to some lady in a religious house perhaps 
her youngest sister Iveta, a nun at S. Anne's, afterwards 
Abbess of the nunnery of S. Lazarus at Bethany, which 
was founded and richly endowed by Melissenda herself. 1 

The book contains twenty-four full-page miniatures of 
the life of Christ at the beginning, and nine half-page 
miniatures of saints towards the end, all on gold grounds. 
The latter series is plainly the work of the Western 
(probably French) artist who painted the zodiac-medal- 
lions in the Calendar. He has faithfully copied the stiff 
and formal designs of a Byzantine menology of traditional 
type, but has completely altered the effect by the use of 
brighter, less sombre colours, by greater freedom and 
naturalism in flesh-tints and draperies, and above all by 
his delicate and skilful treatment of the faces, imparting 
to them an animation, in some cases even a touch of 
coquetry, quite alien to the spirit of Byzantine hagio- 
graphical art. 

The scenes from the life of Christ are painted in a 
very different manner ; they are by an artist whose signa- 
ture, " Basilius me fecit," appears in uncial lettering on 
the last of the series. The name is Greek, and the com- 
positions agree exactly with the established Byzantine 
traditions ; but the attenuated, ill-modelled figures with 
impossibly long necks, the sullen, peevish faces, and 
especially the rich but unpleasantly vivid and unhar- 
monized colouring, mark the presence of some other 
influence. If one compares these paintings with the 
corresponding scenes in a typical Byzantine manuscript 
of the same period, such as Harl. 1810, one is struck by 
the difference in treatment almost as much as by the 
similarity in design. The deep ultramarine of the Melis- 
senda book looks rich and warm beside the leaden blue of 

1 See R. Rohricht, Geschichtt des Kont^reichs Jerusalem, 1898, p. 228. 
58 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

the Harleian MS., but its effect is constantly marred by 
the juxtaposition of ill-matched shades of crimson, green, 
and most discordant note of all a harsh magenta. The 
local colours are often quite arbitrary, e.g. in the picture 
of the Magi following their angel-guide the ground is 
magenta, and the hair and beard of one Mage are, like 
his horse, of a pale bluish green a colour which also 
does duty for the ass ridden by Christ in the Entry 
into Jerusalem. The artist exaggerates the hard, dry 
manner which was one of the worst faults of the later 
Byzantine school ; his scenes seem as if cut out against 
the gold background, without a hint of perspective. Little 
attempt is made to vary the types, or to depict facial 
expression ; and the draperies are so treated as to give 
the effect of some hard substance, striped with fine lines, 
rather than of folded stuffs. The proportions are often 
absurd, as in the Raising of Lazarus, where the kneeling 
sisters and the men removing the sepulchre door, though 
all in the foreground, are mere pygmies ; or in the Entry 
into Jerusalem, where the figure of Christ is dwarfed by 
the tall disciples the ass too is of diminutive size, and is 
grotesquely represented as walking on air high above the 
ground. 

Despite these shortcomings, however, the Melissenda 
book has much beauty, besides a well-nigh unique interest 
as a monument of one of the most picturesque episodes 
in the Middle Ages. Its pages glow as brightly now as 
when they were first painted, with none of the flaking-off 
that disfigures so many Byzantine miniatures. The 
pictures of the life of Christ form an unusually complete 
series, of great value for the study of iconographical 
details. Here, for instance, the Baptism-scene, unlike 
that in the contemporary Harl. 1810 (f. 95), still preserves 
the personification of Jordan, but shrunk to puny dimen- 
sions. The Harrowing of Hell 1 is represented in the 
symmetrical form long established in Byzantine tradition : 
Christ in the centre, beneath His feet the broken doors of 

1 PL vi. 

59 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

the tomb ; in the left hand He holds a cross, with the 
right He raises Adam from the grave ; Eve stands behind 
Adam, waiting her turn ; on the right-hand side of the 
picture, balancing Adam and Eve, is a group of patriarchs 
headed by David and Solomon ; two angels hover above 
Christ, to right and left, bearing standards inscribed "SSS" 
(Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus). This last detail seems to be 
rare ; but the main outlines of composition stamp the 
miniature as one of a large family, other members of 
which are in Harl. 1810 (f. 2o6b) 1 and a Gospel-book 
dated 1128-9 in the Vatican. 2 The Ascension is repre- 
sented by a still more symmetrical composition : 3 Christ 
enthroned, within a circular mandorla, is borne heaven- 
wards by four angels ; below, the central figure is the 
Virgin, and on each side of her stands an angel addressing 
a group of disciples. Again an almost exact counterpart, 
as regards design, is to be found in Harl. 1810 (f. I35b).* 
As a rule, the decoration of Greek Gospel-books is 
restricted to portraits of the Evangelists and head- 
pieces prefixed to the Gospels, sometimes with arcades 
for the Eusebian canons and ornamental initials. The 
two manuscripts, which we have mentioned in discussing 
the Melissenda book, are exceptional in containing some 
additional miniatures. Besides the four Evangelist- 
portraits and a painting 5 of Christ blessing the Em- 
perors Alexius and John Comnenus, the Vatican MS., 
Urbino-Vat. gr. 2, which was executed in 1128-9, appar- 
ently for John Comnenus, has four full-page miniatures, 
one before each Gospel, viz. the Nativity, Baptism, 
Birth of S. John the Baptist, 6 and Harrowing of Hell. 
There is far greater wealth of illustration in the Harleian 
MS. 1810, also of the twelfth century. Inserted in the 

1 Reproduced, with other illustrations of the subject, by G. McN. Rushforth 
in Papers of the British School at Rome^ i, 1902, pp. 114-19. 

' 2 Cod. Urbino-Vat. gr. 2, f. 26ob, reproduced in New Pal Soc., pi. 106. 

3 Warner, Reproductions ; iii, 6. 

4 Ibid., i, 2. 

5 Venturi, ii, fig. 342. 

6 Beissel, Vat. Mtn., pi. 14. 

60 



PLATE VI 




PSALTER OF MELISSENDA, QUEEN OF JERUSALEM. BYZANTINE, 1I3M4 

BRIT. MUS. HOKRTON 1139 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

text at varying intervals are sixteen miniatures of the life 
of Christ, each occupying about three-quarters of the 
page. All the subjects are represented in the Melissenda 
book, and for the most part by nearly identical designs. 
But the book now under consideration is thoroughly 
typical of Byzantine work of the time ; and its minia- 
tures, so far as their condition enables one to judge, are 
marked by the subdued colouring, dignified gestures, 
and gentle, pensive faces which characterize the school. 
One of the finest is the Annunciation (f. 142), large 
in manner and freely handled. Finer still is the Incre- 
dulity of Thomas (f. 26 ib), a very charming composition 
in blue and gold, and fraught with an intensity of 
spiritual emotion that recalls the Codex Rossanensis. 
Christ stands in the centre, between two groups of 
apostles. His face is beautiful, His figure majestic and 
well drawn, though emaciated ; and the gestures and 
faces of the apostles express awe-struck, ecstatic wonder 
and reverence. 

After the twelfth century the history of Byzantine 
miniature is one of rapid decadence. Having provided 
a starting-point for the Italian school, which continued 
its tradition with great success through the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries, it ceased to exist as an aesthetic 
power. That instinct for decorative fitness and for the 
solemn effects proper to religious art, which had been its 
distinguishing characteristic, died away ; and nothing 
remained but those outward mannerisms which had 
always been the least satisfactory features of the style. 
Signs of decay had begun to show themselves, especially 
in the sense for harmonious colouring, before the end 
of the twelfth century ; and the downward movement 
was no doubt accelerated by the disasters which befell 
the Eastern Empire about this time, culminating in the 
Latin conquest of Constantinople in 1204. 

Before we pass on to the Western schools, a word 
must be said about the portraits of the Evangelists, 
which form the chief decoration of a very large number 

61 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

of copies of the Greek Gospels, ranging in date from the 
tenth century to the fourteenth. The series must have 
begun much earlier, as is evidenced by the portrait of 
S. Mark in the sixth century Codex Rossanensis, and by 
the four portraits in the Lindisfarne Gospels (circ. 700), 
which were plainly copied from Italo-Byzantine arche- 
types. But in this class, as in Byzantine illumination 
generally, the gap between the sixth century and the 
tenth has to be bridged over by inference and conjecture. 
One safe inference is that the symbolical figure of Divine 
Wisdom, which we saw in the Rossano book, was dis- 
carded during this dark period it was felt, perhaps, 
to savour too much of pagan art. The absence of the 
four emblems constitutes a more complex problem. 
From a very early period the Christian Church had 
regarded the " four living creatures" of Ezekiel i. 5, the 
"four beasts" of the Apocalypse iv. 6, as symbols of 
the four Evangelists certainly before the time of S. 
Jerome. When and where they were first introduced 
into Christian art is still undetermined ; but in Western 
miniatures they appear almost invariably from the seventh 
century onwards, whereas in Byzantine they are practi- 
cally unknown. Their first appearance among the Greek 
Gospel-books in the British Museum is in Add. 11838, 
written in I326; 1 among those in the Vatican, we are 
told, they do not occur at all. It is difficult to account 
for their absence in the paintings of a school so devoted 
to symbolic imagery as that of Byzantium ; and one is 
tempted to suggest that their use in art was a Latin 
invention, which did not become known to Greek-speaking 
Christendom until a comparatively late date. Certainly 
one of the oldest surviving instances of their occurrence 
is in the mosaics of the Baptistery of S. Giovanni in 
Fonte at Naples, circ. A.D. 400 ; and it is an interesting 
coincidence, to say the least, that the Durham Book 
(written at Lindisfarne circ. 700), which seems to have 
been copied from a Neapolitan archetype, contains pages 

1 New Pal. Sac., pi. 130. 
62 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

on which portraits of the Evangelists inscribed in Greek 
(" O agios M attheus," etc.) are combined with the em- 
blems, the latter inscribed in Latin (" imago hominis," 

etc.). 1 

After this digression, let us return to the Byzantine 
type, which is amply represented in Eastern monastic 
libraries, as well as in the Vatican, 2 the Imperial Library 
at Vienna, 8 the British Museum, and other great European 
collections of manuscripts. In point of artistic excel- 
lence the highest level, as with Byzantine miniatures in 
general, is reached in the tenth and eleventh centuries, 
and from the closing years of the twelfth century the 
deterioration becomes rapid and complete. As to the 
broad outlines of composition there is a conservatism 
verging on monotony, though the details vary in a way 
calculated at once to delight and perplex the archae- 
ologist and that not only from one manuscript to another, 
but from page to page within the same volume. The 
ground is almost invariably gold but occasionally blue, 
as in a twelfth century MS. in the British Museum. 4 In 
some cases the backgrounds are more or less filled with 
buildings, in others they are quite plain. Landscape is 
restricted to one subject, S. John dictating to S. Pro- 
chorus, and is of the peculiar character already described. 
The Evangelists are always at work on their respective 
Gospels ; the first three seated, and engaged in the actual 
writing, usually with an exemplar on a stand to copy 
from. For S. John two different compositions were 
recognized. In one, as we have seen in the Metaphrastes, 
he stands dictating to S. Prochorus, and at the same time 
looking heavenward for inspiration, which is symbolized 
by a hand issuing from part of a disc ; this device also 
appears in the other type, where he sits alone writing. 
The cast of countenance is usually grave, thoughtful, 

1 For a fuller discussion of this question see Burlington Mag., xiii, 162. 
" Beissel, Vat. Min., pp. 16-19, pi. ix-xi. 
3 Jarhbuch, xxi, pi. i-v. 
* Add. 4949. 

63 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

ascetic, especially in the earlier manuscripts, with bulging, 
wrinkled forehead and prominent chin. A good example 
is the portrait of S. Mark 1 in Burney 19, a manuscript 
of the eleventh century, formerly in the Escurial Library. 
S. Matthew is always an old man, with white hair and 
beard. S. Mark is much younger, dark haired, some- 
times of a strikingly Semitic type, e.g. in Add. 4949 and 
22740, both of the twelfth century. S. Luke is a young 
man in his prime, fair, with good features of Greek type, 
and slight pointed beard ; sometimes tonsured, as in 
Burney 19, Add. 4949, and Burney 20 (dated 1285). In 
Add. 22736, dated 1179, both he and S. John have almost 
girlish faces. But the latter is generally depicted as an 
old man, with long white beard and bald head, the fore- 
head very large and dome-shaped. The accessories are, 
as we have said, of great interest for the student of 
archaeology, but too full of fanciful variations to afford 
him very secure data. For instance, the exemplar is of 
scroll or codex form according to the painter's fancy for 
the moment ; and the form of the transcript varies equally 
but quite independently. In this connection we may note 
that in Burney 20 S. Matthew is copying or translating 
from a roll inscribed in Arabic evidence of a current 
tradition, at all events, as to the original language of his 
Gospel. The table by the Evangelist's side is often 
covered with a complete outfit of writing implements : 
inkstand, knife, scissors, compasses, sponge, 'etc. The 
devices for adjusting the book-rest ; the patterns of chair, 
table, and other pieces of furniture ; the hanging lamp 
suspended over S. Luke's table in Add. 28815 (tenth 
century) these are a few of the many points worth 
notice. 

Enough has been said as to the headpiece decoration, 
which adorns the beginning of each Gospel in these 
manuscripts. But there is another feature which must 
not be ignored, viz. the initial-ornament, in which some 
of the earlier manuscripts are rich. One of the best in 

1 PL iv. 
6 4 



BYZANTINE ILLUMINATION 

this respect is Arundel 547, an Evangelistarium or 
Gospel-lectionary, written in Slavonic uncials early in 
the tenth century. Its initials are of the type usually 
called Lombardic, and abound in variety and humour : 
fishes, birds, human limbs, human trunks without limbs, 
pitchers these and many other objects are combined in 
all sorts of fantastic ways. It is worth remarking that 
similar initials occur in an Evangelistarium l written at 
Capua in 991 by a Sicilian monk, and in a copy of the 
Gospels 2 written in 1023, probably in Southern Italy; 
but they are also found in manuscripts of the tenth and 
eleventh centuries on Mount Sinai, 3 and are probably of 
Eastern origin. 

To conclude this chapter, we cannot refrain (even at 
the risk of irrelevance) from mentioning a copy of the 
Greek Gospels* written at Rome in 1478 for Cardinal 
Francesco Gonzaga by a Cretan priest named John. The 
illuminations are unmistakably the work of an Italian 
artist ; but while his miniatures of the Evangelists, and 
the charming headpieces which he has prefixed (following 
the Byzantine custom) to the Gospels, are thoroughly 
Italian in style, the single figures and small groups 
painted on some of the margins recall such manuscripts 
as the Theodore Psalter, and were plainly copied from 
Byzantine models. 

1 Cod. "tat. gr. 2138. See Pal. Soc., ii, 87. 

2 Milan, Bibl. Ambros. B. 56 Sup. See Pal. Soc., i, 130. 

3 Munoz, L'art byzantin a f exposition de Grotto) f crrata t 1906, fig. 56. 

4 Brit. Mus., Harl. 5790. 



CHAPTER IV 
CELTIC ILLUMINATION 

HAVING sketched the development and subse- 
quent decay of Byzantine illumination, we now 
turn from the extreme east to the extreme west 
of Europe, and follow, so far as existing materials will 
allow us, the history of a counter-movement which took 
its rise in the Irish monasteries at an early period 
possibly even before the end of the fifth century ; and 
which, spreading thence to Great Britain and the Conti- 
nent, combined with Byzantine and other influences to 
form the decorative system which obtained in Europe from 
the ninth century to the twelfth. 

The great characteristic of Celtic illumination is a 
complete disregard for realism and an impassioned under- 
standing of conventional ornament. It is, indeed, by the 
use that it makes of decorative elements that the exact 
limitations of the school are fixed. The Classical style 
was entirely, the Byzantine mainly, pictorial ; the Celtic 
is purely ornamental. In its disposition of lines and 
masses, its dexterous manipulation of a few forms and 
colours to form patterns of endless variety, it has never 
been surpassed. Another marked feature of the school 
is the adaptation of decorative motives which belong 
primarily and properly to work in three dimensions to 
the allied, yet essentially distinct, arts of basketry, metal- 
work, and sculpture. Some purists object to this as a 
blemish ; but we find it difficult to accept their strictures 
when feasting our eyes on the exquisite beauty of some of 
the pages in such books as those of Kells, Lindisfarne, or 
Lichfield. 

The art of writing was probably introduced into Ireland, 
as a concomitant of Christianity, early in the fifth century; 
66 



PLATE VII 







GOSPELS fBOOK OF KELLSJ. IRISH, VIIrH CENT 



DUBLIN, TRIN. COLL. 



CELTIC ILLUMINATION 

and the fervour with which the faith was embraced in the 
"Isle of Saints" led to the foundation of monasteries 
innumerable, in which the copying of the Gospels and of 
service-books was diligently practised, for use at home 
and on missionary enterprises. A distinctive Irish cal- 
ligraphy was soon evolved, which preserved most of its 
characteristics almost unchanged down to the decay of 
writing as an art a conservatism fruitful in perplexities 
for the palaeographer, and so adding to the difficulties of 
the would-be historian of Irish illumination. At first, 
probably, the scribes contented themselves with making 
unadorned copies of the texts. The archetypes brought 
over from the Continent by S. Patrick and his companions 
were very likely devoid of ornament ; this would account 
for the absence of any trace of foreign influence in Irish 
book-decoration. No illuminated manuscripts of the 
Celtic school exist to which an earlier date than the seventh 
century can safely be assigned ; but its first beginnings 
must be put a good deal earlier, for by this time we find 
already a fully developed and elaborate system of decora- 
tion, together with a very high degree of technical skill. 

Before we come to notice individual manuscripts in 
detail, a few words must be said about the elements of 
ornamental design by which the school is characterized. 
These were formerly claimed as of Irish invention, but 
are now recognized as belonging (for the most part, at 
any rate) to the common stock of primitive art. They are 
roughly divisible into a few groups, and these again may 
be classified as arising from either geometrical or organic 
forms. The following list, though perhaps incomplete, 
contains the most frequent patterns : 

A. GEOMETRICAL 

1. Ribbons: plaited, knotted, or used as frames to enclose 

ornament. These, with the spirals, really form the 
foundation of the Celtic decorative system. 

2. Thread-like lines plaited or knotted ; a more delicate 

and intricate variety of i. 

67 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

3. Spirals, including the divergent spiral, or trumpet- 

pattern. 

4. The triquetra, or three-spoked wheel pattern. 

5. Dots, generally red, arranged in patterns, or outlining 

letters and frames. 

6. Step-patterns of zigzag lines. 

7. Tessellated patterns : tartans, lozenges, checks, key- 

patterns. 

8. Network patterns*of fine lines on a contrasting ground. 

B. ORGANIC FORMS 

1. The chief animal-designs are the so-called " lacertines," 

i.e. birds, dragons, serpents, hounds, etc., " stretched 
out lengthwise in a disagreeable manner," to quote 
Dr. Keller's graphic phrase. 1 These are plaited and 
twined together with a wonderful dexterity ; their 
tongues and tails being prolonged into ribbons, and 
knotted or woven into a compact space-filling decora- 
tion. Like the spirals and ribbon-work, they are 
among the most distinctive features of Celtic illu- 
mination. 

2. In the Book of Kells and other Irish manuscripts, use 

is made of the human figure for grotesques, corner- 
pieces, and terminals. It is always treated in a 
purely conventional manner, the hair and limbs often 
being prolonged into plaits, spirals, or ribbon-like 
edges for letters and frames. 

3. Grotesque animals other than lacertines are sometimes, 

but sparingly, introduced. 

4. Plant-forms occur, but rarely. The chief is the sham- 

rock, much used in the Book of Kells and one or two 
other manuscripts. There are also a few examples of 
the vine ; but on the whole, Celtic ornament cannot 
be said to have derived many of its patterns from 
vegetable life. 

1 See his article on Irish MSS. in Swiss libraries in Mittheil. der Ant. 
Gcsellsch. in Zurich, vii, Heft 3, 1851, pp. 61-97 '> translated by W. Reeves in the 
Ulster Journal of Archaeology, viii, 1860, pp. 210-30, 291-308. 

68 



CELTIC ILLUMINATION 

In the disposition of this mass of decoration, the Irish 
monks showed themselves to be great artists as well as 
expert craftsmen. They used their ornament in three 
ways. First, as rich frames enclosing full-page figure- 
subjects. Secondly, to enrich the opening pages of the 
Gospels, or other specially important parts of the text. 
Thirdly, for the complete pages of conventional decoration, 
often full of their peculiar symbolism, and usually having 
as foundation an elaborate cruciform design, which were 
generally prefixed to the Gospels and Psalms. In each 
case, the fundamental plan was much the same. Frames, 
capitals, or decorative pages were cut into variously shaped 
panels by flat ribbons, sometimes plaited at the corners, 
or bent to receive knotted and lacertine terminals. These 
panels were then filled with all-over patterns of one of the 
elements above described, so disposed as to give at once 
an impression of great variety and perfect harmony. In 
the best Irish manuscripts, such as the Book of Kells, 
every panel turns out on examination to be different, even 
plaits and knots being slightly varied. Nor did the 
artists rest content with the labour of producing their 
great cruciform and strap-work designs ; they also made 
their pages of script splendid by the huge plaited initials, 
ending often in swans' heads, eagles, or human grotesques, 
and by the wealth of dotted work, spirals, and lacertines 
which filled the ground between and about the lines of 
text. The draughtsmanship is extraordinary, the most 
intricate enlacements and spirals, and the delicate open- 
work patterns which recall " drawn thread " work, being 
faultlessly executed in firm and accurate outline. The 
pattern thus made was then coloured, always in small 
detached patches, like champleve' enamel-work. There 
are no washes, broad masses, blendings of tone ; every- 
thing is flat and definite. The range of colours was not 
large ; often only red and yellow are used, in addition to 
the lustrous black ink. In manuscripts of greater im- 
portance green, violet, and brown are added ; and 
finally, in a few books, blue, the rarest and most 

69 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

beautiful of the colours which the Irish painter had at 
his disposal. 

It only remains to mention the figure-subjects, usually 
portraits of the Evangelists, occasionally a few scriptural 
scenes also, which the Celtic illuminators unfortunately 
felt it necessary to introduce into their works. Their 
genius, as has already been said, was for pattern-weaving, 
space-filling, symmetry ; their world was a flat one, their 
art two-dimensional. The result of applying these pecu- 
liarities to the human figure may be imagined. Man, as 
seen by the Celtic artist, is a purely geometrical animal. 
His hair is a series of parallel lines or neatly fitted 
curves; his eyes, two discs set symmetrically in almond- 
shaped frames ; his nose, an interesting polygonal 
device. His dress, cut up into arbitrary compart- 
ments, his straight toes and fingers, and his doll- 
like stare, complete an ensemble which may be suc- 
cessful as a decorative pattern, but has no relation to 
real life. 

There is a good deal of uncertainty as to the dates of 
most of the extant examples of early Celtic illumination ; 
fixed points are few, experts' judgments are many and 
various. So the order adopted in the following notes of 
individual manuscripts cannot claim finality as a precise 
chronological arrangement. A fixed point of great value 
is supplied by the Durham Book, which was written 
(according to a tradition recorded in the tenth century and 
accepted without dispute) at Lindisfarne, in Northumber- 
land, between 687 and 721. The monastery at Lindis- 
farne had been founded by S. Aidan, from lona, early 
in the seventh century; and the fully developed style 
and technical perfection of the purely Celtic work 
(i.e. all the decorative ornament) in this book compel 
us to assign the beginnings of Irish illumination 
to a much earlier period. But no actual specimens 
exist, probably, of greater antiquity than the seventh 
century. B^ana 

One of the'earliest, by common consent, is the Book of 
70 



CELTIC ILLUMINATION 

Durrow, 1 a copy of the Latin Gospels now in the library 
of Trinity College, Dublin. It formerly belonged to 
Durrow monastery, in King's County, founded by S. 
Columba about A.D. 553, and was believed to have been 
the handiwork of the saint himself, on the strength of a 
colophon in which the scribe names himself Columba and 
claims to have written the whole book in twelve days. 
But the manifest impossibility of such a feat of rapid 
calligraphy has led to the conclusion that this colophon 
was copied from the archetype, doubtless a hastily written 
and unadorned codex. King Flann had a cumdach or 
shrine (now lost) made to enclose the volume, between the 
years 879 and 916, when it was already regarded as a 
precious relic ; and we shall probably not be far wrong in 
assigning it to the seventh century. The ornament con- 
sists of five full pages of decorative design (one at the 
beginning, and one prefixed to each Gospel), another page 
with the four Evangelistic emblems, four more represent- 
ing each of the Evangelists by his emblem, and elaborate 
initials at the beginning of each of the Gospels. The draw- 
ings of the emblems are crude, conventional, grotesque, 
especially on the page which contains all four. 2 In fact, 
the most noteworthy point about them is the winglessness 
of the man, lion, and calf suggesting an early date. The 
decorative work, on the other hand, is well planned and 
firmly executed ; it lacks the extreme delicacy and rich 
variety which we find in a few of the later manuscripts, 
but it is far from ineffective. The chief defects are a 
tendency to overcrowd the page by filling up all available 
spaces with close-set strap-work or tartan patterns of 
lozenges or squares, and a monotonous effect produced by 

1 J. O. Westwood, Facsimiles of the Miniatures and Ornaments of Anglo-Saxon 
and Irish MSS., 1868, pp. 20-5, pi. 4-7; National MSS. of Ireland, ed. J. T. 
Gilbert, i, 1874, pp. viii-ix, pi. 5, 6; J. A. Bruun, Celtic Illuminated MSS., 1897, 
PP- 45~7i pi. i, 2 ; S. F. H. Robinson, Celtic Illuminative Art, 1908, pp. xix-xxi, 
pi. 1-4. 

2 Reproduced by Westwood, Palaeographia Sacra Pictoria, 1 843-5, at en( ^ f 
Irish Biblical MSS. All the other illuminated pages are given in colours in his 
Facsimiles. 

71 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

the exact symmetry of the design and by the too frequent 
repetition on one page of the same device without any 
variation. For instance, the page facing the beginning 
of S. Mark's Gospel is filled with fifteen circles in rows 
of three, connected by lozenges of trellis-work and filled 
with interlaced ribbons, all exactly alike except the central 
circle. Another page is given up almost entirely to 
spirals ; another to rows of lacertines biting each other. 
Perhaps the finest page is that of which the centre is 
occupied by a sort of patriarchal cross surrounded with an 
elaborate pattern of interlaced ribbons ; the borders filled 
with interlaced circles and strap-work. The ground of 
the decorative pages is usually black, that of the emblem 
pages the plain vellum. The colours used are few : red, 
yellow, and green predominate, brown also occurs, and 
rarely purple. Red dots are freely used, both for framing 
coloured ornament and for the groundwork of panels on 
which the letters are set. 

There is not much to be said about the Book of 
Dimma, 1 another Gospel-book at Dublin (Trin. Coll.), 
written by one Dimma Mac Nathi, who is supposed to 
have lived in the first half of the seventh century. 
Besides the initial ornament, which is much slighter than 
in the Durrow Book, it contains four full-page minia- 
tures, representing the first three Evangelists and the 
emblem of the fourth, drawn in outline on the vellum 
ground, and flatly coloured in segments, enclosed within 
frames filled with the usual plait and coil patterns with 
zigzags, lozenges, and simple tessellated work. The 
execution is poor, the general effect mean and barbaric 
perhaps indicative of an early date. 

Celtic illumination must have developed rapidly during 
the seventh century, for its close witnessed the production 
of one of the two most perfect existing specimens of the 
school ; and that, too, not in Ireland itself, but in the 

1 Nat. MSS. Irel., i, pp. xii-xiii, pi. 18, 19. Westwood, Facsimiles, p. 83, 
Pal. Sac. Plct. t Irish Bibl. MSS., pi. ii, i ; Bruun, pp. 60-1. 

72 



CELTIC ILLUMINATION 

north of England. This is the famous Durham Book, 1 
or Lindisfarne Gospels, a copy of the Gospels written 
by Eadfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne (698-721), in honour 
of S. Cuthbert (d. 687) ; such at any rate is the tradition 
recorded by Aldred, who added an interlinear translation 
in the tenth century. Aldred goes on to credit Ethilwald 
with the binding and Billfrith with the ornamental metal- 
work of the outer cover, and finally names himself as 
translator, without saying a \vord as to the illuminations ; 
so we may conclude that they were done by Eadfrith or 
under his supervision. Strictly speaking, therefore, the 
manuscript should be relegated to the Hiberno-Saxon 
class at the end of this chapter ; but it seems better to 
discuss it here, in view of its great importance as a point 
de rep&re in the history of Celtic illumination. Its deco- 
ration consists of five cruciform pages, four portraits of 
the Evangelists, six pages of text, and sixteen pages 
of arcades enclosing the Eusebian Canons ; besides a 
great wealth of initial ornament throughout the volume. 
Of the cruciform pages one is at the beginning of the 
volume, and one prefixed to each Gospel. The most 
perfect is that before S. Matthew ; it consists of a cross 
of ornate and unusual design, enclosed in a rectangular 
frame and completely filled and surrounded with intricate 
interlacing and other decorative patterns. The general 
scheme in the others is the same, but only that which 
precedes S. John's Gospel approaches it in beauty ; the 
other three are more rectilinear in design, and produce a 
much less pleasing and interesting effect. The first page 
of each of the Gospels and of S. Jerome's Epistle to 
Damasus is profusely decorated, and so is the page be- 
ginning with the words: "Christi autem generatio" 
(Matt. i. 1 8). Perhaps the finest of these text-pages is 

1 Brit. Mus., Nero D. iv. For descriptions and partial reproductions see 
Warner, Illuminated MSS., pl. i, 2, and Reproductions, iii, i, 2 ; Cat. Atu. MSS. t 
ii, pp. 15-18, pi. 8-1 1 ; Pal. Soc., i, 3-6, 22 ; Sir E. M. Thompson, Eng. III. MSS., 
l %95> PP- 4-iOj pl- ij Westwood, Facsimiles, pp. 33-9, pi. 12, 13; Robinson, 
pp. xxii-xxiv, pl. 5-10; Bruun, pp. 48-60, pl. 3. 

73 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

that on which S. Luke's Gospel begins. 1 The general 
plan is the same in all : the text enclosed in a frame- 
border filled with interlaced work, spirals, long-necked 
birds, and other devices, and having the initial letter itself 
for the left-hand side ; the initial, and usually the next 
few letters, of large size and ornamental design and filled 
with decoration like the border; the remainder of the 
text smaller and less elaborate, but adorned with touches 
of colour and surrounded with patterns of red dots. 
These eleven pages form the principal part of the purely 
Celtic illumination in the book. For varied intricacy of 
design they are surpassed only by the Book of Kells ; 
and the softness and harmony of the colours, the skilful 
and delicate contrasts of blue, red, green, yellow, and 
purple, brought out the more effectively by touches of 
black in the spaces between the patterns, are unsurpassed 
by any other manuscript of the school. The text is a 
beautiful example of half-uncial writing, in ink whose 
lustrous blackness is perfectly preserved, and is enriched 
throughout with coloured initials of characteristically 
Celtic style : spirals, lacertines, interlacings, with plenti- 
ful use of red dots. The ornamentation of the Eusebian 
Canons is comparatively slight ; but the delicately tinted 
arcades, with pillars and arches alternately filled with 
ornithines, or lacertines, and plaits, charm by their perfec- 
tion of execution, if they do not astonish by their fertility 
of design. 

All these are purely Celtic, though Celtic of a more 
advanced kind than we have yet seen. But when we 
come to the four full-page portraits of the Evangelists, 
the only examples of figure-drawing in the book, we 
break at once with the Irish tradition, though its flat and 
conventional technique is still apparent. These minia- 
tures are thoroughly Byzantine in design : the seated 
scribes, drawn in profile, with cushion, desk, and foot- 
stool, one with the ceremonial curtain at his side, are 
obviously descended from the same stock as the portraits 

1 PI. viii. 
74 




LINDISFARNE GOSPELS, CIRCA 700 

BRIT. MUS. NERO D IV 



CELTIC ILLUMINATION 

in the Greek Gospel-books described in chapter iii. The 
relationship is proved, indeed, beyond a doubt by the 
inscriptions in a sort of Latinized Greek, " O agios 
Mattheus," "O agius Marcus," etc. But the addition 
of the evangelistic emblems, inscribed in Latin (" imago 
hominis," etc.), shows that the descent from a Greek 
archetype was not immediate ;* and it is most probable 
that these portraits were inspired by Italo-Byzantine 
originals contained in the Neapolitan manuscript from 
which the text was presumably copied. The ground in 
these pages is a pale violet; there is no conventional 
ornament, except a little knot-work at the corners a 
marked contrast to the luxuriant decoration by which the 
Celtic illumination is characterized. In each of them 
the Evangelist sits writing, with his emblem, winged, 
above his head ; but S. Matthew's emblem also appears 
in the form of a man holding a book, 2 low down on the 
right-hand side of the miniature, almost hidden by a 
curtain. 

The Gospels of S. Chad, 3 in the cathedral library 
at Lichfield, may probably be assigned to the beginning 
of the eighth century. This manuscript is to all appear- 
ance of purely Irish workmanship. The first owner of 
whom any record survives was one Cingal, who in the 
ninth century sold it in exchange for a horse ; it was 
afterwards dedicated to S. Teilo, the patron saint of 
Llandaff, but found its way to S. Chad's Church at 
Lichfield, apparently before the end of the tenth century. 
Several leaves are missing, and those which remain have 
suffered badly through damp, especially as regards the 
colours. There is a full page of ornamental text at 

1 See above, p. 62. 

2 Westwood's interpretation of this figure as representing the Holy Ghost has 
been generally accepted hitherto ; but his position in the picture, looking up with 
reverence to the saint, makes it improbable, and comparison with the correspond- 
ing miniature in the S. Gall MS. 1395 (Keller, pi. vii, Ulster Journ. of Arch., viii, 
p. 302) leaves little room for doubt that the Northumbrian artist has duplicated 
the emblem. He has been followed by the illuminator of the Copenhagen Gospels 
(Westwood, Facsimiles > pi. 41). 

3 Pal.Soc., i, 20, 21, 35; Westwood, Facsimiles, pp. 56-8, pi. 23. 

75 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

the beginning of each Gospel, and another at the words 
" Christi autem generatio " ; also portraits of SS. Mark 
and Luke, and a leaf prefixed to S. Luke's Gospel, having 
the Evangelistic symbols in outline on one side, and 
a rich cruciform design of ribbons and lacertines on the 
other. This last page, by far the most beautiful in 
the book, has the same form of central cross as the first 
of the cruciform pages in the Durham Book ; while the 
decorative scheme with which the panels are filled, 
though somewhat inferior in delicacy and variety, is not 
unlike that of the splendid S. Matthew page in the same 
volume. The finest of the text-pages is that with the 
words " Christi autem generatio," a superb example 
of Celtic illumination ; the prevailing ornaments here 
are the triquetra, spirals, and interlaced long-necked 
birds. But when we look at the two portraits we are 
confronted with the limitations of the Celtic artist, 
and have to recognize how really barbaric his outlook 
was, when once he turned from traditional ornament 
to actual life. The drawing of the figure touches the 
limit of grotesque hideousness : the body, composed of 
a series of bulging curves ; the hair, divided into neatly 
fitting segments and coloured red, yellow, and purple ; 
the huge head, with its staring eyes and impossible nose 
all combine to form a reductio ad absurdum of the 
Irish manner. 

We come now to the Book of Kells, 1 justly celebrated 
as the supreme masterpiece of Celtic illumination. 
Formerly assigned to the seventh century or even earlier, 
it is now regarded by the best critics as a production of 
the eighth or early ninth century. This view is partly 
based on textual considerations, the volume containing 
the four Gospels in a mixture of the Hieronymian and 
Old-Latin versions resembling that found in the Gospels 

1 Westwood, Facsimiles, pp. 25-33, pi. 8-n ; Nat. MSS. Ire/., i, pp. ix-xii, 
pi. 7-17; Robinson, pp. xxv-xxx, pi. 11-51; Pal Soc., i, 55-8, 88-9; T. K. 
Abbott, Celtic Ornaments from the Book of Kells, 1895, with fifty plates; Bruun, 
pp. 77-81, pi. 7-9; M. Stokes, Early Christian Art in Ireland, 1887, pp. 9-17. 

7 6 



CELTIC ILLUMINATION 

of MacRegol (early ninth century) ; partly on artistic, for 
the profusion, variety, and perfection of its decoration 
undoubtedly point rather to the maturity than the primi- 
tive ages of Celtic art. It was probably executed in the 
Columban monastery of Kells, in Meath, where it re- 
mained, certainly from the beginning of the eleventh 
century, down to the dissolution of that abbey in 1541 ; 
it afterwards belonged to Archbishop Ussher, and is now 
prized as the greatest treasure in the library of Trinity 
College, Dublin, having come there with the rest of his 
books in 1661. Conjecture has identified it with a codex 
shown to Giraldus Cambrensis at Kildare, towards the 
end of the twelfth century, whose illuminations he de- 
scribes in a remarkable passage 1 of enthusiastic appreci- 
ation ; they were said, he tells us, to have been produced 
under the direction of an angel at the prayers of S. 
Bridget. But perhaps it is more natural to suppose that 
this was another example of a class now represented only 
by the Book of Kells. 

More fully decorated than any other extant manu- 
script of its school, the Book of Kells forms a sort of 
compendium of Irish art : possessing besides arcaded 
Canon-tables, portraits of Evangelists, numerous decora- 
tive pages and magnificent initials full-page miniatures 
of the Temptation of Christ, His seizure by the Jews, 
and the Madonna and Child, which are unique in the 
history of Celtic painting. Historically interesting, how- 
ever, these pages possess all the artistic vices of their 
school. The Madonna and Child, surrounded by four 
small angels with censers, and placed in an elaborately 
ornamented frame, seems like a caricature of some early 
Byzantine painting. It is solemn, but inept. Nothing 
could be less lifelike or more hideous than this Infant 
Christ, not even the large-headed, stony-eyed Madonna. 
But the beautifully jewelled wings of the angels, the soft 
bright colours, the woven patterns of the accessories, the 
clever space-filling, nearly succeed in turning what is 

1 Topographia Hibernica, ii, 38-9 (Opera, v, 123). 

77 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

really an ugly picture into an interesting, even pleasing 
design. Better in every way is the miniature of the 
seizure of Christ. Here the artist, in spite of crude 
drawing and bad anatomy, has actually managed to con- 
vey the idea of unresistant suffering on the one hand, 
of malicious energy on the other. 

But perhaps the best things in all three pictures are 
the figures of angels with wings outspread, which also 
appear with beautiful effect on many of the pages of 
lettering. Poor as to facial expression, they yet suggest 
something of mysterious dignity by the great sweep of 
those straight and jewelled pinions, which give majesty 
even to the slightly grotesque symbols of the Evangelists, 
thrice represented 1 between the arms of the mystical 
cross. These winged figures have a look which is 
magical, remote, profoundly un-European, reminiscent, 
indeed, of the deities of ancient Assyrian or Egyptian 
art. This feature of the Book of Kells and its congeners, 
together with the peculiar flamingo-like character of the 
lacertine birds, has led some writers to claim for Irish art 
an Egyptian inspiration. 2 In support of this claim it 
has been remarked that the earliest Irish monasteries 
were built on the same plan as those of the Egyptian 
hermits ; and a piece of direct evidence is adduced from 
the Leabhar Breac, which mentions, among other foreign 
ecclesiastics buried in Ireland, " Septem monachos 
Aegyptios qui jacent in Disert-Ulidh." It has even been 
maintained that the conversion of Ireland was due to 
Coptic missionaries ; but this cannot be regarded as any- 
thing more than conjecture. It is clear, however, that 
Irish ornament, whatever its origin, is not in its entirety 
a native product. Its plaits and knots are European in 
their distribution, and seem always to occur at a certain 
stage of primitive art. Its spirals are found on British 
shields of the second century (not to mention Cretan 
decoration of a much earlier period) ; its key and tessel- 

1 One of these representations is our pi. vii. 

2 See Keller, pp. 74, 79-81 (Reeves's translation, pp. 225, 229-30). 

78 



CELTIC ILLUMINATION 

lated patterns seem relics of classic design. It is in 
execution and combination, not in invention, that the 
Irish illuminator excels. 

In the ornament pages of the Book of Kells, and 
especially in the great designs of mingled lettering and 
decoration prefixed to each Gospel, his taste and dexterity 
are seen at their best. S. Matthew alone has six such 
pages, culminating in the superb illumination of the 
monogram " XPI," on which, as Miss Stokes has well said, 
" is lavished, with all the fervent devotion of the Irish 
scribe, every variety of design to be found in Celtic art, 
so that the name which is the epitome of his faith is also 
the epitome of his country's art." 

But the Book of Kells is unique ; not even the 
Durham Book can be compared with it for richness and 
variety, and no other extant manuscript of the school is 
worthy to be mentioned in the same breath. The style 
was here being used by a supreme artist ; its usual 
interpreter was only a respectable craftsman at best. Of 
the remaining Irish manuscripts, perhaps the most im- 
portant is the Gospels of Mac Regol, 1 in the Bodleian 
Library at Oxford, sometimes called the Rushworth 
Gospels from its donor, John Rushworth the historian. 
Its scribe, Mac Regol, has been identified with an Abbot 
of Birr, in Queen's County, who died in 820 ; and though 
this identification cannot be regarded as certain, it 
probably indicates the date of the manuscript correctly. 
The decoration is rich, but coarsely and unevenly 
executed; it consists of an elaborate page of lettering at 
the beginning of each Gospel, and portraits of SS. Mark, 
Luke, and John in highly decorated frames. The chief 
colours are brick-red and yellow, but green and dull 
purple are also used. There is no blue or pale violet. 
Most of the ornament is made up of plaits, spirals, 
lacertines, and open reticulated patterns. The strange 
women's faces seen on some pages of the Book of Kells 

1 Westwood, Facsimiles, pp. 53-6, pi. 16 ; Nat. MSS. IreL, p. xiii, pi. 22-4 ; 
PaL Soc.) i, 90, 91. 

79 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

appear again, as well as the semi-human lacertines, their 
hair prolonged into plaits and spirals. The symbols 
of the Evangelists, which stand above their portraits, are 
covered with bright-coloured tartans, recalling the Book 
of Durrow. The Evangelists themselves are, as usual, 
quite conventional in drawing. Drapery is represented 
by a series of rather turbulent diagonal stripes, faces are 
flat and geometrical, perspective does not exist. Still, 
the book is of great value as representing, presumably, 
the average work of the period when Celtic art reached its 
culminating point in the Book of Kells. It is, at any 
rate, immeasurably superior, both in taste and execution, 
to most of its successors. 

One of the best of these is the Gospel-book at 
Lambeth, 1 written for (or perhaps by) Maelbrigte Mac 
Durnan, who was Abbot of Armagh and Raphoe, and 
afterwards of lona, and who died in 927. It is a small 
volume, written in minuscules, and adorned with four 
full-page portraits of the Evangelists and a cruciform 
page containing their emblems, as well as decorative text- 
pages at the beginning of each Gospel and at the words 
"Christi autem generatio." The colouring is on the 
whole delicate and pleasing, including bright red, a 
beautiful violet, two shades of green, and buff ; and the 
ornamental work is rich and varied. But the figure- 
drawing is impossible, and the drapery still more so, 
appearing in a series of strange curvilinear folds. The 
four emblems are exceedingly weird, drawn in fantastic 
shapes, only just distinguishable by their heads, and 
coloured on the patchy, enamel-like system so often found 
in Celtic painting. An unpleasing peculiarity of the 
manuscript is the use of a heavy white body-colour for 
the faces, hands, and other parts of the figure, which are 
usually only drawn in outline on the vellum. The artist's 
passion for symbolism has led him to provide S. Luke 

1 S. W. Kershaw, Art Treasures of the Lambeth Library, 1873, PP- 2 7~9 '> 
Westwood, Facsimiles, pp. 68-72, pi. 22, and in Archaeol. Journ,, vii, 1850, 
pp. 17-25; Nat. MSS. IreL, p. xvii, pi. 30, 31 ; Bruun, pp. 65-7, pi. 4-6. 

80 



CELTIC ILLUMINATION 

with cloven hoofs ; but it is hard to see why he should 
have treated S. Matthew 1 in the same way. 

In the library of Trinity College, Dublin, are two 
manuscripts closely allied to the Gospels of Mac Durnan, 
although tradition assigns them to much earlier dates. 
These are the Book of Armagh, 2 written (there seems 
reason for supposing) in 807, and the Book of Mulling, 8 
whose scribe has been identified with S. Mulling or 
Moling, Bishop of Ferns in Leinster, who died in 697. 
The former has only pen-and-ink work, but was evidently 
meant to be fully illuminated. The Evangelistic emblems, 
which appear all four on one page, between the arms of a 
cross, as well as singly, resemble those of the Lambeth 
book in having four wings each, but are much better 
drawn, less conventional, and more life-like, especially 
the prancing lion and the eagle with its talons embedded 
in a fish. The Book of Mulling has full-page miniatures 
of three of the Evangelists, standing upright with a book 
in the left hand ; the pose of the figures, the absurd folds 
of drapery, the dead-white faces, the frame-borders filled 
with lacertines and other ornaments, all strongly resemble 
the portrait-pages in the Lambeth book. The colouring, 
however, is less delicate and more restricted in range so 
restricted, indeed, that the artist has found it necessary to 
paint the hair blue, as well as the eyes ! 

Two more Irish manuscripts of the ninth or tenth 
century are just worth mentioning, as showing the depth 
of barbarism into which Irish illumination quickly re- 
lapsed. One of these is a Psalter in the British Museum; 4 
damaged by fire, but not to such an extent as to mask 
the childish absurdity of its two drawings David over- 
throwing Goliath, and David playing the harp or the 
poverty of design in its interlaced borders and initials. 

1 This curious feature also occurs in the Book of Kells. See Abbott, pi. 33. 

2 Westwood, Facsimiles, pp. 80-2 ; Nat. MSS. Ire!., pp. xiv-xvii, pi. 25-9. 

3 Westwood, p. 93 ; Nat. MSS. Ire!., p. xiii, pi. 20, 21. 

4 Vitell. F. xi. See Cat. Anc. MSS. t ii, p. 13; Westwood, Facsimiles, p. 85, 
pl- 5 r > fig- 5 6, and in Archaeol. Journ., vii, pp. 23-5. 

6 8l 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

The other manuscript, also a Psalter, is in the library of 
S. John's College, Cambridge. 1 It has three full-page 
miniatures, all extremely crude and barbaric : two are of 
the victories of David ; the third is surely the most 
grotesque representation of the Crucifixion ever per- 
petrated in Christian art. Among other peculiarities are 
the intertwining folds of Christ's draperies (the figure is 
completely clothed, even to boots and stockings, the 
latter red), the armless angels with hands emerging 
directly from their bodies, and the ridiculous little figures 
of Longinus and the soldier. 

Illumination continued to be practised in Ireland 
down to the thirteenth century, an ugly if pathetic 
memorial of its glorious past. There are drawings of 
the Evangelistic symbols in two twelfth century Gospel- 
books in the British Museum, viz. Harl. 1802 and 1023 ; 
those in the former, which was written by Maelbrigt hua 
Maeluanaigh at Armagh in 1138, being especially feeble 
and ugly. 2 But the decorations were for the most part 
restricted to interlaced and zoomorphic initials and 
borders ; and these became stereotyped in design, coarse 
in execution, unpleasing in colour. 8 

But we must go beyond Ireland, beyond the British 
Isles, to give anything like a complete sketch, however 
brief, of Celtic illumination. As early as the sixth 
century a stream of Irish missionaries began to pour 
forth, who carried Christianity, and with it their own 
peculiar form of Christian art, into Great Britain and 
many parts of the Continent, notably Switzerland, South 
Germany, and Northern Italy; and the monasteries which 
they founded grew rich in manuscripts written and illu- 
minated in the Irish manner. Not many of these have 
survived ; and those that have are mostly it must be 

1 MS. C. 9. See Westwood, Facsimiles, p. 84, pi. 30, and Pal. Sac. Pict., 
No. 18; Burlington Fine Arts Club, Exhibition of Illuminated MSS. t 1908, 
No. 3, pi. ii. 

2 Nat. MSS. Ire!., pp. xx, xxii, pi. 40-2, 45 ; Pa!. Soc., i, 212. 

3 e.g. see Brit. Mus., Galba A. v and Add. 36929, two thirteenth century 
Psalters. 

82 



CELTIC ILLUMINATION 

confessed rather curious than beautiful. This is em- 
phatically the case with the Book of Deer, a tenth 
century copy of the Gospels which belonged to the mon- 
astic settlement founded by S. Columba at Deer, in 
Aberdeenshire, and which is now in the Cambridge 
University Library. 1 The drawings of the Evangelists, 
which are repeated again and again on every available 
space throughout the volume, are merely childish ; and 
their absurdity is not counterbalanced by any exceptional 
merit in the initial and border ornaments, which, though 
based on better models and more correctly drawn, do not 
rise above the simplest forms of plait, meander, and 
tessellated patterns. Celtic art in Wales reached a higher 
level, if we may judge by the Psalter executed by Rice- 
march, Bishop of S. David's, in the latter part of the 
eleventh century. This manuscript, now in the library 
of Trinity College, Dublin, 2 has no miniatures, but its 
three ornamental text-pages, though not comparable to 
the best \vork of the school, still show some sense of 
decorative effect in their interlaced lacertine borders and 
zoomorphic initials. 

Among the continental monasteries of Irish origin, 
two of the most famous are that founded by S. Columban 
at Bobbio, in Piedmont, and his disciple S. Gall's founda- 
tion in Switzerland. In these and the rest a great number 
of Celtic manuscripts accumulated : partly, no doubt, 
through donations from the parent church or from Irish 
pilgrims who visited these houses on their way to or from 
Rome ; but mainly through the industry of the inmates, 
working under the direction of Irish calligraphers who 
had brought with them a knowledge, more or less perfect, 
of the principles of Celtic art. The Bobbio manuscripts 
have been dispersed ; but the Irish influence in them 
would seem, judging by the few remnants now preserved 
in Turin, Milan, and Munich, to have yielded to that of 

1 Ii. vi. 32. The decorated pages are all reproduced in the Spalding Club 
edition, 1869. See too Pal, Soc., i, 210, 211. 

2 Westwood, Facsimiles, p. 87 ; Bruun, p. 82, pi. 10. 

33 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

the local Lombardic and Italo-Byzantine schools, except 
for a few elements of ornament, especially plait and knot 
work and tessellated patterns. 

The primitive traditions were maintained more closely 
at S. Gall, 2 contending influences being doubtless weaker 
there than in the Italian settlement. The famous Gospel- 
book (No. 51), which was probably written in the mon- 
astery about the end of the eighth or beginning of the 
ninth century, is actually nearer in style to the Books of 
Durrow, Lichfield, and Kells than many manuscripts of 
undoubtedly Irish execution. Its beautiful cruciform page 
contains panels filled with lacertines, and frame-compart- 
ments filled with plaits, spirals, and lozenges, all very 
perfectly drawn and delicately coloured. Blue, black, 
pale yellow, and red are the chief tints ; no silver or gold. 
In the portraits of the Evangelists, each surmounted by his 
emblem as in the Durham Book, we find the rudimentary 
figure-drawing of the Mac Regol book and its successors ; 
but these pages too are redeemed by the excellence of the 
frame-borders, filled with lacertines, interlacings, spirals, 
and other devices. The extraordinary miniature of the 
Crucifixion is decidedly more dignified, less grotesque, 
than that in the Cambridge Psalter: but there is an 
obvious kinship between them, and Westwood's remark 
on this picture and that of Christ in glory is not much 
too strong : " More barbarous designs could scarcely be 
conceived." This book is much the finest example of 
Celtic illumination preserved at S. Gall ; but the others 
show the same faithful adherence to Irish traditions. 

These traditions were firmly established in the north 
of England by the end of the seventh century, as is proved 
by the Lindisfarne Gospels. They appear very plainly 

1 See F. Carta, Atlante paleografico-artistico, 1899, pi. 10, 15; C. Cipolla, 
Codici Bobbiesi, 1907, pi. 39-41; Pal. Soc., i, 121; L. von Kobell, Kunstvolle 
Miniaturen, p. 22, pi. 12, 13. 

2 See Keller's article, mentioned on p. 68 above ; Westwood, Facsimiles, pp. 
62-8, pi. 26-8. Copies of many of the miniatures and ornaments in these manu- 
scripts were made for the Record Commissioners in 1833, and are now in the 
Public Record Office (Record Commission Transcripts, ser. iii, No. 156). 

84 



CELTIC ILLUMINATION 

in two eighth century manuscripts, probably executed in 
the same district, and now in the Durham Cathedral 
Library. One of these 1 is an imperfect copy of the 
Gospels, having a splendid " In principio " page not 
unlike that of the Lindisfarne book, besides many fine 
initials ; it also contains a full-page miniature of the 
Crucifixion, whose damaged condition is the less to be 
regretted since it is of the ungainly type represented in 
the Cambridge and S. Gall books evidently the received 
Irish treatment of this subject. The other manuscript, 8 
ascribed by tradition to the hand of Bede (but probably 
of somewhat later date), contains the commentary of 
Cassiodorus on the Psalms. It has two full-page minia- 
tures, showing David as harpist and warrior respectively ; 
the figures are rigid and rudely drawn, as usual, and the 
ornament of the enclosing borders, though richly varied 
(including lacertines, interlacings, and step-patterns), is 
less fine in execution than the decorative work in the 
Gospel-book. A still further decline is visible in the 
Prayer-book of Bishop Aethelwald of Lindisfarne, now 
in the Cambridge University Library, 3 with its quaint 
drawings of the Evangelists and their emblems. 

But the Celtic spirit had by this time made its way 
southwards to Canterbury, where it was confronted with 
a rival influence introduced from Rome by Augustine and 
his missionaries. The result was a curious fusion of the 
two manners, a combination of classical composition with 
Celtic ornament, which is strikingly exemplified in the 
Psalter of S. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury. 4 This 
manuscript, executed about the same time as the Lindis- 
farne Gospels, has initials which are already nearer to 
Franco-Saxon than to pure Celtic work. The body of 

1 A. ii. 17. See Westwood, p. 48; New Pal. Soc., pi. 30. 

2 B. ii. 30. See Westwood, p. 77, pi. 17, 18; Pal. Soc., i, 164. 
8 LI. i. 10. Westwood, p. 43, pi. 24. 

4 Brit. Mus., Vesp. A. i. Westwood, pp. 10-14, pi. 35 Pal Soc., i, 18, 19; 
Cat. Anc. MSS., ii, pp. 8-n, pi. 12-155 Thompson, Eng. Ilium. MSS., pp. 
10-13, pi. 2 ; Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 3. 

85 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

these letters is black, with coloured terminals plaited 
together and surrounded by red dots. The plaits, how- 
ever, are more open, less minute than in Irish illumination; 
the panels of lacertines have vanished, so has much of 
the spiral work. In their place we have a plentiful use 
of gold, a metal never found in Irish manuscripts, and 
very sparingly applied to the Lindisfarne Gospels. This, 
with the great black letters, produces an effect of sombre 
magnificence, very different from the gay yet austere 
delicacy of the best Irish initial-work, though distinctly 
traceable to its influence. 

But when we come to the figure-composition, we see 
a style which has nothing at all to do with Celtic illumi- 
nation, but is plainly the attempt of the native artist 
to copy a late-classical painting, which he may well have 
found in one of the books brought from Italy by Augus- 
tine. 1 Before Psalm xxvi, a full-page miniature shows 
David the Harpist enthroned, playing in concert with 
four other musicians, while two boys dance before him, 
a scribe standing on either side of the throne. Here all 
is painted in thick body-colour, faces and draperies are 
modelled and gradated, with green shadows on the flesh 
and white high-lights. The figures, though badly pro- 
portioned, are no mere geometrical shapes, but have life 
and movement ; perspective is attempted, though in some- 
what rudimentary fashion. The picture, in short, if not 
beautiful, aims at expressing actuality, and belongs to an 
altogether different order of things from the flat and con- 
ventional absurdities which passed as figure-compositions 
in purely Celtic manuscripts. Yet the arched frame 
enclosing it is richly ornamented with trumpet-pattern 
and interlacing, as well as with gilded rosettes and 
lozenges ; so that the page presents an almost unique 
combination of Roman and Irish elements, welded to- 
gether by an English painter. 

1 Sir G. Warner notes the interesting fact that a similar design occurs in a 
tenth century Bobbio MS. ; the treatment is different, but again shows no hint of 
Celtic influence. 

86 



CELTIC ILLUMINATION 

Something of this fusion is still to be seen in a late 
eighth century Gospel-book emanating from the same 
abbey, 1 but with a marked weakening of the Celtic in- 
fluence. The tables of Eusebian Canons are enclosed 
in arcades, pillars and arches being profusely decorated 
with medallions and compartments rilled with ornamental 
devices ; but these include arabesque scrolls and many 
other non-Celtic patterns, and perhaps the most distinct- 
ive sign of Irish inspiration is to be seen in the plentiful 
use of red dots, which had by now become a recognized 
feature of English manuscripts, often forming the sole 
attempt at embellishment. 

1 Brit. Mus., Roy. i E. vi. Westwood, pp. 39-42, pi. 14, 15 ; Pal. Soc., i, 7; 
Cat. Anc. AfSS., ii, pp. 20-2, pi. 17, 18 ; Warner, Reproductions, iii, 3. 



CHAPTER V 

THE CAROLINGIAN RENAISSANCE 

WHEN Charlemagne became king of the Franks, 
in A.D. 771, he found himself at the head of a 
nation as inconspicuous artistically as it was 
militantly important. The existing remains of Mero- 
vingian, Lombardic, and Visigothic art, conveniently 
classed by some German critics under the general heading 
of " Wandering of the Nations style," can at best only be 
described as quaint, while at worst they are unspeakably 
hideous. They consist mainly, so far as the decoration 
of manuscripts is concerned, of strange initial letters and 
detached ornaments, based on fishes, birds, and dragons, 
with cable and plait patterns borrowed, in all probability, 
from Classical mosaics. These are generally drawn in 
coarse coloured outline and flatly tinted in crude colours, 
red, yellow, and green predominating. They are found 
in the seventh and eighth century MSS. of France, Spain, 
Germany, Lombardy, 1 the same patterns surviving in 
continental Romanesque stone-carving down to the twelfth 
century. Their strange, distorted shapes belong to a 
different world from the sophisticated ornament of Classical 
art ; they are the ancestors of the long series of grotesques 
which became so constant and prominent a feature of 
Gothic design. There is a strong family likeness between 
these fantastic initials and those noted in chapter iii as 
occurring in Greek Gospel-books of the tenth and eleventh 
centuries a likeness probably due to a common Oriental 

1 Many reproductions, especially from manuscripts now preserved in the 
Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris, are given in the Comte de Bastard's monumental 
Peintures et ornements des manuscrits, 1832-69. See too L. Delisle, Mtmoire sur 
d'anciens sacramentaires, 1886 (Mem. de FAcad. des Inscr. et Belles-Lcttres^ xxxii, i). 

88 



THE CAROLINGIAN RENAISSANCE 

ancestry. In the horse-shoe arches, which occasionally 
appear on full pages of decoration, the influence of Moorish 
architecture is apparent. Here and there too are found 
pages filled with interlaced rings, lattice-work, and a few 
simple geometrical devices, faintly reminiscent of the 
least interesting pages in the Book of Durrow. This 
suggestion of kinship with Celtic art is borne out in the 
Gellone Sacramentary 1 by the symbolism which repre- 
sents the first three Evangelists by their emblems, and 
S. John by a very Egyptian-looking eagle-headed man. 
This manuscript, however, is one of the latest productions 
of the Merovingian school (if school be an applicable 
word), and shows signs of its transitional character both 
in script and illuminations. In its sole miniature, for 
instance, of the Crucifixion (f. I43b), the figures of the 
hovering angels, and of Christ clothed in a loin-cloth 
reaching to the knee, suggest some early Italo-Byzantine 
archetype in fresco or mosaic, and have nothing in 
common with the barbarous design found in Celtic manu- 
scripts. But whatever the precise source may have been 
of individual elements in pre-Carolingian illumination, its 
most salient characteristic is a bizarre, barbaric quality, 
symptomatic of a low state of culture. 

With the third quarter of the eighth century, however, 
we enter on a new era. Charlemagne, when he was seized 
with the idea of reviving the Roman Empire, desired an 
imperialism which should be Latin in other things besides 
greatness of dominion. His scheme included an intel- 
lectual ascendency, and a transference of the faded glories 
of Classical art, the ripening ones of Byzantine, to his own 
capital and court. The name of Carolingian Renaissance 
is given to the resulting efflorescence of learning and the 
arts, which took place under his immediate influence. 
His school is unique in this, that it owed its inception to 
the personal encouragement of a prince, not to the genius 
of individual artists. We notice, in fact, in Carolingian 

1 Paris, Bibl. Nat., lat. 12048, ff. 42, 42b. For description of the MS. see 
Delisle, p. 80. 

8 9 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

manuscripts not so much greatness of technical achieve- 
ment as a general magnificence of plan. Charlemagne 
11 dreamed greatly"; his miniaturists, without a native 
tradition to help them, carried out his ambitions as best 
they might. Beginning at his capital of Aix-la-Chapelle, 
the artistic revival radiated throughout the Western 
Empire ; influenced Southern England, already feeling 
the first stirrings of culture ; and, under Charles's suc- 
cessors, determined the subsequent course of European 
pre-Gothic art. 

In the decoration of books this artistic revival was 
essentially derivative and composite. Byzantine influence 
is at once discernible, not only in the purple pages and 
gold lettering of some of the most sumptuous manuscripts, 
but also in the composition of the portraits of Evangelists 
and other miniatures, and in the arcades enclosing the 
Eusebian Canons. To account for this influence, it is not 
necessary to lay much stress on the direct relations of 
Charles with the court of Constantinople not even on 
the fact that a Greek tutor was sent thence to instruct 
his daughter, for some years betrothed to the Emperor 
Constantine VI. Still less need we suppose that the 
iconoclasm of Constantine's predecessors caused a great 
influx of Greek painters into Charles's dominions ; the 
resemblance of Frankish to Byzantine miniature is in 
iconography rather than manner, the work of imitators 
rather than pupils. It is to Rome and Ravenna, doubt- 
less, not to Byzantium itself, that we must look for the 
immediate source of this resemblance, as well as for that 
of the Late Classical and Early Christian elements which 
appear in Carolingian illumination. In 784 Charles 
despoiled Ravenna of marbles and mosaics for the en- 
richment of Aix-la-Chapelle ; and it may be supposed 
that he did not return empty-handed from Rome, which 
he had already visited thrice (in 774, 781, and 787) before 
his coronation there as Emperor in 800. It is known, 
in fact, that he brought back Roman singers, in his zeal 
for bringing the Frankish liturgy into conformity with 
90 



PLATE IX 



+CANON 

TNOVOIOH 



ECIMVJS 
PROPRIET T . 




GOSPELS f'CODEX AUREUS";. CAROLINGIAN, CIRCA 800 

BRIT. MUS., HARL. 2788 



THE CAROLINGIAN RENAISSANCE 

that of Rome ; and we can hardly doubt that he brought 
books too, and that some of these were illuminated. 

The Syrian element in Carolingian illumination has 
already been noticed in chapter ii, in connection with the 
Rabula and Etschmiadzin Gospel-books. 1 There are 
hints of it in some of the decorations of Merovingian 
manuscripts, but it becomes more apparent in the suc- 
ceeding period, especially in the pagoda-like dome which 
figures in representations of the Fountain of Life, 2 and in 
the frequent use of peacocks, pheasants, and other bird- 
forms as ornament though the latter device might 
conceivably have been borrowed from Early Christian 
paintings. 

Celtic influence too counted for much as to deco- 
rative ornament, luckily, not figure-drawing. Prankish 
artists made no attempt to reproduce the minute and 
delicate intricacy of spiral, interlaced, and lacertine orna- 
ment which is the glory of Celtic illumination. But some 
of the simpler details were adopted, especially plait and 
knot-work, and the use of birds' or beasts' heads as 
terminals ; and in Gospel-books the decoration of the 
initial-pages of script was closely copied. It is easy to 
understand the presence of Anglo-Irish ornament, when 
we consider the important part played by Alcuin in the 
Carolingian revival of learning. Not that he can be 
credited with a direct share in the artistic revival which 
accompanied it, or even with the introduction of the neat 
and well-defined script known as Caroline minuscule, 
which superseded the unshapely, illegible Merovingian 
hand ; but when he left York for Charles's court, in 782, 
he must have taken with him, for use in the Palatine 
school, or requisitioned afterwards, when engaged on the 
revision of the Vulgate, manuscripts written and illu- 
minated in Northumbria. 

An elaborate and well nigh exhaustive study of Caro- 
lingian illumination has been made by the late Dr. 

1 Above, p. 33. 

2 See pi. x. 

91 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Janitschek, 1 who deduced from the extant manuscripts 
the existence of several local schools, having each their 
individual mannerisms. His classification is perhaps too 
rigid in some respects, 2 but his comprehensive survey of 
the materials makes his work an indispensable text-book 
of the subject ; and the limits of the present book will 
not admit of more than a brief summary of his conclusions, 
with a few remarks on some of the most important 
manuscripts. According to Janitschek, then, at least six 
great schools of illumination flourished in the Prankish 
dominions early in the ninth century, viz. (i) the 
Palatine school, established in immediate connection with 
Charles's court, and usually working at Aix-la-Chapelle ; 

(2) the school of Tours, founded by Alcuin, who retired 
from the court in 796 to become Abbot of S. Martin's ; 

(3) Corbie, in Picardy, closely connected with the Tours 
school ; (4) Metz ; but Aix-la-Chapelle seems a more likely 
place of origin for the principal manuscripts assigned by 
Janitschek to this school ; (5) Rheims, specially interest- 
ing as the probable birthplace of the Utrecht Psalter 
style, which counted for so much in English illumination ; 
(6) the Franco-Saxon school, whose centre was perhaps 
the great Abbey of S. Denis ; conspicuous for its use of 
Celtic ornament. 

To the first of these schools, the Schola Palatina, 
Janitschek assigns three manuscripts only, viz. the 
Gospel-book in the Schatzkammer at Vienna, said to have 
been found on Charlemagne's knees when his tomb was 
opened in A.D. 1000 ; the Gospels of Aix-la-Chapelle 
Cathedral, and those of S. Victor-in-Santem, now in the 
Brussels Library (No. 18723). The style of these three 
books would scarcely be recognized by the casual critic as 
essentially Carolingian. The Evangelist-portraits with 

1 Die Trierer Ada-Handschrift, 1889 (Gesellschaft fur rheinische Geschichts- 
kunde, Publikationen, No. 6), pp. 63-111. 

2 Cf. the section on Carolingian miniature in A. Michel's Histoire de I' Art, i, i 
( I 95)> PP- 328-78. The writer, P. Leprieur, disputes many of Janitschek's 
views, especially as to the Metz school. 

92 



THE CAROLINGIAN RENAISSANCE 

which they are illustrated are evidently derived from 
some excellent Classical, perhaps Roman, original ; repro- 
duced by artists who were thoroughly at home with their 
model and yet were no servile copyists, as is evident from 
the naturalistic manner and the grasp of values and the 
meaning of form which characterize their work. These 
paintings, in fact, show something of the true antique 
tradition in the pose of the figure, easy yet dignified ; in 
its harmonious relation to its background ; in the pro- 
foundly studied fall of the draperies. The same tradition 
is manifest, again, in the severe simplicity of the archi- 
tectural decoration of the Canon-tables. It would seem, 
therefore, that the Carolingian Renaissance was based at 
the outset on all that was best in Classical art. 1 

As we move away from Aix-la-Chapelle to the pro- 
vincial schools, we find ourselves travelling farther and 
farther away from this really beautiful restatement of the 
antique idea. It is supposed that the Palatine school 
produced its masterpieces during Charlemagne's reign, 
between 795 and 814 ; and that they became, together 
with the manuscripts imported by Charles and his coun- 
sellors, the point of departure for the national manner. 
This manner assumed its characteristic form in the 
monastic scriptoria which were founded, or at any rate 
encouraged, by the Emperor and his sons ; but in most 
cases it came to its development, not in Charles's own 
day, but in the later times of Louis the Pious and 
Lothaire. Some writers have attributed this fact to the 
rather iconoclastic position which Charles took up during 
the great controversy ; but a more probable explanation 
lies in the period of time which must necessarily elapse 
before a newly established school is fit to undertake the 
production of elaborately illuminated manuscripts. 

It is, however, likely enough that Charles's views, 
liberal as they were, did tend to restrict the number of 

1 It must be noted, however, that Leprieur doubts whether these three manu- 
scripts can be assigned to the Schola Palatina, or to so early a date as the lifetime 
of Charlemagne. See Michel, i, i, 335-6. 

93 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

subjects illustrated by the early Carolingian artists, and 
also helped that turn for symbolism which strikes such 
an unexpected note in the work of this otherwise prosaic 
school. After the Evangelist-portraits and Canon-tables 
(borrowed, as we have seen, from Greek Gospel-books), 
the most characteristic subjects in Carolingian illumina- 
tion are the Hand of God giving the benediction ; the 
Fountain of Life, an odd compound of East and West, 
with its Syrian pagoda-like temple, its peacocks and 
drinking stags ; the Apocalyptic Adoration of the Lamb 
by the Elders ; the Lamb with the chalice, symbolizing 
the Mass ; and sometimes the Christ in Glory, of the 
beardless catacomb-type. These are the subjects proper 
to Gospel-books. The Alcuin-Bibles also illustrate 
Genesis, and occasionally Exodus ; but never the life 
of Christ. This comes in later, the cycle of permissible 
subjects being gradually enlarged till, before the Ottonian 
period is reached, almost every event and parable in the 
Gospels has its authorized representation. 

From the school attached to Charlemagne's court we 
naturally turn first to Tours, where his friend and adviser 
Alcuin spent the closing years of his life, from 796 to 804, 
as abbot of S. Martin's. There is a special fitness too 
in the fact that among the finest products of the Tours 
school are copies of Alcuin's revision of the Vulgate, 
though none of those extant, probably, were executed 
during his lifetime. We have no reason for supposing 
him to have concerned himself with pictorial illustration 
of the Bible ; his great aim was to purge the text itself 
of errors which had crept in through the carelessness or 
ignorance of successive copyists. Indirectly, however, he 
must have influenced the formation of the distinctive 
Tours style, which is characterized in its conventional 
ornament by a blending of Celtic with Classical elements, 
through his importation of manuscripts from North- 
umbria (where Hiberno-Saxon illumination had already 
reached its prime) as well as from Italy. But it was 
under his successors that the school of Tours rose into 

94 



PLATE X 




GOSPEL BOOK OF S. MEDARD'S ABBEY, SOISSONS. EARLY IXxH CENT. 

PARIS, BIBL. NAT., LAT. 8850 



THE CAROLINGIAN RENAISSANCE 

artistic prominence, attaining its greatest perfection 
towards the middle of the ninth century. 

The oldest surviving Alcuin-Bible that in the Zurich 
Cantonal Library (Cod. i) is illuminated only with orna- 
mental Canon-tables and initials. In these, weaving- 
patterns of Celtic type predominate, but are mingled with 
the palmette and acanthus, and Ravennate basket- 
capitals appear in the arcades. The Bamberg and 
London Bibles, however, show an increasing develop- 
ment in the direction of pure illustration, and a simul- 
taneous abandonment of Celtic design. Subjects from 
the Old Testament are now represented, as well as 
Apocalyptic pictures such as the sacramental Lamb. In 
the Bamberg Bible (A. i. 5) further Classical designs are 
found, in combination with the still prominent Celtic 
motives ; and the miniatures of scenes from Genesis, in 
long narrow compartments, show the beginnings of a 
narrative art. This art is as yet very ugly and uncouth ; 
but its compositions are obviously based on some Early 
Christian series, whose excellence of conception and sense 
of design are still visible, despite the barbarous ineptitude 
of the copyist. Midway between this rather primitive 
book and the finest work of the school, as exemplified in 
the Vivian Bible and the Lothaire Gospels, stands the 
Alcuin-Bible in the British Museum (Add. IO546). 1 This 
great book, probably executed about 840, is decorated with 
beautifully arcaded Canon-tables, in which the only relic 
of Celtic influence is the edging of red dots about the 
arches. It has also four full-page miniatures, prefixed 
to Genesis, Exodus, and the Gospels, and at the end of 
the volume. These are painted in a thick, gummy body- 
colour, with strong and unpleasant flesh-tints, and an 
entire want of harmony both in colour and composition. 
There is some attempt at naturalistic modelling, but this 
is almost nullified by the ill-proportioned, stunted figures 
and the harsh, ugly faces with staring eyes. The Genesis 

1 Fully described in Cat. Anc. JlfSS., ii, pp. 1-4, with two plates (42, 43). 

95 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

pictures are evidently drawn from the same cycle as those 
in the Bamberg Bible, but they show a decided improve- 
ment in technique. Both these and the Exodus minia- 
ture (Moses receiving the law from God, and delivering 
it to the Israelites) are full of " vestigial relics " of Classi- 
cal ancestry. The architecture of the Delivery of the 
Law is of the basilica style, with a coffered roof borne on 
Corinthian columns ; the draperies, as in Late Classical 
illuminations, are much heightened with gold ; and 
further evidence of Roman parentage is offered by the 
backgrounds, which are softly striped with blue, violet, 
and white a fashion directly borrowed from Classical 
painting. Here, these backgrounds are used with excel- 
lent effect ; but in the later work of the Carolingian illu- 
minators the softness and airy gradations originally 
aimed at were lost, and the final result was a crude 
arrangement of hard contrasting bands of colour. In 
this disagreeable form, the striped background survived 
as a noticeable and persistent feature of the early German 
style. All the miniatures in the volume, except that pre- 
fixed to the Gospels (a full-page composition of Christ in 
glory, seated on a globe and surrounded by the Evangel- 
istic emblems and the four Major Prophets), are divided 
into compartments by horizontal bands, as in the Bam- 
berg Bible. The miniature at the end of the book, 
illustrating Apoc. iv and v, is in two compartments. 1 In 
the upper picture the sacramental Lamb and the Lion of 
the tribe of Judah are seen approaching, from left and 
right respectively, an altar on which the Book of Life 
is lying; at the corners are the Evangelistic emblems, 
holding each an open book. The lower represents God 
unveiling Himself, seated on a throne and surrounded by 
the four Apocalyptic beasts. 

Closely related to the London Alcuin-Bible, though 
artistically superior to it, is the Bible 2 given to Charles 

1 PI. xi. 

2 Paris, Bibl. Nat., lat. i. See Bastard, Peintures de la Bible de Charles le 
Chauve, 1883. 

96 



PLATE XI 




ALCUIN BIBLE. CAROLINGIAN, IX CENT 

BRIT. MUS., ADD. 10546 



the Bald by Count Vivian, as secular Abbot (845-50) 
of S. Martin's ; which, with the Gospel-book * made for 
the Emperor Lothaire, probably about 840-3, represents 
the finest achievement of the Tours school. The minia- 
tures in the Vivian Bible include all the subjects depicted 
in the London book, besides a series of scenes in S. 
Jerome's life, another of the conversion of S. Paul, and 
two full-page pictures : one representing David as harpist, 
with soldiers and musicians grouped around him ; the 
other, Count Vivian and his monks offering the book to 
Charles the Bald. This last composition has its counter- 
part in the Lothaire Gospels, in a full-page portrait of 
the Emperor enthroned, with a soldier standing on each 
side. In these, as in the other miniatures of both manu- 
scripts, there is abundant evidence of indebtedness to 
Late Classical art for composition and for individual 
motives ; but the effect is marred by the stiff, awkwardly 
posed and often badly proportioned figures, with hard 
features and staring eyes ; by the swirling draperies, 
foreshadowing the eccentricities of our own Winchester 
school ; by the absence of perspective ; and by the over- 
elaboration of ornament. 

The best side of the style is certainly seen in the 
luxuriant decoration of the Canon-tables, which in the 
Vivian Bible and Lothaire Gospels is of singular beauty. 
The slender columns have foliated capitals of a Ravennate 
type ; a Roman lamp hangs from the keystone of each 
arch ; in the spandrels and lunettes are classical devices 
of drinking birds, centaurs, etc. Equally splendid are 
the initials, of strap or ribbon work, with Romanesque 
plant forms and monsters. In this decoration gold and 
silver are much used, and with excellent effect. Magnifi- 
cence of ornament was the side of their art which the 
Tours illuminators really appreciated and understood. 
It was in this that they secured their greatest successes, 
not in their clumsy adaptation of Roman and Byzantine 
figure-subjects to the purposes of their own time. 

1 Bibl. Nat., lat. 266. 
7 97 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

The so-called Corbie school, closely allied to that of 
Tours and founded on it, came to its height about the 
third quarter of the ninth century, when Tours had 
already produced its best work. It is doubtful whether 
the manuscripts assigned to this school were actually 
executed at Corbie Abbey, near Amiens ; but there seems 
good reason for localizing them at all events in the north- 
east of France. Three of the most famous were executed 
for Charles the Bald, viz. the Paris Psalter (Bibl. Nat., 
lat. 1152), written by Liuthard about 846-62 ; the Codex 
Aureus of S. Emmeran, a Gospel-book in the Munich 
Library (Cimel. 55), written in 870 by the same Liuthard 
and his brother Berengarius ; and a small Prayer-book, 
in the Schatzkammer at Munich, specially interesting as 
the forerunner of the fourteenth and fifteenth century 
Horae, and as containing what is perhaps the earliest 
regular "pious founder" picture a two-page miniature 
of Charles kneeling before the crucified Christ. To the 
same group too is assigned the great Bible of the 
monastery of S. Paul at Rome, which was probably 
executed for Charles the Fat (Emperor 88 1 -8). The S. 
Emmeran book may be taken as the finest work of the 
school ; indeed, so splendid is the effect of its illumina- 
tions that one is tempted to forgive the woodenness of 
the figure-drawing and the disproportionate elaboration 
of the frame-borders. Its most remarkable feature is the 
quantity and variety of the ornamental work. Every page 
is bordered, with Carolingian shell and wave patterns ; 
plaits branching into foliated terminations ; meander, key, 
and lozenge patterns ; bands of imitation jewel-work on 
gold ; and various designs of thick white dotted work 
upon a coloured ground. The draperies of the Evangelists 
are even more crumpled and turbulent than in the Lothaire 
Gospels ; and their heavy faces are strongly marked with 
white lines, giving almost the appearance of mosaic. 

The Bible of S. Paul's 1 is the most profusely 
illuminated, probably, of all Carolingian manuscripts. 

1 See Westwood, The Bible of the Monastery of St. Paul near jRome, 1876. 
9 8 



THE CAROLINGIAN RENAISSANCE 

Besides a great wealth of miniatures illustrating Bible- 
history, and of frame-borders to the text-pages (similar to 
those in the S. Emmeran Gospels), it has huge ornamental 
initials to the several books. The miniatures are unequal 
in quality, and are clearly the work of more than one 
hand. The best of them show distinct traces of kinship 
with Byzantine miniatures of the ninth and tenth centuries, 
and were doubtless based on models imported from Italy. 
The resemblance is chiefly in the pose of the figures, and 
in some of the facial types, especially Moses in the 
Pentateuch scenes ; in fineness of finish, modelling, and 
execution generally, the Western artist is immeasurably 
inferior. Many of the compositions were evidently copied 
from the Vivian Bible or its archetype, but the range of 
subjects illustrated is much wider. Interesting as the 
miniatures are, however, they are quite eclipsed in beauty 
by the decorative work, which is really admirable, 
particularly the delicate foliate terminations of the large 
initials. 

Next in antiquity to the school of Tours, and surpass- 
ing it both in originality and productiveness, comes what 
Janitschek has designated the school of Metz, while 
admitting that the localization rests on inference and 
conjecture rather than certain knowledge. The manu- 
scripts which he groups together under this head are 
beyond doubt closely related to one another, and it is 
natural to suppose that they emanated from the same 
school ; but there is much force in Leprieur's contention l 
that this school was associated with the Imperial court 
was the Schola Palatina, in short and the title " School 
of Godescalc, or of the Ada Gospels," which he gives it, 
has at any rate the advantage of safety. Wherever its 
home may have been, this school produced, in the clos- 
ing years of the eighth century and the first three decades 
of the ninth, a splendid series of manuscripts, including 
some of the finest examples of Carolingian art that have 
survived to our days. Pre-eminent among these are 

1 Michel, p. 336. 

99 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

some magnificent Gospel-books of large size, written in 
gold and profusely illuminated. 

The earliest of these is the Godescalc book, 1 a Gospel- 
lectionary, written for Charlemagne about 781-3 by a 
monk named Godescalc. As might be expected from its 
early date, it is the artless performance of an inexpert 
painter who has an abundance of material to copy from, 
but cannot assimilate or reproduce it. Modelling and 
perspective are practically non-existent ; the colouring is 
mostly pallid and weak ; the drapery folds, indicated by 
heavy black lines, have little relation to actuality. These 
faults are especially prominent in the portraits of the 
Evangelists, which occupy the first four pages ; a distinct 
improvement is visible in the " Majestas Domini " which 
fills the next page, representing the enthroned Christ as 
beardless, long-haired, almost feminine, wearing a nimbus 
with jewelled cross, giving the benediction with the right 
hand and holding a book in the left. The verso of this 
leaf is devoted to the subject usually called the Fountain 
of Life. The Syrian ancestry of this composition has 
already been mentioned, and is plainly shown here, as in 
the later and finer Soissons book, 2 by the strange portico 
under which the fountain is placed, and the long-tailed 
Oriental birds which hover about it, along with stags and 
more homely birds. The border-ornament is compara- 
tively slight, consisting of banded frames filled with 
plait-work, step-pattern, and a few more of the designs 
usually found in early Carolingian books. The text- 
pages are stained purple an effort at splendour which 
was fortunately not generally imitated by later artists of 
the school. 

About the year 800 three manuscripts were produced 
so nearly related to one another that there is no room for 
hesitation in grouping them together as representing the 
school in its middle period. These are the Codex 
Aureus in the British Museum (Harl. 2788), the Gospels 

1 Paris, Bibl. Nat, Nouv. acq. lat. 1203 (anc. 1993). 

2 PL x. 
IOO 



in the Abbeville Library (No. i), and the celebrated 
Ada MS. in the Treves City Library (No. 22). The 
Harleian Gospel-book 1 is one of the most magnificent 
manuscripts remaining from the actual age of Charle- 
magne. Written throughout in gold, in double columns, 
every column is surrounded by a narrow illuminated 
border. In the first part of the book these are of gold 
also, patterned with plaited, tessellated, and key designs, 
grotesque birds, etc. But after the first few quires they 
begin to deteriorate ; red, green, and dull purple, or 
bands of imitation marbling, take the place of the gold, 
and the fineness of execution is lost. In the Canon- 
tables too there is a change half-way through : the first 
six are very richly decorated, the golden arches with 
elaborate capitals and columns filled with plait and 
scroll work contrasting effectively with the paintings of 
birds and trees (often in monochrome, always in com- 
paratively subdued colouring) which fill the spandrels. 
The absence of silver, and the habit of outlining the 
gold with a fine red line, give a particularly warm and 
glowing effect to these splendid arcades. In the last five 
tables much less gold is used, the pillars are of many- 
coloured marble, and there is not so much elaboration 
of ornament. By this change, however, monotony is 
avoided, and the gorgeous effect of the first part is en- 
hanced ; a curious variety is introduced, on one page, 
in the form of spirally twisted pillars covered with human 
figures in quaint attitudes. 2 Besides borders and Canon- 
tables, this Codex Aureus has a decorated title-page, full- 
page portraits of the Evangelists, and a magnificent text- 
page at the beginning of each Gospel. The portraits 
show a great advance on the primitive art of the Gode- 
scalc book, though the S. John has decided affinity with 
the Majestas Domini of the older manuscript. The 

1 Fully described in Cat. Anc. MSS., ii, pp. 22-4, pi. 39-41. See too 
Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 4, 5, and Reproductions^ iii, 4 ; Janitschek, 

pp. 86-7, pi. 26-8; Kenyon, Biblical MSS., No. 13. 

2 PI. ix. 

101 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Evangelists are all of the young, beardless type which 
henceforth became traditional a departure from the 
bearded faces of the Godescalc book ; long-nosed, large- 
eyed, with high arched brows ; solidly painted in body- 
colour, with green shadows on the flesh and heavy streaks 
of white for the high-lights. The anatomy is sometimes 
at fault, e.g. in the impossible wrench by which S. Mark 
is dipping his pen in the ink. But the faces have life and 
expression, especially Matthew and Mark ; there are 
distinct signs of modelling and perspective ; and the 
draperies, though much folded, are treated with a con- 
siderable measure of success. The compositions as a 
whole are evidently derived from late Roman, rather than 
Byzantine art. In the text-pages which face them, on the 
other hand, the main idea is Celtic ; but this is profoundly 
modified by the free use of gold, by the purple grounds, 
by the abandonment of spirals, lacertines, and the most 
intricate plaited and knotted designs, and by the introduc- 
tion of new devices: the initial "Q" of S. Luke's Gospel, 
for instance, encloses a picture of the Angel appearing to 
Zacharias a form of illumination of which hints had 
already appeared in some of the initials in the Gellone 
Sacramentary, and which afterwards became an important 
feature in the decorative scheme of the Gothic schools. 

The Abbeville and Treves " Codices Aurei" resemble 
the Harleian so closely that only a few words need be 
added about them. The Evangelist types are practically 
identical in all three manuscripts, though not in all cases 
applied to the same Evangelist ; and the general plan 
of decoration is alike in all three, but the sumptuous 
illumination of the Canon-tables in the Harleian MS. 
is not rivalled in the other two. The Abbeville MS., 
given by Charlemagne (according to tradition) to Angil- 
bert, Abbot of S. Riquier from 790 to 814, has the 
imposing but unpleasing peculiarity of being written on 
purple. The Treves MS. is supposed to have been given 
to S. Maximin's Monastery by Ada, a natural sister of 
Charlemagne, about the beginning of the ninth century ; 

102 



THE CAROLINGIAN RENAISSANCE 

though the simplest, it is perhaps, artistically, the finest 
of the three. 

The full development of the school is exemplified in 
the Soissons Gospels, 1 a splendid Codex Aureus, one of 
the most perfect of all extant memorials of Carolingian 
illumination. Until 1790 it was preserved in S. Me- 
dard's Abbey, Soissons, the gift (according to a highly 
probable tradition) of Louis the Pious when he spent 
Easter there in 827. Besides portraits of the Evan- 
gelists, arcaded Canon-tables, and illuminated initial- 
pages to the Gospels, it has two full-page miniatures : 
the first, an allegorical picture of the Church in adoration, 
is not found in any other Carolingian manuscript ; the 
second represents the Fountain of Life, 2 and agrees in 
conception with that in the Godescalc MS., but is ob- 
viously taken, not from that barbarous work, but from 
some well-composed and carefully drawn original. Com- 
mon ancestry with the Godescalc MS. is suggested again 
by the bearded S. Matthew, but the other Evangelists 
correspond in type with those of the Harley, Abbeville, 
and Ada Gospels. The book has altogether a strong 
family likeness to these three, but shows a more advanced 
tradition as well as finer individual taste and skill. It 
resembles the first-named in having spiral shafts for some 
of the pillars supporting the Canon-arches ; but its work 
is more delicate and finished throughout, its colouring 
is brighter and more pleasing, and its pages have less 
tendency to become overloaded with gilding and decora- 
tion. The figures too are much more vigorous and 
lifelike, especially in the Biblical scenes introduced into 
the spandrels and lunettes of the arches. 

Since Janitschek has attributed these manuscripts 
to a school of illuminators working at Metz, he naturally 
groups with them the Sacramentary 3 of Drogo, Bishop 
of Metz 826-55 J it nas however, little apparent con- 

1 Paris, Bibl. Nat., lat. 8850. 

2 PI. x. 

3 Paris, Bibl. Nat., lat. 9428. See New Pal Soc., pi. 185-6. 

103 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

nection with them. It contains no large miniatures ; but 
their place is taken by an interesting series of large 
illuminated initials, quite different in style from anything 
to be seen in earlier Carolingian paintings. These initials 
are based on a combination of strap-work and scroll-like 
foliage, and many of them enclose delicately tinted draw- 
ings of scriptural incidents, executed in a manner plainly 
allied to that of the Rheims school, to be noticed pre- 
sently. There are two Gospel-books at Paris, 1 whose 
decoration is of similar character ; and these three are 
the only manuscripts to which the title " School of Metz" 
can safely be given. The Lothaire Psalter, recently be- 
queathed by Sir Thomas Brooke to the British Museum, 2 
is perhaps rightly classed by Janitschek with the Soissons 
Gospels, as to place of origin ; it is later, however (after 
840), and altogether inferior in artistic merit and preten- 
sion, its chief point of interest being a full-page portrait 
of the Emperor Lothaire. 

Two smaller offshoots from the main stem of Prankish 
illumination may be briefly mentioned. The school of 
Rheims, as seen in the Ebbo Gospels at 6pernay (No. 
1722) and the Blois Gospels at Paris (lat. 265), forms 
a connecting link between the early Carolingian art of 
what Janitschek calls the Palatine school and the pen- 
drawings of the celebrated Utrecht Psalter. From this 
point of view they will be discussed in the next chapter, 
where the Utrecht Psalter and its descendants are con- 
sidered. The fipernay book, executed at Hautvillers, 
near Rheims, for Bishop Ebbo (816-35), is perhaps the 
most characteristic work of this school ; but the Blois 
book is of special importance because, by its strong 
resemblance to the Gospels in the Vienna Schatzkammer, 
it suggests the archetype from which the Rheims artists 
procured their technique. This technique, in fact, with 
its attempt towards natural yet violent action, its ex- 

1 Bibl. Nat., lat. 9383, 9388. 

2 Add. 37768. See Pal, S0f., i, 69, 70, 93-4 (then owned by Messrs. Ellis 
and White). 

104 



THE CAROLINGIAN RENAISSANCE 

traordinarily agitated sketchy line, its crumpled clinging 
draperies, is what one might expect to result from the 
efforts of an inexperienced painter to imitate the delicately 
illusionist neo-classical art of the Palatine school. The 
Canon-tables, placed under classical pediments, are a 
departure from the Romanesque arcading usual in Caro- 
lingian manuscripts. On one of them sit two little 
carpenters, hammering nails into the cornice : a pleasant 
variation from the usual peacocks or ducks, and an early 
example of the illustration of contemporary crafts. Spiral 
columns occur here too, as in the Harley and Soissons 
Gospels. 

The most salient characteristic of the Franco-Saxon 
school, which has been associated specially with the abbey 
of S. Denis, originally an Irish foundation, is the pre- 
dominance of Celtic ornament, especially weaving and 
spiral patterns. These are sometimes, as in the little 
Gospel-book in the British Museum, 1 executed in true 
Celtic fashion in white line on a black ground. The 
curious looped corner-pieces, with swan-headed finials, 
are another mark of this school. Figure-painting, where 
it occurs, follows the usual Carolingian type, and shows 
some affinity with the style of the Tours school. Among 
the best examples of the school are the Gospel of Francois 
II and the Second Bible of Charles the Bald, at the 
Bibliotheque Nationale (lat. 257 and 2); and the Gospel- 
lectionary of S. Vaast, at Arras (No. 1045). 

1 Eg. 768. See Warner, Ilium. MSS.> pi. 6, and Reproductions, i, 18. 



105 



CHAPTER VI 

OUTLINE-DRAWINGS OF THE NINTH, TENTH, AND 
ELEVENTH CENTURIES, ESPECIALLY IN ENGLAND 

WE have seen how the Celtic school, before it 
began to decay in its own home, sent offshoots 
eastward and southward, which deeply influ- 
enced the subsequent course of European illumination ; 
and now we notice a return current from the Continent, 
bringing to England a new inspiration which though 
not, strictly speaking, describable as illumination at all 
became a determining factor in the development of early 
English miniature. This new inspiration was the art of 
freehand or outline illustration, which before its appear- 
ance in England in the tenth century had already enjoyed 
a century or more of life in Western Europe, and which 
arose as so many of the best artistic inspirations have 
arisen from the remains of Classical art. Though of 
continental origin, it was in England that this art de- 
veloped its highest powers. It flourished here for more 
than two centuries, providing the Anglo-Saxon artist with 
a medium exactly suited to his temperament. Alternately 
the rival and assistant of the more orthodox illumination 
in gold and colours, it fused with it to form the beautiful 
eleventh century Winchester style, and bequeathed to the 
later English schools an understanding of pure line which 
profoundly affected their subsequent development. 

The first sign of the new tendency, towards expression 
by line rather than mass, is seen in the celebrated and much- 
discussed manuscript called the Utrecht Psalter. This 
book first appears in history about the year 1625, being 
then in Sir Robert Cotton's library, where it bore the 
1 06 



OUTLINE-DRAWINGS 

press-mark "Claudius C. vii"; but it had already dis- 
appeared from the Cottonian collection in 1674, and 
nothing more is known of its adventures until 1718, 
when it was presented to the University Library at 
Utrecht, of which it is now one of the chief treasures. 
It was seen there by Westwood, who first called public 
attention to it in 1859.* The antique appearance of its 
triple columns and its rustic-capital script misled him, on 
his first cursory inspection, into giving it a much earlier 
date than a later and more leisurely examination, by 
himself and other experts, was found to warrant ; and 
for many years a great battle raged as to whether it was 
a relic of the fourth, ninth, or some intermediate century, 2 
theologians who upheld the earlier date acclaiming it as 
evidence in support of the authenticity of the Athanasian 
Creed, which occurs in it (as in most medieval Psalters) 
among the Canticles and other pieces which follow the 
Psalms. In order to decide the controversy, the Utrecht 
authorities in 1873 allowed the manuscript to be deposited 
for a time in the British Museum, where it was examined 
by the leading authorities in this country ; and all of 
them, with the single exception of Sir T. D. Hardy (who 
had already declared for the sixth century, and saw no 
reason to change his opinion), agreed in assigning it to 
the eighth or ninth century, with a preference for the 
ninth. 3 This judgment was afterwards confirmed by the 
best continental critics, and may now be accepted with 
confidence, later researches having furnished additional 
reasons in its support. One of its authors, Sir E. M. 
Thompson, has had the further satisfaction of seeing his 
obiter dictum, that " the MS. was probably written in the 

1 Archaeological Journal, xvi, 245-7. 

2 A full chronicle of the dispute may be seen in W. de G. Birch's The Utrecht 
Psalter, 1876. 

3 See The Utrecht Psalter. Reports addressed to the Trustees of the British 
Museum on the Age of the MS., by E. A. Bond, E. M. Thompson, H. O. Coxe, and 
others (including Westwood), with preface by A. P. Stanley, D.D., 1874. During 
its stay in England the manuscript was photographed throughout for the Palaeo- 
graphical Society, who published a complete Autotype Facsimile in 1874. 

107 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

north-east of France," verified through the studies of 
Count Paul Durrieu, 1 who has shown conclusively that 
the illustrations must be classed with the productions of 
the Rheims school of Carolingian illuminators. 

The Utrecht Psalter is a small folio of ninety-one leaves, 
and has 166 illustrative drawings. One of these occupies 
the whole of the first page ; the others are of the full 
width of the page and about one-third of its height, and 
interrupt the three columns of text, sometimes coming 
at the top of the page, sometimes at the bottom, some- 
times midway. They are freely drawn with the pen in 
dark brown ink, and left quite uncoloured. They are, 
in fact, outline and often impressionist sketches of crowded 
scenes containing an immense number of small restless 
figures, with tiny heads thrust forward eagerly, hunched-up 
shoulders, and long attenuated limbs ; set in a landscape 
of crags, boulders, and rounded hillocks, with a few 
feathery trees. Apart from a little shading here and 
there, the work is done entirely by means of fine pen- 
strokes, drawn apparently with extreme rapidity, and 
producing a remarkable effect of lively, agitated, even 
tempestuous movement ; the draperies flutter wildly, and 
even the contours of the landscape have a wind-swept 
appearance. Despite its sketchy character, the drawing 
is firm and delicate, especially in the first part of the 
book farther on the hand changes, and the work becomes 
altogether inferior. There are no frames or suggestions 
of pattern no attempts at a decorative result. We have 
here the very opposite of Celtic ideals in art. 

For many years after its discovery by Westwood, the 
Utrecht Psalter was generally regarded as an early 
specimen of the Anglo-Saxon school of outline-illustration 
which flourished in the tenth and eleventh centuries, but 
which has left no authentic remains of earlier date. M. 
Durrieu's careful researches, however, have proved beyond 
any reasonable doubt that the book must have emanated 
from the same school as the Ebbo Gospels at Epernay, 

1 L'Origine du manuscrit ctlibrc dit k Psautier d'Utrecht^ 1895. 
1 08 



OUTLINE-DRAWINGS 

which were executed, as we have seen, 1 at Hautvillers, 
near Rheims, between 816 and 835. The eye is caught 
at once, in the latter book, by the curious fluttering 
draperies, the nervous rapid strokes from right to left, 
which are such distinctive features of the Utrecht Psalter 
drawings, and descend through it to the artists of Win- 
chester and Canterbury. Further, in several miniatures 
of the Ebbo Gospels figures and scenes occur which are 
identical with those of the Utrecht Psalter ; and this at a 
date when nothing of the kind is known to have existed 
in England. Moreover, the knot-work initial B, in gold 
and colours, at the beginning of Psalm i in the Utrecht 
Psalter its one piece of illumination strictly so called 
is of a form which M. Durrieu finds peculiar to the 
Rheims school. It seems certain, therefore, that the art 
of outline-illustration was born on Prankish soil, and 
imported at a later date into the English schools. 

The division of the page into three columns, and the 
use of an archaic form of writing, make it almost certain 
that the Utrecht Psalter is a copy of a much older codex ; 
but there is far too much freedom about the drawings to 
let us regard them as mere copies, although the archetype 
may very probably have supplied the subjects. These, 
like many of the miniatures in contemporary Greek 
Psalters of the " monastic-theological " class, 8 are naively 
literal illustrations of single passages in the Psalms. On 
f. 8, for instance, 3 Psalm xiv (xv). i is illustrated by two 
continuous scenes : in the first, a man is being invited to 
enter the tabernacle, in the second he is resting on the 
holy hill. The drawings at the foot of the page refer to 
the next psalm, which follows overleaf an arrangement 
which goes far towards proving that the artist took his 
subjects from the archetype, not from the text before him. 

1 Above, p. 104. 

2 See above, p. 49. The subjects of the Utrecht Psalter drawings have been 
described by A. Springer, " Die Psalterillustrationen im fruhen Mittelalter," in 
Abhandlungen der phil.-hist. Classe der k. sacks. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, viii 
(Leipzig, 1883), pp. 228-94. 

109 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

It is evident, at any rate, that he was to some extent 
inspired by designs in which Classical traditions still 
survived. Over and over again the true antique flavour 
is discernible : in the Three Maries at the Sepulchre on 
f. 8, in the warriors on f. I3b, in the Bacchante crowned 
with laurel on f. 82b. This method, moreover, of rough 
outline-illustration is paralleled by the Terence manu- 
scripts described in chapter i, which have much in common 
with the Utrecht Psalter and its derivatives. 

Either the Utrecht Psalter itself, or another Psalter 
of the same type and resembling it very closely, must 
soon have found its way to England : not only is its 
influence apparent in the English outline-drawings of 
the tenth and eleventh centuries, but three manuscripts 
are still extant which were obviously derived, if not 
directly copied, from it or one of its congeners. These 
are Harl. 603 (early eleventh century) in the British 
Museum, to be noticed farther on ; the Eadwin Psalter 
(twelfth century, executed in the Canterbury Cathedral 
priory) at Trinity College, Cambridge; 1 and the Tripartite 
Psalter in the Bibl. Nat. at Paris (lat. 8846, formerly 
Suppl. lat. 1194, thirteenth century). 2 

In France too the style was practised contempo- 
raneously, and on very similar lines to those taken by the 
English schools. The miniatures, drawings, and histori- 
ated initials of the Franco-Saxon Psalter at Boulogne, 3 
for instance, are scarcely distinguishable from English 
work of the time, and show how small a claim our so- 
called native school has to originality. This book, 
executed between 989 and 1008 at the abbey of S. Bertin 
in S. Omer, is additionally interesting because it shows 
the progressive and informal art of outline-drawing at 
work upon compositions of the strictly conservative 

1 M. R. James, Catalogue of Western MSS. in the Library of Trinity College, 
Cambridge, \\, 1901, pp. 402-10. 

2 H. O[mont], Psautitr illustre [1906]. 

3 Bibl. Municip., No. 20. See Pal. So:., i, 97 ; Westwood, Facsimiles, 
pp. 104-7, pl. 37-9- 

IIO 



PLATR XII 



MCHCJirf^OXIMOSUO 

MALCM 

KJOKJACCfflTADUJJL 



K'tCH/M f T I Mk 1 A f> /I 




UTRECHT PSALTER. IX CENT. 



OUTLINE-DRAWINGS 

Byzantine type, and combined with decorative ornaments 
of Carolingian design. It is richly illustrated, and in 
more than one manner. There are drawings in outline, 
tinted work, and red outlines on a pale blue ground ; all 
quite "Anglo-Saxon" in feeling, and excellent proof if 
proof were needed of the impossibility of dividing out 
the various artistic styles of the early Middle Ages into 
rigidly defined and mutually exclusive schools. 

During the century following the appearance of the 
Utrecht Psalter, outline-illustration was greatly developed 
both here and on the Continent. Nor was its use re- 
stricted to liturgical books ; it was applied, for instance, 
to that favourite moral discourse of the Middle Ages, the 
Psychomachia of Prudentius. 1 This work, an allegori- 
cal poem on the conflict between vices and virtues, was 
composed about the end of the fourth century, and its 
cycle of illustrations, like that of the plays of Terence, 
probably goes back to a very early period ; at all events, 
it had assumed a fixed traditional form before the end of 
the ninth century, and is now extant in a numerous series 
of manuscripts, ranging in date from the ninth century to 
the twelfth, but scarcely varying in composition. Two 
excellent examples of these are now in the British 
Museum. The larger, and probably the earlier (Add. 
24199), seems to have been executed in Bury S. Edmund's 
Abbey 2 about the end of the tenth century. Its best 
illustrations (for many of the later ones are by an inferior 
hand) are of the most charming type of line-drawing, 
here developed far beyond the lively impressionism of 
the Utrecht Psalter sketches. They are drawn in a thin 
brown outline occasionally touched with pale colour ; 
each occupies about half a page, the figures being from 
two to three inches in height. These figures show con- 

1 See R. Stettiner, Die illustrierten Prudentius-Hss., 1895, for descriptions of 
the manuscripts ; for reproductions see his larger work with the same title, vol. i 
(200 plates), 1905. 

2 It belonged, at any rate, to the library there. See M. R. James, On the 
Abbey of S. Edmund at Bury, 1895, p. 71. Sir E. M. Thompson, however, con- 
siders it a continental production (Eng. Ilium. MSS., p. 19). 

Ill 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

siderable power of dramatic presentation ; they are expres- 
sive and vivacious, their much-pleated draperies are 
elaborately finished. Here and there may be seen slight 
traces of the Classical art from which this style of draw- 
ing descends ; but in the main the work has the character- 
istics of the now developing English school. The 
Cottonian Prudentius (Cleop. C. viii) 1 is a very charming 
little manuscript of the first half of the eleventh century; 
undoubtedly of English origin, the illustrations having 
descriptive titles in Anglo-Saxon as well as Latin. All 
the subjects illustrated in Add. 24199 reappear, executed 
with great firmness and delicacy in red and black, some- 
times partly in green. There is practically no variation 
in the compositions, but the smaller scale of the figures 
and the greater severity of technique give this book a 
very different air. Occasionally the artist does add some 
new and charming touch ; as where he makes Humility, 
her earthly task accomplished, spread great wings and fly 
up gracefully to heaven. This is far more poetical 
besides being more faithful to the text than the corre- 
sponding design in Add. 24199, where Humility stands, 
wingless, with hands uplifted; or in a third Museum MS. 
(Titus D. xvi), where she climbs a steep flight of stairs 
towards the sky. Such a picture as this, or the pretty 
scene of Love laying down his bow and arrows, or the 
series containing the gentle nun-like figure of Patience, 
incline one to forgive the occasional lapses in proportion, 
the exaggerated hands and feet, the fretful draperies, 
which here, as in all Anglo-Saxon drawings, tend to 
swamp the more classic attributes of dignity and repose. 
The other Cottonian Prudentius, Titus D. xvi, was 
executed at S. Alban's Abbey about noo. It is still 
smaller than Cleop. C. viii, and contains fewer illustra- 
tions. Though inferior in quality to the best work in the 
two other copies, its drawings show the development that 
was taking place in English art. The draperies are not 
so over-pleated, nor do they flutter about so wantonly ; 

1 Pal. Soc., i, 190. 



OUTLINE-DRAWINGS 

the wrinkled hose and sleeves no longer appear. On the 
other hand, though the fighting scenes are full of vigour, 
there is none of the dainty charm which characterizes the 
earlier books. The faces are mostly repellent, with long 
hooked noses ; in fact, the artist has only slightly carica- 
tured his usual types in the two devils which he intro- 
duces (departing from tradition) into the picture of Luxury 
feasting. 

Outline-drawings of the occupations proper to the 
several months are often found in the Calendars prefixed 
to Psalters and other liturgical books. These Calendar- 
pictures, to which we owe so much of our knowledge 
of the daily life of the Middle Ages, may be regarded 
as the far-off descendants of the somewhat dubious illus- 
trations to the fourth century Calendar of Filocalus. * 
They first appear in a Vatican MS. (Reg. 438) containing 
the Martyrology of Wandalbert of Prtim, and probably 
written in France or Western Germany about the begin- 
ning of the tenth century. 2 In England, the earliest 
examples are of the eleventh century ; and though their 
manner is distinctively Anglo-Saxon, many of their 
details suggest a Classical archetype. 

The best-known instance of this is an eleventh 
century Hymnal in the British Museum (Jul. A. vi), 
which contains a complete set of these occupation- 
pictures, drawn with extraordinary delicacy and minute- 
ness in brown outline on the lower margins of the 
Calendar-pages. The airy, dainty technique has some- 
thing more of the Utrecht Psalter quality than is often 
seen in English work of this time ; and the presence in 
the Calendar of such saints as Germain, Denis, Philibert, 
Bertin, Genevieve, and Lambert, along with Wilfrid and 
Cuthbert, and the absence of most of the distinctive 
South-English patrons, seem to suggest that it may have 

1 See above, p. 3. 

2 A. Riegl, "Die mittelalterliche Kalenderillustration," in MittheiL des 
Instituts fur oesterr. Gtschicktsforsckung, x, 1889, pp. 1-74. There is an in- 
teresting article by J. Fowler, in Archaeologia, xliv, 1873, pp. 137-224, on these 
occupation-pictures in various forms of art. 

8 113 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

been copied en bloc from a French original possibly in 
a Northumbrian monastery. The draughtsmanship has 
plenty of well-marked Anglo-Saxon peculiarities, in the 
slender long-legged bending figures, the wind-blown 
draperies, the lively action. But relics of a Classical 
tradition are still traceable, notably in the April scene 
of three patricians reclining on a lion-ended couch, whilst 
a servant offers them wine and a Roman legionary stands 
on guard. So too the May picture of shepherds with 
their flocks has something in common with the pastoral 
miniatures of the Vatican Virgil. January, with its plough- 
ing scene, and October, with its hawking party, are more 
medieval, and foreshadow the more elaborate Calendar- 
paintings found in fifteenth century Horae and Breviaries. 
Continental though its origin may have been, this 
cycle of Calendar-illustrations had evidently become 
naturalized in England by the eleventh century. The 
whole series appears again in a collection of astronomical 
and chronological treatises (Tib. B. v), contemporary 
with Jul. A. vi, though differing widely from it in style, 
this time drawn in thick outline and rather crudely painted 
in colours. The scale is larger, the dainty nervous manner 
is gone ; but the compositions are identical in every 
detail, even to the lion-ended couch in the April scene, 
the attitude of the hay-makers in June. As given in 
these two manuscripts, the series is as follows : 

January. Ploughing with four oxen ; sowing. 

February. Pruning trees. 

March. ' Breaking up the soil ; sowing. 

April. Feasting in state. 

May. Shepherds with their flocks. 

June. 1 Felling trees. 

July. 1 Hay harvest. 

August. 1 Corn harvest. 

1 So Jul. A. vi ; Tib. B. v. has the same compositions, but in different (and 
obviously wrong) order, viz, June, Corn harvest ; July, Felling trees ; August, Hay 
harvest. 

114 



OUTLINE-DRAWINGS 

September. Boar hunt. 

October. Hawking. 

November. Halloween fire. 

December. Threshing and winnowing. 

There is no a priori improbability in the supposition 
that these designs are of continental origin. The copy- 
ing of fine manuscripts illuminations as well as text 
was a regular and important part of the work of a 
medieval scriptorium ; and the havoc wrought by the 
Danes all over England in the ninth century must have 
left but few examples of native art to serve as models. 
Hence recourse would naturally be had to manuscripts 
imported from the Continent ; we have, in fact, direct 
evidence of this in the Prudentius MSS., and in the 
imitations of the Utrecht Psalter. Of the three existing 
specimens of the latter class, the oldest is Harl. 603 in 
the British Museum, written in Southern England 
perhaps at S. Augustine's, Canterbury about the begin- 
ning of the eleventh century. 1 As far as the composi- 
tions are concerned, it is (except for a few pages near 
the end) a copy of the Utrecht Psalter ; but its variations 
in detail suggest a long series of successive copies in- 
tervening between it and its archetype. By this time, as 
we might expect, the Classical flavour of the original has 
evaporated; and the Anglo-Saxon love of coloured line 
has substituted blue, green, red, and sepia for the uni- 
form brown ink of the original. The distribution of 
colour is quite arbitrary, e.g. hair and foliage are some- 
times coloured blue. The nervous technique of the 
Utrecht Psalter has now vanished, and is replaced by 
the firm outline of an artist who is at home with his 
medium. Once, at the end of Psalm xxx (xxxi), where the 
Utrecht Psalter has left a blank space, the illustrator 
leaves his r61e of copyist, and produces a really beautiful 
drawing (partly sketched in pencil only), in the pure 

1 Thompson, Engl. Ilium. MSS., pp. 16-18, pi. 3 ; M. R. James, The Ancient 
Libraries of Canterbury and Dover, 1903, pp. Ixxi, 532. 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Anglo-Saxon manner of his own time, of a great angel 
helping the Psalmist to climb a steep and rocky ascent, 
while the devil tries to hold him back with a trident. 
If, as seems probable, this scene is by the same artist 
as the rest of the book, we must suppose him to have 
adopted a deliberate archaism when working from the 
traditional Psalter designs. 

It was in the closing years of the tenth century that 
Anglo-Saxon outline-drawing attained its greatest perfec- 
tion ; above all, at Winchester, which maintained an 
artistic primacy down to the end of the twelfth century. 
One of the most beautiful examples of the style is a full- 
page miniature of the Crucifixion, prefixed to a late tenth 
century Psalter 1 which was probably written at Win- 
chester. It is drawn in reddish brown and pale blue 
outline ; and though it shows the characteristic faults 
of the school in the bowed shoulders of the Virgin, in 
the unduly large hands and feet of S. John, and in the 
agitated draperies, yet for tenderness of feeling and purity 
of line it has seldom been surpassed in any period. That 
the tenth century draughtsman did not always reach 
such a level is shown by the Leofric Missal, 2 now in the 
Bodleian Library (No. 579). This very interesting little 
book was given to Exeter Cathedral by Leofric, its first 
bishop, about the middle of the eleventh century. It 
is in two distinct parts : the first part, a Sacramentary, 
is early tenth century Franco-Saxon work ; the second, 
a Calendar with paschal tables, etc., was written in 
England about 970, and includes three full-page minia- 
tures in red, green, blue, and purple outline. These 
represent a king, emblematic of Life, holding a lettered 
scroll ; a particularly hideous figure of Death ; and two 
almost charming, curly-headed, eagerly gesticulating 
figures. The flimsy agitated draperies and long toes and 

1 Brit. Mus., Harl. 2904. Thompson, p. 23, pi. 6 ; Warner, Ilium. MSS., 
pi. 7, and Reproductions ; ii, 4. 

2 Westwood, Facsimiles, p. 99, pi. 33 ; The Leofric Missal, ed. F. E. Warren, 
1883. 

116 



OUTLINE-DRAWINGS 

fingers are thoroughly characteristic; and these bright, 
light pages, though not more than second-class of their 
kind, are curiously attractive when contrasted with the 
heavier and more ornate manner of the late-Carolingian 
illumination in the same volume. 

Passing on to the eleventh century, we find the Win- 
chester school well to the fore with two manuscripts 
executed at the royal foundation of Newminster, after- 
wards Hyde Abbey, and now in the British Museum. 
One of these (Tit. D. xxvii 1 ) is a very small volume, 
written about 1012-20, partly by the monk Aelfwin, who 
was afterwards abbot ; it contains the Offices of the Holy 
Cross and Trinity, with two full-page drawings in tinted 
outline. The first, a Crucifixion, is interesting for the 
personifications of sun and moon. The second, a sym- 
bolic representation of the Trinity, is in the best and 
least exaggerated manner of eleventh century Anglo- 
Saxon drawing: the faces are gentle and winning, the 
arrangement of the figures is unusually skilful. The 
Father and Son sit side by side, really dignified and 
beautiful personifications ; beside them stands the Virgin, 
the Dove settling on her crown, in her arms the Child, 
symbolizing the human as distinct from the divine 
character. All these are enclosed in a jewelled circle, 
beneath which Satan, Judas, and Arius crouch in fetters 
above the open jaws of hell. 

Still finer is the Newminster Liber Vitae, or register 
and martyrology (Stowe 944), 2 drawn up about 1016-20, 
and prefaced by three pages of admirable drawings, 
lightly and delicately sketched in brown ink, and touched 
here and there with yellow, red, green, and blue. On the 
first page are portraits of King Canute and his queen 
Aelfgyfu, offering a large gold cross on the altar. They 
are watched from below by the monks in their stalls ; 

1 Pal. Soc., i, 60 ; W. de G. Birch, On Two Anglo-Saxon JlfSS., 1876 (Roy. 
Soc. of Literature, Transactions, new series, xi, pt. iii). 

2 Birch, Liber Vitae, Hampshire Record Soc., 1892; Pal. Soc., ii, 16, 17; 
Warner, Reproductions, ii, 6. 

117 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

and two attendant angels hover above them, pointing 
upwards to Christ, who appears within a mandorla, 
between Our Lady and S. Peter, the patrons of the 
abbey. All this is disposed with great skill on the narrow 
upright page. Having done justice to the munificence 
of the reigning monarch, the artist now turns to matters 
of wider import, and depicts on the next two pages 1 the 
final rewards of good and evil. The first and second 
compartments of this design represent S. Peter receiving 
the blessed at the gate of heaven, and rescuing a soul 
by main force from the clutches of the devil ; the third 
shows an angel locking up the damned in hell. All the 
naive beauties of the developed English style are fore- 
shadowed in this drawing : in the courteous empressement 
with which S. Peter welcomes the elect ; in the gentle, 
piteous appeal with which the poor little soul in jeopardy 
looks up to him ; in the simple and joyous expressions 
of the tonsured saints. 

A third example of Winchester work is the so-called 
Caedmon MS. in the Bodleian, 2 which was perhaps 
executed for Abbot Aelfwin at Newminster about 1035. 
It contains a series of Anglo-Saxon poems, treating 
of the fall of Satan, the Creation, and various incidents 
of early Bible history, and thus resembling Caedmon's 
work in subject at any rate. These are copiously illus- 
trated with outline-drawings, mostly in brown ink, the 
rest in red, green, or black. The illustrations to the first 
part are full of action, but show little sense of proportion 
or design. Some of the large draped figures are finely 
conceived ; some, as the delicious angel who stands on 
tiptoe at the gate of Eden, have the ingenuous fascination 
of Winchester art at its best. All attempts to represent 

1 Plate xiii shows the right-hand page, which contains the principal part of 
the design. On the left-hand page are only, in the first compartment, two groups 
of saints and martyrs led by angels towards the gate of heaven \ in the second, 
two nimbed spectators of the contest. 

2 Junius n, described, with facsimiles of the drawings, in ArchaeoZogia, vol. 
xxiv, 1832, pp. 329-40. See too Westwood, Facsimiles, p. in; Pal. Soc., ii, 
14,15- 

III 



PLATE XIII 




LIBER VITAE OF NEWMINSTER, WINCHESTER. EARLY Xlrn CENT. 

BRIT. MtJS. STOWE 944 



OUTLINE-DRAWINGS 

the nude are of course disastrous: Adam and Eve only 
become endurable when the Fall has driven them to 
adopt the wrinkled draperies which leave room for all 
the cunning convolutions of the Anglo-Saxon line. After 
the Flood the style of illustration changes. The figures 
are more slender, but of better proportions ; the draperies 
flutter more violently, having at times an almost ragged 
effect. 

Early English outline-drawing is seen at its best in 
these three delightful books ; soon after their production 
the delicacy of the style began to decline. About the 
middle of the eleventh century the custom of strengthen- 
ing and enhancing the ink outlines with a narrow band 
of colour had crept in, to destroy the purity of line and 
crispness of effect once characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon 
technique ; and we find the art of outline-illustration 
becoming confused with the essentially distinct one of 
illumination in gold and colours. A good example of the 
work of this period is to be seen in a glossed Psalter at 
the British Museum (Tib. C. vi), which has at the be- 
ginning a series of scriptural scenes, 1 each occupying the 
full page, drawn with a fine hard black line and re- 
outlined in bright colours. The firmness and delicacy 
of line are still excellent, though somewhat obscured 
by the tinting. But the faces are monotonous, flat, ex- 
pressionless, with small staring eyes, the attitudes often 
ungainly, the anatomy impossible ; and the proportions 
vary absurdly, single figures (e.g. the Christ in the Har- 
rowing of Hell, or the angel in the Maries at the Tomb) 
by their vast size and free technique suggesting mural 
rather than book decoration. Farther on in the volume 
are a few miniatures elaborately painted in body-colour, 
besides pages framed in coloured rod-and-leaf borders 
of the style usually associated with Winchester, and fully 
illuminated initials. 

A still better instance of the mingling of linear and 

1 See pi. xiv for the last of the series, Michael contending with the dragon. 
Another (Christ before Pilate) is in Pal. Soc., i, 98. 

119 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

surface art is the Cottonian MS. 1 of Aelfric's paraphrase 
of the Pentateuch and Joshua, written in the eleventh 
century, and profusely illustrated with coloured drawings 
which, never attempting either beauty or naturalism, 
often show a considerable, if grotesque, dramatic force. 
All have the plain vellum page for background no 
suggestion of landscape or atmosphere. About half have 
been left in various stages of incompleteness : in some 
cases the blank spaces have not even been touched ; in 
others the draperies have been roughly blocked in with 
a first coat of thick colour, and the figures sketched in 
outline, often without features. Of the remainder, which 
were evidently regarded as finished, the majority are 
painted in body-colour, the folds of the draperies shaded 
and heightened with white, the faces covered with a 
shiny pigment ; but some have been treated according to 
the draughtsman's ideals, carefully outlined in various 
light colours, without modelling or chiaroscuro. The 
types of figures and the methods of composition hardly 
vary throughout the book, so this divergence in technique 
cannot well be set down to difference of date or place. 

Winchester doubtless held the leading position during 
this period, in outline-drawing as in painting ; but both 
arts were also practised successfully, though with less 
originality, at Canterbury. In Harl. 603 we have seen 
what is perhaps (though by no means certainly) an 
example of the work of S. Augustine's abbey ; there is 
better evidence for assigning to the cathedral priory a set 
of Easter tables 2 written about 1058, and adorned with 
one long narrow illustration, running like a frieze across 
the tops of two opposite pages. This is drawn in black 
outline, and touched with green and red ; it represents 
Christ in glory giving a roll of instructions for finding 
Easter to an angel, who delivers it to Abbot Pachomius 
and his monks. With its short sketchy strokes, nervous 

1 Claud. B. iv. See Pal. Soc. t i, 71, 72 ; Thompson, pp. 25-6, pi. 8 ; Kenyon, 
Biblical MSS., No. 21. 

2 Brit. Mus., Calig. A. xv, ff. 120-43. See Pal. Soc., i, 145. 

1 2O 



PLATE XIV 




PSALTER. ENGLISH, X!TH CENT. 

BRIT. MUS. TIB. C VI. 



OUTLINE-DRAWINGS 

impressionist manner, and vivid sense of life, it shows 
very strongly the influence of the Utrecht Psalter style, 
no longer dominant at Winchester. This is only to be 
expected, when we remember that about a hundred years 
later that famous manuscript was copied in the same 
monastery, where it was probably deposited on its arrival 
in this country. The antique flavour, however, has 
vanished. Pachomius and his monks, who hurry venire 
a terre to meet the angel, have already the placidly 
benevolent, almost babyish expressions so often seen in 
English monastic types. 

With the Norman Conquest a new influence came 
into English art ; it ended the Anglo-Saxon school, but 
far from killing the art of outline-drawing, it transformed 
and beautified it. The exquisite illustrations of the 
Guthlac Roll in the twelfth century, the Matthew Paris 
drawings in the thirteenth, and the delicate tinted draw- 
*ngs of Queen Mary's Psalter at the beginning of the 
fourteenth century will serve to show how great a con- 
tribution this method of freehand illustration, imported 
(it would seem) towards the end of the ninth century, 
preserved and perfected during the tenth and eleventh 
centuries, made to the final development of book decora- 
tion in England. 



121 



CHAPTER VII 

ENGLISH ILLUMINATION TO A.D. 1200 

A the beginning of the eighth century English 
illumination was dominated, as we saw in chapter 
iv, by the influence of two schools, divergent, 
even antagonistic, in their aims : the Celtic, coming from 
Ireland by way of lona and Lindisfarne, and the Late 
Roman or debased Classical, imported into Southern 
England through the mission of S. Augustine. In the 
Canterbury Psalter (Vesp. A. i) these two influences 
appear in juxtaposition rather than fusion ; and the 
ravages of the Danes have left us no means of judging 
whether such a fusion actually took place, or what the 
resultant style was like. Most probably the art of illu- 
mination perished altogether in those troublous times, 
except for the somewhat perfunctory decoration of initial 
letters. We know that King Alfred did much for the 
revival of learning; and the New Minster which he 
founded in his capital of Winchester became at a later 
date with the neighbouring Old Minster, S. Swithin's 
cathedral priory the home of English illumination. 
But the lost art required time to reassert itself ; and there 
is no evidence that anything was effected in this direction 
during Alfred's own reign. Lack of tradition and of 
good models must have made the initial stages slow and 
difficult ; and it is not surprising that no specimens of 
the new school of Anglo-Saxon miniature exist which 
can be assigned to an earlier date than the reign of 
Alfred's grandson, Athelstan (925-40). 

The manuscript commonly known as King Athelstan's 
Psalter l is a composite little volume : the nucleus was 

1 Brit. Mus., Galba A. xviii. See Westwood's Facsimiles, pp. 96-8, pi. 32 ; 
Cat. Anc. MSS., ii, p. 12, pi. 28. 
122 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION TO 1200 

written on the Continent in the ninth century, but many 
additions were made in England towards the middle of 
the tenth century, including a Calendar decorated with 
roughly coloured drawings of the zodiacal signs and of 
saints, enclosed in circular or rectangular frames, and also 
three full-page miniatures drawn in heavy black outline 
and painted in rather pale colours. The first two represent 
Christ in glory, surrounded by choirs of angels, prophets, 
and saints ; unusual and interesting compositions, doubt- 
less copied from some foreign original, probably on a 
much larger scale. The third represents the Ascension ; 
and the manuscript once contained a fourth, of the 
Nativity, 1 now bound up in the Bodleian MS., Rawlinson 
B. 484. The ground of the second miniature is black, and 
there is more finish altogether about it than in the other 
two, which are painted on the plain vellum ; but in all 
three, as in the Calendar decorations, there is a rude, 
inchoate appearance, as of an untrained copyist striving 
laboriously to reproduce the model set before him ; there 
is no gradation or perspective, the faces are expressionless, 
the heads and hands much too big, the drapery lines too 
heavy and uniform, both in the black pen-strokes and in 
the curves of white paint. In short, this book represents 
the beginning of a movement to replace the lost art of 
Hiberno-Saxon illumination by a new style, founded on 
continental models, and shows the defects natural to work 
of this character. No evidence is forthcoming to support 
the tradition which makes Athelstan the patron for whom 
these paintings were done, but it is highly probable that 
the book in its original state was given to him, con- 
sidering his connection with Charles the Simple, Otto 
the Great, and other continental potentates through the 
marriages of his sisters ; and the decorations subsequently 
added, crude and tentative as they are, may be taken as 
representing the best work of which English artists were 
at that time capable. 

1 Reproduced by Westwood, who was the first to recognize its connection 
with Galba A. xviii. 

123 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Progress from this point was rapid, and the latter half 
of the tenth century finds the Winchester school at its 
zenith. The general decline of the monasteries which, 
joined with the Danish wars, had put an end to artistic 
production for the time being, was abruptly checked by 
the reforms introduced under S. Dunstan. His exile in 
956-7 had given him an opportunity of studying the 
Benedictine rule at Ghent, and its subsequent introduction 
into most of the English monasteries was undoubtedly 
due to his influence, though he did not take an active 
part himself in the movement, which was carried on 
chiefly by S. Oswald, Bishop of Worcester, and S. Aethel- 
wold, Bishop of Winchester. The appointment of the 
latter indeed, in 963, marks an epoch alike in the monastic 
and artistic history of England. He had already, as 
Abbot of Abingdon, sent to Fleury for instruction in the 
rule of S. Benedict, and begun to enforce its observance 
in his abbey ; and he signalized his promotion to Win- 
chester by expelling the secular clerks from both Old and 
New Minsters, and bringing monks from Abingdon to 
fill their places. The reform thus instituted spread by 
degrees to all parts of the country. Its introduction 
synchronized with a great advance in the art of illumina- 
tion, an advance in which Winchester led the way ; and 
the two movements are assuredly related more closely 
than by a mere coincidence in time. Foreign influence 
is plainly discernible in the new style of book decoration, 
both in the composition of miniatures and in the elements 
of ornament; and Sir G. Warner's suggestion 1 that Fleury 
supplied this influence, as well as a stricter ideal of 
monastic life, seems highly probable. 

Tne accession of King Edgar in 959, followed as it 
was by his selection of Dunstan for chief adviser and for 
Archbishop of Canterbury, was no doubt an important 
contributory cause of the development of the new style, 
which first appears in his foundation charter granted to 

1 Ilium. MSS., p. iv. 
124 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION TO 1200 

New Minster in 966.* This document, written through- 
out in gold, is in book form, and has for frontispiece, on a 
pale purple ground, a votive picture of the king, between 
the Virgin and S. Peter, offering his charter to Christ, 
who appears above in a mandorla supported by four 
graceful angels. These are disposed with a regard for 
space-composition not always seen in the work of the 
Winchester school. King Edgar's angular attitude, his 
wrinkled sleeves and hose, the Virgin's folded head-dress, 
the pleated draperies, all exactly reproduce the technique 
of Anglo-Saxon outline-drawing. But the heavy paint- 
ing and lavish use of gold take away the sense of airy 
impressionism which constitutes the special charm of that 
style. The drapery folds are now indicated by alternate 
lines of white and of dark local colour. Limbs and 
features are still defined by heavy lines, but there is 
a good attempt at modelling, and the faces are by no 
means void of life and expression ; in fact, the advance 
on the crude paintings of King Athelstan's Psalter is 
enormous. The surrounding frame, of two gold rods 
entwined with blue, green, buff, and dull red foliage, may 
be pointed out as an excellent example of the character- 
istic Winchester ornament in its first stage. It is prob- 
ably based on the border decoration found in later 
Carolingian manuscripts such as the Bible of S. Paul's, 
and is indirectly derived from Classical leaf-mouldings. 
Its pedigree appears more clearly in some of the later 
manuscripts, where the border consists of a repeat-pattern 
of small crisp leaves strictly confined in panels or between 
straps and rods, except at the corners, where the foliage 
breaks out from these bounds, twining itself about the 
confining rods and corner-pieces, and sprouting freely in 
all directions. In the page now under consideration 
there are no corner-pieces, and the foliage projects 
beyond the framing rods the whole way round. 

The next example of Winchester work is beyond all 

1 Brit. Mus., Vesp. A. viii. See Westwood, Facsimiles, pp. 130-2, pi. 47; 
Pal. Soc., i, 46-7 ; Warner, Reproductions, i, 4. 

125 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

question the masterpiece of the school. This is the 
magnificent Benedictional of S. Aethelwold in the Duke 
of Devonshire's library, 1 written by Godeman, a monk at 
Winchester, for Aethelwold, about 975-80, and enriched 
with thirty full-page miniatures and thirteen pages of 
text enclosed in arches or rectangular borders, besides 
some other illuminated pages now lost. That the artist 
understood the use of pen or pencil far better than that 
of paintbrush is strikingly apparent. The colouring of 
the miniatures is for the most part inharmonious and 
unpleasing : a harsh vivid green, ill matched with dull 
shades of purple, mauve, and other secondary tints all 
painted in thick body-colour, and broken and modelled 
with white. The general effect, however, is brightened 
by a plentiful use of gold. The treatment of the faces 
shows little advance on the Athelstan Psalter : they are 
mostly painted a sort of pinkish brick-red, heavily over- 
laid with streaks of white. In the borders a richer effect 
is aimed at, gold and bright colours predominating ; and 
the result is generally successful. The draughtsmanship 
is excellent throughout, firm and clear, and already 
giving promise of the delicacy which, as we saw in the 
last chapter, characterized English, and particularly 
Winchester, drawing in the eleventh century ; this is 
shown very plainly in the last miniature in the book, 
which has only been coloured in part, the rest being 
drawn in red outline. Many of the compositions are 
evidently derived, directly or indirectly, from Italo- 
Byzantine archetypes : in the miniature of the Baptism, 
for instance, the river-god of Jordan appears with his 
urn, as in the mosaics of the Ravenna Baptistery an 
unexpected bit of paganism to light upon in an English 
book of King Edward the Martyr's time. Some of the 
miniatures are set in arches or under pediments, flanked 
with Oriental-looking buildings ; but the majority are 

1 The Benedictional of St. Aethelwold, ed. G. F. Warner and H. A. Wilson, 
Roxburghe Club, 1910. See too Archaeologia, xxiv, pp. 1-117; Westwood, pp. 
132-5, pi. 45; Pal. Soc., i, 142-4; Burlington F.A. Club, No. n, pi. 17. 

126 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION TO 1200 

enclosed in rectangular borders of typical Winchester 
style : frames of gold panelled or entwined with acanthus 
leaves, with sprays of foliage at the corners and centres 
of the sides. 

Contemporary with this Benedictional is the Harleian 
Psalter (2904), whose beautiful drawing of the Crucifixion 
was mentioned in the last chapter. It also contains large 
initials for Psalms i (Beatus vir), ci (Domine exaudi), and 
cix (Dixit Dominus), finely illuminated in gold and 
colours. In all three the plan is the same : a gold frame 
divided into panels filled with leaf-moulding, dogs' heads 
with open jaws, plait-work terminals to the upright part 
of the frame, the body of the letter filled with inter- 
twining scrolls of foliage. The " B " is specially interest- 
ing as representing the model on which the initial letter 
of English Psalters was based for the next three cen- 
turies. 

In the companion volume to S. Aethelwold's book, 
the so-called Benedictional of Archbishop Robert, 1 now 
in the Public Library at Rouen, the peculiarities of the 
Winchester style are still further developed. This manu- 
script, which was probably given to his cathedral by 
Robert of Normandy, Archbishop of Rouen 990-1037, 
seems to have been written at Newminster for the use of 
Aethelgar, sometime Abbot, who became Bishop of Selsey 
in 980, Archbishop of Canterbury (in succession to 
Dunstan) in 988, and died in 990. Its decoration is 
comparatively meagre, consisting only (in its present 
state) of three full-page miniatures and five pages of text 
surrounded with borders in gold and colours. The com- 
positions are practically identical with those of the corre- 
sponding pictures in the Benedictional of Aethelwold, 
but there are signs of advance in the pose and propor- 
tions of the figures and in the treatment of the faces ; 

1 Ed. H. A. Wilson, Henry Bradshaw Soc., 1903. See too Archaeologia, 
xxiv, pp. 118-36; Westwood, p. 139. Besides episcopal benedictions at Mass, 
it contains a collection of pontifical offices, including the rite of consecration of 
the Anglo-Saxon kings ; so it should strictly be called a Pontifical. 

127 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

the border ornament is of the same type as in the earlier 
book. 

The Rouen Library possesses another volume of the 
same class in the Missal of Robert of Jumieges. 1 This 
manuscript, executed at Winchester, probably at New- 
minster, about the beginning of the eleventh century, 
was given by Robert of Jumieges, when Bishop of 
London (1044-51), to the abbey at Jumieges, of which 
he had formerly been abbot. It contains thirteen full- 
page miniatures, enclosed in arches or rectangular frames 
of the regular Winchester type, besides three elaborately 
bordered pages at the beginning of the Canon of the 
Mass. The art, however, is decidedly inferior to that of 
the two Benedictionals. Many of the figures are so thin 
as to be almost grotesque ; and the ornamental frames 
and arches tend to overload the page and to detract from, 
instead of enhancing, the effectiveness of the picture 
enclosed. In the Crucifixion page, particularly, the com- 
paratively small and insignificant figure-composition is 
completely overweighted by the magnificent but inappro- 
priate luxuriance of the surrounding border. It would 
seem, in fact, as though this initial phase of the Winches- 
ter school had already reached its prime before the end 
of the tenth century, and had at once (as so often happens) 
begun to decay. 

The excellence and shortcomings of Newminster work 
at this period are well shown, again, in the Gospels of 
Trinity College, Cambridge, 2 written apparently by the 
same scribe as the Missal just mentioned, and decorated 
with great magnificence. The pages devoted to the 
Eusebian Canons are specially splendid, with their gilded 
columns and round, triangular or trefoil arches, having 
angels, saints, peacocks, dragons, etc., in the tympana and 
spandrels, as in Carolingian manuscripts of the ninth 
century. Each Gospel has a full-page miniature of the 
Evangelist and an elaborate initial page of text, and there 

1 Ed. H. A. Wilson, Henry Bradshaw Soc., 1896 ; Westwood, pp. 156-8, pi. 40. 

2 B. 10. 4. See Westwood, p. 140, pi. 42 ; New Pal. Soc., pi. u, 12. 

128 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION TO 1200 

is also a miniature of Christ in glory ; all these enclosed 
in rectangular borders, profusely foliated, and mostly 
decorated with medallion busts of saints and with orna- 
mental corner-pieces. Gold is lavishly used, and the 
range of colours is wide, especially in the decorative 
frames, which are almost exaggeratedly luxuriant, giving 
the book a rich, even gorgeous effect. But a less attrac- 
tive side is shown in the crumpled, fluttering draperies, 
so unsuited to the thick opaque medium used by the 
Winchester painters, in the large ill-drawn hands and 
feet, in the inept attempt at full-face portraiture. 

By the end of the tenth century the art of illumina- 
tion had begun to revive in other places besides Winches- 
ter, though the Wessex capital continued to hold the 
leading place. As examples of work done elsewhere, we 
may mention three manuscripts, now in the British 
Museum, which there is good reason for associating with 
Christ Church, Canterbury. The first of these is the 
recently acquired Bosworth Psalter, 1 written late in the 
tenth century, perhaps during the archiepiscopate of 
Dunstan (959-88), who is said to have been a skilled 
painter himself, 2 and who doubtless encouraged the deco- 
ration, as well as the transcription and study, of books. 
There are no miniatures in the Bosworth Psalter, but the 
large initials of Psalms i, li, and ci, filled with interlaced 
foliage and adorned with dragons, lions' heads, etc., are 
very spirited and successful, and are interesting as being 
among the earliest examples of English initial-ornament 
of this type. The second manuscript, Arundel I55, 3 is 
also a Psalter, and appears to have been written at Christ 
Church between 1012 and 1023. Like the tenth century 
Harleian Psalter, No. 2904, it combines outline with fully 
illuminated work. The tables which follow the Calendar 

1 Add. 37517. See New Pal. Soc., pi. 163-4; Warner, Reproductions ; iii, 5; 
F. A. Gasquet and E. Bishop, The Bosworth Psalter , 1908. 

2 Two miniatures purporting to be by him are extant, viz. Bodl. 578, f. i, at 
Oxford, and Claud. A. iii, f. 8, in the British Museum. See Westwood, pp. 125, 
126, pi. 50. 

8 Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 10. 

9 129 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

are set in arcades outlined in red, the tympana of the last 
two (ff. 90, 10) containing partially tinted outline scenes 
of Pachomius and his monks, closely allied to those 
described at the end of chapter vi as occurring in Calig. 
A. xv, a manuscript probably emanating from the neigh- 
bouring abbey of S. Augustine. On f. 133, again, is a 
representation of S. Benedict giving his rule to monks, 
partly coloured and partly left in outline. The principal 
feature of the book, however, is the illuminated initial 
and border decoration of Psalms i, li, and ci, especially 
the first, which has a frame of gold bands enclosing and 
surrounded by foliage, with gold quatrefoils at the corners, 
and an initial " B " obviously modelled, like the border, 
on Winchester work of the tenth century. The " D" of 
Psalm ci is interesting as an early example, in English art, 
of the historiated initial ; enclosing a crude representa- 
tion of David beheading Goliath. 

The third manuscript, 1 a copy of the Latin Gospels, 
early eleventh century, is also decorated in the Win- 
chester style ; but it contains an inserted copy of King 
Canute's charter to Christ Church, Canterbury, so the 
natural presumption is that it was executed in the latter 
place. Its illuminated pages (the first of each Gospel) 
have, indeed, a heavy, almost sombre, magnificence very 
different from the brightness and freedom of the best 
productions of the Newminster artists. The gold bands 
are very broad, the foliage is close-set and monotonous, 
and the general effect of the colouring is dull, a brownish 
tone prevailing. Here again is a historiated initial, the 
" Q" of S. Luke's Gospel being filled with a miniature of 
Christ in glory. 

Another Gospel-book of about the same date, also 
in the British Museum (Harl. 76), deserves mention for 
the excellence and variety of the arcades which enclose 
the Eusebian Canons. These pages, richly gilt and 
brightly coloured, are very effective, with angels, saints, 
lions, dragons, etc., filling the spandrels and tympana. 

1 Roy. i D. ix. See Warner, Reproductions, i, 6. 
130 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION TO 1200 

The manuscript belonged to Bury S. Edmund's, and was 
perhaps painted there ; it has obvious kinship with the 
Missal of Robert of Jumieges, but it may be that this 
only illustrates the widespread influence of the Win- 
chester school. 

At the beginning of the eleventh century that school, 
as exemplified by the Missal of Robert of Jumi&ges, was 
already showing signs of deterioration. The downward 
tendency, however, was speedily checked : in the Grim- 
bald Gospels, 1 written at Newminster early in the century, 
we have a charming example of the next phase in the 
development of the style. The portraits of seated Evan- 
gelists, looking up to their emblems for inspiration, 
preserve in their composition some faint suggestion of 
Byzantine or Carolingian archetypes ; but the slender 
boyish figures and crumpled robes have not much in 
common with the Greek austerity or Teutonic solidity 
of these remote ancestors. The streaky backgrounds of 
earlier Winchester miniatures are abandoned in favour 
of the plain vellum, and the features are drawn in outline 
only. But the elaborate frames do all that is necessary 
towards richness of decoration ; especially those which 
surround the portrait of S. John 2 and the first words 
of his Gospel, which are an interesting departure from 
the usual type of Winchester ornament. These frames 
are built up of silver panels, with gold circles at the 
corners and centres. The three topmost circles on 
the miniature page contain each a representation of 
Christ in glory, and are supported by exquisitely drawn 
angels, whose outlines are quaintly contrived to suggest 
the foliate ornament of the conventional border. Four 
of the other circles contain groups of adoring saints ; 
in that beneath the Evangelist's feet two angels offer up 
the souls of the departed in a cloth. The panels are 
filled with half-length figures of adoring kings. The 
frame of the text-page is similarly constructed, but has 

1 Brit. Mus., Add. 34890. See Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 9, and Reprod., i, 5. 

2 PI. xv. 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

the Madonna and Child in the central medallion at the 
top, the others containing angels and saints. The deli- 
cacy of the drawing, particularly of the angels, which 
are really charming, and the pleasing colour-scheme, 
which is founded on blue and its derivatives and uses 
silver (now tarnished, alas !) as well as gold for the height- 
ening of effect, mark out the Grimbald Gospels as one 
of the finest examples of eleventh century English work. 
As the century advanced the Winchester illuminators 
turned their attention to the decorative rather than the 
illustrative side of their art to the development of initial 
and border ornament rather than to improvement in 
figure composition ; that is, if we may judge by a Psalter 
in the British Museum, 1 written at Newminster about 
1060. Like so many manuscripts of the time, it com- 
bines outline-drawings with paintings in body-colour ; 
the former style being represented by the signs of the 
zodiac, excellently drawn in red outline to illustrate the 
Calendar, and by a full-page Crucifixion in black outline, 
tinted blue, green, and red. It is interesting to find that 
the composition of the latter is practically identical with 
that of the much smaller and rather earlier drawing in 
the Newminster Office of the Holy Cross, 2 having Sol 
and Luna above the arms of the cross, and also a rarer 
feature, the Dextera Domini issuing from a cloud above 
the head of Christ. The body-colour illuminations con- 
sist of initials and borders to Psalms i, li, and ci, and a 
full-page miniature of the Crucifixion opposite Psalm li. 
This last, painted on the plain vellum ground, within an 
illuminated frame-border, is of a most unusual type : 
the emaciated, ill-drawn figure of Christ is flanked by 
two stiff, mushroom-like trees, which stand in the posi- 
tions usually assigned to the Virgin and S. John, below 
the arms of the cross. The four borders show consider- 
able variety in the details of design. That of Psalm ci 

1 Arundel 60. See Westwood, p. 121, pi. 49; Thompson, p. 24, pi. 7; 
Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. u,and Reprod., ii, 7, 8. 

2 Tit. D. xxvii, noticed above, p. 117. 

132 



PI.ATR XV 




GRIMBALD GOSPELS. WINCHESTER. X!TH CENT. 

BRIT. MUS. ADD. 34890 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION TO 1200 

adheres most closely to the traditional type, but is dis- 
tinguished by a not unpleasing restraint, the tendency 
to raggedness and over-luxuriance, noticeable in most 
of its predecessors, being severely pruned away : the 
framing bands are now reduced, on this as on the three 
other pages, to narrow wands ; and the leaf-ornament, 
now purely conventional, is entirely confined between 
them except at the corners and centres. On the other 
pages the foliage is rather of the scroll-like order, inter- 
rupted at the corners, in the border surrounding the 
Crucifixion, by medallions containing the emblems of 
the Evangelists ; and a new feature appears in the borders 
to Psalms i and li, the framing wands being bent 
and intertwined. It is in initial ornament, however, that 
the most significant progress has been made. The ideas 
suggested by the tenth century illuminators are developed 
to the utmost, and enriched by the introduction of new 
elements : elaborately intertwined spiral scrolls of foliage 
(almost recalling the intricacies of Celtic decoration) fill the 
body of the letter, and human figures, dragons, and other 
animal forms begin to appear. The " B " of Psalm i 
combines this decorative wealth with a miniature of David 
playing the harp. In short, the transition to the regular 
Gothic system of initial ornament is already far advanced. 
The manuscript has no silver or gold ; its colour-scheme 
is on the whole soft and pleasing, the predominant tint 
a subdued blue. 

Before leaving the eleventh century, we must mention 
a little book more interesting, perhaps, for its history 
and associations than for its intrinsic merit as a work 
of art, viz. the Gospel-book of S. Margaret of Scotland, 
now in the Bodleian Library. 1 Mr. Falconer Madan 2 
has set forth its romantic story in full : how it was turned 
out as lumber from the shelves of a small parish library 
in Suffolk, advertised for sale as a fourteenth century 

1 Lat. Liturg. f. 5. See Pal. Soc., ii, 131, and the facsimile reproduction, ed. 
W. Forbes-Leith, s.j., 1896. 

2 Books in Manuscript, 1893, p. 107. 

133 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

copy of the Gospels, and acquired for a trifling sum by 
the Bodleian authorities, who at once recognized it as 
English work of the eleventh century ; and how it was 
subsequently identified through the discovery of some 
Latin verses on a fly-leaf, narrating its miraculous re- 
covery in an uninjured state, after being dropped into 
a stream by the priest who was carrying it to a tryst 
for the taking of an oath an incident recorded in the 
life of S. Margaret, sister of Edgar Atheling and wife 
of Malcolm Canmore, King of Scotland. The piety of 
this saintly queen, the civilizing power of her gentle life, 
and the devotion which she inspired in her warlike, 
illiterate husband, provide one of the most beautiful 
episodes in early Scottish history ; and the book thus 
happily recovered a second time has no merely casual 
association with her, for her biographer tells us that 
" she had always felt a particular attachment for it, more 
so than for any of the others which she usually read." 
She had doubtless brought it from England in 1067, 
when she fled for refuge to Malcolm's court. 

The portraits of the Evangelists, with which this 
book of Gospel-lessons is decorated, are characteristic 
of their period and country. Specially noticeable are the 
inflated and swirling draperies, the predominance of pale 
secondary colours, and the plain vellum backgrounds. 
The emblems do not appear; the designs are of the 
simplest character, and are framed in plain rectangular 
bands of gold and pink, sometimes enclosing an arch 
with buildings in the spandrels. The bearded type of 
S. John is unusual ; and so, fortunately, is the extra- 
ordinary figure of S. Luke sitting cross-legged on his 
stool. The faces are rather expressionless, and on the 
whole the art cannot be called better than second-class. 

With the twelfth century English art enters upon 
a period of experiment and transition. 1 Many things 
combined to encourage the influx of new ideas and con- 

1 There is an interesting and well-illustrated article on English twelfth century 
illumination, by A. Haseloff, in Michel, ii, i, 309-20. 

134 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION TO 1200 

sequent readjustment of old traditions and standards. 
The first shock of the Norman Conquest was well over, 
and the Normanizing of English civilization, which had 
begun in Edward the Confessor's time, was fairly com- 
plete. The Crusades were beginning to bring westward 
a fuller knowledge of Byzantine and Syrian art. In 
architecture, the Romanesque was at its last and most 
magnificent period, the Gothic was about to be born ; 
and we find, as might be expected, some reflection of this 
transitional phase in the minor art of illumination. The 
parallel, indeed, is not complete ; but both arts alike 
evolved in the course of the century the beginning of 
the pure Gothic style. 

Nearly all the best examples of English illumination 
that have come down to us from the tenth and eleventh 
centuries were produced at Winchester. But this ex- 
clusive predominance now comes to an end, and in the 
twelfth century we find well-established schools flourish- 
ing at Durham, Westminster, Bury S. Edmund's, and 
in many other places. At the very beginning of the 
century, in fact, the last-named school is represented by 
a series of thirty-two full-page miniatures of the life, 
passion, and miracles of S. Edmund, prefixed to a copy, 
apparently of slightly later date (fire. 1125-50), of the 
text which they illustrate. 1 These pictures have plenty 
of graphic force, but are destitute of charm. Particularly 
repellent is the prevailing type of face, with long nose, 
receding chin, and prominent eyes. There is no attempt 
at realistic figure-drawing ; impossibly thin, flat-chested 
bodies, supported by immensely long, attenuated legs, 
suggest the human frame well enough for the artist's 
purpose, which is to tell his story with unmistakable 
clearness, and which (to do him justice) he never fails 
to achieve. Gold is used, but sparingly, and is not raised 
or burnished ; the colouring generally is somewhat harsh, 

1 This very interesting manuscript is in Sir G. L. Holford's library. For 
description and reproductions see New Pal. Soc., pi. 113-15 ; also Burl. F.A. Club, 
No. 18, pi. 23. 

135 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

and the choice of tints quite arbitrary red, green or 
violet horses being among the vagaries met with. In 
the text are some excellent examples of the initial orna- 
ment, the development of which formed one of the salient 
characteristics of twelfth century illumination in England, 
as well as in France, Germany, and the Low Countries. 
The chief elements of this ornament are scrolls of foliage, 
diversified with human, animal, and monstrous forms ; 
later in the century the larger initials are often historiated, 
but the purely decorative designs are also used right on 
through the thirteenth century. 

Closely related to the miniatures just mentioned are 
twelve pages of Gospel pictures in compartments, prefixed 
to a New Testament which formerly belonged to Bury 
S. Edmund's and was doubtless written there, and which is 
now in Pembroke College, Cambridge. 1 These are outline- 
drawings, partly tinted, and are mostly on a much smaller 
scale than the paintings in Sir G. L. Holford's book ; but 
the resemblance, especially in the facial types, is so 
striking as almost to suggest identity of hand. It is 
evident, however, that these mannerisms were distinctive 
of English painting generally at this period. They are 
to be seen in a most sumptuously illuminated Psalter, 
executed at S. Alban's during the time of Abbot Geoffrey 
(1119-46), and now at S. Godehard's Church in Hilde- 
sheim. 2 This splendid book has no less than forty-two 
full-page miniatures, besides a great wealth of initial 
ornament. The miniatures, which represent the Fall of 
Man, David as musician, scenes from the life of Christ, 
and SS. Martin and Alban, are framed in rectangular 
borders of meander, leaf-moulding, and other patterns. 
The initials are filled with figures, which are sometimes 
merely fanciful, boys riding on monsters, etc., but more 
often illustrate passages in the psalms to which they are 
prefixed. There is great freedom and variety in the 

1 No. 120. See M. R. James, Cat. of the MSS. at Pembroke Coll, 1905, 
pp. 117-25 (two plates); Burl. F.A. Club, No. 23, pi. 28. 

2 See Adolph Goldschmidt, Der Albani- Psalter in Hildesheim, 1895. 

136 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION TO 1200 

designs, and the proportions and modelling of the figure 
are better than in the Life of S. Edmund, though still too 
thin and long-limbed. The faces too have much more 
individuality, but the unlovely types of the Holford and 
Pembroke books have a tendency to predominate here too. 
Henry of Blois, brother of King Stephen, and Bishop 
of Winchester from 1129 to 1171, was a learned and 
munificent prelate, a liberal patron of the arts ; and it is 
to his encouragement, doubtless, that two fine examples 
of Winchester illumination owe their existence. Both 
were executed, apparently, at his cathedral priory during 
his episcopate, and one of them still belongs to the Dean 
and Chapter of Winchester, but the other passed soon 
after its completion into the possession of the nuns at 
Shaftesbury, and is now in the Cottonian collection at 
the British Museum. 1 The latter, which is perhaps the 
earlier of the two (probably written before 1161), contains 
the Psalter in Latin and French, preceded by thirty-eight 
full-page miniatures, painted on backgrounds of deep blue, 
most of which has, however, been scraped or washed off, 
presumably by some unscrupulous artist who had run 
short of that pigment. The first twenty-seven and the 
last nine represent scenes from the Bible ; between them 
are two paintings, of the Assumption and Enthronement 
of the Virgin, which, though apparently part of the 
original volume, are in marked contrast with the rest, 
being very beautiful examples of the early Italo-Byzantine 
manner, both in design and colouring. Sir G. Warner 
suggests that they were copied from Italian pictures 
brought over by Bishop Henry, who is said to have 
bought works of art during his visit to Rome in 1151-2; 
if so, the copyist has caught the spirit of his original with 
extraordinary success and one feels almost inclined to 
suggest instead that the bishop must have imported 
Italian artists too. The remaining miniatures in Nero 
C. iv are characteristically English, and are curious and 

1 Nero C. iv. See Pal. Soc., i, 124; Thompson, pp. 29-33, P^ 9 > Warner, 
Ilium. MSS., pi. 12, and Reprod., iii, 7-9. 

137 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

interesting rather than beautiful. The fluttering draperies 
of the earlier Winchester style are now replaced by 
garments which cling closely to the form. The pro- 
portions of the body are rather bad ; but the hair and 
faces, shaded with pale sepia, are very carefully treated. 
Among the most effective miniatures are the Jesse-tree, 
with its white curling tendrils ; the two angels with 
spreading wings, setting up the cross on an altar ; and 
the last of the series, an angel locking the door of the 
Jaws of Death upon the damned, who are tortured in 
various ways by sprightly, gargoyle-like fiends. 

Much more stately is the second of these two Win- 
chester books: a magnificent Bible, 1 in three great 
volumes, decorated throughout with splendid historiated 
initials in gold and colours, and with two full pages of 
outline-drawings. Monumental Bibles were evidently 
the fashion in the latter half of the twelfth century : of 
those now extant, this is perhaps the finest ; another (to 
be noticed presently) is now in the Bibliotheque de Ste. 
Genevieve at Paris ; a third is Bishop Hugh Pudsey's 
(1153-94), at Durham. The Winchester Bible is believed 
to be the one which King Henry II borrowed from 
S. Swithin's priory and then presented to his Carthusian 
foundation at Witham, in 1173, but which was soon 
afterwards restored by S. Hugh, then Prior of Witham, 
to its rightful owners. Its miniatures have much in 
common with those of Nero C. iv: the same clinging 
draperies, the same grave, solemn faces. The art, how- 
ever, is of a much higher quality : the figures are well 
modelled and of good proportions, the grouping often 
shows a fine instinct for composition, and there is alto- 
gether a much more perfect finish. These differences 
unquestionably bespeak a superior artist ; they also denote, 
probably, a slightly later date, a more settled, less tentative 
phase in the development of the school. The colouring 
is extraordinarily rich and beautiful, dark tones predomi- 
nating, especially a deep blue. The framework of the 

1 See Pal. Soc., ii, 166-7 ; Burl. F.A. Club, No. 106, pi. 78. 
138 



PLATE XVI 




BIBLE. ENGLISH, XIIxH CENT. 

WINCHESTER CHAPTER LIBRARY 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION TO 1200 

initials themselves is usually filled with leaf-moulding or 
foliated scroll-work : plaits, dogs' heads, grotesques, and 
other forms of ornament also occur. Good examples of 
these initials are to be seen on the first page of the 
Psalms, 1 which are given in both "Gallican" and 
" Hebrew " versions in parallel columns, so that the 
miniaturist had to supply a " B" for each column; and in 
doing this he has blended uniformity with variety 
most happily. Each pair of scenes represents two vic- 
tories of Good over Evil : in the two loops of the 
right-hand " B," Christ casts out a devil and makes 
His triumphant descent into Hades ; on the left, these 
events are typified by David's conflicts with bear and 
lion. 

The Bible at S. Genevieve's* was written late in the 
twelfth century by a scribe of English parentage, one 
Manerius, who describes himself as " scriptor Can- 
tuariensis " ; so there is some presumption that it was 
executed at Canterbury, but no certainty, for he does 
not say where he wrote it, and the earliest fact known of 
its history is that in the eighteenth century it belonged to 
a church near Troyes. It may possibly, therefore, have 
been written and illuminated in France at no time is 
the difficulty of discriminating French from English illu- 
mination greater than in the twelfth and thirteenth cen- 
turies. Like the Winchester Bible, it is in three large 
volumes ; the foliate decoration of its initials is freer and 
more naturalistic, but the miniatures which many of them 
enclose, while spirited and interesting, are inferior as 
regards the treatment of the face, and the proportions and 
modelling of the figure. The " I " of Genesis occupies a 
whole column, and is filled with scenes of the Creation 
and Fall a feature of Bible-illustration which became 
traditional. 

Besides the Life of S. Edmund, two other pictorial 
biographies of English saints deserve notice, both 

1 PI. xvi. 

2 New Pal. Soc., pi. 116-18. 

139 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

executed towards the end of the twelfth century. One is 
a little Life of S. Cuthbert, written at Durham and illus- 
trated with forty-five full-page miniatures 1 in gold and 
colours. These are enclosed in plain banded frames, 
without conventional ornament ; the backgrounds are 
mostly gold, sometimes red or blue, in one case diapered 
(an early instance of what afterwards became the normal 
pattern of background). The pictures are on a modest 
scale, but very charming : the treatment of the face is 
very careful, and usually judicious, though sometimes 
marred by excessive use of white paint ; the proportions 
are good, except for the extended fingers, which are still 
too long occasionally ; and the colours are pleasing, 
especially the red and blue. The other manuscript is the 
famous Guthlac Roll in the British Museum, 2 a long strip 
of vellum covered with eighteen beautiful outline-draw- 
ings 3 of events in the life of S. Guthlac, probably 
executed in his abbey at Croyland. Here we find the 
English tradition of linear design, freed from Anglo- 
Saxon extravagances, steadied and matured by contact 
with other arts. The line has now become firm and 
clean ; there is still a tendency to elongate the bodies and 
enlarge the extremities unduly, but the lively quaintness 
of the characterization, whether of angels, demons, or 
human beings, 4 gives these drawings an almost unique 
charm. 

From the middle of the twelfth century till well on in 
the fourteenth the book most frequently used for the 
exercise of the illuminator's art was the Psalter. Those 
of S. Alban's (at Hildesheim) and Winchester (Nero C. 
iv) have already been noticed. Another fine one is the 

1 Reproduced in The Life of Saint Cuthbert, ed. W. Forbes-Leith, sj., 1888. 
See too Burl. F.A. Club, No. 17, pi. 22. The manuscript is now in Mr. Yates 
Thompson's library. 

2 Harley Roll Y. 6. 

3 Reproduced by W. de Gray Birch, Memorials of St. Guthlac, 1881. See 
too Warner, Reprod., i, 8. Dr. Birch suggests that they are the working drawings 
for a series of stained-glass medallions. 

4 PI. xvii shows the saint expelling a demon, and receiving the tonsure. 

I 4 



PI.ATB XVII 





LIFE OF ST GUTHLAC. ENGLISH, LATE Xllrti CENT. 

BRIT. MUS. HARI.RV ROLL V 6 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION TO 1200 

Huntingfield book in Mr. Pierpont Morgan's library, 1 
having at the beginning forty pages of Biblical pictures 
and portraits of saints, besides a splendid "B" (to Psalm i) 
enclosing a Jesse-tree, and many decorative or historiated 
initials. The Psalter known as that of S. Louis, in the 
Leyden University Library, 2 executed in England about 
the end of the twelfth century, also contains a long series 
of Old and New Testament miniatures. The forms are 
severe and emaciated, with prominent eyes and grave 
expressions ; the modelling is only moderately good, the 
bodies being short, with large extremities ; the com- 
position is crowded, sometimes "continuous." Two 
Psalters at the British Museum, written about the end 
of the twelfth century, though much less profusely 
illuminated than those just mentioned, deserve some 
notice. Harl. 5102 has some fine initials, especially the 
" D" of Psalm cix, which contains a representation of the 
Trinity, on a background of stippled gold ; but its chief 
interest lies in the five full-page miniatures which seem 
to have been inserted, but which are plainly contemporary : 
one of these depicts the martyrdom of S. Thomas of 
Canterbury (1170), and is perhaps the earliest extant 
painting of that event, being only some twenty or thirty 
years later. A much more beautiful book is Royal 2 A. 
xxii, the Westminster Abbey Psalter. 3 It has five full- 
page miniatures at the beginning, painted in thick body- 
colour on burnished gold grounds, and representing the 
Annunciation, Visitation, Madonna and Child, Christ in 
glory, and David as harpist. Ultramarine, red, and 
green are the principal colours the first-named especially 
deep and rich. The rounded, gentle face of the Virgin, 
and the stronger, more severe male types, show consider- 
able power of modelling and expression ; especially fine is 

1 M. R. James, Cat. of MSS. off. Pierpont Morgan, 1906 (five plates); Burl. 
F.A. Club, No. 36, pi. 35. 

2 Lat. 76 A. See Miniatures du Psautier de S. Louis, ed. H. Omont, 1902 
(Codd. Gr. et Lat., Suppl. ii). 

3 See Thompson, pp. 33-5, pi. 10 ; Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 14, and 
\, 9, 10. 

141 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

the picture of David, a truly regal, dignified figure. The 
"B" of Psalm i is elaborate, as usual, and is a good 
example of its kind, consisting of convolutions of foliage- 
scrolls, with animals' figures, and with three small 
medallion-scenes of the life of David ; but it is from the 
beauty of the miniatures, above all, that the Westminster 
Psalter derives its value. 



142 



CHAPTER VIII 

GERMAN, FRENCH, AND FLEMISH ILLUMINATION, 

A.D. 900-1200 

THE outburst of magnificent, if ungainly, art which 
had characterized the Carolingian period declined 
towards the end of the ninth century. The chief 
centres of this art, as we saw in chapter v, were in 
Northern France and the Franco-German borderland : 
at Aix-la-Chapelle, Tours, Rheims. But the troubled 
times which saw the decay of the Carolingian line in 
France were unfavourable to artistic activity, and 
Germany begins now to take the leading place, especially 
during the brilliant period of the Ottonian dynasty, from 
the accession of Otto the Great in 936 to the death of 
Henry II, the Saint, in 1024. The not inaptly so- 
called Ottonian Renaissance doubtless owed much to the 
marriage of Otto II, in 972, to the Byzantine princess 
Theophano, whether she actually brought Greek artists 
in her train or only paintings and other objects of art 
from the Eastern imperial court ; but the movement had 
probably begun before this date. Reichenau, at any rate, 
on Lake Constance, had long been famous as a school of 
painters; and many of the finest Ottonian illuminations, 
especially the earlier ones, emanate from this centre. 
Towards the end of the tenth century the artistic revival 
began to spread northwards : S. Bernward, Bishop of 
Hildesheim near Hanover (993-1022), instituted a school 
of illumination and metal-work in his cathedral city, and 
the Reichenau influence was brought to Treves by Arch- 
bishop Egbert (977-93). The Bavarian schools too, 
especially that of Ratisbon, began to flourish about the 

143 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

same time ; throughout Germany, in fact, this was a time 
of great energy in artistic production, though the result- 
ing achievements were for the most part (so far at least as 
miniature is concerned) interesting rather than beautiful. 
By the twelfth century, a definite style with well-developed 
decorative features was thoroughly established in Western 
and Central Europe ; and such books as the great Bibles 
of Worms, Floreffe, and Arnstein, and that lost treasure- 
house of medieval allegory, the Hortus Deliciarum, were 
preparing the way for the exquisite thirteenth century 
Gothic art of France and the Low Countries. 

Few German illuminated manuscripts remain to us 
from the first half of the tenth century ; and these few 
represent the decay of the Carolingian rather than the 
rise of any new progressive style. One of these books, 
however, must be mentioned, though its claim to notice 
arises less from its intrinsic merit than from its historical 
associations. This is the Gospel-book of King Athel- 
stan, 1 given him (as the inscription " Odda rex, Mihthild 
mater regis" seems to indicate) by Matilda, widow of 
Henry the Fowler, and her son Otto the Great (who had 
married Athelstan's sister Edith in 929), between Henry's 
death in 936 and Otto's coronation as Emperor in 962 ; 
and afterwards given by Athelstan to Christ Church, 
Canterbury, where tradition says that it was kept for use 
as the oath-book at the coronation of the English kings. 
It is decorated with portraits of the Evangelists, arcades 
for the Eusebian Canons, and large ornamental initials. 
Gold and silver, the former edged with red, are profusely 
used in the arcades and initials, whose style is best 
described as debased Carolingian ; and this abundance 
of the precious metals, together with the illustrious 
names of donors and recipient, justifies the assumption 
that the book, ugly as it is, may be taken as representative 
of the best work produced in the "dark age" which gave 
it birth. The Evangelists Mark, Luke, and John rather 
small huddled figures painted on dull green backgrounds 

1 Brit. Mus., Tib. A. ii, described in Cat. Anc. MSS., ii, pp. 35-7. 
14 



GERMAN ILLUMINATION, 900-1200 

show traces of the influence of the ninth century 
Rheims school, but without its artistic merit. Their 
strong flesh-tints contrast disagreeably with the cold 
tones of their draperies ; their huge hands, their heads 
twisted round in the effort to gaze upwards, suggest the 
incompetent copyist of a good model. The Matthew 
miniature is quite different in style ; with its thick soft 
technique and pale colouring, it represents a type which 
afterwards became characteristic of one branch of Otto- 
nian art. 

The Gregorian Sacramentary in the Heidelberg 
University Library (Sal. ix b ) is assigned by Dr. A. von 
Oechelhauser l to the first half of the tenth century ; but 
its affinity with the Gospel-book at Darmstadt (Cod. 
I948) 2 , executed for Gero, Archbishop of Cologne 969-76, 
is so close that we can hardly suppose the two books to 
be at all widely separated in point of age, if indeed they 
are not actually by the same hand, as Janitschek held 
them to be. In any case, the Heidelberg book is one of 
the earliest extant productions of the great Benedictine 
Abbey at Reichenau, which, as we have said, occupies the 
foremost place in the history of German tenth century 
schools of painting. The style of the Reichenau artists, 
judged by existing miniatures and by the wall-paintings 
discovered there in i88o, 3 seems to have been founded 
(as to iconography and types of figure-drawing) on Early 
Christian models of the Roman type; indirectly, perhaps 
for Dr. Haseloff 4 sees in the miniatures only a con- 
tinuation of the tradition of the "Ada-Gospels" group 
of Carolingian illuminators. But a new feature appears 

1 Die Miniaturen der Universitats-Bibliothek zu Heidelberg, pt. i, 1887, 
PP- 4-55. Pi- 1-8. 

2 Ibid., pp. 14-16, 32-3, pi. 9. Haseloff, Der Psalter Erzbischof Egberts von 
Trier, Codex Gertrudianus, 1901, p. 119, pi. 61 (2), 62. 

8 See Kraus, Geschichte d. chr. Kunst, ii, i, fig. 28-35. 

4 For the subject of the present chapter, see his articles in Michel, Hist. 
deCArt, i, ii, 714-37, 744-55, ii, i, 297-309, 320-9; and, for a more detailed 
study of Ottoman illumination, his masterly introduction to the Codex Gertru- 
dianus. 

10 145 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

in the patterned backgrounds introduced into some of 
the pages of Reichenau manuscripts and their derivatives ; 
the patterns used are either geometrical designs or else 
forms of birds or monsters, and were probably suggested 
by tile-work or textile fabrics in neither case do they 
improve the pictorial effect in figure-scenes, but when 
confined to the purely decorative pages they are less 
inappropriate. 

In the Heidelberg Sacramentary these tendencies are 
already prominent. Its two full-page miniatures, of 
Christ and the Virgin, each enthroned within a circular 
border filled with the common Carolingian device of 
semicircles arranged mosaic-wise, have the hard, clumsy 
figures of mediocre Carolingian painting ; but the beard- 
less, long-haired, almost feminine-looking Christ is of 
the type characteristic alike of Early Christian (fourth to 
fifth centuries) fresco and of Ottonian illumination. The 
"Vere dignum" page, within a frame of Carolingian 
meander, has its background diapered with a repeat- 
pattern of crosses and rosettes, in true Reichenau style ; 
a much less pleasing background, of horizontal bands of 
green and blue, disfigures the "Te igitur" page, and 
occasionally reappears in other Ottonian manuscripts ; on 
these two pages and elsewhere throughout the book are 
initials of intertwined branch-and-leaf work, which tends 
to curl about itself in the characteristic German manner. 
We have here, in fact, an almost complete epitome of the 
Ottonian style, already distinct from the great mass of 
Franco-German work of the ninth century. 

Closely allied to the Heidelberg manuscript are the 
Gero Gospels at Darmstadt, mentioned above, and the 
Reichenau Sacramentary at Florence. 1 The former re- 
peats the miniature of Christ in a circular glory with 
hardly a variation, except for a slightly improved 
technique. The latter has no miniatures, but its deco- 
rative pages are covered with geometrical repeat-patterns, 
or with the beasts and long-tailed birds which the 

1 Haseloff, Cod. Gerlr., pp. 115-17* pi. 59> 6o - 
146 



GERMAN ILLUMINATION, 900-1200 

Reichenau painters borrowed, probably, from Oriental 
silks. Precisely similar backgrounds appear on almost 
all the illuminated pages 1 of the Psalter at Cividale, 
which was executed for Egbert, the great Archbishop 
of Treves (977-93), but which is usually known as the 
Codex Gertrudianus from the insertions made in the 
eleventh century by a Russian lady named Gertrude. 
At the beginning of this book are four pages depicting 
its presentation by Ruodpreht (presumably the scribe or 
illuminator) to Archbishop Egbert, and its dedication by 
him to S. Peter. The remaining miniatures represent 
fourteen of Egbert's predecessors, each standing in the 
orans attitude, and are interspersed throughout the 
Psalter, opposite fully illuminated initial pages w r hich 
match them as to border and background. The initials 
are more pronouncedly Ottonian than in the Heidelberg 
Sacramentary, the leaf-terminals being now replaced by 
little round knobs. 2 

The Reichenau school reached its culminating point 
in another of Archbishop Egbert's books, the Codex 
Egberti par excellence: a Gospel-lectionary, now in the 
public library at Treves, 3 which was executed for him 
by the monks Keraldus and Heribertus. A purple dedi- 
cation page at the beginning shows these two, shrunk in 
modesty to diminutive proportions, offering the book to 
the majestic prelate, who sits towering above them in 
dignity. The portraits of the Evangelists follow, painted 
on backgrounds filled with geometrical patterns like 
those in the Psalter, and with their emblems above their 
heads ; but otherwise adhering closely to Byzantine 
models, both in the simplicity of the compositions and 
in the grave, thoughtful, ascetic type of face. But it is 
the fifty-one miniatures illustrating the Gospel-lessons 
which give the book its exceptional interest and value. 

1 These are all reproduced in the elaborate and profusely illustrated mono- 
graph by Sauerland and Haseloff, referred to above, p. 145. 

2 See pi. xix. 

3 Kraus, Die Miniaturen des Codex Egberti in der Stadtbibl zu Trier , 1884. 

147 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

These are framed in rectangular bands with no ornament 
beyond a simple lozenge-pattern, and mostly occupy half- 
page spaces in the text ; where they fill the whole page, 
they often contain two scenes with differently coloured 
backgrounds, but without formal partition. 1 In such 
details as these, and still more in the whole spirit and 
manner of the paintings themselves, they recall vividly 
the Vatican Virgil and the Quedlinburg Itala, and show 
quite unmistakably the influence of Early Christian art 
of the fourth or fifth century : the spaciousness of the 
compositions ; the lightness and freedom of the style ; 
the slender, expressive figures, distinctly reminiscent of 
antique grace ; the softly shaded backgrounds. The 
range of subjects includes many that are new to Prankish 
painting ; though we know from the sixth century 
mosaics of S. Apollinare Nuovo at Ravenna that they 
had long been used by artists of the Italo-Byzantine 
school. It is curious that in these same mosaics we 
recognize the youthful long-haired Christ of the Codex 
Egberti and other Ottonian illuminations. 

The pre-eminence of the Reichenau scriptorium at 
this time may be gauged by the fact that Pope Gregory V 
(996-9) granted special privileges to the abbey in ex- 
change for liturgical manuscripts to be supplied to Rome. 
Its artists were commissioned by Egbert, as we have 
seen, to enrich his library at Treves ; and their influence 
was undoubtedly felt in the monastic schools of illumina- 
tion which were now springing up in all parts of 
Germany. Whether executed in Reichenau or elsewhere, 
the Gospels of the Emperor Otto (apparently Otto III, 
crowned by Gregory V 996, died 1002) in the cathedral 
at Aix-la-Chapelle 2 have many features in common with 
the books which we have been discussing. The Evan- 
gelist types are very like those of the Codex Egberti ; the 
beardless, long-haired Christ is quite of the Reichenau 
type ; and there is a certain flavour of Early Christian 

1 See pi. xviii. 

2 Beissel, Die Bilder der Hs. des Kaisers Otto im Munster zu Aachen, 1886. 

148 



PLATE XVIII 




CODEX EGBERTI. 977-9^ 

TR1KK. STAnTBIBLIOTHEK 



GERMAN ILLUMINATION, 900-1200 

tradition about many of the Gospel illustrations. But 
along with these resemblances are many points of differ- 
ence. The backgrounds have neither the delicate grada- 
tions of the Codex Egberti, nor the tapestry-like patterns 
which form such a feature in the manuscripts of un- 
doubted Reichenau origin ; but are blue or purple for 
the dedication pictures, and gold for the illustrations to 
the text. The crowded compositions, clumsy figures, and 
absurd proportions suggest the crudity of primitive Byzan- 
tine miniatures such as those of the sixth century Codex 
Sinopensis, rather than the Classic grace and spacious- 
ness of the earlier paintings whose manner survives in 
the finest Reichenau work. Moreover, the Carolingian 
tradition appears plainly in the arches, sometimes sur- 
mounted by pediments, often decorated with birds and 
plants in the spandrels, which enclose the miniatures ; 
also in the apotheosis of Otto, who sits, enthroned within 
a mandorla, with the four Evangelistic emblems holding 
a veil before him a composition which recalls the 
Apocalyptic picture at the end of the Alcuin Bible. 1 

The Aix-la-Chapelle book is related to two other 
Ottonian manuscripts the Echternach Gospels at Gotha 
and the Bamberg Gospels at Munich. The former, 2 
which belonged to Echternach Abbey, near Treves, 
is in its original binding, with the portraits of " Em- 
press" Theophano and "King" Otto on one of the 
covers, fixing the date of execution between the years 
983 and 991, when Theophano was regent for her young 
son, Otto III. The binding is considered to be Treves 
work, and it seems probable that the manuscript was 
written and illuminated in or near that city. It is chiefly 
remarkable for its great wealth in illustrations of the 
Parables. The Munich MS. (Cim. 58), which formerly 

1 PI. xi. 

2 Described by Beissel, op. tit., pp. 18-28, and Janitschek, Geschichte der 
deutschen Malerei, 1890, pp. 66-70 (plate). 

3 Described very fully by W. Vbge, Eine deutsche Makrschiik urn die Wendt 
des erstenjahrtausends, 1891, pp. 7-98, fig. 2-15. See too L. v. Kobell, Kitnstvolle 
Miniaturen, pp. 20-1, pi. 8-10; Cod. Gertr., pi. 57; Janitschek, pp. 72-3 (plate). 

149 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

belonged to Bamberg Cathedral, contains a dedication 
picture, filling two pages, of Rome, Gaul, Germany, and 
" Sclavinia" offering tribute to the young Emperor, 
Otto III, who sits in state, with prelates and warriors 
standing round his throne. This miniature, almost a 
replica of one of Otto II painted for Archbishop Egbert's 
Registrum Gregorii, 1 dates the manuscript 996-1002. But 
the special interest of the volume lies in the scenes from 
the Gospels, many of which are identical, as to the main 
outlines of composition, with the corresponding pictures 
in the Codex Egberti and the Aix Gospels. The treat- 
ment generally resembles the latter rather than the 
former, and is more Germanic and "modern" than 
either ; but in a few cases notably the Crucifixion, 
Descent from the Cross, and Entombment every detail 
of the Codex Egberti groups is copied, and the posing 
of the slim lithe figures is reproduced with amazing 
fidelity. 

The Bamberg Lectionary at Munich (Cim. 57)* is of 
slightly later date, having been written for Henry II, 
apparently between his accession in 1002 and his corona- 
tion as emperor in 1014, and given by him to the great 
church which he founded at Bamberg. Its dedication 
page has in its upper compartment Henry and his wife 
S. Cunigunde, two timid little figures, presented by SS. 
Peter and Paul to Christ, who crowns them. Below are 
personifications of countries and provinces, holding up 
the orb of sovereignty, chaplet, and tributary offerings. 
The illustrations of the life of Christ agree in composi- 
tion, for the most part, with those in the manuscripts 
which we have just been discussing particularly the 
Descent from the Cross and the Entombment ; but in 
execution there are distinct signs of decadence, e.g. in the 
treatment of draperies, which are over-accentuated either 
by making them cling too closely to the limbs, or by 

1 Now at Chantilly. Reproduced in Michel, i, ii, pi. 9, Cod. Gertr., pi. 49. 

2 Vcige, pp. 112-29, fig. I6 1 , 19, 22-9, 43; Kobell, p. 24, pi. 13-15; Cod. 
Ger/r., pi. 58. 

ISO 



GERMAN ILLUMINATION, 900-1200 

giving them a tendency to flutter in a way suggestive 
of the contemporary Winchester mannerism. Both faults 
appear in the miniature of the Angel and the Shepherds, 
together with ungainly posing, absurd proportions (es- 
pecially the ridiculous little horses instead of the usual 
sheep grazing in the foreground). An unusual feature 
is the landscape of boulders, which is probably derived, 
along with the tightly clinging draperies and some details 
of composition, from Byzantine paintings of the tenth 
century. 

One of the most important artistic centres in Germany 
at the beginning of the eleventh century was Hildesheim, 
where a great revival of ecclesiastical art especially in 
metal-work, enamels, and illumination took place under 
the auspices of S. Bernward, 1 who reigned there as bishop 
from 993 to 1022. A friend of the Empress Theophano, 
and tutor to her young son Otto III, he had enjoyed 
special opportunities for studying all that was best in 
European art of the time ; and the school which he 
established in his cathedral city shows something of the 
eclecticism which might naturally be expected. The 
tradition that he was himself a miniaturist seems to 
have no foundation ; but many of the books that were 
executed for him are still preserved in Hildesheim 
Cathedral. The most noteworthy of these are a Gospel- 
book 2 and a Sacramentary, the former probably and the 
latter certainly the work of Guntbald the Deacon, who 
wrote another Gospel-book, less richly ornamented, in 
ion ; also a Bible, written about 1015, with an elaborate 
and interesting frontispiece. In these manuscripts the 
Reichenau fashion of filling the backgrounds with a 
repeat-pattern is adopted, but with a difference : the 
patterns seem founded less on textile designs than on 
those found in champleve enamel, though there is no 
evidence that BernwarcTs craftsmen actually practised the 

1 See Beissel, Derhl. Bernwardvon Hildesheim als Kiinstler und Forderer der 
deutschen Kunst> 1895. 

2 Beissel, Des hi Bernward Evangelienbuch im Dome zu Hildesheim, 1891. 

151 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

latter art. The whole technique of his books suggests 
indeed, by its severity and disposition of line, its lack 
of perspective and modelling, its rigid, non-realistic 
rendering of the human form, an acquaintance with the 
arts of metal-work and enamelling rather than the more 
plastic ideals proper to the miniaturist. This predilection 
for conventional forms is joined, however, to an elaborate 
and sometimes impressive symbolism, e.g. in the Cruci- 
fixion miniature of the great Gospel-book, where Christ's 
feet rest on the emblem of S. Luke (the Evangelist whose 
narrative is being illustrated, and who appears himself, 
writing his Gospel, in the lower compartment of the same 
page), and where Terra and Oceanus, as well as the more 
usual Sol and Luna, look on in astonishment. This 
antique idea of the amazed Earth and Ocean before the 
divine power is used again with fine effect in the minia- 
ture of the Incarnation, prefixed to S. John's Gospel. 
Above, in the firmament of heaven, God sits enthroned 
on the globe, holding the Agnus Dei and the Book of 
Life, a six- winged seraph on either side ; below His feet 
the Child in a manger-cot hangs suspended from a star, 
while Terra and Oceanus, classical half-draped figures, 
raise themselves to gaze up in wonder. 

S. Bernward's Gospel-book was probably written 
between 1011 and 1014; his Sacramentary is slightly 
later, and shows distinct signs of development in its 
one miniature, a Crucifixion prefixed to the Canon of the 
Mass, with the opening words " Te igitur " embodied in 
the design, the "T" forming the cross, with elaborately 
plaited terminals. The figure-drawing is much less 
flat and rigid, though the aim is still symbolical and 
decorative rather than realistic. The effect is unfortun- 
ately marred by the striped background an ugly device 
which also disfigures many pages in the Gospel-book. 

A much higher degree of technical perfection was 

reached by the contemporary artists of the Bavarian 

schools ; especially at Ratisbon, as the famous Uta- 

codex witnesses. This manuscript, now in the Munich 

152 



PLATE XIX 










PSALTER OF EGBERT, ARCHBISHOP OF TRIER, 977-993 

CIV1OALK, CODEX GERTRUDIANUS 



GERMAN ILLUMINATION, 900-1200 

Library (Cim. 54), 1 is a Gospel-lectionary, and was 
executed for Uta, Abbess of Niedermtinster at Ratisbon 
(1002-25), who appears in a dedication picture at the 
beginning of the book, offering it up to the Madonna 
and Child. Its splendid pages blend in a remarkable 
manner the Carolingian tradition of ornate magnificence 
with Byzantine wealth of symbolic imagery, and already 
foreshadow, in the slender figures and in the medallion- 
scenes set in the frames, the fully developed Gothic 
miniature of the thirteenth century. The mystical 
tendency is shown very strikingly in the miniature of 
the Crucifixion, where the crucified Christ appears as 
priest and king, wearing a crown and vested with stole 
and tunic, attended by allegorical figures of Life and 
Death, Grace and the Old Law. 

But the Uta-codex is exceptional, wellnigh unique, 
among the great mass of eleventh century German 
illuminations that have survived. For the most part 
these are characterized by poverty of invention, heaviness 
and hardness in drawing, and harshness and want of 
harmony in colouring. The same compositions are 
copied again and again with wearisome iteration of 
design, and with steady deterioration in treatment. In 
initial-ornament, the interlaced branch-work of the 
Heidelberg Sacramentary is repeated with scarcely any 
variation, until with the twelfth century the historiated 
initial begins to make its appearance, and with it the 
initial decorated with forms of animals and monsters ; 
a revival rather than a new movement, for both motives 
were used by Carolingian painters, as we have seen, e.g. 
in the Sacramentary of Drogo. A good example of the 
transition is Egerton 809 in the British Museum, a 
Gospel-lectionary written about the year noo, apparently 
for S. Maximin's monastery at Treves. Its four full-page 
miniatures (Nativity, Maries at the Tomb, Ascension, 
Pentecost) are hard, flat, and uninteresting, while its 

1 G. Swarzenski, Die Regensburger Buchmakrei des X. und XI. Jahrhunderts^ 
1901, pp. 88-122, pi. 12-18. 

153 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

initials are mostly of the stereotyped pattern, gold 
branch-work, red-edged, with knobby terminals, taste- 
lessly disposed on green and bright blue grounds ; but 
the monotony is occasionally broken by the introduction 
of small miniatures and serpentine forms crude and 
insignificant in themselves, but welcome signs of incipient 
progress. 

The twelfth century was pre-eminently a time for the 
production of huge Bibles, on the Continent as in 
England. Two splendid examples of German work 
are the Worms and Arnstein Bibles in the British 
Museum, both of them produced in the Rhineland. 
The earlier of the two is the Worms Bible (Harl. 
2803-4), 1 apparently written in 1148. It has the usual 
German defect of an excessively hard and dry technique, 
and in its figure-painting shows little advance beyond 
the average work of the preceding century. The illumin- 
ation consists of a large decorated initial at the beginning 
of each book in some cases historiated, but generally 
filled only with scroll-work and leaf-ornament ; two 
miniatures of S. Jerome writing ; one of David as 
harpist, prefixed to the Psalms ; arcaded Canon-tables ; 
and portraits of the Evangelists. The miniatures are 
crude, flat, and coarsely executed ; it is in the initial- 
ornament that the illuminators of this and similar books 
show to most advantage. The gold and silver branching 
has now vanished ; in its stead we have white or coloured 
foliage-scrolls with gold bands, painted on coloured 
grounds and often combined with plait-work and human 
or serpentine figures. Sometimes the colouring is 
subdued and pleasing, more frequently it is harsh and 
gaudy, bright greens and blues, ill-matched, predomin- 
ating to an unpleasant extent. 

The Arnstein Bible (Harl. 2798-9) * is far superior to 
the Worms MS., and shows the best side of German 
twelfth century illumination. It was written towards 

1 Warner, Ilium. MSS. % pi. 16. 
8 Warner, pi. 18. 

154 



GERMAN ILLUMINATION, 900-1200 

the end of the century for the Premonstratensian abbey 
of Arnstein, near Coblentz, and, with two other twelfth 
century books from the same foundation a Passionale 
(Harl. 2800-2) and a copy of Rabanus De Laudibus 
S. Crucis (Harl. 3045) ,forms a valuable monument of 
this great period of Rhenish art. The Bible and the 
Passionale have a long series of very fine initials of 
white foliated branch-work, outlined in red upon soft 
blue and green fields. Dragons and birds are often 
added to the intertwining stems and leaves, and form 
effective head and tail-pieces to the letters. Human 
figures too are sometimes introduced as part of the 
decorative scheme. The second volume of the Bible is 
more richly illuminated than the first, having great 
initials in gold, silver, and colours prefixed to Proverbs 
and to each of the Gospels ; these initials are similar to 
the rest in general plan, but contain in addition large 
figures of Solomon and the Evangelists writing, with 
smaller half-length allegorical figures in medallions. 
The colouring is much more harmonious in tone than 
that of the Worms Bible, and the technique far less 
harsh. The De Laudibus S. Crucis, besides richly 
illuminated initials in silver, gold, and colours, has 
several pages filled with curious mystical diagrams, which 
have no interest from the purely artistic point of view, 
but are enclosed in border-frames decorated with various 
repeat-patterns in red outline on blue and green grounds ; 
the great feature of the book is the depth and warmth of 
the colouring in the initials. 

The curious symbolism of this last-named book links 
it with a far more beautiful and celebrated manuscript, 
now unhappily destroyed : the Hortus Deliciarum, com- 
posed, written, and illuminated by Herrad von Landsperg, 
Abbess of Hohenburg in Alsace, 1167-95, for the edifica- 
tion and delectation of her nuns. This great and unique 
work, with all its wealth of miniatures, was burnt at 
Strassburg during the siege of 1870. Fortunately, copies 
had previously been made of several of the miniatures, 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

and these have been published by the Society for the 
Preservation of the Historical Monuments of Alsace. 1 The 
book was a sort of encyclopaedia of religious and philo- 
sophical knowledge, illustrated by paintings of scriptural, 
symbolical, and other subjects. These show a largeness 
and originality of conception which the navvetd of the 
drawing could not conceal. 

In Germany, as elsewhere, the monastic scriptoria 
were not given up exclusively to the transcription and 
embellishment of religious books. A vernacular literature 
was growing, which demanded its copyists and illustrators. 
Shortly before the year 1200 there was made, in a Bavarian 
monastery, a copy of Heinrich von Veldegke's Eneidt, a 
free German paraphrase of Virgil's epic. This manuscript, 
now in the Berlin Library, 2 is illustrated with seventy-one 
fine drawings in red and black outline, on panelled 
grounds of crimson, blue, green or buff. The scenes, 
in spite of faulty technique, are full of action : feasts and 
battles, ships, castles, armed knights, fill the pages with 
a riot of chivalry delightful in itself, though having little 
relation to the dignities of the antique world. 

Not much need be said about French or Flemish 
illumination during the period dealt with in this chapter. 
The art was almost paralysed by the constant strife and 
disorder which accompanied the decline and extinction 
of the Carolingian dynasty, and which by no means 
ceased with the conversion of the Counts of Paris into 
nominal Kings of France ; and its recovery was doubtless 
retarded, and its progress checked, by the puritanical 
tendencies of the Cistercian Order, which, founded at the 
end of the eleventh century, spread with such amazing 
rapidity in the next century under S. Bernard, especially 
in France, the land of its birth. The S. Omer Psalter 
at Boulogne, written 989-1008, has already been men- 

1 Herrade dc Landsberg, Hortus Delidarum^ ed. G. Keller, 1901. See too, for 
reproductions in colour, Horfus Deliciarum dc Herrade de Landsperg, Paris, 1877. 

2 MS. germ. fol. 282. See F. Kugler, Die Bilderhs. der Eneidt [1834]; 
Janitschek, pp. 113-15. 

I 5 6 



FLEMISH ILLUMINATION, 900-1200 

tioned in chapter vi, as showing the close connection 
between English and North French work at that time ; 
and the same interdependence appears half a century 
later in a Gallican Missal, written probably for some 
church in the north of France, and now in Mr. Yates 
Thompson's library. 1 The miniatures in this manuscript, 
though less thickly painted and more subdued in colour- 
ing, show a strong resemblance to those in contemporary 
manuscripts produced in Southern England ; especially 
in the draperies, the elongated fingers, and in the border 
decoration of frames filled with leaf-moulding and set 
with rosettes and medallions. 

An important school of writing and illumination 
existed from early times in the Benedictine abbey of 
Stavelot or Stablo in Belgium, many of whose manu- 
scripts have found their way to the British Museum. 
Among these is a tenth century Missal (Add. 16605), 
whose decoration shows the continuance, rather than 
development, of the Franco-Saxon style. It has no 
figure-compositions, only a few initials in gold and 
colours, and four pages of the Canon (Preface, Te igitur, 
and Paternoster) written in silver uncials on a purple 
ground, with large interlaced initials in gold, green, and 
white ; the first two enclosed in frames whose panel 
and corner ornaments, like the whole of the decorative 
scheme, are quite in the manner of the S. Denis school. 
A Psalter from the same abbey, also of the tenth century 
(Add. 18043), shows no trace of this influence, and is 
more nearly allied to the Boulogne Psalter, so far as 
one may judge by the brightly yet softly coloured pages, 
with gold and red plait-work initials enclosing quaint 
little figures, prefixed to Psalms li and ci; the initial-page 
of Psalm i doubtless the most elaborate of the three 
has unluckily been cut out. 

Better known, and more significant for the student of 
illumination, is the great Stavelot Bible (Add. 28106-7), 

1 No. 69. See Illustrations of zoo MSS. in the Library of H. Y. Thompson, 
i, 1907, pi. 1-3. 

157 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

in two huge volumes, written by the monks Goderannus 
and Ernestus in 1093-7 J tne precursor of the series 
which includes the Winchester, Worms, and Arnstein 
Bibles. Its illumination consists of large historiated or 
decorated initials to the several books; an " In principio" 
series of medallion-scenes from Genesis and the life of 
Christ, enclosed in an ornamental frame and rilling the 
first column of the book of Genesis ; Canon-arcades of no 
particular merit or interest ; and one full-page miniature. 
This last, representing Christ in glory, surrounded by the 
emblems of the Evangelists in medallions, and enclosed 
in a frame filled with a meander pattern, is thoroughly 
Carolingian in spirit, and is chiefly remarkable for the 
immense size of the central figure. The initials vary 
considerably : most of those which are merely decorated 
with branching scroll-work (sometimes with animal forms 
entangled in the foliage), as well as some of those enclos- 
ing miniatures, are comparatively coarse. But many of 
those in the first volume contain illustrations in which 
the figures are drawn in outline and left wholly or 
partially uncoloured ; and these are for the most part 
drawn with much delicacy, expressiveness, and even 
charm. Especially good are the miniatures prefixed to 
Exodus, Judges, and the first and second books of Kings; 
David beheading Goliath, in the last of these, is the very 
embodiment of youthful grace and energy. 

Another Belgian monastery which has contributed 
largely to the British Museum Library is the Premon- 
stratensian abbey of S. Mary De Parco, near Louvain. 
Its Bible, written in 1148 in three large volumes (Add. 
14788-90), has only one full-page illumination, a very 
elaborate design prefixed to Genesis and containing the 
words of the first verse: Christ in glory in the centre, 
scenes from Genesis in medallions round the frame ; the 
interspaces filled with foliate scroll-work, birds, archers, 
etc. Gold and silver are freely used, and the colouring 
is warm and rich, so that the total decorative effect is 
splendid, despite a certain coarseness in the figure-drawing. 
158 



FLEMISH ILLUMINATION, 900-1200 

The initials sometimes contain figures, but are for the 
most part merely handsome examples of the current 
decorative style, being made of plaited gold ribbons 
placed on a coloured field and entwined with white vine- 
stems, or else of coloured foliations on a gold ground. 
Dragons are used for the tails of letters, and the white 
vine-branches are finely patterned with red and green 
pen-work. 

The initials of the great two-volume Bible from 
Floreffe Abbey, 1 near Namur, written about 1160, are of 
a simpler character. They are of the usual scroll and 
dragon type, very finely drawn in red and black outline, 
with great elaboration of detail, but without any illumina- 
tion properly so called. The miniatures, which occur in 
the second volume only, are brilliant in colour but rather 
hard in technique. The subjects are mystical and alle- 
gorical : the sacrifices of the Old and New Dispensations, 
the theological and cardinal virtues, etc. Despite its 
faults of hardness and flatness, this book with its neat 
execution and its slender, almost Gothic figures, shows 
that Flemish painting had by this time reached at least 
as high a level as that of the contemporary German 
schools. 

1 Brit. Mus., Add. 17737-8. See Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 15, and Reprod., 
iii, 10 ; Pal. Soc., i, 213. 



159 



CHAPTER IX 
ITALIAN ILLUMINATION BEFORE 1300 

THE materials for an orderly and consecutive 
history of early Italian illumination can hardly be 
said to exist ; here, at any rate, only the slightest 
sketch can be attempted. That Byzantine influence pre- 
dominated until well on in the Middle Ages need scarcely 
be stated ; it has already been pointed out, in chapter iii, 
that many Greek manuscripts were written in Italy, and 
illuminated in a manner not to be distinguished from 
that of Byzantine painters. There can be little doubt, 
however, that illuminators working in Rome, Naples, and 
other Italian cities were also influenced by what they saw 
of wall-paintings, mosaics, and other monuments of Late 
Classical and Early Christian art. The seventh century 
Latin Gospels at Cambridge, 1 for instance, afford some 
evidence of this. This book belonged to S. Augustine's, 
Canterbury, at least as early as the ninth century, and it 
is highly probable that it came originally from Italy, 
perhaps from Rome itself. Its two remaining pages of 
illumination show little trace of Byzantine influence, 
except indirectly in the composition of S. Luke seated 
within an alcove ; the additional figure of his emblem in 
the tympanum is most likely an Italian invention, 2 and 
the little scenes from the life of Christ are essentially 
Western in iconography and debased Roman in manner. 
Corroborative evidence may be deduced from the painting 
of David and his musicians in the Canterbury Psalter, 3 

1 Corpus Christi College, No. 286. See Pal. Soc.^ i, 33, 34, 44, and for 
coloured reproductions J. Goodwin, Evangelia Augustini Gregoriana^ 1847 
(Cambridge Ant. Soc., No. 13), pi. 6, 7. 

2 See above, p. 62. 

8 Brit. Mus., Vesp. A. i, noticed above, p. 86. 
1 60 



ITALIAN ILLUMINATION BEFORE 1300 

which combines Celtic ornament with Classical com- 
position, the latter almost certainly based on an Italian 
original of the seventh century or earlier. 

In Northern Italy, overrun as it constantly was by 
invading hordes, Byzantine and Roman influence de- 
clined in art as in politics ; and the few extant examples 
of the book-decoration practised in those troublous ages 
have a barbaric stamp plainly marked upon them. The 
outline-sketches which adorn (?) the fifth-seventh century 
Psalter at Verona 1 are too rude to deserve the name of 
art. More ambitious are the paintings of the famous 
Ashburnham Pentateuch, 2 now in the Bibliotheque 
Nationale at Paris (nouv. acq. lat. 2334), which were 
probably executed in North Italy towards the end of the 
seventh century. The title-page, with its peacocks, 
looped-back curtains, and resetted arch, is of the ordin- 
ary Byzantine type ; but formal regularity and adherence 
to convention appear only in this design. The illustrative 
miniatures, on the contrary, are graphic and forcible, but 
crude almost to barbarism. Crowded scenes jostle one 
another, often without partition, filling up the page 
regardless of composition or artistic effect. The figures 
are vigorous and expressive, but have no suggestion of 
grace or dignity, and the heads are much too big. In 
fact, if these pictures are indebted to Byzantine art at all, 
it is to Byzantine art of the untutored kind represented 
by the Vienna Genesis. The painter is at his best in 
pastoral scenes, e.g. Adam and Cain ploughing; his 
drawing of plants and animals is far in advance of his 
mastery of the art of picture-making. On the whole, 
this manuscript, interesting and valuable in itself, 
occupies an almost isolated position in the history of art, 
and has little relation to the subsequent development of 
Italian illumination. 

1 A. Goldschmidt, "Die altesten Psalterillustrationen," in Repert, f. 
Kunstwissenschaftt xxiii, pp. 265-73. 

2 O. von Gebhardt, The Miniatures of the Ashburnham Pentateuch, 1883; 
Pal. Soc., i, 234-5. 

II 161 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

In such places as the famous Chapter Library at 
Verona, examples may be seen of Italian illumination 
between the eighth and eleventh centuries ; but these 
(setting aside the direct copies of Byzantine manuscripts, 
to which allusion was made just now) have few of the 
characteristics which one would expect to find in the 
native country of antique Roman art. They appear 
crude and barbarous when compared with the best work 
of contemporary Carolingian, Ottonian, and Early English 
illuminators ; and a national Italian style can hardly be 
said to have evolved itself before the twelfth century. In 
monasteries like Bobbio, founded by Irish missionaries, 
Celtic influence appears, not only in illuminations directly 
copied from, or at least founded on, Irish models, but 
also in the blending of Celtic ornament with Byzantine 
figure-composition and dress; 1 and this influence is plainly 
discernible in the South Italian scheme of decoration 
from the tenth century onwards, where Celtic plait-work 
and convolutions of interlaced ribbons or foliage-stems 
are combined with monsters whose weird forms bespeak 
a Lombardic origin, and sometimes with intertwined 
branch-and-leaf work in gold on coloured grounds, 
a motive evidently borrowed from Ottonian illumination. 
An excellent example of the mingled styles found in 
early Italian manuscripts is the Sacramentary written for 
S. Warmund, Bishop of Ivrea in Piedmont, about the 
year 1000, and still preserved in the Chapter Library 
there. 2 The opening page of the Canon has the words 
"Te igitur" in gold interlaced lettering similar to that 
found in German manuscripts of the same period, together 
with a very Byzantine-looking figure of S. Warmund in the 
orans attitude as though saying Mass, and wearing the 
rectangular nimbus appropriated to living persons in 
early Italian art. On the other hand, the really fine 

1 See, for instance, the tenth-eleventh century Bobbio Psalter at Munich (Cod. 
lat. 343), in Kobell, p. 22, pi. 12, 13. 

2 F. Carta, C. Cipolla, and C. Frati, Atlante paleografico-artistico^ 1899, 

pp. 21-2, pi. 23-4. 
162 



ITALIAN ILLUMINATION BEFORE 1300 

miniature of the Maries at the Tomb is thoroughly 
instinct with C4assical tradition : in the slender dignified 
forms of the women, in the great angel with his flowing 
draperies, in the sleeping soldiers. 

It is to the Benedictine monasteries of Southern Italy, 
and particularly to the great parent house of Monte 
Cassino, founded by S. Benedict in the sixth century, 
that we must look for the beginnings of Italian illumina- 
tion as a continuous and progressive art. 1 Lombard and 
Saracen invasions, and a subsequent fire at Teano, where 
the monks had taken refuge about the beginning of the 
tenth century, have left us no relics of the book-painting 
practised at Monte Cassino during the first three cen- 
turies of its history. But there is little sign of artistic 
tradition in the earliest extant work of the school, a copy of 
Paul the Deacon's Commentary on the Rule of S. Benedict, 
written at Capua between 915 and 934, and preserved in 
the library at Monte Cassino (No. 175). Besides its 
frontispiece (Christ in glory, with the emblems of the 
Evangelists and two adoring angels), it has a miniature 
of Abbot John giving the book to S. Benedict, who sits 
in a jewelled chair with an angel standing behind him. 
The ornamental framing of the frontispiece recalls the 
Book of Durrow and other early Irish manuscripts : a 
broad band entwined upon itself so as to form one large 
central circle and four small ones, and divided into panels 
filled with interlaced ribbons. The figure-drawing, how- 
ever, on both pages is rudimentary, not in the grotesquely 
conventional Irish manner, but rather as though ineptly 
copied from models which had some relation to actual 
life ; the chief fault is in the proportions, especially those 
of the two adoring angels, whose crouching bodies and 
limbs are shrunk almost to nothing, while their heads, 
hands, and feet are enormous. 

With the eleventh century, the number of extant 

1 See E. Bertaux, U art dans V Italic meridionale, i, 1904, pp. 155-67, 193- 
212, etc.; Oderisio Piscicelli Taeggi, Le Miniature net codici Cassinesi (Litografia 
di Montecassino, 1887, etc.), and Paleografia artistica di Montecassino, 1876. 

163 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

illuminated manuscripts from Monte Cassino becomes far 
greater. The art had not made much progress by the 
time of Abbot Theobald (1022-35), if we may judge by 
the miniatures in a copy of S. Gregory's Moralia written 
for him (Monte Cassino, No. 73), with their wooden faces, 
stiff, unlifelike figures, and poverty of design. But the 
abbacy of Desiderius, who was elected in 1058 and 
became Pope Victor III in 1086, marks an epoch in the 
history of Benedictine art in Southern Italy ; and that in 
miniature as well as architecture, mosaic, and wall- 
painting. He imported Greek artists from Constanti- 
nople to decorate the abbey church with mosaics ; and the 
figure-compositions in the manuscripts illuminated for 
him, whether painted by Greek masters or Italian pupils, 
are purely Byzantine in conception and manner. The 
decorative ornament of the initials, on the other hand, 
is quite independent of Byzantine influence ; in it, the 
Celtic and Lombardic elements have now combined to 
form the characteristic South Italian style of the eleventh 
and twelfth centuries : interlaced straps, ribbons, and 
tendrils, with greyhounds, birds, human figures, and 
grotesques. 1 Both styles appear to great advantage in 
the beautiful Life of S. Benedict made for Abbot 
Desiderius about 1070, now in the Vatican Library (Vat. 
lat. 1202): another of his books, a volume of Homilies, 
still at Monte Cassino (No. 99), is decorated with exquisite 
drawings by a monk named Leo, executed in 1072. 

Under Desiderius, Monte Cassino became one of the 
chief centres for the production of a class of manuscripts 
peculiarly South Italian, and specially interesting to 
students both of liturgiology and of Romanesque art. 
These are the illustrated Exultet Rolls, 2 which were 

1 The British Museum, which is not strong in early Italian illuminations, has 
a twelfth century Psalter (Add. 18859) with good initials in this, the typical 
Cassinese style. Mr. Yates Thompson's fine Martyrology, also of the twelfth cen- 
tury, is profusely decorated in the same manner. See Burl. F.A. Club, No. 5, pi. 13. 

2 These are discussed very fully, with illustrations, by Bertaux, pp. 213-40. 
See too the splendid series of coloured reproductions published at Monte Cassino, 
Le Miniature net Rotoli dell' Exultet, ed. A. M. Latil, 1899, etc.; Venturi, Storia 
dcW arte italiana^ iii, pp. 726-54^ 

164 



ITALIAN ILLUMINATION BEFORE 1300 

used in the ceremony of consecrating the great paschal 
candle on Easter Eve. One of the most impressive 
services in the liturgy of the Roman Church at the present 
day, this dedication of the holy candle symbolizing at 
once Christ Himself and the Pillar of Fire which led the 
Children of Israel in the wilderness was in the Middle 
Ages a ceremony of almost sacramental solemnity : a fact 
attested not only by the Exultet Rolls of which we are 
now speaking, but also by the magnificent sculptured 
candlesticks of the Romanesque period, specially intended 
for the paschal candle and placed near the ambo from 
which the Exultet was declaimed, which are still to be 
seen in many of the churches in Southern Italy. The 
Exultet itself, the text inscribed on these rolls, is the 
strange, mystical, almost rhapsodical chant sung by the 
deacon during the consecration and lighting of the candle: 
named from its opening phrase, " Exultet jam angelica 
turba caelorum, exultent divina mysteria!" Included 
in the Missal as early as the seventh century, it is here 
written separately on a long strip of vellum, and illus- 
trated with pictures drawn in the reverse direction, so as 
to be visible right way up to the congregation as the 
deacon went on with the chant, letting the unrolled por- 
tion fall over the front of the ambo before him. 

These illuminated Exultet Rolls seem only to have 
been used in Southern Italy, and there only for a com- 
paratively short time, the surviving examples (which are 
all written in the well-marked script known to palaeo- 
graphers as Lombardic minuscule) ranging in date from 
the beginning of the eleventh century to the end of the 
thirteenth. As to subjects and compositions they re- 
semble one another very closely, though some are much 
more copiously illustrated than others. The most com- 
plete ones begin with a miniature of Christ in glory, 
or else (in two of the later ones) of a prelate enthroned 
between two priests. Then comes an immense and 
elaborately decorated initial " E" to the word " Exultet," 
with the "angelica turba" rejoicing, some rolls adding the 

165 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Agnus Dei with six-winged seraphs and the Evangelistic 
symbols. The next picture in order, illustrating the 
words "Gaudeat et tellus," etc., is curiously Classical in 
conception. In the Bari Roll, written before 1028, Earth 
is represented as a dignified matron, fully draped, stand- 
ing between two trees with animals grouped about her 
feet ; but in most of the later rolls, including that in the 
British Museum, 1 she appears sitting on the ground or 
else emerging from it, half-draped or nude, with ox and 
serpent or two other creatures feeding at her breasts a 
personification of the Universal Mother obviously in- 
spired by pagan art. Interspersed among such pictures 
as these are others, showing the successive stages of the 
ritual performed during the chant : the censing, blessing, 
and lighting of the candle, the insertion of the five grains 
of incense, etc. Interesting as these are to the student of 
Christian archaeology, they are necessarily monotonous in 
subject, compared with the rich variety of the allegorical 
or literal illustrations of the text. The latter include, 
besides those mentioned, the Crucifixion, the Passage of 
the Red Sea, the Harrowing of Hell, and the Fall of 
Man ; also Mother Church, a queenly figure extending 
protective arms over clergy and laity ; and a very curi- 
ous and distinctive scene, warranted by the text and yet 
suggestive of the Georgics rather than of Christian 
imagery: the bees, symbolical of the Virgin Birth, gather- 
ing honey and producing the wax of which the paschal 
candle is made ("Alitur enim liquantibus ceris, quas in 
substantiam pretiosae hujus lampadis apis mater eduxit.") 
In some rolls the symbolism is enforced by a miniature of 
the Nativity, with bees hovering around the crib ; more 
commonly by a separate picture of the Annunciation, or of 
the Madonna and Child with adoring angels. 

Until the end of the eleventh century, most of these 
rolls have little artistic merit ; some indeed notably the 

1 Add. 30337, assigned by the editors of the Palaeographical Society (i, 146) 
to the twelfth century, but Bertaux, who says (p. 226) that it came from Monte 
Cassino, calls it late eleventh century. 

1 66 



ITALIAN ILLUMINATION BEFORE 1300 

three in Gaeta Cathedral are of almost repulsive ugli- 
ness, and their misshapen figures seem like childish 
caricatures of some worthier model, whose composition 
alone the copyist was able to preserve. The improved 
technique which afterwards begins to appear is generally 
accompanied by a closer adherence to Byzantine icono- 
graphy, as well as a closer resemblance to Byzantine 
style ; and M. Bertaux is doubtless right in giving 
a large share in the credit for this change to the school 
of Monte Cassino, and to Abbot Desiderius in particular. 
It was here, apparently, and probably not long after the 
time of Desiderius, that the Exultet of the British 
Museum (Add. 30337) was executed. Though damaged 
by the flaking away of the colours, it remains one of the 
finest surviving examples of its class ; and its best minia- 
tures already foreshadow that lovely early Italian style 
which, seen at its best in the Sienese and Umbrian 
schools, added dramatic expression and a light and bril- 
liant colouring to the grand and spiritual Byzantine 
types on which it was founded. Its prevailing tints are 
blue and red ; and these, with a plenteous use of gold, 
give its paintings a rich, bright, and yet charmingly soft 
and harmonious effect. The workmanship is uneven ; but 
in the best pictures, such as the Harrowing of Hell, 1 with 
its splendid rushing figure of Christ, one sees more the 
large free manner of the fresco painter than the compara- 
tively cramped technique of the miniaturist. 

From this and other manuscripts it is evident that 
by the beginning of the twelfth century the Benedictine 
schools of Southern Italy had already advanced far in the 
evolution of a distinctive style of illumination ; founded, 
so far as initial-ornament is concerned, on a mixture 
of Celtic, Lombardic, and Teutonic (Ottonian) elements ; 
and deriving the composition of its miniatures mainly 
from Byzantine sources, but improving on its models by 
adding a largeness of manner and a warmth and richness 
of colouring which were afterwards among the most 

* PI. XX. 

167 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

striking characteristics of Italian painting. This instinct 
for colour, indeed, was already a national trait ; it shows 
itself not only in the South Italian schools, but quite as 
strongly in the twelfth and thirteenth century illumina- 
tions of Northern Italy, which would often be difficult 
otherwise to distinguish from contemporary productions 
of Germany and Flanders. This applies specially to 
initial-ornament, where the Italian artist seems often 
to have been content to copy the designs of Northern 
illuminators, only replacing their light blue and pale 
green fields by brilliant ultramarine or crimson back- 
grounds, on which orange-yellow or gold letters, panelled 
with geometrical patterns in red, white, and blue, and 
filled with intertwining white vine-tendrils, stand in 
sharp relief. The British Museum possesses two excel- 
lent examples of this style in Harl. 7183 and Add. 9350. 
The former, 1 a very large volume containing Homilies 
for Sundays and Festivals from Advent to Easter Eve, 
was written early in the twelfth century. Most of its 
initials are of the type described, but often with figures 
of birds and animals introduced as additional ornaments. 
Some are historiated with half-length portraits of the 
saints to whose Homilies they are prefixed ; these are flat, 
wooden, monotonous, altogether on a lower level than the 
purely decorative work, which is executed with great 
finish, shows much inventive faculty in the variety of its 
designs, and is altogether beautiful of its kind. In some 
cases the initial consists of a bird or monster, usually in 
white on a blue or crimson background; a favourite 
device of this kind is an " S " formed by a long-necked 
bird standing on its own tail and biting its back. Add. 
9350 is a much smaller book, a glossed Psalter written 
about the end of the twelfth century ; and its initials are 
on a less ambitious scale, with less intricate decoration ; 
the colour effect too lacks something of the brilliancy 
and warmth of Harl. 7183, the blue being somewhat 
paler. Its miniature of David with his four musicians, 

1 See Pal. Soc., ii, 55. 
168 



ITALIAN ILLUMINATION BEFORE 1300 

all red-haired, red-nosed, and ill-proportioned, shows 
again how much better decorative ornament was under- 
stood at this time than figure-painting. In the fifteenth 
century it was bequeathed to the famous Dominican 
priory of S. Mark at Florence ; but nothing is known 
as to its place of origin. These two manuscripts are good 
examples of the models chosen by "humanistic" Italian 
scribes and illuminators in the Renaissance period, and 
imitated with such bewildering accuracy. 

How strong a hold Germanic influence had obtained 
in Northern Italy may be seen in such manuscripts as the 
Gospel-book 1 in Padua Cathedral, written in that city in 
the year 1170. This book has many full-page minia- 
tures, painted in body-colour on dull gold grounds. 
White, emerald-green, violet, light blue, and crimson pre- 
dominate. The colouring is often quite arbitrary blue 
hair, green nimbi, etc. ; the handling particularly harsh. 
The stiff and numerous folds of the draperies are out- 
lined with hard bands or hems of colour, the large oval 
eyes and clumsy features are indicated by coarse lines. 
In fact, these miniatures with their pale hard colouring, 
angular figures, dry technique, and elaborate post-Caro- 
lingian architecture of striped and patterned pillars 
upholding round arches and many-coloured battlements, 
might pass as the production of some highly conservative 
Flemish or German scriptorium. Quite admirable, on 
the other hand, are the grotesque forms of birds, fishes, 
dragons, and demons, of which the chief initials are built 
up, and which are paralleled by the quaint and vigorous 
carvings that abound in North Italian churches of the 
Romanesque time. 

It was in the thirteenth century that the Byzantine 
influence which had so long affected the course of South 
Italian sculpture, architecture, and painting, flowed over 
the whole of the peninsula, producing a sudden outburst 
of pictorial art, often of peculiar loveliness, in which the 
stateliness of Byzantium, her Oriental faculty for pre- 

1 See Venturi, iii, pp. 450-2, 454. 

169 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

senting spiritual mysteries under the guise of earthly 
magnificence, was softened, humanized, by the gentler 
temper of the Italian religious mind. Italy in the 
thirteenth century was profoundly moved by the Fran- 
ciscan spirit, which, though at first inimical to the 
production of works of art, was finally responsible for 
that sweetness and simplicity of outlook which charms 
us in the fresco-painting of the early Italian school, and 
gives its peculiar quality of grace to Italo-Byzantine art. 
This art was applied with special success to the illumina- 
tion of liturgical books. Here its admirable convention, 
richness of colour, and extraordinary power of rendering 
spiritual themes produced a sudden revival of the 
miniaturist's art, in which Italy as a whole had so 
long been content to lag behind her northerly neigh- 
bours. Whilst England and France were in the hey- 
day of their Early Gothic period, the illuminators of 
Padua, Parma, and Bologna looked eastwards for in- 
spiration ; and Italian miniature began to be henceforth 
sharply differentiated from that of the rest of the 
world. 

How complete was the transition from the vague 
eclecticism, which makes North Italian illuminations of 
the twelfth century so perplexing to the student, to the 
formal but finished style of the thirteenth century, is well 
shown by a comparison of the Paduan Gospel-book of 
1170, just described, with an Epistolar 1 made for the 
same cathedral eighty-nine years later. The art of the 
Gospel-book cannot be called either beautiful or religious. 
That of the Epistolar, on the contrary, despite the faulty 
proportions and overcrowded compositions, is essentially 
mature, noble, profoundly spiritual. The pictures express 
both dignity and emotion : things so opposed in their 
tendencies, that they are only found together in art of 
a high order. The Byzantine parentage of the Epistolar 
is obvious, but its defects, no less than its special merits, 
mark it off as a native product; and as a matter of 

1 Venturi, iii, pp. 486-9. 



ITALIAN ILLUMINATION BEFORE 1300 

fact it was written at Padua by a priest named Giovanni 
di Gaibana, who finished it in 1259, and whose portrait is 
appended, sitting at a desk and writing the words " Ego 
presbyter Johannes scripsi feliciter." Turning to the min- 
iatures, we find a long series of full-page pictures of the 
lives of Christ and the saints, painted on highly burnished 

fold backgrounds in just such deep rich colours as are to 
e seen in the altar-pieces of Duccio and other Italian 
painters who employed the maniera bizantina : deep blue 
predominates, relieved by scarlet, pinkish purple, and a little 
green. Instead of hard contours and flatly laid tints, we 
have admirably modelled figures (though imperfect as to 
proportions, the heads being too big), whose dark com- 
plexions, with greenish shadows and sharp high-lights on 
forehead, cheek, and nose, sufficiently betray their Byzan- 
tine ancestry ; as do also the static character of the whole 
work, the sudden failure of the artist when, as in the 
Death of S. John Baptist, he tries to represent violent 
action, and the poetic majesty of his design when, as 
in the Death of the Madonna, he is content to give 
new life to the old, formal compositions. The vivacity 
of expression which, without impairing the impressive 
character of his scenes, gives them a dramatic force often 
lacking in the mystical and ceremonial art of the Greek 
painters, owes something, perhaps, to Northern influence; 
or more probably to the Benedictine art of South Italy, 
for the same quality is noticeable, as we saw, in the 
twelfth century Exultet Roll in the British Museum. 

By the end of the thirteenth century a well-marked 
type of conventional border-ornament had been evolved, 
which persisted, of course with many slight variations, 
throughout the fourteenth century in Italian illumination, 
and which assuredly owes nothing to Eastern influences ; 
it is, in fact, closely allied with, and most probably derived 
from, the pendent "bar-border" initial-ornament which is 
one of the features of thirteenth century English and 
French book-decoration. Its main elements are : (i) The 
thin wand or rod, normally straight and rigid, but capable 

171 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

of being tied in knots, twisted or plaited ; (2) The long 
lobed and pointed leaf, the lobes generally on one side 
only : this may spring from the wands or from the 
initial letters, or may be an independent growth twined 
round them; (3) Cup-shaped beads threaded on the wands 
and stems : though this style of ornament is more 
specially typical of fourteenth century Italian manu- 
scripts, it had already come into use before the end of the 
period now under discussion, particularly at Bologna, 
where a school of miniature was growing 1 which was 
afterwards to attain a position of considerable import- 
ance. Another device found in Italian borders towards 
the end of the thirteenth century was doubtless borrowed 
from Northern Europe, where it was much more fre- 
quently practised and with much freer play of fancy and 
humour, especially in England, North France, and the 
Low Countries. This is the frankly comical use of human, 
animal, and grotesque figures : a hare hunting a man, two 
men fighting a gigantic snail, and such-like extravagances. 
They are not very common in Italian art, 2 but are note- 
worthy as an instance of the constant interchange of 
artistic ideas between different, even distant countries. 

We cannot leave the thirteenth century without some 
mention of a manuscript interesting for the delightful- 
ness, no less than for the uncommon character, of the 
drawings that it contains. This is a copy of the Emperor 
Frederic IFs treatise De arte venandi cum ambus, written 
about 1260, presumably in Sicily or Southern Italy, and 
now in the Vatican Library (Cod. pal. lat. ioyi). 3 It 
introduces us to a class of art curiously unlike most 
of what Italy was producing at the time. The accuracy 
and beauty of its marginal paintings of birds and 
falconers indicate rather a close study of nature than 
the slavish copying of traditional models. We have here 

1 See Venturi, iii, p. 457 sq. 

2 For examples see Venturi, iii, pp. 458-61, and a small Bible in the British 
Museum, Add. 37487. 

8 Venturi, iii, pp. 756-68 ; Beissel, Vat. Min., pi. 20. 

172 



ITALIAN ILLUMINATION BEFORE 1300 

indeed a technical accomplishment and beauty of line, 
quite Greek in their perfection, employed upon pictures 
of contemporary life ; and these bright and lifelike 
scenes, with their intensely open-air atmosphere, are a 
refreshing contrast to the solemn, monastic spirit which 
pervades so much of Italian illumination in the thirteenth 
century. 



173 



CHAPTER X 

ENGLISH ILLUMINATION IN THE THIRTEENTH 

CENTURY 

THE twelfth century, as we saw in chapter vii, was 
a transitional period in English book-decoration; 
and its close witnessed the birth of a new style, 
which may well be called Gothic from its intimate con- 
nection with the architectural style that supplanted the 
Romanesque about the same time. In the main, Gothic 
illumination is minute, refined, delicate, contrasting 
sharply with the broad manner of the preceding age. At 
its best it is, indeed, the most perfect realization of the 
aims and ideals proper to the miniaturist's art, as dis- 
tinct from skilful adaptations of the designs and methods 
of other arts, mosaic, wall-painting, weaving, or metal- 
work. Not that miniature was specially isolated and self- 
contained during the Gothic period on the contrary, at 
no time is its kinship with the sister arts more apparent; 
but that somehow the decorative and illustrative ideas 
characteristic of this remarkable age happened to be 
specially suited to the limitations under which the minia- 
turist worked. This applies to France equally with 
England, at all events during the earlier part of this 
period. For the first two-thirds of the thirteenth century, 
indeed, French and English illumination resemble one 
another so closely as to be practically indistinguishable 
be the initial credit due to this country or to that. Later 
on, as we shall see, the two followed somewhat divergent 
paths ; and the development of the art, which in England 
was abruptly checked about the middle of the fourteenth 
century, proceeded continuously in France right on to its 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION, 13 CENT. 

decay in the tasteless magnificence of the Renaissance 
period. 

The miniaturist was encouraged to cultivate a more 
minute style by the reduction of scale in book-production 
generally, which began to come in about the year 1200. 
Huge tomes like the Winchester and Durham Bibles 
were no longer in vogue ; a demand arose for books of a 
handier size, in particular for single volumes of portable 
dimensions containing the whole of the Latin Bible. 
These were a special feature of the thirteenth century, 
and immense numbers of them still exist ; their multi- 
plicity was due in part, no doubt, to the efforts of Paris 
University to purify the Vulgate text, but they also testify 
to the zealous activity of the itinerant friars. With this 
reduction in format came also a diminution in the size 
of the lettering, a small, exquisitely neat and clear minus- 
cule script replacing the large, bold characters of the 
twelfth century book-hands ; so that the artist was im- 
pelled by his sense of due proportion, as well as by his 
now restricted allowance of space, to alter his methods. 
Initial-ornament, already a prominent feature of twelfth 
century book-decoration, began to engross his attention 
more and more at the expense of the full-page miniature ; 
the historiated initial so affecting his style in figure-com- 
position that when whole pages were still given up to 
miniatures it became usual to divide them into compart- 
ments, each containing a picture not much more spacious 
than those enclosed in the larger initials. A very interest- 
ing and distinctive feature of the initial-ornament of this 
period is the pendent tail, out of which were gradually 
evolved the luxuriant borders which so light up the pages 
of French fifteenth century Books of Hours. At first 
this tail merely wanders a little way down the margin, 
to end in a leaf or knob ; gradually it lengthens until it 
reaches the foot of the column of text, when it proceeds 
next to turn the corner, becoming eventually a complete 
border which surrounds the text on all four sides. The 
main part is at first quite straight and rigid ; hence the 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

term " bar-border " is sometimes given to this type of 
decoration in the comparatively simple and undeveloped 
form which it kept throughout the thirteenth century. 
But the straight edge soon began to be replaced by a 
series of cusped lines, or other curves ; and small figures, 
human, animal, or grotesque, further relieve the rigidity, 
perching on the bars or forming terminal ornaments. 
Finally, the bars themselves turn into foliage -stems, 
putting forth leafy branches of ever-increasing lightness, 
intricacy, and variety, bearing flowers and fruit as well as 
leaves without regard for species. This last development 
hardly appears before 1300, and does not reach its full 
luxuriance until the beginning of the fifteenth century ; 
but a tendency had already begun, as early as the middle 
of the thirteenth century, to transform part of the bar into 
a thin cylindrical rod, adorned at intervals with rings and 
other ornaments a device which became, as we saw in 
chapter ix, the foundation of the typical fourteenth 
century border in Italy. 

The great majority of the most finely illuminated 
English manuscripts of the thirteenth century are Psalters. 
At the beginning of the century these usually open with 
a series of pages filled with miniatures of the life of 
Christ, two on a page, enclosed within narrow banded 
frames. The British Museum possesses two typical 
examples of the class in Roy. i D. x 1 and Arundel I57, 2 
practically identical in amount and subjects of illumina- 
tion, but differing widely in artistic merit. As neither 
of them mentions the translation of S. Thomas of Canter- 
bury in the Calendar, it is fairly safe to conclude that they 
were written before 1220. The Calendar of the former 
points somewhat dubiously to Winchester as the place 
of origin, that of the latter more decisively to Oxford ; 
but both are plainly derived from a common archetype, 
and belong, so far as the miniatures are concerned, to the 
same transitional class as the Westminster Psalter (Roy. 
2 A. xxii), noted at the end of chapter vii, though to a 

1 Warner, Reprod., iii, 14. 2 Ibid., iii, 16. 

176 



PLATE XXI 




PSALTER. ENGLISH, EARLY XIIIxH CENT. 

BRIT. MUS. ROYAI. 1 D X 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION, 13 CENT. 



slightly more advanced stage; having the same depth and 
splendour of colour, the same free use of burnished gold, 
the same simplicity of design. The Royal MS. is much 
the finer of the two. Its miniatures have plain back- 
grounds, alternately of highly burnished gold, and of deep 
blue or lake powdered with red rings and a small pattern 
of white dots. The deep, rich blue, so popular in the 
thirteenth century, is the dominant note of the colour- 
scheme ; it is balanced by red, light green and lake, and 
the harmony is completed by passages of warm and cold 
grey, and of white draperies lightly shaded with buff, grey, 
and pink. The blue is of a warmer tint than in the 
Westminster Psalter, and the colour-effect as a whole is 
brighter ; the faces, which are of longer, more emaciated 
types, are equally expressive but lessjivid in hue, having 
now a hectic spot of red on the cheek, besides sharply 
defined white high-lights on forehead, nose, and chin. In 
the best pictures, where few figures occur, such as the 
Annunciation, Visitation, and the Magi scenes, 1 there is 
a largeness of manner suggestive of fresco-painting rather 
than miniature, and not often found after this date in 
English illumination. 

The Calendar-illustrations are thoroughly typical of the 
period, each month having (besides an elaborate decorative 
initial in gold and colours) representations of the zodiacal 
sign and an appropriate occupation, each enclosed in a 
small medallion. The occupation-scenes are no longer 
complete pictures, as in the eleventh century Calendars 
described in chapter vi, but are so compressed as to be 
little more than symbols, having mostly only a single 
figure. The subjects differ little from those of the older 
cycle except in distribution among the several months ; 
but we notice with regret that the November Halloween 
Fire is now replaced by the less picturesque, more prosaic 
and utilitarian, fattening or killing of pigs. 

After the preliminary Gospel-pictures and Calendar, 
thirteenth century Psalters have as a rule few illuminations 

1 PL xxi. 
12 I 77 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

beyond a highly decorative Beatus vir on the opening 
page and a more or less elaborate initial to each psalm, 
those at the principal divisions being specially large and 
usually enclosing miniatures. Roy. i D. x has a splendid 
Beatus vir\ the " B," whose loops are formed of an intri- 
cate interweaving of spirals made of slender leafy stems 
terminating in monsters' heads and joined to the upright 
shaft by elaborate lattice-work, is placed on a finely 
chequered ground ; minute animals are caught in the 
spirals, and the surrounding frame has four scenes from 
the life of David in gold medallions. Nine of the psalms 
(Pss. xxvi, xxxviii, li, Hi, Ixviii, Ixxx, xcvii, ci, cix) have 
initials historiated with scriptural subjects : in these the 
miniature is painted on a background of burnished gold 
stippled with a dot-pattern, and the whole letter is set in 
a rectangle of diapered blue or lake. The initials to the 
other psalms are smaller, but not less finely finished and 
delightful to behold ; a few contain figures, but the 
majority are filled with purely decorative designs of 
foliage and grotesques. It is noteworthy that some of 
them already show the beginnings of the pendent ornament 
which afterwards grew into the complete bar-border. 
Another feature of this and other English thirteenth 
century Psalters is the practice of filling up the spaces 
left at the ends of verses with pen-work designs in blue 
or red ; these are sometimes mere flourishes or geometrical 
patterns, but often they are spirited and humorous draw- 
ings of fishes, birds, dogs, dragons, etc. Later on it 
became customary to illuminate these line-endings fully 
with diaper patterns or heraldic devices ; but the effect of 
outline-drawings, such as those in this manuscript, is in- 
finitely more telling. 

As to the general character of its decoration, Roy. 
i D. x may be taken as representative of its class ; but in 
artistic excellence it is far above the average. Admirable 
as its large miniatures are, with their beautiful colouring, 
simple, dignified compositions, and careful treatment of 
the face, they are fully matched by the exquisite delicacy 
178 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION, ISTH CENT. 

and rich variety of the decorative designs, and the fine 
execution of the smaller miniatures. Arundel 157 may 
almost be called a coarser, more commonplace replica. 
Its initials and Calendar-medallions are only slightly 
inferior ; its Beatus mr is actually finer, being on a larger 
scale and more elaborately intricate in design, while no 
less splendid in colouring indeed, few more perfect pages 
exist, if any, of this particular kind. But the Gospel- 
miniatures at the beginning are distinctly on a lower level 
than those in the Royal MS. Practically identical in 
subject, main outlines of composition, and general scheme 
of arrangement, they fail altogether to produce the same 
pleasing effect. The figures are smaller, less dignified, 
with something of the gaunt ungainliness which character- 
ized English figure-drawing nearly a century earlier, as 
in the Holford MS. of the Passion of S. Edmund ; l the 
faces have the same touches of red and white, but are not 
treated with the same masterly delicacy. Finally, the 
colouring, though bright and varied, has not the same 
rich, soft charm, chiefly through the painter's lack of sure 
instinct for harmony in colour. In short, the manuscript 
is not the production of a great artist, but represents ex- 
cellently the average work of an exceptionally interesting 
period in the history of English illumination. Among 
other characteristics of Gothic art, it illustrates the 
whimsical habit of collocating the sublime with the 
ridiculous : the solemn prayers which follow the Litany 
having initials historiated with such incongruous subjects 
as a monkey riding on a lion's back. 

Another Psalter of the same period, but decorated in 
a very different manner, is Lansdowne 420 in the British 
Museum, emanating perhaps from Chester, since S. Wer- 
burga and her mother S. Eormenilda receive special honour 
in the Calendar. Like the two books just dealt with, it 
has excellent line-endings in blue and red outlines (fishes, 
human heads and limbs, etc.) ; but here the resemblance 
ends. The ten pages of Gospel-miniatures at the begin- 

1 Above, p. 135. 

179 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

ning are evidently inspired by a series of medallions in 
stained glass. The pictures, two on a page, are painted 
on gold, red or blue grounds in roundels, which are placed 
on square fields of a contrasting colour; the gold 
burnished and stamped with a star-pattern, the coloured 
grounds patterned with white dots and rings. The stiff, 
elongated, angular figures have all the severity proper to 
the glass-painter's technique, their heavy black outlines 
reproduce the leads exactly, and the drapery folds are 
indicated in the same style by thick lines ; the colouring 
shows a strong preponderance of deep blue and red. The 
Beatus mr page is of an unusual and amusing type. The 
" B," made of narrow entwined ribbons on a gold field, 
forms a small and rather insignificant foundation ; but 
round about it, on a blue ground patterned with white 
branch-work, are eight gold medallions containing delight- 
ful figures of animal musicians donkey and harp, cat 
and fiddle, etc. Outside all this is a frame holding more 
medallions of a less frivolous character. 

The Psalter of Robert de Lindeseye, Abbot of Peter- 
borough, in the library of the Society of Antiquaries, 1 
cannot be many years later than the manuscripts which 
we have been considering, its date being fixed between 
the Translation of S. Thomas of Canterbury in 1220 and 
the death of Abbot Robert in 1222; but its beautiful 
miniatures already show the thirteenth century style in 
full maturity. The most striking of these is a Cruci- 
fixion, 2 drawn and painted with exquisite delicacy on a 
rich background of burnished and patterned gold. The 
anatomy is by no means faultless, the limbs of Christ 
being attenuated beyond all possibility ; but this, like the 
touch of sentimentality in S. John's expression and pose, 
is a trifling blemish resulting very naturally from the 
extreme refinement and genuine feeling with which the 
whole picture is instinct. Especially charming is the grace- 
ful figure of the Virgin, balancing that of S. John ; again 

1 No. 59. See Burl. F.A. Club, No. 37, pi. 36. 

2 PI. xxii. 
1 80 



PLATE XXII 




PSALTER OF ROBERT DE LINDESEY, ABBOT OF PETERBOROUGH, 1220-22. 

SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES, MS. 59. 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION, 13111 CENT. 

a thought too graceful, perhaps, for absolute dramatic 
fitness. The shaft and arms of the cross are covered with 
a symmetrical leafy stem a very unusual feature; less 
rare, especially about this time, are the half-length figures 
of the Old and New Dispensations, and of Moses 
balanced by S. Peter, in medallions at the corners. The 
only other full-page illuminations, Christ in glory and 
Beatus vir, are equally fine in execution, though less 
original in design ; * and five of the psalms have initials 
enclosing spirited and delicate miniatures. In all these 
the colour-scheme, dominated by the highly burnished 
and elaborately patterned gold, and by a lovely deep soft 
blue, is at once splendid and harmonious. 

Much more abundant, but incomparably rougher, is 
the decoration of the Carrow Psalter in Mr. Yates 
Thompson's library. 2 Executed towards the middle of 
the thirteenth century (certainly after 1233), probably in 
the neighbourhood of Bury S. Edmund's, it belonged in 
the fifteenth century to the nuns of Carrow by Norwich. 
Despite their lack of finish, its numerous miniatures are 
interesting as the precursors (though the parental relation 
is not obvious) of the exquisite paintings of the early 
fourteenth century East Anglian school. Many of the 
subjects too are unusual : the initial " B," for instance, 
contains six scenes from the legend of S. Olaf, and the 
full-page miniatures include a graphic representation of 
the murder of S. Thomas of Canterbury, and a curious 
picture of an angel giving Adam a spade and Eve a dis- 
taff. Moreover, this manuscript is one of the earliest to 
use the trefoil-arched canopy, so characteristic a device in 
early Gothic architecture. 

Leaving the Psalters for a while, we come to another 
class of manuscript even more distinctive of the thirteenth 
century, viz. copies of the Latin Bible. Of the vast 

1 It may be noted that both subjects reappear, treated in a strikingly similar 
manner, on a leaf inserted at the beginning of the much earlier Canterbury 
Psalter, Vesp. A. i. See Warner, Reprod., iii, 15. 

2 No. 52. See H. Y. Thompson, Descriptive Catalogue, 1902, pp. 2-11, and 
Lecture on some Eng. Ilium. MSS., 1902, p. 13, pi. 2-4. 

181 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

numbers of these volumes which have survived to the 
present day, the great majority are veritable pocket-books, 
and have more interest palaeographically than artistically, 
being remarkable rather for the minute neatness and 
regularity of their script than for the wealth of their 
decoration ; the latter being generally confined to a 
foliated or historiated initial at the beginning of each 
book, sometimes with the addition of a series of Creation- 
scenes and a Jesse-tree at the beginnings of Genesis and 
Matthew respectively. From either point of view their 
direct utility for study is diminished by the fact that so 
few contain precise indications of date or provenance ; 
even the country of origin can rarely be determined with 
certainty, French and English work, both in writing and 
illumination, being at this period so remarkably alike. In 
Burney 3, 1 luckily, the British Museum possesses an excel- 
lent example of the class, which is provided with these 
essential data: the Bible of Robert de Bello, Abbot of 
S. Augustine's, Canterbury, 1224-53, for whom it was 
presumably written and illuminated in his own abbey. 
Intended, no doubt, for library and not for pocket use, 
it is on a somewhat larger scale than the diminutive 
volumes just mentioned, though a mere pygmy compared 
with the huge Bibles of the preceding century ; it may 
very well be taken, however, as a representative of the 
former class in everything but actual size. The chief 
decoration is at the beginning of Genesis : the " I " of 
In principle forming a broad band which fills the left- 
hand column and all the lower margin of the page, and 
contains a series of medallion-scenes from Genesis on 
burnished gold grounds. The initial " I " of S. John's 
Gospel is treated in a similar way, filling the whole space 
between the two columns of text, as well as part of the 
upper and lower margins, and containing, in a series of 
long narrow panels, representations of the Evangelist with 
an eagle's head and of incidents from his Gospel. At 
the beginning of S. Matthew is a Jesse-tree, as usual. 

1 Warner, Reprod., i, n ; Pal. Soc., i, 73-4. 
182 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION, I$TK CENT. 

In these, as in the smaller historiated initials of the other 
books, the style of the painting is rather flat, though the 
figures are well and accurately drawn ; the colour-effect 
generally is pallid, a very curious whitish blue pre- 
dominating. The chapter-initials, coloured blue or red, 
are decorated with pen flourishes in the same colours, 
often elaborate and very delicately executed. This kind 
of ornament became a great feature of thirteenth and 
fourteenth century illumination ; it reached its greatest 
perfection in England about the beginning of the four- 
teenth century ; in Italy, where its development was 
carried further, about half a century later. 

A more beautiful manuscript, indeed the very flower 
of its class, is Royal i D. i, 1 a Bible written about the 
middle of the thirteenth century by one William of 
Devon ; few English manuscripts of its time can 
approach it in perfection of taste and technique. Its 
historiated initials, with their exquisite little figures on 
burnished gold or diapered backgrounds, are finished 
with microscopic exactitude ; they are prolonged into bar- 
borders which often surround the text on three sides, 
supporting delicious little grotesques and sometimes 
ending in slender foliage-stems. Only two pages have 
miniatures unconnected with initials. The first of 
these, 2 after the concluding lines of S. Jerome's Pro- 
logue to the Pentateuch, is filled with canopied panels 
of red, lake, or deep blue, either diapered or else 
powdered with tiny patterns of white dots and rings. In 
the topmost compartment is the Coronation of Christ by 
the Father ; below this, the Crucifixion between two 
seraphs. The lowest division has in the centre the 
Virgin and Child, with a small miniature below of S. 
Martin and the beggar ; on the sides, SS. Peter and Paul. 
At the foot of the page is a kneeling monk, perhaps 
William of Devon, perhaps the person for whom the 

1 Thompson, pp. 36-8, pi. n ; Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 20, and Reprod.^ 
ii, 10 ; Kenyon, Biblical MSS., pi. xix. 
- PI. xxiii. 

133 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

book was written. The second miniature-page, prefixed 
to the Psalms, is also divided into compartments ; the 
backgrounds are blue or lake, powdered with gold discs 
and a white dot -pattern ; the subjects depicted are the 
Crucifixion, the martyrdom of S. Thomas of Canterbury, 
the story of the Virgin helping him to mend his shirt, 
and an apparition of Christ to him or some other arch- 
bishop. The prominence given to S. Thomas has led to 
the suggestion that the manuscript was written at Canter- 
bury, where S. Martin too had long been held in special 
reverence, as well as the Apostles Peter and Paul, the 
original patrons of S. Augustine's Abbey. This, however, 
is mere conjecture ; nothing is definitely known of the 
history of the book, beyond the name of its scribe, which 
may be taken as guaranteeing its English origin. Of the 
other pages, the most richly illuminated are the first 
page in the volume, having a miniature of S. Jerome 
writing enclosed within the initial, and borders decorated 
with exquisite little figures of archers, rabbits, birds, and 
grotesques, and monks drawn in outline and delicately 
tinted ; the In principle of Genesis, with a series of tiny 
panels under cusped arches, containing miniatures of the 
Creation, Fall, and Atonement ; and the Prologue to S. 
Matthew, with a Jesse-tree in the initial. In these 
miniatures, as in the historiated initials of the several 
books, the figures are of the slender, dignified type 
characteristic of the best Gothic art. The chapter-initials 
throughout the volume are enriched with red and blue 
pen-work decoration of the utmost delicacy. 

Firm and delicate draughtsmanship formed the 
groundwork of all the best English illumination of this 
period, as of those which preceded and followed it ; and 
the practice of illustrating books in outline, either lightly 
tinted or left quite uncoloured, did not fall into complete 
desuetude, though the prevailing taste at this time was 
for books resplendent with burnished gold and rich warm 
colouring. The scriptorium of S. Alban's Abbey, in par- 
ticular, has left us several fine manuscripts of the former 
184 



PLATE XXI 1 1 




we tor.fitif. <t6 uu rmr ?x;qjb nit 

tcduts n bnr-.dlitio tft tomraf c y 

a au a\nis aft 

iHirum-. ^ ctnentaroiaftmT cjeempia 

naiaona q^ngttta.gma^ 

a-iunricc tottrmi 

tcon ocftoenumcttt mtitsriium o 

pus mtfutnit fraftoT agtnrft gtoi 

ofomi? tnitts 




BIBLE. ENGLISH, XIIlTH CENT. 

BRIT. MUS. ROYAL 1 D I 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION, ISTH CENT. 



class, containing the historical writings of Matthew Paris. 
A monk at S. Alban's from 1217, he made himself pro- 
ficient in writing, drawing, painting, and metal-work, and 
from 1236 till his death in 1259 he was head of the 
scriptorium, as well as historiographer of the abbey. 
Many of these manuscripts 1 are undoubtedly written by 
him, and illustrated either by him or under his direction. 
One of the most interesting is Royal 14 C. vii, containing 
his Historia Anglorum and the concluding portion of his 
Chronica Majora. Where the latter work ends, at the 
year 1259, there is a drawing of Matthew Paris on his 
deathbed, doubtless inserted by the monk who continued 
the chronicle. We also see him kneeling before the 
Virgin and Child in a full-page drawing, perhaps by his 
own hand, at the beginning of the volume. This picture, 
on a plain vellum background, framed in bands of pale 
green and red, is the most charming thing in the book. 
The Madonna is of the perfect Gothic type, with long 
curling hair ; her face is shaded very slightly with bistre, 
but the draperies are tinted green, grey, purple, blue, and 
buff, and the folds indicated by black pen-strokes. This 
page is followed by lightly tinted outline-drawings of the 
kings of England from William I to Henry III, four on a 
page, on coloured backgrounds under horseshoe arches ; 
they are represented as sitting stiffly and symmetrically, 
without much attempt at portraiture. In Claudius D. vi, 
an abridged chronicle of England, we have several pages 
of similar drawings of kings, from the legendary Brutus 
down to Henry III, firmly outlined in brown ink, very 
faintly tinted in water-colour, and placed against strong 
backgrounds of lake or chalky blue ; there are occasional 
touches of graphic symbolism, as in Canute holding 
a battle-axe, or John with his crown nearly tilted off. 
More strictly outline-work is the illustration of the Lives 
of the Two Offas in Nero D. i: 2 a long series of excellently 

1 For an account of them see Madden's and Luard's introductions to his 
Historia Anglorum and Chronica Majora in the Rolls series. 

2 Thompson, pp. 41-2, pi. 13. 

I8 5 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

dramatic drawings, very large and open in manner, filling 
the upper half of each page. Especially fine are the first 
six pages, dealing with the early life of the first Offa, the 
grievously afflicted and miraculously cured son of King 
Waermund : the pathetic figure of the young prince, the 
distress of his father and the faithful nobles, the malevo- 
lence of the traitor Rigan's evil counsellor (" malorum 
persuasor"), are all portrayed with real power and skill. 
The remaining scenes are not only in a much more 
sketchy, less finished state, but seem to be the work of 
an inferior artist ; they too, however, though lacking in 
delicacy, are full of freshness, vigour, and dramatic force. 
Towards the end of the volume, which is filled with his- 
torical documents and notes, chiefly relating to S. Alban's 
Abbey, is a full-page drawing of the elephant which 
Louis IX sent to England in 1255 as a present to 
Henry III. This drawing is usually attributed to 
Matthew Paris, and it certainly does him no discredit. 

It naturally suggests a large class of manuscripts 
which must be mentioned, though they do not lend them- 
selves readily to precise chronological or topographical 
arrangement. These are the illustrated Bestiaries, the 
medieval handbooks of natural history. Based on the 
Etymologiae of Isidore, and more remotely on Pliny and 
" Physiologus," they were often illustrated profusely, 
especially during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, 
with coloured drawings of beasts birds, and fishes actual 
or fabulous ; more rarely with fully illuminated minia- 
tures in gold and colours. They are often found in 
conjunction with illustrated Herbals, which trace their 
descent, almost in an unbroken line, from the famous 
Dioscorides MS. of the sixth century described at the end 
of chapter ii ; l having the same carefully outlined and 
delicately tinted drawings of plants, the monotony of 
their solid instructiveness always broken by a picture 
of the ill-fated dog chained to the mandrake's monstrous 
roots. A good example of this combination is Harl. 4986 

1 Above, p. 34. 
1 86 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION, ISTH CENT. 



(twelfth century), though here the Bestiary illustrations 
are decidedly inferior to those of the Herbal. One of the 
finest extant Bestiaries, now in Mr. Pierpont Morgan's 
library, 1 was executed in England shortly before 1187, 
when a Canon of Lincoln gave it to Worksop Priory ; 
another excellent specimen, perhaps slightly later, is 
Harl. 475 1. 2 The most interesting of the pictures are, 
of course, those which illustrate the supposed habits of 
the creatures described : the pelican feeding her young 
with her blood ; the unicorn crouching entranced at a 
maiden's feet ; the watersnake spitefully entering the jaws 
of a sleeping crocodile in order to devour his entrails ; 
the whale plunging into the depths, to the consternation 
of the sailors who have lighted a fire on its back ; the 
wondrous white bird caladrius, which perches on a king's 
sickbed and either looks him in the face and cures him, 
or else turns its back on him, forecasting his speedy 
death. 

In the second half of the thirteenth century English 
illumination was approaching its climax, w r hich it reached 
soon after the year 1300. The ascetic, emaciated types of 
face and figure began to assume softer, more rounded and 
gracious contours ; and in like manner the severe restraint 
of the bar-border was relaxed, branches shooting freely in 
all directions, bearing leaves in ever-increasing luxuriance, 
and giving shelter to all manner of dainty, whimsical, 
fantastic creatures, as well as to birds and animals often 
painted with amazing fidelity to nature. Nor is this 
advance in freedom and luxuriance accompanied by any 
decline in delicacy of drawing or refinement of taste ; on 
the contrary, technique improved steadily in every way, 
and at the same time the artistic instinct became more 
sure. Of the many fine books of this period, which have 
survived to the present day, only a very small selection 
can be mentioned here ; most of these are Psalters, but a 

1 No.- 107. See M. R. James, Catalogue (2 plates) ; Burl. F.A. Club, No. 80, 
pi. 69. 

'-' Warner, Reprod., Hi, 13. 

I8 7 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

rival was already beginning to appear in the Book of 
Hours, afterwards by far the most popular of illuminated 
manuscripts. The British Museum possesses two good 
examples of the latter class in Eg. 1151 l and Harl. 928, 
both very small books, and both profusely decorated with 
dogs, rabbits, birds, and grotesques, either placed on bar- 
borders or filling the margins. Eg. 1151 has no large 
miniatures, but instead there are exquisite little historiated 
initials at the beginnings of the several offices, hardly to 
be surpassed for minuteness of detail and delicacy of 
execution. The figures, set against finely diapered back- 
grounds, are drawn in very fine black outline, the faces 
and some of the draperies left white. Tradition not 
having yet fixed the range of subjects for illustrating the 
Horae, the artist has sometimes given us delightful scenes 
of contemporary life, e.g. on f. 47 we have a charming 
little picture of musicians playing while a youth and 
two ladies dance. Harl. 928 begins, like the Psalters, 
with a series of full-page miniatures of the life of Christ; 
these, like the historiated initials in the text, are less 
delicate and finished, more archaic in style, than the 
paintings in Eg. 1151; but the grotesques which are 
scattered over the margins are full of variety and humour. 
Interesting though these little volumes are, however, 
they are completely eclipsed by the splendid Psalters 
executed about the same time. Foremost among these is 
a magnificent book in the Duke of Rutland's library, z 
written about the middle of the century and decorated as 
far as Psalm ex with extraordinary wealth and profusion. 
One of its special features is that six of the psalms have 
full-page or nearly full-page miniatures prefixed ; all 
finely painted and elaborately finished, though varying 
considerably in style and merit. The most beautiful by 
far is the picture of Saul aiming a javelin at David : the 
faces are delicately drawn and full of expression, especi- 
ally that of a slender graceful woman who stands beside 

1 Warner, Reprod., i, 12. 

2 New PaL Soc., pi. 64-6; Burl. F.A. Club, No. 43, pi. 41. 
1 81 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION, ISTH CENT. 



the infuriated king, her hand uplifted in gentle protest. 
Expressive faces and gracefully modelled figures are 
noticeable again in the miniature of Balaam and the 
angel, where the ass (apart from its blue colour) is depicted 
with a spirited naturalism not often found at so early 
a date. The Jacob's Ladder miniature has something of 
the charm of these two ; and that of David playing on an 
organ is remarkable both for the rare interest of the sub- 
ject to historians of music, and also for the vigorous, 
well-modelled figure of the youth who works the bellows. 
These six psalms and three others have large illuminated 
initials, the first eight enclosing miniatures, the last (Ps. 
ex) filled with conventional foliage ornament. The Calendar 
has the usual two roundels for each month, containing the 
zodiacal signs and occupation-pictures on burnished gold 
backgrounds. Psalm i has a splendid initial-page : the 
framework of the "B" formed by two long-necked dragons 
with tails ending in convolutions of foliage, and by two 
lions back to back, with men astride both lions and 
dragons, fighting the latter or seizing one another by the 
hair ; the loops historiated with David as Harpist and 
the Judgment of Solomon ; between the "B" and the rect- 
angular frame, and at the four corners of the latter, are 
seven roundels of the Creation and Fall. The other 
psalms have finely illuminated initials, sometimes enclos- 
ing figures, but more often filled with decorative designs 
of foliage. The borders are not of the typical bar-border 
kind, but consist of a broad vertical band of gold, or of 
blue and red covered with white tracery, running down 
the left-hand side of the page and having the gold verse- 
initials set within it, with dragons, birds, or other designs 
at the terminations ; helping to enhance the rich, ornate 
appearance of the book. A far more striking feature, how- 
ever, of the Rutland Psalter is the abundance, variety, and 
excellence of its marginal decoration : coloured drawings 
of single figures or small groups, sometimes exquisitely 
graceful, always instinct with life and humour, fill the 
lower margins of many pages ; besides the usual gro- 

189 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

tesques, animals, and fanciful creatures such as mermaids 
and centaurs, there are illustrations of the games, pastimes, 
and ordinary pursuits of everyday contemporary life 
chess-playing, wrestling, tumbling, etc. as precious to the 
antiquary as they are delightful to the ordinary beholder. 
The leading characteristics of English illumination at 
the close of the thirteenth century are well seen in two 
manuscripts now in the British Museum, which were both 
not improbably executed in a Dominican house, perhaps 
the Blackfriars in London, viz. the famous Tenison 
Psalter 1 and the Ashridge Petrus Comestor; 2 although 
neither of them contains any large miniatures. The 
Tenison Psalter, so called because it once belonged to 
Archbishop Tenison, was originally intended, as the arms 
on the first page show, for presentation to Alphonso, son 
of King Edward I, on his marriage with the Count of 
Holland's daughter Margaret; but the abrupt change after 
the first quire to a more commonplace style of decoration 
has led to the inference that the illumination of the book 
was interrupted by the young prince's death in 1284, a 
few days after the sealing of the marriage contract, and 
that its completion was afterwards entrusted to inferior 
artists. In its present state the volume begins with three 
pages of finely executed figures of saints ; but these, like 
the small miniatures of the life of Christ which fill the 
next three pages, are later insertions, and we are here 
concerned only with the opening quire of the Psalter text 
itself. The first page is framed in a gold-edged band of tiny 
lozenges, alternately blue and crimson ; on this border, 
and in the margins outside, are exquisitely painted birds 
gull, bullfinch, etc., drawn and coloured with scientific 
accuracy, and standing in the most lifelike attitudes also 
other figures, lion, leopard, an ape shooting a crane, and 
at the foot of the page a dainty little David slinging a 
stone at Goliath ; David also appears as harpist in the 

1 Add. 24686. See Pal. Soc., i, 196 ; Thompson, p. 39, pi. 12; Warner, 
Ilium. MSS., pi. 22, and Reprod., iii, 17. 

2 Roy. 3 D. vi. See Neiv Pal Soc., pi. 13. 

190 



PLATE XXIV 



tnmc qtttD tmtlnpltem fttnr qttt m 
jbttJUmrmc'mtttomftttgttmraDttct^me- 
Jl^trttt duttnranmtcmornon eft- fcftts tpfi 
mocoatts- 

^&u dtmm commc fttfc 
mm etemltans cajwrmatmi 
TKxOx mm ^ lommttm dmndttt:era<atDttttr 

omrnut cc(53|m^itts (ttmrcr^ftttmt qttt 

: ttmdto mtttapintlt amtmmntts me 
4tflgt qmttnt faltatm me fecoats mettsj 

ptxtt(3ftflt omncB m>tttrtantt8 
, xmttm ammtttflt- 
j:erftQxr||nuttmtttttmtt 





tnttoamn 



atfctmfit nudrt- 



ma:lcrmutDt o^tttoncm 



nimmattmO 

BrfotottqttontammtttftmtttrrDmmusi 
fcm&tm fitttmrimntmts emttotct nu ettmda 




PSALTER OF PRINCE ALPHONSO. ENGLISH, 1284 

BRIT. MUS. ADD. 24686 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION, ISTH CENT. 



initial " B," a gracefully posed, well-proportioned figure 
set on a background of patterned gold. The succeeding 
pages, though less elaborate, are decorated in the same 
delicate and perfectly finished manner j 1 they have only 
partial bar-borders, ending in curved and leafy stems, 
and supporting a great variety of charming and amusing 
groups or single figures : a monkey riding on a grotesque 
bird's back, a merwoman suckling her young, a lady stag- 
hunting, etc. 

The Petrus Comestor (Roy. 3 D. vi) was given to 
Ashridge College by its founder, Edmund, Earl of Corn- 
wall (d. 1300), and must have been executed for him in or 
soon after 1283. It is therefore contemporary with the 
Tenison Psalter, to which it bears a striking resemblance, 
though a much larger volume ; having the same cusped 
and foliated bar-borders, the same admirably drawn and 
painted birds, animals, and grotesques. In one respect it 
is even richer in decoration, for each book has a large 
initial enclosing a finely executed miniature. 

Some of the most beautiful examples of thirteenth 
century English illumination are copies of the Apocalypse; 
no mention has been made of them in this brief sketch, 
as they will be discussed later on in the chapter devoted 
to the Apocalypse manuscripts of various countries and 
periods, which form a distinct class. 

1 See pi. xxiv. 



191 



CHAPTER XI 

FRENCH, FLEMISH, AND GERMAN ILLUMINATION 
IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY 

THERE are few facts more striking in the history 
of illumination than the sudden emergence of 
France, about the beginning of the thirteenth cen- 
tury, from the comparative obscurity in which she had 
lain ever since the decay of Carolingian art, and her rapid 
advance to the leading position which she occupied from 
the time of S. Louis (1226-70) until the middle of the fif- 
teenth century. Many causes must have combined to 
bring about this remarkable result, and it would be impos- 
sible to analyse them fully in a brief sketch like the 
present ; two things, however, may be suggested as prob- 
able factors. In the first place, the advent of a strong 
ruler in Philip Augustus (1180-1223) removed an obstacle 
to the progress of peaceful arts by reducing the country to 
a more settled and orderly condition ; and secondly, the 
growing importance of Paris as the French capital, and of 
its University as one of the chief European centres of 
learning, drew artists and students thither from all parts, 
and created a great demand for book-production there. 
For the decoration of books, English artists were per- 
haps employed at first to some extent ; at all events, there 
is a very close resemblance between French and English 
work during the greater part of the thirteenth century, in 
the early stages of Gothic illumination, before the French 
schools had evolved that distinct national style which 
continued to develop for nearly a couple of centuries, pro- 
ducing in its various phases a succession of manuscripts 
of surpassing loveliness. 

The best representative of the early period is the 
192 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, ISTH CENT. 



Ingeburge Psalter 1 at Chantilly, executed in or shortly 
before 1213 for Ingeburge, the ill-used wife of Philip 
Augustus, perhaps as a memorial of her reconciliation 
with her husband after twenty years of estrangement. 
The style of the miniatures shows a strong English 
influence; austere and simple types, rich colour, a general 
impression of splendour and severity. The twenty-seven 
pages of preliminary paintings, mostly two on a page, 
on burnished gold backgrounds, illustrate scenes from the 
Old Testament, the Life of Christ, Pentecost, the Last 
Judgment, the Burial and Coronation of the Virgin, and 
the legend of her deliverance of Theophilus from the toils 
of the devil. Their subjects point to a connection with 
the so-called S. Louis Psalter at Leyden, mentioned in 
chapter vii ; 2 but the style is more advanced, with less 
stiffness and a greater attempt at grace and gentleness of 
expression, and is altogether much nearer to that of 
another English manuscript, the early thirteenth century 
Psalter Roy. i D. x. 3 As in that book, and in most 
Psalters of the thirteenth century, whether French or 
English, the Calendar is decorated with medallions of the 
zodiacal signs and figures symbolical of the occupations 
proper to each month, the text of the Psalms with a full- 
page Beatus vir and initials enclosing small miniatures 
of the life of David. There is no direct evidence as to 
where the Ingeburge Psalter was executed, but the saints' 
names in Calendar and Litany indicate the north of 
France, possibly Paris itself. 

Closely related to the Ingeburge Psalter, and, like it, 
showing strong affinity to English art in general and to 
the Leyden S. Louis Psalter in particular, is the Arsenal 
MS. u86; 4 a Psalter formerly preserved in the Sainte 

1 Described by the Due d'Aumale, Music Conde, Chantilly. Cabinet des 
Livres. MSS., vol. i, 1900, pp. 9-12. See too L. Delisle, Notice de douze livres 
royaux, 1902, pp. 1-17, p l. 1-3, 

- Above, p. 141. 3 Noticed above, p. 176. 

All its miniatures have been reproduced by H. Martin, Psautier de St. Louis 
et de Blanche de Castille (Joyaux de T Arsenal, I [1909]). See too Delisle, 12 
livres roy., pp. 27-35, pl- 8. 

13 193 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Chapelle, and executed (according to an ancient and 
credible tradition) for Blanche of Castile, the pious and 
devoted mother of S. Louis, probably between the date of 
her marriage in 1200 and her husband's accession as 
Louis VIII in 1223. In the arrangement of its pre- 
liminary miniatures this manuscript follows the method 
used in the contemporary English Psalter, Lansdowne 
420, described in chapter x, 1 most of them being enclosed 
in medallions, two of which, slightly interlaced, fill the 
page. The subjects are nearly identical with those of the 
Ingeburge Psalter ; but artistically the work hardly 
reaches quite so high a level, its manner being less large 
. and spacious, more minute. The page devoted to the 
Crucifixion and Descent from the Cross is specially 

1 interesting as containing one of the earliest appearances 
of the symbolical representation of the Old and New 

v Dispensations, which became so popular in Gothic art : 
the former, a tottering woman, holds a broken lance in 
one hand, while the Tables of the Law fall from the other; 
the latter is a woman standing erect, holding cross and 
chalice. The initials to the Psalms are mostly historiated 
with the usual subjects ; but the "D" of Psalm ci has a lady 
kneeling before an altar probably a portrait of Blanche 
herself. 

These two manuscripts show the high-water mark of 
French illumination at this period. The average work 
was of course greatly inferior, as may be seen, for in- 
stance, in a Missal 2 written in 1218 by an Amiens clerk 
named Geroldus, in an unidentified abbey dedicated to 
SS. Stephen and Martin, and probably situated in the 
north-east of France. Little or no advance is apparent 
here on the art of the twelfth century, especially in the one 
large miniature, a full-page Crucifixion, prefixed as usual 
to the Canon, and characterized chiefly by coarse heavy 
drawing and hard dull colouring. Less unpleasing, but 
equally primitive, are the few historiated initials ; and the 

1 Above, p. 179. 

2 Brit. Mus., Add. 17742. See PaL Soc., ii, 194. 
194 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, 13 CENT. 

decorative initials, filled with intertwined foliage-stems, 
lions, greyhounds, etc., have little to distinguish them 
from those found in late twelfth century books such as 
the great Bibles described in chapter viii. 

Pre-Gothic crudity still lingers in the miniatures of 
the Vie de S. Denis, 1 executed in 1250 at the great abbey 
founded in his honour ; graphic, clear, and forcible though 
they be, viewed merely as illustrations of the narrative. 
They naturally challenge comparison with the late twelfth 
century English pictures of the life of S. Cuthbert ; 8 
but in point of artistic finish they fall far short of the 
earlier work. The fact is that about this time illumina- 
tion was ceasing to be the monopoly of the religious 
orders, and was beginning to grow into a recognized and 
organized craft. Names of illuminators begin to appear 
in records ; and though it happens but rarely that the 
work of an individual can be identified, there can be no 
doubt that most of the finely illuminated manuscripts 
which France, and more particularly Paris, soon began to 
produce in such abundance, were executed by these pro- 
fessional painters, and not by monks or clerics. 

At the same time secular subjects naturally began to 
claim a larger share of the miniaturist's attention. Refer- 
ence has been made in chapter x to the vogue which 
illustrated Herbals and Bestiaries enjoyed in the twelfth 
and thirteenth centuries ; and another class of scientific 
picture-book, more strictly scientific and therefore far less 
popular and numerous, is of too great interest to be 
passed over in silence. The great majority of medieval 
text-books of medicine and surgery have no illustrations 
at all, but some contain diagrams carefully drawn in 
outline, aTid a few have fully illuminated pages in gold 
and colours. The British Museum possesses an admir- 
able specimen of this last class in Sloane 1977, a French 
translation of Roger of Parma's Treatise on Surgery, 

1 Bibl. Nat., nouv. acq. fr. 1098. Reproduced in 1906, Vie et Hist, de St. 
Denys, with preface by H. Omont. 

2 Above, p. 140. 

195 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

written about the middle of the thirteenth century. At 
the beginning are sixteen full-page miniatures, each 
divided into nine compartments, 1 and planned so as 
to combine professional instruction with a reminder of 
the homage due to religion : the three topmost com- 
partments containing scenes from the life of Christ, 
etc., painted on gold or diapered grounds under trefoil- 
arched canopies, and forming a complete series from the 
Annunciation to the Last Judgment ; while the remaining 
compartments are filled with illustrations of surgical 
treatment, on plain blue or lake grounds. Farther on 
in the volume are four pages, each in twelve compart- 
ments, entirely devoted to surgery, preceded by a full- 
page representation of the master and his pupil in the 
dispensary. The delicate and expressive draughtsman- 
ship of these little pictures is a delight to the layman, 
while members of the faculty find an added joy, not 
unmixed with surprise, in recognizing their scientific 
soundness and accuracy. 

Still, despite the occasional production of such works 
as this and other secular writings (histories, romances, 
chansons de geste and other poems) in a decorated form, 
theology and liturgy continued to supply the principal 
field for the exercise of the illuminator's craft. In France, 
as in England, copies of the Latin Bible were produced 
in great numbers ; but these volumes are for the most 
part interesting as curiosities, from the exquisite minute- 
ness of script and figure-initials, rather than strictly 
beautiful or important in relation to the development of 
art. There is no need, therefore, to add to what has 
been said on this subject in chapter x, beyond mention- 
ing one single example of a French Bible. Add. 35085 
in the British Museum, written in a Dominican house in 
France (perhaps at Clermont in Auvergne, where it was 
in the sixteenth century) about the year 1250, is an 
excellent specimen of the most compressed type, its 
pages measuring but five inches by three ; its Jesse-tree 

1 See pi. xxvii ; Warner, Reprod., i, 21. 
196 



PLATE XXV 




PSALTER. FRENCH, XIlIxH CENT. 

BRIT. MUS., ADD. 17868 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, ISTH CENT. 



and its tiny miniature-initials, with architectural back- 
grounds and partial bar-borders usually ending in a 
single leaf, are marvellous in their combination of accuracy 
and softness. 

Far more important artistically are the Psalters, among 
which are nearly all the finest manuscripts of this period. 
Royal 2 B. ii, 1 written for an inmate of an abbey of nuns, 
perhaps near Nantes, is a good example of the work of 
the middle of the century. It has no full-page miniatures; 
but the Calendar squares and medallions are finely painted, 
and eight of the psalms have large initials enclosed in 
diapered rectangles, and containing exquisite miniatures 
on backgrounds of burnished gold. These are thoroughly 
characteristic, and show at a glance with what speed and 
sureness French illumination had already developed : in 
the minuteness of the execution, the slender delicacy of 
the figures, the rich harmony of the colouring. The 
modelling of the draperies is partly obtained by slight 
deepening of the local colour, partly by fine black pen- 
lines, which are also used for the details of the pale and 
often really beautiful faces. 

Slightly later in date, and more advanced in technique, 
is Add. I7868, 2 a Psalter executed certainly in Northern 
France, perhaps at Rheims. 3 In its preliminary series of 
eighteen full-page miniatures of the life of Christ, on 
grounds of raised and brilliantly burnished gold, we have 
a collection of true Gothic types : slender, pale-faced, 
sweet though formal personages, now far removed from 
the crudely outlined figures of the earlier time. The 
architectural ornament too is typical of Gothic art, and 
particularly of that branch of it which flourished in 
France at this period : trefoil-arched gables supported 
by very slender columns. Besides the usual historiated 
initials, the text of the Psalter is decorated with bar- 

1 Warner, Ilium. AfSS., pi. 24, and Reprod., ii, 19. 

2 PL xxv. See too Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 25, and Reprod.^ i, 20. 

8 See Vitzthxim, Die Pariser Miniaturmakrei von der Zeit des hi. Ludwig bis zu 
Philipp von ValoiS) 1907, p. 56. 

197 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

borders, supporting delicious little manikins, rabbits, 
and other figures, on almost every page. In short, with- 
out being absolutely first-rate of its kind, this book repre- 
sents admirably the average of its class and that an 
exceptionally charming one. 

For the very best work of the time we must turn 
to the productions of the Paris school, and particularly to 
two exquisite little Psalters which are closely associated 
with S. Louis himself. 1 The more complete of these, 
now in the Bibliotheque Nationale (lat. 10525 ), 2 was 
made for him in Paris between the years 1 253 and 1 270 ; 
the other, an almost exact replica, whose mutilated 
remains are preserved in Mr. Yates Thompson's collection, 
was made, evidently in the same place and about the 
same time, for a lady whom Mr. S. C. Cockerell 3 has 
identified with Isabelle, sister of S. Louis and foundress 
of Longchamp Abbey, where she lived from 1260 until 
her death ten years later. The Paris book has no fewer 
than seventy-eight full-page miniatures of Old Testa- 
ment subjects at the beginning ; only six of the corre- 
sponding series remain in the Yates Thompson MS. 
Both books are remarkable, among other things, for their 
exquisite architectural backgrounds, consisting in every 
instance of two or four bays of a Gothic interior, with 
gables, wheel or quatrefoil windows, and fretted arcad- 
ings and pinnacles above ; forming as it were a scenic 
setting before which the personages of Bible-history play 
their parts like actors in the miracle-plays, which were 
actually performed in churches. These personages 
indeed, full of that gentle and ingenuous gaiety of which 
Gothic painters held the secret, seem less historical 
characters than the delighted actors of a pious play. 
One thinks of a Morality, or of the "Gestes" of Moses, 
Abraham, or Solomon not of the solemn periods of the 

1 See Haseloff, Les Psautiers de St. Louis, 1900 (Mm. de la Soc. Nat. des 
Antiquaires de France, lix, pp. 18-42) ; Delisle, 12 livres roy., pp. 37-51, pi. 9~ 12 - 
3 Omont, Psautierde St. Louis. Reproduction des 86 miniatures [1902]. 
8 Psalter and Hours of Isabelle of France, 1905. 

198 



PLATE XXVI 




F*?? 

muucmm mwoitotic 

mpttftru&iuaurtw 

ttoi/clhtttrgnoccU) 



I dtcb aumntolnnnis 



numcdo^tumpatt 
ttttr.cruiolcntttapt 
unrtllud, Omncsc 



taics. 
mmctfcfhuhunrTa 



Jtt et uce cum wtmtt5 
lictfimtTatottquom 



ciwattonimtmbitjjt 
tumt)l)cc.doit(col 



(frftuulaetcapctxto 
batuicstpfccft-bc 



tteaumn 
mca:'tu>n 
tmnfimt. 



nmu fd n 



tlfetiu% 
cr dtfapu 



tncaduo 
uobts^fi 
ftin^arf 
ttrnatoe 



iliuxptlhfi 
lijia:ftcur 
fmptumcft- 




GOSPEL LECTIONARY. PARIS, LATE XIIIiH CENT. 
BRIT. MUS. Ann. 17341 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, ISTH CENT. 



Vulgate text. The grave, ascetic faces met with in paint- 
ings of the time of Philip Augustus are replaced by 
gentler, more rounded and cheerful types ; showing how 
the simple and joyous spirit of S. Francis, "the little 
troubadour of God," had penetrated to the arts, and 
banished the awe and terror with which the older 
miniaturists approached the sacred mysteries. 

The Little Psalter of S. Louis and its companion 
represent the highest achievement of thirteenth century 
illumination in France. In the treatment of the face and 
figure they are indeed in advance of their time, and most 
of their contemporaries still retain something of primitive 
austerity. This is noticeable in a fine Gospel-lectionary 
in the British Museum (Add. I734I), 1 of the latter part of 
the thirteenth century. It follows the use of Paris, 
where it was evidently written, being a copy of a slightly 
earlier book which was given by S. Louis to the Sainte 
Chapelle, and is now in the Bibliotheque Nationale (lat. 
17326). Its decoration is restricted to miniature-initials 
with partial borders attached ; the initial " I," which occurs 
most frequently (in the prefatory phrase "In illo tem- 
pore"), being an oblong frame, sometimes of the full 
height of the column of script, enclosing one or more 
miniatures illustrating the text, with lacertines, foliage- 
scrolls, and other conventional ornament filling the rest of 
the frame. Though exaggeratedly long and attenuated, 
the figures are not ungraceful, and the draperies are now 
softly and realistically modelled by means of gradations 
of colour. A marked advance is perceptible in the bar- 
borders, which end in light and delicate leafy sprays, and 
on which are placed exquisite little figures of rabbits, birds, 
and grotesques. The foliate scroll-work inside the initial- 
frames is finely finished, and already foreshadows the 
rich designs which fill the margins of fifteenth century 
Horae. 

Much more primitive is the art of the Moralized Bible, 

1 PI. xxvi. See too Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 26, and Reprod. t ii, 20; 
Vitzthum, pi. 5, 6. 

199 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

a vast compilation in four volumes, two in the British 
Museum (Harl. I526-7), 1 one at Paris (Bibl. Nat., lat. 
1150), and one at Oxford (Bodl. 270!}); forming one 
member of a large family of picture-books for religious 
instruction. 2 Every page has two narrow columns of text 
and two wide ones of miniatures : the text-column con- 
sisting of two short passages from the Bible, each followed 
by a moralization or allegorical interpretation ; the picture- 
column, of four illustrative paintings on gold grounds in 
medallions placed one below the other, the spaces between 
them and their oblong frame being covered with a diaper 
pattern. These pictures are well adapted for their pur- 
pose, the scenes being depicted with unmistakable clear- 
ness and force ; but as works of art they compare ill with 
the beautiful books we have been considering, the figures 
being stumpy and badly proportioned, the drawing heavy, 
with hard black outlines, the colouring harsh and in- 
harmonious, and the technique absolutely flat. The 
British Museum possesses an uncoloured copy of the 
same work, 3 perhaps a little later in date, and of much 
greater artistic merit. Here the illustrations, again eight 
on a page, are square instead of round, and are freely and 
crisply drawn in brown ink without any use of colour. 
Simple, expressive, dramatic, they tell their stories appar- 
ently without effort, yet always with effect. Charming 
female types, with draped heads ; a majestic lady with a 
chalice, typifying the Church ; plump monks and bishops ; 
bearded persons in conical hats these and other delight- 
ful figures beflower the pages and give a mixed but 
altogether pleasing impression of brisk narrative, popular 
theology, and sure and easy draughtsmanship. 

Of the many fine liturgical manuscripts produced in 
the closing years of the century, one of the most interest- 
ing is a Book of Hours at Nuremberg (Stadtbibl., Solger 
in 4, No. 4).* Its contents seem to indicate that it was 

1 Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 27, and Reprod.^ i, 22. 

2 See Delisle, "Livres d'images," in Hist. Lift, de la France^ xxxi, 213-85. 

3 Add. 18719. *' Vitzthum, pp. 47-54* pi- 9- 

200 



PLATE XX VII 




SURGICAL TREATISE BY ROGER OF PARMA. FRENCH, XIIIrH CENT. 

BRIT. MUS. SI.OANK 1977 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, ISTH CENT. 



written in England, or at all events for an English lady ; 
the decoration, however, is essentially French in manner, 
and is evidently the work of an artist trained in France, 
if not actually a Frenchman. An inserted inscription at 
the end shows that about the year 1400 the book was 
given by King Charles [VI] of France to the Queen of 
England (probably Isabella, wife of Richard II, or Cathe- 
rine, wife of Henry V, both being his sisters). Nothing 
is known of its earlier history, but its original owner was 
evidently a lady possessed of wealth as well as of excellent 
taste. Apart from the great beauty of its workmanship, 
the Nuremberg Horae is interesting by reason of the 
unusual composition of the full-page miniatures prefixed 
to the several Hours of the Virgin. These are divided 
into compartments, in which the Joyful and Dolorous 
Mysteries of Our Lady are represented side by side. 
Thus the Nativity and the Adoration of the Shepherds 
are balanced by the Arrest of Christ and His appearance 
before Pilate ; the Annunciation and Visitation, by Christ 
bearing the Cross and being stripped by the soldiers ; the 
Crucifixion, by the Ascension. The figures are painted 
on backgrounds of stippled gold ; the faces are left white, 
and finished with a fine pen-line ; the draperies are 
modelled by gradations of the local colours, in which 
vermilion, blue, and pink predominate. Before the Hours, 
there is a series of charming single figures of saints stand- 
ing under canopies ; these are more conventionalized than 
the scenes which follow, and are almost architectural in 
their studied Gothic pose. 

Still greater perfection is shown in a beautiful collection 
of religious treatises, written and illuminated in France 
about the year 1300. At some unknown stage in its 
history this book was divided into two volumes, which 
parted company and found their way eventually, one into 
the British Museum, the other into Mr. Yates Thompson's 
library. The former, numbered Add. 28162,' contains the 

1 PaL Soc., i, 245, 246; Warner, Ilium, MSS., pi. 33, 34, and 

iii, 19. 



2O I 









ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 



Somme le Roi, a very popular compendium of Catholic 
doctrine, which was composed in French prose for 
Philip III by his confessor, Frere Laurent, in 1279. The 
text, which is adorned with well-executed initials enclosing 
foliage-scrolls or figures, and prolonged into bar-borders 
with cusped or leafy terminations, is preceded by a series 
of full-page miniatures illustrating the Decalogue, the 
Creed, the cardinal virtues, and the seven deadly sins with 
their corresponding virtues. These last are allegorically 
presented, and sometimes followed by their Biblical types: 
Humility and Pride, for instance, by the Publican and 
Pharisee ; Love and Hatred, by David and Jonathan, and 
by Saul casting a javelin at David ; Mercy and Avarice, 1 
by Abraham welcoming the three angels, and by the 
widow distributing her oil freely. These scenes are 
painted on backgrounds of burnished and patterned gold, 
and placed within Gothic arcades. The dominant colour 
is scarlet, which, combined with the gold ground, produces 
a very brilliant effect. The figures, though rather large 
for the size of the pictures, are charming, especially the 
Lady Amitie in her garden, the widow pouring out her 
oil, and the three adorable angels who come to Abraham 
disguised as pilgrims with staff and wallet, but wearing 
the nimbus and rainbow-coloured wings without any 
attempt at concealment. 

Mr. Yates Thompson's volume 2 has only four full-page 
miniatures ; but the first three of these are superior to 
anything in the Somme le Roi, having a beauty of con- 
ception, a delicacy and refinement of colouring, and a 
perfection of technique, which mark them out as among 
the most exquisite productions of the illuminator's art. 
Two of them illustrate the Sainte Abbaye, the allegorical 
tract with which the volume opens. The first depicts the 
ideal state of the mystical Abbey of the Holy Ghost : 
Madame Charite* the abbess and Sainte Sapience the 

1 Plate xxviii. 

2 See M. R. James, Descriptive Catalogue, 1898, No. 40, pp. 225-32; 
H. Y. Thompson, Illustrations, vol. i, 1907, pi. 6-9. 

202 



PLATE XXV I II 




SOMME LE ROI. FRENCH, CIRCA 1300 

BRIT. MUS. ADD. 28162 



FLEMISH ILLUMINATION, 13 CENT. 

prioress kneel in prayer, and Honeste with her birch rod 
admonishes the novices who stand before her with their 
lesson-book ; above the abbey is a representation of the 
Trinity and the heavenly host. The next picture is in 
two compartments : in the upper, a priest celebrates Mass 
in the abbey church before the assembled sisterhood, the 
nun-sacristan pulling vigorously at the bell-ropes ; the 
lower compartment represents a priest and clerks, fully 
vested, walking in procession, followed by the abbess and 
her nuns. The third page illustrates another tract in the 
volume, the " Livres de lestat de lame," and shows the 
three states of good souls penitence, devotion, and con- 
templation in the person of a nun who confesses, prays, 
and kneels in ecstasy before a vision of the Trinity. 
There is a wonderful dreamy charm about these exquisite 
miniatures of conventual life, with their subtle harmonies 
of colour, the subdued tints of the nuns' habits contrast- 
ing effectively with the splendour of the heavenly person- 
ages and the delicately coloured architectural backgrounds. 
We have here, in fact, the work of a great artist in full 
sympathy with his subject ; while the remaining miniature 
in this book, like all those in the Somme le Roi, more 
brilliant yet somehow lacking in poetic flavour, is only 
an admirable example of one of the most perfect schools 
known in the history of illumination. 

Flemish illumination in the thirteenth century de- 
veloped on similar lines to that of England and France, 
though at first with lagging footsteps. Such books as 
the Missal of S. Bavon's, Ghent (Brit. Mus., Add. 16949), 
written about the year 1200, show little promise of the 
glory which awaited Flemish painting. Its decorated 
initials, of white foliage-scrolls on pale blue fields 
powdered with white spots, are still of the regular twelfth 
century type ; and its one full-page miniature, 1 a Cruci- 
fixion prefixed to the Canon of the Mass, is archaic, stiff, 
and lifeless, void alike of realism, grace, and impressive- 
ness. This manuscript can only be regarded as typical 

1 Warner, Reprod., ii, 34. 

203 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

of Flemish art at the very beginning of the century ; 
but until well on in the second half the figure-drawing 
was uncouth and the technique altogether far behind that 
of the French and English schools. The British Museum 
possesses a good many Psalters of this period of gradual 
transition from comparative barbarism to real artistic 
excellence ; but none of them can be compared with the 
splendid productions of contemporary French or English 
miniaturists. One of the most important of these is 
Royal 2 B. iii, executed apparently towards the middle of 
the century, certainly after 1228, as S. Francis occurs in 
the Calendar. Its full-page miniatures 1 of the life of 
Christ, some of which are interspersed among the Psalms, 
instead of being prefixed in the usual manner, have 
something of the largeness and simplicity found in 
English work a few decades earlier ; but the dignity and 
feeling, which in the latter go so far to make up for faulty 
drawing, are altogether lacking here. The figures, heavily 
outlined in black, are stiff, ill-proportioned, and badly 
drawn ; the pallid faces are mostly of unlovely, almost 
grotesque type ; the grouping shows no attempt at 
effective composition. As to colouring, the backgrounds 
of raised and highly burnished gold brighten up the 
pages, but the general effect is sombre, hard, and streaky. 
A very dark blue, characteristic of thirteenth century 
Flemish painting, predominates ; and on this and the 
other colours, which are for the most part pale and 
dingy, white paint has been applied lavishly for high- 
lights. 

The Flemish cycle of Calendar-pictures, as shown in 
Roy. 2 B. iii and other Psalters of this period, has one or 
two peculiar features. The signs of the zodiac are not 
represented as a rule; and the occupation-pictures, though 
containing single figures only, are comparatively large in 
scale, and are painted on blue or pink grounds framed in 
gold. The subjects too are peculiar in some respects, 
notably those for February (a woman holding a great 

1 See pi. xxix. 
204 



PLATR XXIX 




PSALTER. FLEMISH, XIIIrH CENT. 

BRIT. MUS. ROY. 2 B til. 



FLEMISH ILLUMINATION, 1311* CENT. 

Candlemas taper), June (a man carrying a load of wood), 
and October (grape-picking). This distinctively Flemish 
series appears, for instance, in Add. MSS. 19899 and 
24683, two Psalters of about the same date as Roy. 2 B. 
iii, but of even ruder, more archaic technique; also in Roy. 
2 A. iii, a very small book, executed apparently in or near 
Maestricht. In this last-named manuscript, however, the 
tiny figures are on gold grounds in medallions, and the 
treatment shows something already of the refinement and 
delicacy typical of the best thirteenth century art. Harl. 
2930, another Maestricht Psalter, probably of slightly 
later date, has no Calendar-decoration, but its miniatures 
and historiated initials and bar-borders, with birds and 
grotesques, form an interesting link between the crudity 
of the earlier period and the finished excellence of the 
school now beginning to approach maturity. Its colour- 
ing is rich and brilliant, but the effect is spoilt by the pre- 
dominance of a vivid and unpleasant crimson. 

The Maestricht artists seem to have worked by prefer- 
ence on a small scale ; the masterpiece of the school, a 
Book of Hours of the very end of the century, 1 is even 
more diminutive than these two Psalters, its leaves 
measuring only 3f by 2f inches. This is indeed a 
wonderful little book. Its miniatures of the Childhood 
and Passion are charming, with exquisitely drawn figures, 
well posed and carefully draped, the faces finely outlined 
with the pen. It is in the marginal ornament, 2 however, 
that its special interest lies. Bible-history, legends of the 
saints, folk-lore, scenes in daily life, are illustrated with an 
exuberance of fancy and a delightful inconsequence 
thoroughly typical of this fascinating phase in the history 
of art, when austerity and genial humour strove for the 
mastery. To enumerate even the principal subjects 
would be impossible here : we have the monkeys' castle 
besieged by foxes with catapults and other engines ; the 
fox shamming death ; the three living and three dead 

1 Stowe 17. See Warner, Reprod.^ ii, 35. 

2 See pi. xxxviii. 

205 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

kings ; an abbess spinning, whilst her white cat brings 
her a new spindle in its mouth ; wrestlers, tilting knights, 
tumblers, musicians. The patroness of the book, a lady 
in an ermine cloak, appears frequently once in a full- 
page miniature, kneeling before a crucifix. 

Another remarkable monument of Franco-Flemish art 
of this time is a little book which once formed part of the 
Sneyd Collection, and passed, on its dispersal, into the 
possession of Mr. Bernard Ouaritch, for whom it was 
described by Dr. M. R. James. 1 Its contents are of a 
very miscellaneous character, consisting of legends, horta- 
tory and other tracts, passages from the Bible and the 
Fathers, etc., put together somewhat after the fashion of 
the Hortus Deliciarum, and very richly illustrated. Its 
art has certain affinities with that of Stowe 17, but is 
more French in style. It opens with a series of full-page 
tinted drawings of scenes from the lives of the Hermits, 
including one very naive and charming picture of an angel 
cooking a hermit's supper over an open fire. After this we 
have many illuminated illustrations of Christian dogma, 
the arts and sciences, and allegories of monastic discipline ; 
and two long series of designs, the one intended as 
mystical representations of the attributes of the Trinity, 
the other as expositions of the symbolic meaning of the 
Song of Solomon. Many of the subjects are extremely 
rare, if not unique, in the history of illumination ; so 
that even apart from the richness and ingenuity of the 
borders and grotesques with which the latter part of this 
delightful little volume is filled, its importance as a 
treasure-house of medieval symbolism can scarcely be 
over-rated. The colouring, with its almost exclusive use 
of white, gold, rose, deep blue, and scarlet, and the 
elaborately diapered and stippled backgrounds, do not 
differ markedly from those found in contemporary French 
work. In fact, Flemish illumination, so backward at the 
beginning of the century, had by its close thoroughly 

1 Description of an Illuminated MS. of the Thirteenth Century, 1904. 
206 



GERMAN ILLUMINATION, 131*1 CENT. 

absorbed the spirit of the French Gothic, and become less 
a distinct and native style than a branch of that great 
school of art. 

In striking contrast to these minute volumes, so far as 
scale is concerned, is a great Antiphoner in three stately 
volumes, dated 1290, and emanating, as the researches of 
its present owner, Mr. Yates Thompson, 1 have proved, 
from the Cistercian nunnery of Beauprd near Grammont. 
Despite their large size, its historiated initials are not 
lacking in delicacy, and with its cusped and leafy borders 
and marginal figures show how thoroughly the new spirit 
had by now been assimilated. Especially charming in 
their demure grace are the kneeling patronesses, " Domi- 
cella de Viana" and " Domicella Clementia." 

The Gothic movement, which produced such a re- 
markable development of the art of illumination in 
England, France, and Flanders during the thirteenth 
century, left Germany almost untouched. German minia- 
turists were content, for the most part, with the artistic 
formulae, compounded of Byzantine and Romanesque 
traditions, which had been elaborated during the twelfth 
century. They placidly repeated the old harsh, lifeless 
types, the hard flat technique, the crude and discordant 
scheme of colour, of the style which the Rhenish schools 
had brought to such perfection as it was capable of by the 
end of the twelfth century. In fact, Germany ceased to 
take a leading place in the history of book-decoration, 
and the subsequent course of German illumination be- 
comes a matter of interest for the specialist rather than 
for the student of the art in general, and of its most 
beautiful forms in particular. Some mention should 
indeed be made of such fine manuscripts as the Wein- 
garten Missals in Lord Leicester's library at Holkham, 2 
and of the numerous and exceedingly interesting group 

1 See his Descriptive Catalogue, iii, 1907, pp. 55-74 (No. 83); Burl. F.A. 
Club, Nos. 61-2, pi. 54. 

2 Nos. 36, 37. See L. Dorez, Les MSS. d peintures de la bibl de Lord 
Leicester^ 1908, pi. 5-8, 12-21. 

2O7 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

of early thirteenth century Psalters which Dr. Hase- 
loff l has subjected to so searching a study, and which is 
represented in the British Museum by Add. i768y 2 and 
18144. This must suffice, however, in a brief sketch 
like the present. 3 

1 Eine thiiringisch-sachsische Malerschule des 13. Jahrhunderts^ 1897. 

2 Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 19, and Reprod., i, 41. 

3 For fuller treatment of German thirteenth century miniature see Haseloff 
in Michel's Hist. deFArt, ii, i, 359-71, and the bibliography on pp. 419-20. 



208 



CHAPTER XII 
ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE APOCALYPSE 

EXCEPT the Psalms and Gospels, no part of the 
Bible was more popular than the Apocalypse in 
the Middle Ages as a subject for pictorial illustra- 
tion. Painters of the Carolingian period had already 
begun to find themes in it for some of their most interest- 
ing miniatures, 1 as we saw in chapter v ; and a long 
series of compositions, illustrating the whole book, seems 
to have been devised about the same time. This series 
is found in manuscripts from the ninth century onwards, 
especially in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries ; 
usually in company with the complete Latin or vernacular 
text, often with a commentary in addition, but sometimes 
with nothing beyond descriptive legends written across 
the field of the pictures. So numerous, important, and 
distinctive a family do these manuscripts form that it 
seems most convenient to consider them as a separate 
class, irrespective of date or nationality. 

The first appearance of a regular series of Apocalypse- 
pictures is in the illuminated copies of a Commentary on 
the Apocalypse, composed by the Spanish monk Beatus 
towards the end of the eighth century. These range in 
date from the ninth century to the thirteenth, and are all, 
or very nearly all, of Spanish origin. 2 In the history of 
illumination generally Spain occupies quite a secondary 
position ; one might even say a negligible position, apart 
from these illustrations of the Apocalypse and the initial- 

1 See pi. xi. 

2 For a descriptive list see Delisle, Melanges de Paleographie etde Bibliographic, 
1880, pp. 117-47, supplemented by Konrad Miller, Die dltesten Weltkarten, 
Heft i, 1895, PP- 10-22, and by Dr. James and Dom Ramsay in the account of 
Mr. Yates Thompson's MS., cited below. 

14 209 



ornaments (of a bizarre type, partly Merovingian and 
partly Celtic in style) found in the Mozarabic liturgical 
books and other manuscripts of the tenth to twelfth centu- 
ries. 1 In later times Spanish illumination was essentially 
derivative and imitative, French, Italian, and Flemish 
influence appearing in turn, or sometimes simultaneously, 
producing an oddly mixed and unsatisfactory result. It 
was not until illumination had ceased to exist as a living 
art that the great school of Spanish painters came into 
being. 

Of the Beatus manuscripts, the oldest now extant is 
that in Mr. Yates Thompson's collection, 2 written A.D. 394 
in a hitherto unidentified monastery dedicated to S. 
Michael ; clearly in Spain, as is proved by the form of 
script (Visigothic minuscules), by certain peculiarities in 
spelling, and by the presence of marginal notes in Spanish. 
The cycle of pictures, however, most probably goes back 
a good deal earlier, for the contrast between the excellence 
of the compositions and the ineptitude of the technique 
suggests that the illustrator of this manuscript was a 
copyist rather than an original artist. Moreover, in all 
the manuscripts the illustrations of Beatus, and of S. 
Jerome's commentary on Daniel which usually follows 
it, are practically the same as to number and subject, 
showing plainly that all are derived from one common 
archetype, dating perhaps from the lifetime of Beatus 
himself. The British Museum possesses one of these 
Beatus-codices, 3 written in Silos Abbey between 1073 and 
1091, and illuminated by Pedro the Prior, who finished 
his work in 1 109 ; and its agreement with the Yates 
Thompson MS. is almost exact, despite the interval of 
more than two centuries which separates them. In style 

1 The British Museum has some characteristic examples in Add. 30844-6, 
30850, and 30853, from Silos Abbey in the diocese of Burgos, and Add. 25600 
(see Pal. Soc., i, 95) from S. Pedro de Cardena in the same diocese. 

2 No. 97, described very fully by Dr. James in the Catalogue, ii, pp. 304-30, 
with additional notes by Dom H. L. Ramsay on pp 373-6. 

3 Add. 11695. See Pal. S0c., i, 48-9 ; Ferotin, Hist, de Vabbaye de Silos, 1897, 
pp. 264-9. 

2IO 



ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE APOCALYPSE 

too, as well as subject, there is a great resemblance ; the 
Silos manuscript is slightly less rude and primitive than 
its predecessor, but the general character is much the same 
in both, and either of them may be taken as typical of the 
whole group. 1 

So strange and barbarous is the art of these manu- 
scripts, that one is reminded of the worst productions of 
the Celtic school. But while Celtic miniatures are gener- 
ally cheerful in their grotesqueness, here we find an air of 
settled melancholy; dark and heavy colour accentuating 
the effect of coarse outlines and dull, gloomy faces. The 
figures are stiff and wooden, more like rudely made dolls 
than human beings ; the faces are monotonous and ill- 
drawn, with low foreheads and large staring eyes ; there 
is no attempt at modelling or perspective. The composi- 
tions, on the other hand, large and elaborate (many of 
them occupying the full page, and some extending over two 
pages), are often well planned and impressive. Moorish 
influence is seen in the uniform employment of 
the horseshoe arch in buildings, frames, and arcades ; 
also, perhaps, in the horizontally striped backgrounds of 
red, yellow, dark blue, dark green, and other colours, a 
prominent feature in these paintings. The conventional 
ornament is far better than the figure-compositions, as so 
often happens in primitive art. Patterned frames, decor- 
ated with cable, plait, and knot, surround the most im- 
portant miniatures ; in the later manuscripts of the group 
great cruciform pages appear, and symbolic representa- 
tions of the glorified Christ, obviously modelled on the 
emblematic designs of the Celtic and Carolingian Gospel- 
books, though never approaching their delicate exactitude. 
The initials and tail-pieces too deserve mention. Those 
in the Silos manuscript are often spirited and amusing : 
fishes, birds, beasts, and human forms, brightly coloured 
and sometimes very quaintly combined, form the initials; 

1 Another good example, one of the latest of the group, is MS. Lat. 8 in the 
John Rylands Library at Manchester. See New Pal. Sffc.,pl. 167. 



211 







ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

among the tail-pieces are various exploits of Reynard the 
fox, besides figures of musicians, soldiers, etc. 

With the thirteenth century begins that remarkable 
series of Gothic illustrations of the Apocalypse, of which 
MM. Delisle and Meyer have made so comprehensive 
and minute a survey. 1 Though the subjects are the same, 
the treatment in these later and more northerly manu- 
scripts (mostly produced in England, France, or 
Flanders) is, as might be expected, very different from 
that of their semi-barbarous Spanish ancestors. In the 
best we find some of the most perfect examples of early 
Gothic painting, with a poetic fancy exercising itself on 
material of the most suggestive kind ; in the worst, an 
abundance of that medieval humour which found such 
congenial expression in the gargoyles and grotesques of 
ecclesiastical sculpture. 

These manuscripts must have been extremely 
numerous. M. Delisle mentions no less than fifty-nine, 
ranging in date from the beginning of the thirteenth to 
the end of the fifteenth century ; and he describes many 
of them in full detail, especially the first sixteen, for 
which he gives a tabular list of all the miniatures. He 
divides them into two families, according to the subjects 
illustrated ; but this classification cannot be rigidly 
applied, for many of the manuscripts which he assigns to 
the second family contain one or more of the scenes which 
he regards as distinguishing marks of the first. One 
might, no doubt, choose other principles of grouping, e.g. 
separating the illustrations in tinted outline from those 
painted in body-colour, or those which are accompanied 
by the text from those which merely bear scrolls with 
descriptive legends. Any such system, however, would 
be open to objection : the full truth as to the inter- 
dependence of these manuscripts which remain, and of the 
many more which must have perished, to say nothing of 

1 L* Apocalypse en fran^ais, 1901, forming an introduction to the facsimiles 
of the miniatures in Bibl. Nat. MS. fr. 403, published by the Societe des anciens 
textes franqais. 



212 



ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE APOCALYPSE 

their connection with Apocalypse-illustrations in other 
forms of art, 1 is too obscure and complicated a matter to 
be ascertained readily or stated tersely. No attempt can 
be made here, at any rate, to do more than call attention 
to one or two of the most important of these interesting 
specimens of the illustrative art of the Middle Ages. 

Two excellent and closely related examples of the 
tinted outline class are the Bodleian MS. Auct. D. 4. 17 2 
and the Paris MS. Bibl. Nat. fr. 403, 3 both produced in 
England about the beginning of the thirteenth century. 
They belong to what M. Delisle calls the first family, and 
begin and end with scenes from the life of S. John. The 
former contains no text beyond explanatory inscriptions 
in red and blue letters on the backgrounds of the minia- 
tures, which fill the page, being usually divided into two 
compartments. No such inscriptions appear in the Paris 
MS., though blank tablets and scrolls evidently intended for 
their reception are in most of the miniatures ; but the full 
text of the Apocalypse, with a commentary, both in French, 
occupies the lower half of each of the pictured pages. 
Leaning towards the grotesque rather than the poetical, 
these drawings are truly illustrative, unconstrained, and 
full of life. The type of figure is much the same in both 
manuscripts : large, rather elongated personages, angels 
and saints having sleek rounded faces, while devils, false 
witnesses, and executioners have rugged features, with 
extraordinary hooked noses. The compositions in the 
Oxford MS. have a tendency to be overcrowded, the 
artist's desire to illustrate every detail of his subject being 
stronger, apparently, than his instinct for spaciousness of 
design. The Paris MS. errs less in this respect. Amongst 
much that is grotesque, it has several impressive, some 
almost beautiful miniatures ; especially the Marriage of 

1 See, for instance, Delisle's interesting chapter on the tapestries in Angers 
Cathedral, pp. clxxvi-cxci. 

2 Reproduced by the Roxburghe Club, The Apocalypse of S. John the Divine^ 
ed. H. O. Coxe, 1876. 

3 Published in facsimile by the Soc. des. anc. textes fr., as noted above, 
p. 212. 

213 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

the Lamb, which already shows signs of the delicate 
charm distinctive of the best Gothic art. 

Akin to these two books is the British Museum MS. 
Add. 35I66, 1 executed in England late in the thirteenth 
century. Though placed by Delisle in the second family, 
it includes the two series of scenes from the life of S. John 
(the second series unusually long), so it forms a link 
between the two families ; it also contains a somewhat 
rare subject, " the woman drunken with the blood of the 
saints" (Apoc. xvii. 6), very graphically treated. The 
miniatures, which are drawn in outline and tinted in pale 
colours, fill only the upper half of each page, the lower 
half containing the full Latin text with a Latin com- 
mentary; there are no descriptive legends inside the 
frames of the pictures. The paintings are softer, more 
delicate and less crisp than those of the Oxford and Paris 
MSS. ; the faces, mostly gentle to the point of weakness, 
are rendered expressive by skilful and delicate pen-work ; 
the figures are long and slender, but not ungraceful ; the 
draperies are well handled, with gradation of local colour 
as well as pen-strokes. Burnished gold is used for nimbi 
and other accessories, and parts of the backgrounds are 
painted red, blue or green in body-colour. There is less 
vivacity but more dignity, on the whole, than in the two 
earlier books. 

Much more beautiful than any of these three, indeed 
one of the finest of all extant copies of the Apocalypse, is 
MS. R. 1 6. 2 in Trinity College, Cambridge. 2 Written in 
England, not improbably at S. Alban's, about the year 
1230, this splendid manuscript is hardly surpassed by any 
of its contemporaries. Its ninety-one miniatures, while 
lacking the minute delicacy of the smaller designs which 
adorn the best French and English Psalters of the time, 
atone for this deficiency by the richness of their colouring 
and the dramatic force and vigour of their compositions. 

1 Warner, Reprod., ii, 12. 

* New Pal. Soc. t pi. 38-9. Reproduced for the Roxburghe Club, ed. M. R. 
James, 1910. 

214 



ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE APOCALYPSE 

It is in the battle scenes, naturally, that the latter quality 
is displayed most effectively ; the artists (for more hands 
than one are discernible) are less successful in their treat- 
ment of subjects of a more reposeful character. In fact, 
if we divide the Apocalypse MSS. into two classes 
accordingly as the grotesque or poetical imagination 
predominates, the Trinity MS. must be assigned to the 
former rather than the latter, though by no means void 
of single figures rich in delicate charm, such as the 
winged woman flying into the wilderness (xii. 14). 

The poetical and devotional element is uppermost in 
Mr. Yates Thompson's beautiful manuscript, 1 written to- 
wards the end of the thirteenth century, and very profusely 
illuminated in England or the north of France. Like the 
Lambeth MS. 209, with which it is closely related, it 
contains the Latin text with the commentary of Beren- 
gaudus ; 2 but it stands alone in the wealth of its decora- 
tion, having no fewer than 152 miniatures, which illustrate 
not only the usual cycle of subjects from the Vision itself, 
but also their scriptural and historical antitypes as set 
forth in the commentary. Interesting by reason of its 
symbolism, the book is also delightful from an artistic 
point of view, for its graceful figures, with naive appealing 
expressions, and for the beauty and variety of its colour- 
ing, burnished gold and deep blue being freely used, as 
well as the more delicate harmonies of grey, green, and 
white. 

The Lambeth Apocalypse 3 belongs to the same period, 
perhaps a trifle later, and was probably written and 
illuminated at S. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury. It has 
seventy-eight half-page miniatures in plain banded frames, 

1 No. 55. See Catalogue^ ii, pp. 20-39; H. Y. Thompson, Lecture on some 
Eng. Ilium. MSS., 1902, pp. 16-20, pi. 7-13; Delisle and Meyer, pp. xc-cvi, and 
Appendix, pi. 7-12. 

2 For other illustrated copies containing this commentary, though not artistic- 
ally related to the above, see Burl. F.A. Club, Nos. 88, 89, pi. 74. 

3 No. 209 in the Archiepiscopal Library. See S. W. Kershaw, Art Treasures 
of the Lambeth Library, 1873, pp. 47-54 (2 plates); Pal. Soc., ii, 195; Burl. F.A. 
Club, No. 87, pi. 73. 

215 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

and at the end a series of tinted drawings of scenes in the 
life of Christ, miracles of the Virgin, and figures of 
saints. In the miniatures, pale and delicately drawn 
figures are contrasted against brilliant backgrounds of 
blue, purple, or stippled and burnished gold, usually con- 
sisting of a central panel framed in a broad border, the 
blue and purple sometimes diapered. The figures are 
slender and elegant, the angels being particularly graceful. 
The outlining and modelling of the flesh are in sepia, 
giving a much softer effect than the usual black ink ; the 
drapery folds are indicated with light colours, chiefly 
grey, brown, and green. Specially pleasing is the figure 
of S. John, a tall slim person with curly hair and short 
beard, who appears, as usual, in every picture as spectator 
or interlocutor. 

Less powerful and original than the Yates Thompson 
MS., but more delicately lovely, is Douce 180 in the 
Bodleian. 1 This exquisite book shows English painting 
of the late thirteenth century at its best ; it has advanced 
beyond the formalism and severity of Early Gothic, and has 
not yet begun to grapple with the problems and subtleties 
of modern art. The white vellum backgrounds, soft 
pale colours, and careful space-filling, together with the 
sweet and gracious forms of the personages represented, 
give these miniatures a dainty, poetical, and altogether 
irresistible charm. Some of them are merely drawn in 
outline, in others the colouring and gilding have been 
left at various stages of unfinishedness. The angels are 
of monastic type, massive and dignified, with tonsured 
heads, grave and gentle expressions. One of the most 
delightful miniatures in the book is that of the vineyard, 2 
where the successive incidents of Apoc. xiv. 17-20 are 
naively depicted in one composition, without a hint of 
division and yet with no overcrowding of the canvas : the 
angel with the sickle coming out of the temple, taking 

1 Pal. Soc., ii, 77. The editors judged it of French origin, but linguistic con- 
siderations point to England. See Delisle and Meyer, p. cxxi. 

2 PI. xxx. 

216 



PLATK XXX 





: naltUMugtlttSpmtrtrtt 



foflrfelccmantram. f attttdt 
flttgrtttspuur fraimn quttottr 
jpuflaiem fp?a igncm (rrtama 
ittnuKtmagna artotm qtnm 
srfetom animm dttcn$.fThr 
ttftlom aotmtmummnia tofe 



gftiuiaiia iftnimqmfffttttrftiprnutntt dios. 
fwir raiffm tuam temat I'lmwqui mhiritr 
iti uilrMitrcvft^tiftT-pn'^.tiipiutti Attmntttur 
cvrff r titfitt ttf-- ttrttfta WigtitttuR. <tammur 
'try> iionim qni Mttnrltipn-niilrm ttrmmt 
fitrftUmnfiiammnttminfrmfimrquifttok 
nntntnTnitrsniimrlnmiiiinQUmiopiirani 
hiifti mi'- 



life 

jmno cciiiraKimr- -=?iintUttr i 



umctrmt-qtiontamitiaiurrfuT 



imecutt 

jfttam tttimam (rtttnmniautrttt 

irteamimtrmtftrmlammttt! 

tci magmtm.er(ai(atu6 cfttams 

?ora atttmimi.- crcntttr fengttte 



qm ttwmplo onfto utffirfr.-?i^uftmrnftapt 
icttoe (tcao mUvna ttimlafoMmre. alrair autf 
ttham ftgnftrrtr.f!n!rTBrapUt!n.prrtgnon d8 
mtttmtiii u)fftirm imriltonr n:uimmiojdi&> 



ipicni fenm pjttftmon tifir 



<iuin iinoi'Uiiii t'cniutani falonn srmrttm.quf 
xyir.figiiiftcrtCTc tftoiiuw uruttitaniftitftoixoft 
limit ttitrprrqiw&impu Kfl^iiAiinir-quta itsu 
fRiiitmro conoio gnus* Tnimaniirr i mnoniB; 



APOCALYPSE. ENGLISH, LATE XIIIxH CENT. 

OXFORD, BODL. DOUCE 180 



ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE APOCALYPSE 

his instructions from the angel at the altar, and cutting 
the clusters of grapes, while two small horses gaze some- 
what apprehensively at the red stream which flows 
towards them. The serene, graceful, leisured dignity of 
the picture contrasts whimsically with the majestic terror 
of the text. 

The best thirteenth century Apocalypse manuscripts 
are, as we have seen, of English origin ; and fine 
examples continued to be produced in this country during 
the early years of the succeeding century, though none 
have survived which approach the perfection of their pre- 
decessors. Only three need be mentioned here, all in the 
British Museum. Roy. 19 B. xv 1 has seventy-two minia- 
tures of varying size and of widely varying degrees of 
excellence; the best, by an artist whose hand is also recog- 
nizable in the famous Psalter of Queen Mary (Roy. 2 B. 
vii, to be noticed in chapter xiii), are quite charming. 
They are effective through simplicity rather than strength 
of colour, relying for effect on the contrast between back- 
grounds of soft red and blue, and white or faintly tinted 
figures delicately sketched in pen outline. The faces are 
rounded in contour and suave in expression, the figures 
graceful, though tending to an artificial statuesqueness of 
pose. Simplicity of composition as well as colour marks the 
happiest efforts of this artist, as in the exquisite design of 
the angel casting a millstone into the sea (xviii. 21). Roy. 
15 D. ii, 2 unlike most of these manuscripts, is a volume 
of huge size, containing besides the Apocalypse a copy of 
the Anglo-Norman poem Lumiere as Lais ; a combina- 
tion also found in the contemporary MS. B. 282 of the 
Royal Library at Brussels. It probably belonged to 
Greenfield nunnery in Lincolnshire, and its decoration, 
which consists mainly of initials containing miniatures or 
ornamental foliage, with cusped bar and line-and-leaf 
borders attached, is typical of the East Anglian school 

1 Pal. Soc., i, 223; Thompson, Eng. Ilium. MSS.> pp. 53-5, pi. 16; Warner, 
Ilium. AfSS., pi. 30, and Reprod., i, 13. 

2 Warner, Reprod., ii, 13. 

217 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

which flourished in the first half of the fourteenth century. 
The figures in the miniatures have a certain family like- 
ness to those of Roy. 19 B. xv, though decidedly inferior to 
the best work in that book ; the backgrounds are mostly 
covered with a large diaper-pattern. The colour-scheme 
is harmonious and pleasant, but the technique is abso- 
lutely flat, without gradation or perspective ; the drapery 
folds are indicated by heavy black lines. A great feature 
of East Anglian illumination is the use of foliage, treated 
with some attempt at naturalism, for initial and border 
ornament ; and that occurs on almost every page of this 
manuscript. Add. 18633 is perhaps a little later than the 
two Royal MSS., but can hardly be assigned to a later 
date than the middle of the fourteenth century. It con- 
tains a paraphrase of the Apocalypse, in Anglo-Norman 
verse, which is found in some half-dozen illuminated 
copies ranging from the beginning to the middle of the 
century. 1 All the manuscripts of this group seem to be 
artistically as well as textually allied, and their archetype 
is clearly related to Bibl. Nat. fr. 403 with its hook-nosed 
devils. The art of Add. 18633 * s not f a high order, 
but it is quite expressive as illustration. The backgrounds 
are mostly blue or pink, diapered, but are sometimes 
of stippled gold. On the whole the drawing is hard, the 
technique flat, the composition stiff; the architecture, 
however, is good and interesting. Silver is used for 
armour and other accessories. 

Franco-Flemish Apocalypses are represented in the 
British Museum by two early fourteenth century manu- 
scripts, Add. 22493 an d 17333- The former, a fragment 
of four leaves, the upper half of each page filled by a 
miniature, is a fair sample of the average work of its 
school, with its neatly diapered backgrounds, its hard but 
clean and decided drawing, and its depth of colour, 
especially its dark blue. Much finer is the art of Add. 
17333,* a really beautiful manuscript, which formerly 

1 See Delisle and Meyer, p. cxxiii; Romania, xxv, 178. 

2 Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 35, and Reprod.^ i, 23. 

ill 



ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE APOCALYPSE 

belonged to the Carthusian monastery of Val-Dieu, near 
Mortagne. It has eighty-three half-page miniatures, 
drawn and painted with great delicacy and finish, on 
backgrounds of plain dark colour, or more often diapered 
with a great variety of tessellated patterns. Buildings 
are drawn with no less minute accuracy than in Add. 
J 8633; and the slender graceful figures, the exquisite 
expressive faces, the finely painted birds and monsters 
which enliven the borders, combine with the harmonies of 
colour and composition to put this in the front rank of 
Apocalypse manuscripts. 

About the middle of the fourteenth century the 
demand for these illustrations seems to have ceased 
among connoisseurs of art ; for a marked and rapid 
decline is apparent in the quality of those produced after 
that time, and their chief interest, as regards the history 
of design, lies in the fact that they form a link in 
the chain which connects the Spanish paintings of the 
ninth century with Dutch or German woodcuts of the 
fifteenth. 



219 



CHAPTER XIII 

ENGLISH ILLUMINATION IN THE FOURTEENTH AND 
FIFTEENTH CENTURIES 

THE first quarter of the fourteenth century was 
the real flowering-time of English illumination. 
Other periods have bequeathed to us an abun- 
dance of good work, each with its special points of excel- 
lence, but also with its special foibles. In this, however, 
a peculiarly satisfying balance was struck between the 
various conflicting elements of book-decoration : realism, 
imagination, and tradition, illustration and ornament, 
were blended with unerring nicety of adjustment, by 
artists possessed of a greater technical dexterity and a 
more thorough naturalism than their early Gothic 
predecessors ; and a harmonious perfection resulted, 
which has hardly been surpassed in all the history of 
the art. 

This perfection was already foreshadowed in the 
closing years of the thirteenth century, to which Mr. 
Pierpont Morgan's "Windmill " Psalter 1 perhaps belongs, 
though its rich, fully developed style suggests rather the 
opening years of the fourteenth. It is indeed not easy to 
find a parallel to the two magnificent pages with which 
Psalm i begins. The first is filled with the initial " B," on 
a diapered ground, enclosed in a rectangular frame set with 
medallions of the Creation, etc., on gold grounds, and 
itself enclosing a Jesse-tree. The letter " E," continuing 
the word Beatus, takes up half the next page ; it is 
surrounded with a wonderfully delicate and intricate lace- 
work design of leaves and flourishes drawn in red and 

1 M. R. James, Cat. of MSS. in the Library of J. Pierpont Morgan, pp. 41-3 
(four plates) ; Burl. F.A. Club, No. 47, pi. 44. 

220 



PLATE XXXI 



it U viable Kimr en feme te Ifmc H la f&nc M<x etcmnro V for> mar. 
cnfortqcdciicsoitt otHidralc'pm'tw narrttnttltnu'^-p^ 
c fiac vn abornon tic toticu a bcftt- e il tcwna rote iffint fifr ck 



ft 



l^r A; 



^C: 




i comentc 5^oc n rtvxrmtttr- 1 Ic tntmcr roup qii ferur. ntte Ic moiuta u : 
10 vint vn mmgel ft u: cil tna nwro- Lt angct U w tuas malfcr 1x6 
-> **^ T (y^x 1 * n* va5 c to dciHs-. c chciic M nccf le men* DC tu ptims <car " flao S'^ 
iC.%joiutttt 

t- 



^/vS 



PSALTER. ENGLISH, EARLY XIVxH CENT 

BRIT. MUS. ROY. 2 B VII. 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

blue outlines and faintly washed with pale green, and 
it encloses paintings of an angel and of the Judgment of 
Solomon over Solomon's head, the windmill to which 
the book owes its name. The remaining decoration of 
this interesting book consists of finely historiated initials 
at the usual divisions of the Psalter, and of humorous 
and spirited line-endings (grotesques, rabbits, monsters, 
etc.) in outline or body-colour. 

If the Windmill Psalter represents the opening bud, 
it is assuredly the fine flower of early fourteenth century 
illumination, in its fullest perfection, that we see in the 
beautiful manuscript known as Queen Mary's Psalter. 
Kept in its native country through the vigilance of 
a London customs-officer, who seized it in 1553, just as 
it was on the point of being sent abroad, and presented 
it to the Queen, whose name it now bears, it has been 
ever since one of the chief treasures of the old royal 
collection, in which it is numbered 2 B. vii. 1 For a Psalter 
it is an unusually thick volume, its exceptional wealth of 
miniatures and marginal drawings leaving but little space 
for text on most of the pages. Prefixed to the Calendar 
is a long series of scenes from Old Testament history, 
over two hundred in all, mostly two on a page, framed in 
plain vermilion bands with three leaves growing out of 
each corner. These drawings, firmly but delicately exe- 
cuted in the finest possible outline, far freer and more 
truly spontaneous in manner than any previous works of 
the kind, are lightly tinted in violet, green, and reddish 
brown. The compositions are spacious and simple ; the 
figures graceful, with just a hint of dainty self-conscious- 
ness in their pose ; the facial types often of great beauty. 
As is usual in such series, a comparatively small number 
of models is made to serve for many personages. The 
subjects are described in French legends, quaint in 
phrasing and often of considerable length ; they are not 

1 See Pal, Soc., i, 147 ; Thompson, Eng. Ilium. MSS., pp. 43-5, pi. 14, 15 ; 
Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 28-9, and Reprod., iii, 20-2 ; N. H. J. Westlake and 
W. Purdue, Illustrations of O.T. Hist, in Qu. Mary? s Psalter, 1865. 



221 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

restricted to the scriptural narrative, but include many 
stories of apocryphal origin, e.g. that of the devil in- 
stilling jealous suspicions into Noah's wife, in order to 
hinder the building of the ark. 1 

These drawings are followed by a nearly full-page 
Jesse-tree and some pages filled with figures of Christ 
and His kindred, etc., all painted in body-colour on 
grounds of burnished gold or diapered colours, but ob- 
viously by the same artist as the tinted drawings. Then 
comes the Calendar, remarkable for the elaboration and 
originality with which the zodiacal signs and monthly 
occupations are treated in a series of frieze-like designs 
running across the full width of the pages. 

After the Calendar, the text of the Psalms is in- 
troduced by a frontispiece of the Annunciation and 
Visitation. The lower margin of every page is now filled 
with an admirable tinted drawing, in the same style as 
the scenes from the Old Testament, but on a smaller scale, 
and with much greater freedom of range as to subject. 
Beginning with a long series of illustrations of medieval 
animal-lore the phoenix, the panther whose fragrance 
attracts other animals, the tiger brought to a standstill by 
a mirror which the hunted man has dropped, the water- 
snake eating his way through a crocodile, sirens capturing 
mariners, etc. the artist goes on to illustrate all manner 
of contemporary games, sports, and pastimes, often with 
grotesque monsters for performers. Then come the 
miracles of the Virgin, followed by the lives and martyr- 
doms of the saints. The book is further enriched, not 
only with historiated initials at the usual divisions, but 
also with a great number of large miniatures of the life 
of Christ, delicately drawn and brilliantly painted on 
stippled gold or diapered backgrounds. 2 

1 PI. xxxi. 

2 See pi. xxxii, representing the Cana marriage-feast just after the miracle, 
a servant offering a cup of the new wine to the ruler of the feast. This treatment 
of the subject is rare ; in the contemporary Taymouth Horae it follows a picture 
of the more familiar scene, servants filling the jars with water. See H. Y. Thomp- 
son, Catalogue, ii, p. 63. 

222 



PLATE XXXII 



mmnaumvjq 

jMDatftnmc 
iftruefumfl! 




PSALTER. ENGLISH, EARLY XIV CENT. 

BRIT. MUS., ROY. 2 B VII. 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

Queen Mary's Psalter stands alone in its dainty and 
exquisite beauty ; in point of variety and brilliance of 
decoration, however, it is rivalled, if not surpassed, by 
its contemporaries of the East Anglian school. An 
Apocalypse 1 belonging to this remarkable group was 
mentioned in the last chapter ; but its finest representa- 
tives are a set of Psalters, which take a very prominent 
place in the history of English illumination. All are 
executed with the highest degree of finish, and all 
are characterized to a great extent by the same manner- 
isms. 2 These are easier to recognize with the eye than 
to describe in words ; they may be briefly summed up, 
however, as consisting of (i) a rich and harmonious 
colour-scheme, with plentiful use of burnished and 
patterned gold ; (2) luxuriance of ornament, especially in 
the designing of frame-borders and initial -decoration, 
where plant forms, animals, and human figures are 
entwined together in an effective and distinctive manner, 
red and green ivy, vine, and oak-leaves, the last com- 
bined with acorns, being specially prominent ; (3) a 
passion for the droll and grotesque, not peculiar indeed 
to this school, but very noticeable and pronounced in it. 
This last trait suggests a connection with late thirteenth 
century Flemish art, as exemplified in Stowe 17 ; 3 and 
very likely East Anglian art did owe something to 
Flemish or North-French influence. In the main, how- 
ever, it was undoubtedly a native growth, and its half- 
century of duration (1300-50) was the brightest period in 
English illumination. 

Mr. Sydney Cockerell claims the Rutland and Tenison 
Psalters 4 as ancestors of the East Anglian school ; but no 
evidence has been adduced to connect them with it locally, 
and they have but little resemblance to it in point of style, 
apart from the use of grotesques, which is too common in 

1 Roy. 150. ii. See above, p. 217. 

2 These are well brought out in Mr. S. C. Cockerell's valuable and sump- 
tuously illustrated monograph on The Gorleston Psalter, 1907. 

3 Above, p. 205. * Noticed above, pp. 188, 190. 

223 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

late thirteenth century work to be considered a distinctive 
attribute of one particular school. It is quite otherwise 
with the Peterborough Psalter in the Royal Library at 
Brussels. 1 The contents of this splendid book prove 
beyond question that it was done for (and in all probability 
at) Peterborough ; its date has been variously put by good 
judges as circa 1250 and circa 1300, so we may safely 
assign it to the latter half of the thirteenth century. There 
is still a good deal of archaic angularity about its minia- 
tures ; but the borders contain all the elements of ornament 
noted above as characteristic of the early fourteenth century 
East Anglian school, though they lack the rich exuberance 
of fancy and the fineness of finish which make the best 
productions of the school so delightful to behold. 

Of these, one of the earliest and most interesting is 
Arundel 83 in the British Museum ; 2 a volume containing 
two incomplete manuscripts, of similar contents, age, and 
style, bound up together. The first is a Psalter, preceded 
by a Calendar and several pages of allegorical designs, 
and followed by Canticles, Litanies, Office of the Dead, 
and Hours of the Passion, the last imperfect. The second 
is a mere fragment textually, though artistically the richer 
and more beautiful of the two ; it consists of Calendar and 
allegorical designs, followed by a series of miniatures of the 
life of Christ, in compartments, and by some remarkable 
full-page miniatures. In the second Calendar, under 
November 25, Robert de Lyle has recorded his gift of 
the book to his daughters Audrey and "Alborou" in 
succession, with remainder to the nuns of Chicksand in 
Bedfordshire. His note is dated 1339, and the manu- 
script is probably some twenty or thirty years earlier; his 
family association with Mundford in Norfolk supports the 
evidence of style in favour of an East Anglian provenance. 
The arms on the first page of the other MS. seem to indi- 

1 Nos. 9961-2. For full description and reproductions, partly in colours, see 
Le Psautier de Peterborough, ed. J. van den Gheyn [1907], forming fasc. 2-3 of Le 
Musle des Enluminures. 

2 Pal. Soc., i, 99, 100; Thompson, pp. 55-8, pi. 17; Warner, Ilium. MSS., 
pi. 31, and Reprod., iii, 23-5; Cockerell, Gor lesion Psalter, pi. 20, 21. 

224 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

cate that it was made either for Sir William Howard, who 
died in 1308 and was buried at East Winch near Lynn, 
or for Alice Fitton his wife. The opening page of the 
Psalter is, as usual, the most elaborate: the " B " encloses 
a Jesse-tree, and the two columns of text are framed in a 
border resplendent with gold and colours, filled with inter- 
twining foliage-stems whose curves form panels for figures 
of Patriarchs and Prophets on both sides, a Crucifixion at 
the top, and the Evangelistic emblems at the corners. At 
the foot of the page, between text and frame, is a lively 
picture of a woodland scene, with stag and hind, rabbit, 
and a fowler crouching under a bush and luring birds with 
an owl; all carefully and admirably painted, and full of an 
animation the more vivid from its contrast with the con- 
ventionalism of the more strictly appropriate scriptural 
figures. The other divisions of the Psalter have miniature- 
initials on grounds of burnished and stippled gold, and 
borders of cusped bars and foliage-stems, supporting gro- 
tesques and decorated with ivy, oak and vine leaves; daisy- 
buds, afterwards a favourite device in English borders, 
also occur. 

The emblematic diagrams, which figure in both manu- 
scripts, are exceedingly curious : they include a seraph 
whose wings are inscribed with moral qualities, illustra- 
tions of the Creed, tables of virtues and vices, and a repre- 
sentation of the Cross as the Tree of Life. In the second 
manuscript the series is fuller, and contains a painting of 
the stages of human life in ten medallions, the first an 
infant on its mother's lap, the last a tomb; also the Three 
Living and Three Dead Kings a subject found in East 
Anglian wall-paintings of this period, 1 and very popular 
at a later date in Flemish Books of Hours. 

Of greater artistic merit, indeed of singular beauty, are 
the additional pages in Robert de Lyle's book. The life 
of Christ miniatures are in two series, by two different 

1 e.g. at Gorleston, possibly the birthplace of this very book, and at Wick- 
hampton and Belton. See Cockerell, p. 7, and G. E. Fox in the Victoria History 
of Norfolk, vol. ii, 1906, p. 547. 

15 225 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

hands : the first eighteen, arranged in compartments, six 
to a page, within cusped quatrefoils, are exquisitely painted 
in subdued tints, a soft greyish blue predominating, and 
are set on grounds of stippled gold and diapered colours 
alternately. The faces are too long for correct proportions, 
anatomy is often at fault, and the compositions are lacking 
in vigour and movement ; but with all this there is an 
indescribable charm about the pictures, the gentle, repose- 
ful faces and quiet, solemn gestures expressing well the 
reverential awe with which the artist approached his sub- 
ject. The remaining eight, separated from these by some 
pages, are in the same style, but of somewhat inferior 
workmanship. Two of the intervening pages are filled 
with large miniatures which show East Anglian painting 
at its best. One of these 1 represents the Madonna and 
Child under a canopy, against a background of gold highly 
burnished and covered with a finely stippled pattern of 
foliage scroll-work; the Child is playing with a goldfinch, 
and the Virgin's feet rest on a dragon and a lion ; in the 
spandrels are angels with censers, and on either side are 
saints in niches. The other is a Crucifixion, painted on 
a background of lozenges filled with fleurs-de-lis and 
heraldic lions ; at the foot of the cross Adam sits up in 
his tomb and holds up a chalice to catch the Redeemer's 
blood ; at the top are two angels with discs to represent 
the sun and moon, between them a pelican feeding her 
young, an emblem of the Redemption. 

We come next to two Psalters definitely associated with 
Gorleston in Suffolk, two miles south of Yarmouth ; both 
of the very highest excellence, and closely allied to the 
Arundel MS. These are MS. 171 in the Public Library 
at Douai, 2 and the book which was long famous as Lord 
Braybrooke's Psalter, but is now one of the gems in the 
collection of Mr. C. W. Dyson Perrins, who prefers to 
call it the Gorleston Psalter. 3 The Douai Psalter was 

1 PI. xxxiii. 2 New Pal. Soc., pi. 14-16; Cockerell, pi. 16-18. 

3 It forms the main subject of Mr. Cockerell's often-cited monograph, in 
which pi. 1-14 show eight full pages and a great number of marginal subjects. 

226 



PLATE XXXIII 




PSALTER. EAST ANGLIAN, EARLY XIViH CENT. 

BRIT. MUS., ARUNDEL 83 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

given, as an inscription on the fly-leaf shows, by Thomas, 
vicar of Gorleston, to a certain Abbot John ; and it 
contains two series of chronological notes, referring 
specially to the diocese of Norwich, and fixing the date 
of the book between the years 1322 and 1325. These 
same notes occur, be it observed, in a Breviary of the 
Norwich diocesan use (Brit. Mus., Stowe I2), 1 which in 
its present condition has no large miniatures, but whose 
border and initial ornaments make it an interesting, if not 
quite first-rate, example of East Anglian illumination. 
The Perrins Psalter has the Dedication of Gorleston 
Church marked in the Calendar (Mar. 8) as a " majus 
duplex" festival, and special prominence is given in the 
illuminations to S. Andrew, to whom the parish church 
at Gorleston was dedicated. Moreover, it has so marked 
a resemblance to the Douai Psalter in point of style, that 
they may both be referred without hesitation not only to 
the same locality but also to the same period and the 
same scriptorium, if not indeed to the same individual 
artists. Each of them has a magnificent Beatus vir page, 
much richer than that in the Arundel MS. : an elaborate 
Jesse-tree in the " B," the frame-border filled with figures 
of kings and scenes from the life of Christ, finely painted 
on patterned gold grounds in panels formed by intersecting 
oak or vine stems. The Perrins MS. has a hunting scene 
at the foot, corresponding to the woodland scene in Arundel 
83 ; in the Douai MS. there is instead a picture of David 
bringing the ark to Jerusalem, with all the stately pomp 
of a medieval church procession. This page is preceded 
in the Douai book by two splendid full-page miniatures, 
of the Virgin and Child and the Crucifixion; both subjects 
were probably in the Perrins book too originally, but only 
the latter remains. The Douai miniatures, like the 
Arundel Madonna, are on backgrounds of gold punctured 
with a scroll-work pattern of foliage ; a further point of 
resemblance is the goldfinch with which the Child is 
playing. The Perrins and Douai Crucifixions are so 

1 Pal. Soc., ii, 197 ; Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 32, and Reprod., ii, 14. 

227 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

much alike that Dr. James assigned them both to the 
same hand ; Mr. Cockerell, however, who had the advan- 
tage of seeing them together, thought them more probably 
the work of "two artists who worked side by side." It 
is quite clear that many hands contributed to the em- 
bellishment of these and other allied manuscripts that 
there was, in fact, an active, flourishing, and highly 
accomplished school of illuminators established at this 
time somewhere in the neighbourhood of Norwich, per- 
haps at Gorleston. The Franciscans and the Austin 
Friars had houses at the latter place, but we have no 
grounds for attributing these books to either of those 
orders, or even to clerics at all, religious or secular ; at 
this period it seems more likely, as Mr. Cockerell says, 
that " the best of the artists were laymen, who contracted 
for given pieces of work, and moved from place to place, 
at the beck and call of various patrons." 

We must not leave the Perrins Psalter without a word 
as to the small marginal figures and the still smaller ones 
in the line-endings, which for variety, humour, and vivacity 
are unrivalled among the productions of this the best 
period of the school. Practically the whole range of 
human activities, as known to the artists, is represented : 
ecclesiastics, warriors, hunters, musicians, blacksmiths, 
etc., practising their respective callings. But it is in 
whimsical caricature above all that the illustrators de- 
lighted, giving free play to an absolutely riotous fancy : 
foxes masquerading as bishops, rabbits conducting a 
solemn procession, apes hunting on horseback or driving 
a team of plough-oxen, and such-like drolleries. Gro- 
tesque and monstrous forms of all kinds abound, of 
course, and scenes of animal life are often depicted with 
great spirit. 

The Ormesby Psalter at Oxford 1 belongs to the same 
group ; a gift to Norwich Priory by one of the monks, 
Robert of Ormesby, a village about six miles north of 

1 Douce 366. See H. Shaw, Ilium. Ornaments, 1833, No. 9 ; Cockerell, pi. 19; 
Michel, Hist, de FAr/, ii, pt. i, pi. iv. 

228 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

Gorleston. Except for a few pages, it is much less richly 
decorated than the Perrins MS. ; but those few pages are 
superb, especially the Beatus vir, in which the illumina- 
tion covers the whole page, kneeling portraits of a monk 
(doubtless Robert of Ormesby himself) and bishop having 
been painted in on square panels over the few lines of 
text which were originally there. The plant-forms in the 
borders are exceptionally light and varied, cornflowers, 
bluebells, and other flowers appearing as well as the usual 
oak and ivy leaves. 

Slightly later, perhaps, and representing East Anglian 
work at its greatest height of technical perfection, is the 
Psalter in Mr. Yates Thompson's collection, 1 begun for a 
member of the St. Omer family, of Mulbarton in Norfolk, 
but left unfinished by the fourteenth century illuminators, 
and completed about the beginning of the fifteenth cen- 
tury. Its Beatus vir page is indeed the ne plus ultra of 
this particular style of illumination, combining a rich, 
yet spacious and not overladen scheme of decoration with 
minute and exquisite delicacy in the spirited little figure- 
compositions, and with the utmost fertility in invention ; 
the plant-forms are as varied as in the Ormesby Psalter, 
and bears, unicorns, stags, birds of all kinds, and tiny 
human figures are perched here and there on the stems, 
quite irrelevantly and yet with a perfect decorative fitness. 

The Louterell Psalter 2 in the Lulworth Castle Library, 
made for Sir Geoffrey Louterell, of Irnham in Lincoln- 
shire, about 1340, shows the East Anglian style already 
beginning to decay. It has historiated initials of a hard, 
brightly coloured, expressionless type ; but its chief 
decoration is the marginal ornament, which is amazing 
in its mass, variety, and incoherence. Regardless of all 
sense of proportion or congruity, the illuminators have 
covered the margins with a mixture of studies of con- 
temporary life, fabliaux, and gigantic, sometimes quaint, 

1 No. 58, described by Sir G. Warner in the Catalogue ', ii, pp. 74-82. See too 
H. Y. Thompson, Facsimiles from a Psalter , 1900, and Lecture on some Eng. 
Ilium. MSS., 1902, pp. 23-5, pi. 31-6 ; Cockerell, pi. 15. 

* New Pal. Soc., pi. 41-3. 

229 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

but often merely hideous, grotesques. Many of the 
subjects, taken apart from their surroundings, are charm- 
ing, ingenious, full of vivacity : such are the delightful 
series of scenes in a medieval kitchen, with pots boiling, 
and game on a spit before an open fire, tended by lightly 
clad and heated cooks ; the Castle of Love, defended by 
ladies who throw roses from the battlements ; the picture 
of Constantinople as a walled city ; the ladies in a long, 
covered travelling-coach drawn by five horses; the portrait 
of Sir Geoffrey Louterell on horseback, taking leave of 
his wife and daughter-in-law, who hand up to him his 
helmet, shield, and lance. In fact, to the antiquary the 
book is a perfect treasure-house, though the beauty-lover 
must deplore its crude, ill-assorted designs and its garish, 
bizarre colouring. 

About the middle of the century the East Anglian 
school, already decadent, seems to have died out as 
suddenly as it had sprung up ; perhaps through the 
ravages of the Black Death, which devastated England 
in 1348-9, visiting Norfolk with especial severity. What- 
ever the cause, there is a great dearth of good English 
work from the middle until very near the end of the 
fourteenth century. During the greater part of the cen- 
tury, indeed, apart from the East Anglian group, Queen 
Mary's Psalter, and a few other choice books of the same 
period, English illumination is not so much beautiful as 
valuable and interesting for the wealth, vigour, and 
expressiveness of its illustrations of folk-lore, popular 
legend (sacred or profane), and contemporary life. In 
this category come such books as Roy. 10 E. iv, a copy 
of the Decretals of Gregory IX, written in Italy but 
illuminated in England, perhaps by the canons of 
S. Bartholomew's, Smithfield ; its lower margins filled 
with rough but very lively and diverting coloured draw- 
ings, forming a vast medley of Bible-history and hagio- 
graphy jostling up against less edifying literature, 
intermingled with fables, allegories, and sketches from 
everyday life distracting, if not uninstructive, to the 
230 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

student of Canon law. 1 Here too we must class the 
Taymouth Horae in Mr. Yates Thompson's collection, 2 
with its delicious pictures of the sportswoman's exploits ; 
the Carew-Poyntz Horae in the Fitzwilliam Museum at 
Cambridge, 3 with its long series of illustrations of the 
Mary-legends ; and a Horae in the British Museum, 4 less 
copiously and much less finely illuminated than these, 
but interesting because of its unusual choice of subjects. 
Even the Psalter of Queen Philippa, 5 executed apparently 
between 1328 and 1340, graceful as its bordered pages 
are with their light sprays of foliage, is not of first-rate 
importance artistically ; moreover, both the borders and 
the miniature-initials, with their backgrounds covered 
with gilt scroll-work, show strong traces of French in- 
fluence, and cannot be regarded as characteristic English 
work of the time. 

The progressive deterioration that went on during the 
latter half of the fourteenth century may be seen in such 
manuscripts as the Missal 6 of Nicholas Lytlington, Abbot 
of Westminster (1362-86), still preserved in Westminster 
Abbey, or the huge Wydiffite Bible 7 made for Thomas 
of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester (d. 1397). The typical 
border has now become a framework of narrow rigid bars, 
sometimes broken midway and replaced by a sort of 
festoon of close-set foliage, but mostly diversified only 
by leafy bosses at the corners (a curious reversion to the 
tenth century Winchester style, as Sir G. Warner has re- 
marked) and by short-stalked leaves or buds (usually in 
pairs or threes) and sprays of foliage thrown out at 
intervals. The total effect is heavy and dull, despite the 
plenteous use of gold. 

1 For a full list of subjects, etc., see the new Catalogue of the Royal MSS. 

- No. 57. See Cat., ii, pp. 50-74, and Lecture on some Eng. Ilium. MSS., 
pp. 20-3, pi. 14-3- 

1 No. 48. See M. R. James, Cat. of Fitzwilliam MSS., 1895, pp. 100-20. 

4 Eg. 2781. See Warner, Reprod.,\\, 15; Titus and Vespasian, Roxburghe 
Club, 1905 (two coloured plates.) 5 Harl. 2899. See Warner, Reprod., i, 14. 

6 Missale ad usum EccL Westmonast., ed. J. Wickham Legg, Hen. Bradshaw 
Soc., 1891-7. 

7 Eg. 617-18. See Pal. Soc., i, 171 ; Kenyon, Biblical MSS., pi. 24. 

231 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Just before the end of the century, however, a new 
spirit was infused into English illumination, and the art 
revived and flourished for a short time in a style quite 
unlike that of the preceding period. This happy result 
is generally ascribed to the influence of Rhenish or 
Bohemian painters coming into the country with Anne of 
Bohemia, who married Richard II in 1382; a theory 
which is confirmed by Sir G. Warner's recent discovery l of 
Low-German inscriptions among the illuminations of one 
of the earliest and most splendid examples of this new 
style, the great Bible of Richard II. The work of the 
new school is characterized especially by great softness in 
the treatment of the face, the use of the pencil or pen 
being discarded in favour of pure brush-work ; by a rich, 
warm, and harmonious colour-scheme (sadly wanting in 
the immediately preceding age) ; by the skilful use of 
architectural ornament ; and by the introduction of new 
forms of foliage, in particular of light and feathery sprays 
putting forth curious spoon-shaped leaves and bell or 
trumpet-shaped flowers frankly conventional, but pro- 
ducing a very decorative and pleasing effect. Another 
characteristic device is a white scroll with sinuated edges, 
resembling an elongated oak-leaf, which is wrapped 
festoon-wise round the upright shafts of pillars or initials. 

The great Bible 2 just mentioned, a volume of enormous 
size, is supposed in default of evidence to have been made 
for the Royal Chapel ; it is evidently of the time of 
Richard II, or Henry IV at latest, and its bulk and 
magnificence certainly suggest a royal patron. Every 
book has a large miniature-initial and full border, and the 
prologues have initials of equal size, either filled with 
scrolls of foliage or else enclosing pictures of S. Jerome 
at work among his books. The main characteristics of 
the decoration are those of the school in general, and it 
only remains to say a word about the treatment of land- 

1 See his description of Roy. i E. ix in the new Cat, of Royal MSS. 

2 Roy. i E. ix. See Thompson, Eng. Ilium. MSS., pp. 58-61, pi. 18, 19; 
Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 41-2, and Refrod., iii, 27. 

232 



~ p*.^: ~J$<JK. 
r fc& ^ 




PLATE XXXIV 




CUTTINGS FROM A MISSAL. ENGLISH, LATE XIVxH CENT. 
BRIT. MUS. Ann. 29704 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

scape in the miniatures. This is now beginning tenta- 
tively to approach naturalism, so far as the ground on 
which the personages stand is concerned ; but where sky 
should be, we still have gilded, tapestried or checkered 
backgrounds. 

Another splendid work of the same school is a great 
Missal, of which nothing remains except a number of 
initials and border ornaments cut out by some former 
owner, and now filling two large volumes in the British 
Museum. 1 When complete the book must have been 
as stately as the Bible which it resembles so closely. 
Many of the initials are filled with foliate decoration ; but 
there are also several which contain finely painted minia- 
tures of the lives of saints, liturgical ceremonies, and 
other subjects more or less germane to the text. 2 In one 
of them a portrait of Richard II has been recognized ; so 
it seems not unlikely that this book and the Bible were 
both made for him. Be that as it may, they are certainly 
magnificent specimens of the last period when illumina- 
tion in this country approached greatness. 

More gorgeous still is the gigantic Sherborne Missal 3 
in the Duke of Northumberland's collection ; of special 
interest, too, from the data which it supplies as to the 
circumstances of its production. Portraits of Richard 
Mitford, Bishop of Salisbury 1396-1407, and Robert 
Bruynyng, Abbot of Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, 1386- 
1415, recur in conjunction on page after page, proclaiming 
them the joint patrons of the book, and thus fixing its 
date within the limits of Mitford's episcopate. Nor is 
this all : more frequent still are the smaller figures of the 
scribe, John Whas, a Benedictine monk (doubtless of 
Sherborne Abbey), and the artist John Siferwas, a 
Dominican friar. The latter, one of the few illuminators 
whose names have come down to us in definite association 

1 Add. 29704-5. See Warner, Reprod.^ i, 16. 

2 PI. xxxiv shows S. Giles in one initial, a baptism in another. 

3 Described by Sir E. M. Thompson in the Proceedings of the Society of 
Antiquaries, xvi, 1896, pp. 226-30. Photographs of four pages are in the British 
Museum, MS. Facs. 64 (r). 

233 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

with particular works, also appears on the frontispiece of 
a Lectionary 1 in the British Museum, giving the volume 
to John, Lord Lovel (d. 1408), who had ordered it as an 
offering to Salisbury Cathedral. This book, now unfor- 
tunately in a very incomplete state, has decorations of a 
similar style to those in the Sherborne Missal, but far 
inferior in richness and variety. In both cases it is 
evident that Siferwas was the chief artist who planned 
and supervised the decoration, not the actual painter of 
the whole. It is not easy to do justice to the Sherborne 
Missal. Besides a great wealth of initial and border 
decoration, carefully executed in a style similar to that 
of Richard U's Bible and Missal, it has the margins en- 
riched with scenes from Scripture, hagiography, and eccle- 
siastical history, and with many other subjects, including 
a delightful series of birds inscribed with their English 
names. Architectural canopies are frequently introduced ; 
these are mostly of a highly ornate character, and greatly 
enhance the splendour of the pages. 

The same manner appears again, though on a much 
more modest scale, in a charming miniature of the 
Annunciation contained in a Book of Hours in the British 
Museum. 2 The volume, which was executed about the 
end of the fourteenth century, presumably for a member 
of the Grandison family, is decorated throughout in the 
somewhat heavy, uninteresting style of what might be 
called the " unreformed " English illuminators of the 
time. But this frontispiece is plainly the work of an 
artist trained in the school which inspired John Siferwas. 
The colouring is soft and pleasing ; especially gracious 
and charming are the cloaked figures of the patron and 
his wife who kneel in prayer on either side at the foot of 
the page. Mary and the angel are enclosed in an elabor- 
ately canopied tabernacle, from the sides and pedestal 
of which light sprays of foliage issue with delightful 
incongruity. 

1 Harl. 7026. See Warner, Reprod., ii, 16. 

2 Roy. 2 A. xviii. See Thompson, pp. 61-4, pi. 20; Warner, Reprod., i, 15. 

234 



ENGLISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

This remarkable school left a permanent influence on 
English border-decoration, giving it a lightness of con- 
struction and variety of detail which it had needed sadly, 
and of which it retained some traces long after all other 
elements of good illuminative art had disappeared. In 
other respects the influence was shortlived. The first 
quarter of the fifteenth century saw the produc- 
tion of a few really fine manuscripts, foremost among 
which stands the admirable Horae of " Elysabeth the 
Quene" in Mr. Yates Thompson's collection. 1 But on 
the whole the art of illumination was on the down grade. 
Henry V's successful invasion of France introduced a 
taste for French illumination, then at its prime ; and 
most of the fifteenth century Horae and other decorated 
books done for wealthy English patrons were the work 
of French artists or of mere copyists who imitated the 
foreign methods as best they could. Under Edward IV 
this fashion gave way to a similar enthusiasm for 
Flemish painting, and native art decayed and perished 
for lack of encouragement. The manuscripts of distinc- 
tively English character are chiefly interesting as illustra- 
tions of costume, like the famous Lydgate's Life of 
S. Edmund (Harl. 2278) presented to Henry VI in 
X 433; r as evincing a genuine depth of mystical 
devotion, like the Cottonian " Desert of Religion " 
(Faust. B. vi, pt. ii) ; rather than through their intrinsic 
merits as works of art. 

1 No. 59. See Cat. t ii, pp. 83-9, Lecture, pp. 26-7, pi. 38-42 ; Pal. Soc., ii, 37. 



235 



CHAPTER XIV 

FRENCH ILLUMINATION IN THE FOURTEENTH 

CENTURY 

THE fourteenth century, in England so full of prom- 
ise at the outset and so disappointing later on, 
was in France a period of steady advance, if not 
from good to better for better of its kind than the Sainte 
Abbaye could scarcely be at any rate from one good 
style to another. In the history of Western European 
miniature the year 1300 is a magical epoch, and marks 
the zenith of the early Gothic manner. But whilst the 
English painters after a few glorious decades fell away 
from their state of grace, their French fellow-craftsmen 
went on from strength to strength : preserving the excellent 
tradition they had inherited, yet continually vitalizing and 
developing it by the rejection of worn-out conventions and 
the introduction of new ideas, and progressing steadily 
towards a more perfect mastery of technique. This 
applies, of course, only to the best work of the century. 
It was an age of great activity in the production of 
illuminated manuscripts, good, bad, or indifferent ; but 
we are not concerned here with the last two classes. 

Researches among archives have revealed to us the 
names of many French illuminators (and of one " enlumi- 
neresse " at least) who worked in the fourteenth century. 1 
But these discoveries, interesting as they are, are mostly 
tantalizing rather than informing ; for while the painter's 
name and address are often recorded with the utmost pre- 
cision, his actual work is rarely mentioned at all, still 
more rarely in such a way as to lead to its identification. 

1 See H. Martin, Les Miniaturistes Franfais, 1906, pp. 49-75, and Les 
Feintres de MSS. et la Miniature en France [1909], pp. 35-72. 

236 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, 14x11 CENT. 

One or two names, however, stand out with such promi- 
nence that we are justified in regarding their owners 
as the leading illuminators of their respective times, 
though we need not therefore assume that they are to 
be credited personally, or even through their immediate 
pupils, with any and every piece of fine work that has sur- 
vived from those times. Foremost among these are Jean 
Pucelle in the second quarter of the century, and Andre 
Beauneveu and Jacquemart de Hesdin at its close, each 
of whom has come to be definitely associated, on more or 
less secure foundation of actual evidence, with a well- 
marked distinctive style. 

Of the miniaturists settled in Paris about the year 
1300 the one esteemed most highly seems to have been 
Honore, to whom the Breviary of Philippe le Bel (Bibl. 
Nat., lat. IO23), 1 executed in 1296, may probably be attri- 
buted. His son-in-law, Richard de Verdun, had been 
associated with him in 1292, and seems to have succeeded 
to his atelier by 1318, in which year Richard occurs as 
a painter of antiphoners for the Sainte Chapelle. One 
is strongly tempted to see more than a mere coincidence 
of local names between the latter artist and Mr. Yates 
Thompson's Verdun Breviary, 2 which, like its companion 
the Metz Pontifical in the same collection, 3 forms one of 
the most beautiful extant memorials of French early 
fourteenth century illumination. Of the two, which are 
plainly by the same hand, the Breviary is slightly the 
earlier, having been made for Marguerite de Bar, Abbess 
of S. Maur, at Verdun, 1291-1304 ; the Pontifical was 
made for her brother Renaud or Reinhold, Bishop of 
Metz 1302-16, probably towards the end of his episco- 
pate, the last few miniatures in the book being more or 

1 Delisle, Douze livres royaux, No. vii. 

2 No. 31. See Cat., i, pp. 142-78; H. Y. Thompson, Illustrations of 100 
MSS., vol. i, 1907, pi. 10. It is the first volume only, the second being in the 
Public Library at Verdun (No. 107). 

3 Formerly in the possession of Sir Thomas Brooke, who bequeathed it to his 
brother-collector. It was edited by the Rev. E. S. Dewick, and its illuminations 
reproduced (four in gold and colours), for theRoxburghe Club in 1902. 

237 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

less unfinished, as though his death had interrupted its 
completion. Both books are copiously and beautifully 
decorated with historiated initials and with borders of 
a restrained and particularly pleasing type, consisting 
of slender cusped bars ending in foliage-stems, or some- 
times in little human heads or grotesque forms, and 
supporting an immense variety of single figures or 
groups. These last are of the diverting character so dear 
to miniaturists at this period ; inferior to none of their 
contemporaries in humour and invention, they far surpass 
most of them in the exquisite neatness of their execution 
and in the fine taste and sense of proportion with which 
they are fitted into the decorative scheme. The Pontifical 
is further enriched with a splendid series of half-page 
miniatures, which illustrate the text by representing with 
the minutest accuracy many of the rites and ceremonies 
in which a bishop is required to take the leading part. 
In the first nineteen pictures, for instance, the successive 
acts in the dedication of a church are shown in full 
detail : watching the relics in a tent the night before ; 
the bishop knocking at the church-door and demanding 
admittance, tracing the Greek and Latin alphabets with 
his crosier on the floor of the nave, 1 etc. The delicately 
drawn figures stand out well against the diapered back- 
grounds ; they still have the almost ascetic slenderness 
of early Gothic art, but its austere rigidity has now given 
place to a curious and distinctive sway of the body, not 
ungraceful, though somewhat artificial and suggestive of 
sentimentality. The faces, placid, smooth, and rounded, 
are of refined types, and are drawn with extraordinary 
delicacy. 

In 1295 the Historia Scholastica of Petrus Comestor 
was translated into French by Guiart des Moulins, Canon 
of Aire in Artois ; and this vernacular paraphrase of the 
Scriptures, known as the " Bible historiale," was in France 
almost as popular throughout the fourteenth century as 
the Vulgate had been in the thirteenth. One of the 

1 PI. XXXV. 

238 



PLATE XXXV 



quam mmtmDiis rit lotus tftr 



ur re noil dt liir alurt uifi lomu? 

'i t fc' ' I i 



ittus oife 
tRia jKt.aqrtnitti.tt 




METZ PONTIFICAL, 1302-16 

LIBRARY OF SIR T. BROOKE, BART. 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, 14x11 CENT. 

earliest extant copies, written at Paris in 1317 by Jean 
de Papeleu, is now in the Arsenal Library (No. 5059).* 
Besides a frontispiece, representing Christ surrounded 
by angels, it has 176 illustrative miniatures on gold 
or diapered grounds. Good as these are, especially in 
depicting facial expression, they are not to be compared 
for delicate beauty with the paintings in the two manu- 
scripts just mentioned ; they are interesting, however, 
as typical of a very large class, 2 and also because of the 
preliminary sketches still visible in the margins opposite 
many of them. M. Martin has made a special study of 
such sketches, which occur in several other manuscripts, 
e.g. in Roy. 18 D. viii, a French Bible of about the same 
period ; he sees in them the hand of the chef d atelier, 
giving a rough working model for the assistant who 
paints the actual finished miniature a theory which has 
much plausibility, especially in the case of works turned 
out in such numbers and with such virtual uniformity 
as these illustrated Bible-histories. 

Another noteworthy Parisian production of the year 
1317 is the Life of S. Denis, in Latin and French, com- 
posed by Yves, a monk of the famous abbey dedicated to 
that saint, and presented by the abbot to King Philip V. 
The manuscript, now in the Bibliotheque Nationale (fr. 
2090-2), contains seventy-seven miniatures 3 (all but three 
full-page) of the lives and martyrdoms of S. Denis and his 
companions. These are all finely executed, on diapered 
or tapestried grounds, and were doubtless painted, not by 
a monk of S. Denis, but by one or more of the skilful lay 
" enlumineurs " of whom, as we have seen, there was an 
abundant supply in Paris at this time. There is a touch of 

1 Martin, Peinires, p. 58, fig. 12, Miniaturistes, p. 113, and Cat, des MSS. de 
la Bibl. de P Arsenal, v, 1889, P- 2 9- 

2 A good, though hardly quite first-rate, representative is the well-known 
"Poitiers Bible" in the British Museum (Roy. 19 D. ii), so called because it was 
captured with its owner, John II, at the battle of Poitiers in 1356. 

3 Published in facsimile, with four more pages showing the initial and border 
decoration, by the Soc. de 1'hist. de Paris, Lcgetide de Saint Denis, ed. H. Martin, 
1908. See too New Pal. Soc., pi. 88-90. 

239 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

traditional formality in the purely hagiographical scenes ; 
but the foregrounds are enlivened with a delightful series 
of pictures of everyday street and riverside life in the 
French capital, full of animation and assuredly a faithful 
representation of incidents witnessed daily by the artist : 
men bathing from boats, or fishing with rod or net; boats 
laden with merchandise, being towed along or unloaded ; 
the streets above thronged with passers-by, on horse or 
foot, intent on pleasure or business all depicted with a 
genial realism not commonly associated with the four- 
teenth century. 

The name of Jean Pucelle first appears in 1319-24, in 
the accounts of a Paris confraternity, for whom he designed 
a seal. As a miniaturist, he can only be given three books 
with anything like certainty, viz. a Bible, completed in 
1327, and now in the Bibliotheque Nationale (lat. 11935); 
the Belleville Breviary, also in the Bibl. Nat. (lat. 10483-4), 
which must have been finished before 1343; and a little 
book of Hours, 1 in Baroness Adolphe de Rothschild's 
collection, which M. Delisle has identified with the "Heures 
de Pucelle " mentioned in the inventories of the Due de 
Berry's library. This last is perhaps, as M. Martin con- 
jectures, the same book as the " bien petit livret d'oroisons 
. . . que Pucelle enlumina," between 1325 and 1328, for 
Charles IV to give his third wife Jeanne d'Evreux, who 
bequeathed it in 1370 to Charles V. At any rate, the fact 
that he received so important a commission proves his 
eminence among the miniaturists of his day; and the 
commemoration of his name more than forty years after- 
wards in Queen Jeanne's will, and still later in the Due 
de Berry's inventories, is a very exceptional tribute to his 
reputation. 

The Bible 2 of 1327 is very neatly written by a scribe 
named Robert de Billyng, and beautifully decorated with 



1 Delisle, 12 livres roy., pp. 67-75, and Les Heures dites de Jean Pucelle, 
reproducing the miniatures. 

2 See Martin, Miniaturistes, fig. 9 ; Delisle, 12 livres roy., pi. 14; Exposition 
des Primitifs Francis, 1904, MSS., No. 23. 

240 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, 14 CENT. 

pen-tracery in blue and red. Of illumination proper, how- 
ever, it has but little, excellent and tasteful though that 
little is ; and it owes its celebrity largely to the colophon, 
which not only gives the date of completion, but also 
states that Jehan Pucelle, Anciau de Cens, and Jaquet 
Maci "hont enlumine' ce livre ci." The Belleville Brev- 
iary 1 contains some memoranda which seem to indicate 
that Pucelle was the chef d 'atelier commissioned to exe- 
cute the book, and that he employed Mahiet, Ancelet, and 
J. Chevrier to assist him as copyists or illuminators. 
Mahiet and Ancelet are perhaps variants of the names 
of his former collaborators Maci and Anciau ; and it may 
be conjectured that their work consisted mainly of pen- 
work and other minor decoration, and that the finest 
miniatures were painted by Pucelle himself. At any rate, 
it is convenient, and need not be misleading, to give the 
name of "school of Pucelle " to the mid-fourteenth century 
style which is so admirably exemplified in the Belleville 
Breviary. This beautiful book has seventy-six small 
miniatures, not enclosed in the initials but set in the 
column immediately above them (a method which was 
now beginning to supplant the historiated initial), of the 
full width of the column of text and about one-third of its 
height ; painted with exquisite minuteness and delicacy, 
the figures more softly rounded, the draperies more skil- 
fully modelled by means of gradations of colour, than in 
the Metz Pontifical and its contemporaries. The border- 
frame is still slightly attached to the initial and miniature, 
but tends to become an entirely independent piece of orna- 
ment. It consists of narrow bars, cusped and knotted at 
the angles, surrounding the text on both sides and at the 
bottom ; single leaves and sprays shoot out at intervals, 
and at the top the bars branch out into foliage- stems 
which nearly meet and complete the frame. Human 
figures, birds, insects, dragons, and grotesques are dis- 
persed among the foliage, or used as terminals ; they are 

1 Martin, Miniaturistes, fig. 10, Peintres, fig. 14, 15 ; Delisle, 12 livres roy., 
pp. 8 1-8, pi. 15-17. 

16 241 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

less freely employed, however, than in the earlier style, 
and the French border tends to rely more and more on 
graceful and symmetrical arrangements of conventional 
foliage, rather than on organic forms, for its effect. In 
the details of the foliage too there is little striving after 
either naturalism or variety, both so characteristic of con- 
temporary English work ; the three-lobed conventional 
"ivy-leaf" is used almost exclusively. 

In the lower margins of several pages, between the 
text and the framing bar, are exquisite little scenes from 
Bible-history and allegorical representations of virtues 
and of the mysteries of the Church. The main idea in 
these, a contrast between the Old and New Dispensations, 
is treated more systematically in the Calendar-illustrations, 
which form an exceedingly interesting feature of the 
manuscript. Only the two pages for November and 
December remain, unfortunately ; but the artist's meaning 
is set forth in an elaborate " exposition des ymages " at 
the beginning of the book, and the whole of this very 
curious series of subjects is preserved in a small group of 
contemporary and later manuscripts. One of the earliest 
of these is a beautiful Book of Hours, made about 
1336.48 for Jeanne II, Queen of Navarre, daughter of 
Louis X of France ; it is now in the collection of Mr. 
Yates Thompson, 1 who has reproduced its miniatures, 
together with the November page from the Belleville 
Breviary and two later manuscripts, the Duke of Berry's 
"Petites Heures" and "Grandes Heures." The same 
collector also possesses another member of the group in 
a Book of Hours made for Jeanne's daughter-in-law, 
Yolande de Flandre, about 1353.* Like the Belleville 
Breviary, these two Books of Hours are among the 
choicest surviving specimens of Parisian illumination of 

1 Hours of Joan If, Queen of Navarre, Roxburghe Club, 1899. Fully 
described as No. 75 in the Catalogue, ii, pp. 151-183, with the text of the Belle- 
ville "exposition" on pp. 365-8. See too PaL Soc., ii, 36; Burl. F.A. Club, 
No. 130, pi. 87. 

2 Hours of Yolande of Flanders, ed. S. C. Cockerell, 1905, with photogravure 
illustrations. 

242 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, 14 CENT. 



the time; and both might be classed in the Pucelle school 
on general grounds of style, even without their remark- 
able agreement in the Calendar-designs. 

The originator of this series, who may well have been 
Jean Pucelle himself, would seem to have aimed at 
proving that a high degree of artistic taste and skill was 
not incompatible with a love for theological symbolism ; 
and he has achieved this so completely that his verbal 
explanations are, to say the least, a welcome adjunct to 
his designs. Each month is identified with one of the 
twelve apostles, with one of the twelve articles of the 
Creed, and with S. Paul's conversion or one of his 
Epistles ; the whole year also symbolizes the gradual 
destruction of the Old Dispensation. At the top of each 
page is a battlemented gate, one of " les xij portes de 
Jerusalem de Paradis." From its battlements the Virgin 
Mary, " par quoi nous fu la porte ouverte," waves a 
banner emblazoned with a device illustrating one of the 
articles of the Creed. Below her is S. Paul, in January 
crouching beneath the Hand of God, " comment il fu ravi 
et apeleY' in the other months preaching to attentive 
groups of Romans, Corinthians, etc. An arch springs 
from the right-hand side of the gateway, bearing the sun 
in a position which marks its meridian altitude for the 
successive months ; below is the zodiacal sign, with a 
landscape sketch suggestive of the season (bare trunks 
and frost-bound earth in January, rain in February, bud- 
ding shoots in March, and so on). At the foot of the 
page is a building, the Synagogue of the Old Testament, 
from which a prophet removes a stone, symbolizing a 
prophecy, and gives it to an apostle ; in the latter' s hands 
it turns into a scroll, inscribed with an article of the 
Creed corresponding with the device on the Virgin's 
banner. Thus the Synagogue, complete in January, 
crumbles away as the year advances, till in December it 
falls to the ground in ruins. The series apparently ended 
with a full-page design, in which the apostles are shown 
building the Church out of the spoils of the Synagogue ; 

243 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

but this is no longer extant in the Belleville Breviary or 
the Yates Thompson MSS. 

The Hours of Jeanne de Navarre also contain sixty- 
eight half-page miniatures and thirty-seven historiated 
initials, besides border and minor initial decoration on 
almost every page. The miniatures have the inevitable 
fourteenth century backgrounds of diaper, checker-work, 
or colour brocaded with gold scroll-work, and are nearly 
all enclosed in cusped quatrefoils within square frames of 
gold and colours. They are not all of equal fineness, but 
the best are unmistakably the work of a great artist. The 
soft, well-modelled figures are of a charming type, the 
colouring is light, bright, and delicate. One of the most 
interesting features of the book is the series of miniatures 
accompanying the Hours of S. Louis, an ancestor of 
Jeanne through both her parents, and therefore doubtless 
an object of her special devotion. Various scenes in the 
saint's life are depicted : his instruction as a child, under 
the watchful eye of his mother Blanche of Castile j 1 his 
journey to Rheims to be crowned ; and so on, till we see 
him taking the cross on what was thought to be his 
death-bed. 2 Of the historiated initials, none is more 
charming than the first, in which Queen Jeanne kneels 
with a Prayer-book open before her, below a large minia- 
ture of the Trinity. The borders are mostly of the regu- 
lation bar-and-ivy-leaf type, but birds, butterflies, and 
other figures occur in a few of the margins : around the 
Coronation of the Virgin, for instance, are delightful 
half-length figures of angels playing musical instru- 
ments, with Queen Jeanne kneeling on a leaf; equally 
fascinating in a different way is the quaint group of 
peasants dancing to a bagpipe, on the Angel and 
Shepherds page. 

The miniatures in the Hours of Yolande of Flanders 
have lost most of their colour through a Thames flood, 

1 PI. xxxvi. 

2 It is noteworthy that the Hours of S. Louis are also contained in Baroness 
A. de Rothschild's " Heures de Pucelle." 

244 



PLATE XXXVI 



g)rtunc labra mm ft|rne8< 

^maunanmnma 




HORAE OF JEANNE DK NAVARRE. FRENCH, CIRCA \330-40 

LIBRARY OF H. Y. THOMPSON ESQ. 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, HTH CENT. 

but the exquisite beauty of their design is still per- 
ceptible. Apart from its intrinsic merit, this book is 
interesting as an additional link between the Belleville 
Breviary and the Hours of Jeanne de Navarre, on the 
one hand, and the Rothschild " Heures de Pucelle " on 
the other. Allied to the first two through its Calendar- 
pictures, it has an equally rare feature in common with 
the third, viz. a double illustration of the Hours of the 
Virgin, each of the usual joyful subjects being contrasted 
with a scene from the Passion. This arrangement has 
already been noted in chapter xi, as occurring in the 
Nuremberg Hours ; it is, however, very unusual. 

The style which these manuscripts represent in its 
greatest perfection was followed, with more or less 
success, by French illuminators generally till well on in 
the latter half of the century. A good example of its 
application on a large scale may be seen in Roy. 17 E. vii, 1 
a copy of the Bible Historiale written in 1357, and con- 
taining two half-page miniatures with full borders (one at 
the beginning of each volume) and eighty-seven smaller 
ones. In the main outlines of design this manuscript 
follows what we may call the Pucelle tradition ; but it 
also exemplifies the vitality and continual growth which 
characterized French art all through the century, for 
already a change in technique has begun to show itself. 
The figures are no longer painted in full body-colour like 
the rest of the miniature, but are in grisaille or cama'ieu- 
gris, a method of painting in monochrome, usually on a 
patterned or coloured ground, which soon became very 
popular with French miniaturists ; and rightly so, for 
grisaille painting at its best is wonderfully effective, 
having all the combined sharpness and delicacy of cameo. 
The figures, very faintly shaded and modelled in a cold 
grey, seem as though moulded or carved in relief; and 
their pale, semi-lucent quality is enhanced by the 
splendidly brocaded and tessellated grounds of gold and 
bright colours against which they stand out. In the 

1 New Pal. Soc., pi. 169. 

245 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Breviary of Jeanne d'Evreux, at Chantilly, 1 we see the 
method employed on a minute scale. This little book, 
made about the middle of the century for Jeanne d'Evreux, 
widow (1328-70) of King Charles IV, contains 114 minia- 
tures, in which the draperies are sometimes fully coloured, 
but the small, slender figures are delicately painted in 
grisaille on diapered, trellised or damasked backgrounds. 
Of somewhat later date, probably about 1370-80, are the 
two great volumes of S. Augustine's De Civitate Dei in 
the British Museum ; 2 and they show a corresponding 
improvement in technique. The fine modelling of the 
grisaille figures, whether in the miniatures or disposed 
among the bars and foliage of the borders (as in vol i, f. 3), 
leaves little to be desired by the most exacting critic ; and 
a perfect harmony is established between the figures and 
their setting, through the restraint observed in the 
patterned backgrounds, which are often over-emphasized 
in inferior work of the time, marring the effect of the 
compositions. A noteworthy advance is to be seen here, 
too, in the handling of landscape. This is still in a 
rudimentary condition : the picture is still set, as it were, 
against a screen covered with conventional patterns, and 
no attempt is made to represent the sky or distant effects. 
But the foreground is painted with great care, and with 
a serious effort in the direction of naturalism ; especially 
in the Creation-scenes at the beginning of vol. ii. 3 
Another good example of the grisaille work of this 
period may be seen in the Missal of S. Denis Abbey, 
now in the Victoria and Albert Museum at South Ken- 
sington. It has no large miniatures, the leaf before the 
Canon having been cut out ; but this lack is atoned for by 
the exquisite loveliness of the small, delicately shaded 
figures in the lower margins and in the numerous histori- 

1 See the Chantilly Catalogue, i, pp. 48-51, pi. 4 J Delisle, 12 livres ray., 
pp. 65-6, pi. 19, 20. 

2 Add. 15244-5. See Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 37, Reprod., ii, 23, iii, 26 ; 
also Count A. de Laborde's monumental and sumptuously illustrated Les MSS. a 
pcintures de la Cite de Dieu de St. Augustin, Soc. des Bibliophiles frangais, 1909. 

3 PI. xxxvii. 

246 



PLATE XXXVII 









' X X X 












g 

fcapaitr opens fliiADua t 
uunnmmmi&ffrcrtrftiscr 
mtau minat fines mnpiiir 
fttmonflum.capmiiu. i 

"iwrattm >n 
minus m 
mstafrap^ 

qucnofe, y 

5 



i'aiuinou 

fed piaitcfuiiK Dtfpofta 
one pioutdamt fui> ifs 
omnttt gtncui utmasol 



S. AUGUSTINE DE CIVITATE DEI. FRENCH, LATE XIV CENT. 

KRIT. MUS. ADD. 15245 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, HTH CENT. 

ated initials. The borders are of the usual ivy-leaf 
type, with well-drawn birds, butterflies, and grotesques 
in faintly tinted outline. 

The history of French illumination in the fourteenth 
century is largely a catalogue of the library of John, 
Duke of Berry ; l especially during the latter part, when he 
figures not only as collector but as patron. Born in 1345, 
he inherited from his father, King John II, that love for 
the fine arts which was traditional in the royal house of 
France ; and his wealth and high position enabled him to 

f ratify it without stint. His brother Charles V shared 
is taste to some extent, though there is little evidence of 
this in the pictorial record of his coronation, now in the 
British Museum. 2 This is a copy of the coronation service 
of the King and Queen of France, in Latin and French, 
made (as we learn from his autograph note) by his order 
in 1365, to serve at once as a memorial of his own corona- 
tion in the previous year, and as a guide for future 
occasions. Its thirty-eight miniatures are perfectly adapted 
to the latter purpose. Painted in gold and colours, on 
diapered, tessellated or damasked backgrounds, they are 
admirable as " diagrams to explain the coronation ritual," 
but have little significance as works of art, though there 
is unmistakable portraiture, albeit of a superficial kind, 
in the continually recurring face of Charles himself. 

Among the many manuscripts which, though not 
made originally for the Duke of Berry, afterwards passed 
into his possession, there are two in the British Museum 
which deserve a word of mention, viz. Burney 275 and 
Harl. 2891, both dating from about the middle of the 
century. Burney 275 has an illustrious list of owners, 
having belonged successively to Pope Gregory XI (1370-8) 

1 The literature concerning him and his art treasures is extensive, but refer- 
ence need only be made here to Delisle, " Les Livres d'Heures du due de Berry," in 
Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1884, i, pp. 97-110, 281-92, 391-405; and to Bastard, 
Librairie de Jean de France, Due de Berry, 1834. 

2 Tib. B. viii, ff. 35-80. Reproduced in facsimile by the Henry Bradshaw 
Society, Coronation Book of Charles V, ed. E. S. Dewick, 1899. See too Pal. Soc,, 
i, 148 ; Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 36, Rcprod,, i, 24. 

247 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

and the Antipope Clement VII (1378-94), the latter of 
whom gave it to the Duke of Berry. It contains the 
works of Priscian, Euclid, and Ptolemy, illustrated with 
delicious impersonations of the arts and sciences, and 
with borders in which finely executed animals and 
grotesques abound. Harl. 2891, a Missal of Paris use, 
seems to have been a gift from Itier de Martreuil, Bishop 
of Poitiers 1395-1405, to the Duke, who in his turn gave 
it to the Sainte Chapelle at Bourges. Besides two full- 
page miniatures, a Crucifixion and a Christ in Glory 1 (the 
former a very beautiful composition), prefixed to the 
Canon, it has a number of historiated initials, with 
borders of the earlier and more restrained type, all 
painted with great delicacy ; the first page of the 
Temporale 2 is particularly charming, with an exquisite 
little miniature of the celebrant lifting up his soul to God 
the usual subject, illustrating the introit " Ad te levavi 
animam meam," but treated with unusual felicity. 

Appreciative as he was of the best productions of 
bygone generations of artists, the Duke of Berry did not 
neglect his own contemporaries ; and we owe him an 
unspeakable debt of gratitude for his discerning munifi- 
cence in encouraging the galaxy of brilliant illuminators 
which included Andre" Beauneveu, Jacquemart de Hesdin, 
and above all Pol de Limbourg. The last-named belongs 
mainly to the fifteenth century, and must therefore be 
reserved for chapter xvi ; Hesdin might with equal pro- 
priety be classed as late fourteenth or early fifteenth 
century ; but most, if not all, of Beauneveu's work was 
done before 1400, and as he and Hesdin appear to have 
collaborated, it seems most convenient to mention them 
both here. 

Andre" Beauneveu 3 was primarily a sculptor and a 
painter in the ordinary sense, only incidentally a minia- 

1 Reproduced in the Guide to Exhibited AfSS., 1906. 

2 Warner, Reprod., ii, 22. 

3 See Dehaisnes, Hist, de VArt dans la Flandre, etc., 1886, pp. 242-57; 
Champeaux and Gauchery, Travaux d'art exlcutls pour Jean de France, due de 
Berry, 1894, pp. 92-8. 

248 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, 14x11 CENT. 

turist. A native of Hainault, according to Froissart, who 
has given him a kind of immortality rare indeed among 
medieval artists, he occurs repeatedly from 1361 onwards 
in the municipal accounts of Valenciennes. In 1374 he 
received payment " pour ouvrage de peinture " (doubtless 
a wall-painting) which he made in the chamber of 
the Halle des Jure"s ; but the other entries refer mainly 
to his work as a sculptor. In this capacity he was 
already famous in 1364, when Charles V commissioned 
him to carve royal tombs for the basilica of S. Denis ; 
and for several years afterwards he was busily engaged 
in carving statues and inspecting buildings at Ghent, 
Ypres, Cambrai, and elsewhere, for the Count of Flanders 
and others. We find him at Bourges in 1386, as salaried 
"ymagier" to the Duke of Berry; and Froissart men- 
tions him, in terms of glowing eulogy, under the year 
1390, as the Duke's director of sculptures and paintings 
(" maistre de ses oeuvres de taille et de peintures"). The 
exact date of his death is not known, but he is alluded to 
as "feu maistre Andre" Beaunepveu" in an inventory 1 
attested 16 October, 1403, but apparently drawn up in 
June, 1402. 

Of his miniatures, only twenty-four pages, 2 prefixed to 
a Latin-French Psalter made for the Duke of Berry 
(Bibl. Nat., fr. 13091), have come down to us with docu- 
mentary credentials. They represent the twelve apostles, 
each balanced by a prophet on the opposite page ; the 
figures in grisaille, seated on faintly coloured thrones rich 
with architectural ornament ; the backgrounds sometimes 
minutely diapered or tessellated, sometimes coloured 
reddish brown or very dark blue and covered with a 
pattern of oak-leaves or other foliage outlined in black. 
The figures, large in manner, with draperies softly and 
beautifully modelled, have all the solidity and statuesque- 

1 J. Guiffrey, Inventaires de Jean due de Berry, ii, 1896, p. 119. 

2 Many of these have been reproduced, e.g. in Fond. E. Plot, Mon. et Mm., 
i, p. 187, iii, pi. 6; Le Manuscrit, i, 1894, p. 51; Martin, Peintres^ fig. 17, 18; 
Michel, Hift. de FArt, iii, pt. i, p. 155. 

249 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

ness that might be expected of a great sculptor ; none of 
the tight neatness and flat effect that stamp the work of 
the trained miniaturist. The faces are full of character 
and individuality, and are obviously portraits of living 
models. The same qualities, displayed more tellingly on 
a larger scale, appear in two superb full-page miniatures 1 
at the beginning of a Book of Hours in the Royal Library 
at Brussels (Nos. 1 1060-1). These two, on opposite pages, 
form a single composition, representing the Duke of 
Berry on his knees, between SS. Andrew and John the 
Baptist, before the Virgin and Child. The pose of the 
Virgin, enthroned like the prophets and apostles of 
the Psalter described above (fr. 13091) ; the handling of 
the draperies ; the charming, unobtrusive backgrounds, 
of foliage behind the Duke and his patrons, of adoring 
angels behind the Virgin and Child ; the fine expressive 
heads of the two saints, above all the masterly portrait of 
the Duke all these seem to indicate Beauneveu's hand, 
though an eminent critic 2 has urged the claims of Jacque- 
mart de Hesdin. Beauneveu has been credited on grounds 
of style with another work, which, though not strictly 
relevant to the history of illumination, is too interesting 
to be ignored : a series of exquisite silverpoint studies of 
the Madonna, a bal masqud, and other subjects, covering 
the boxwood panels of a little sketchbook in Mr. Pierpont 
Morgan's collection. 3 

Very little is known of Jacquemart de Hesdin's life. 4 
Perhaps a pupil of Charles V's court painter Jean de 
Bruges, he was in the Duke of Berry's service at Bourges 
in 1384 and 1399; he seems to have been living in 1413, 
but probably died soon after. The inventories give him 
sole credit for the decoration of the Brussels Hours, and 
assign him a share (along with " autres ouvriers de Mon- 

1 Often reproduced, eg. in Dehaisnes, pi. 8, 9 ; Michel, iii, i, pp. 156-7. For 
a description of the manuscript, with fine reproductions of all its miniatures, see 
Pol de Mont, Musle des Enluminures, fasc. i [1905]. 

2 R. de Lasteyrie, in Fond. E. Piot, iii, pp. 71-119. 

8 Published by R. E. Fry in the Burlington Magazine, x, 1906, pp. 31-8. 
4 See Lasteyrie, as above; Champeaux and Gauchery, pp. 118-21. 

250 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, HTH CENT. 



seigneur," who were doubtless under his direction) in that 
of the "Grandes Heures," now Bibl. Nat., lat. 919. But 
the former attribution, authoritative though it seems, is 
certainly inexact. The twenty large miniatures in the 
Brussels MS. are all framed in similar borders, of a graceful 
and unusual type ; but the pictures themselves are plainly 
by several different hands. The first two, in particular, 
stand out strikingly from the rest, and are emphatically, 
as we have seen, in the Beauneveu manner ; the third 
combines their subjects into a single picture, of greatly 
inferior execution and apparently the work of a copyist ; 
while the remainder, varying in merit but sufficiently alike 
to have been all produced in the same atelier, are typical 
in style, with their full colouring and elaborate landscapes, 
of the first quarter of the fifteenth century. In fact, there 
is much to be said for M. Pol de Mont's theory that 
Beauneveu painted the first two pages and then left the 
book, which at a later date was completed by Jacquemart 
de Hesdin and his assistants. 

Besides the "Grandes Heures," finished in 1409, 
Jacquemart is believed to have painted the best miniatures 
in the "Petites Heures" (Bibl. Nat., lat. 18014), finished in 
or before 1402, and also (except Beauneveu's prophets and 
apostles) in the Latin-French Psalter, fr. 13091. These 
show him to have been a painter of consummate skill. 
His work is more conventionally perfect than Beauneveu's, 
neater and crisper ; but it lacks the sculptor's large con- 
ception of form. Distinct signs of primitive Italian in- 
fluence are visible in his miniatures, as in those of most 
French painters of his time ; notably in the landscape, 
now claiming more and more of the space hitherto given 
up to conventional patterns. Hardly less conventional 
itself, this landscape is at first of the type described in 
chapter iii as characteristic of Byzantine, and afterwards 
of early Italian art. We see the same flat-topped hillocks 
with smooth, steep, terraced slopes ; but the aridity of the 
model is generally softened by the herbage, already 
prominent in French foregrounds, being continued up the 

251 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

hillsides, and the tops are often crowned by a clump of 
trees or a castle. On the whole, Jacquemart seems to 
have been an eclectic copyist of great expertness, rather 
than an original artist. As we have seen already, in 
choosing subjects to decorate the Calendars of his Books 
of Hours he had recourse to Jean Pucelle ; and he repro- 
duced almost every detail of the earlier artist's composi- 
tions with minute, almost slavish exactness. Only in the 
border-ornament is the divergence striking, and that not 
in Jacquemart's favour. His sense of proportion fails 
him here, perfect as his execution is ; and he tends to 
overload his pages with intricate but monotonous con- 
volutions of ivy-leaved sprays. 

Before quitting the Duke of Berry's library for the 
present, we may notice two of his books now in the 
British Museum, not to be compared for beauty with 
those just mentioned, but useful as good examples of the 
average work of the third and last quarters of the 
fourteenth century. One is Lansd. 1175, the first volume 
of a French Bible, translated by Raoul de Presles for 
Charles V (1364-80). It is the only extant MS. contain- 
ing the translator's dedicatory preface, and is probably 
the actual copy given to the king, many of whose books 
found their way into his brother's library. At all events, 
his portrait is unmistakable in the miniature which heads 
the preface and shows Raoul presenting his book to 
Charles. It is well written, by a scribe who signs himself 
Henri du Trevou, and adorned with neat little miniatures 
at the beginnings of the several books. The figures, 
whose chief fault is that their heads are too small, are in 
grisaille. The backgrounds are as usual checkered, 
tessellated, or damasked ; landscapes of the type just 
described, with tufted hillocks, often occur. The other 
manuscript, commonly known as the Berry Bible, contains 
the Bible Historiale in two large volumes (Harl. 438I-2), 1 
written about the end of the century. The first page of 
Genesis has an elaborate painting of the Trinity, with the 

1 Warner, Ilium, AfSS., pi. 44, Reprod., ii, 24. 
252 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION, 14111 CENT. 

Virgin, SS. Peter and Paul, and the four Doctors of the 
Church, as well as a company of pagan philosophers 
(Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, etc.) and personifications of 
Dialectic and Arithmetic. The opening page of vol. ii is 
coarser in execution and less magnificent in design and 
colouring ; it has only a large square enclosing four 
scenes from the life of Solomon, to illustrate the book of 
Proverbs. Smaller miniatures abound at the beginnings 
of books and chapters throughout both volumes, together 
with ivy-leaf borders and initials rich with burnished 
gold. The miniatures vary considerably : one or two are 
extremely good, especially the Nativity, at the beginning 
of S. Matthew, a really exquisite picture; but the majority 
are rather hard and flat in technique. In fact, the book 
is chiefly remarkable for the brilliancy of its colouring. 
This is particularly splendid in the miniatures whose 
grounds are of burnished gold or minute diaper, less 
effective where red, patterned with gold, is used instead. 

The Songe du Vergier, 1 written by Philippe de Maiz- 
ieres for Charles V in 1378, is interesting for its frontis- 
piece, which represents the author asleep in an orchard, 
while a clerk and a knight, the disputants in his dream, 
stand arguing, and the king sits in state between two 
charming queens, typifying Spiritual and Temporal Power, 
the subjects of the dispute. There is a striking contrast 
between the rudimentary landscape - painting and the 
mature, naturalistic treatment of the figures. Another 
curious frontispiece is that prefixed to the same writer's 
Epistle 2 to Richard II, composed in 1395-6 to promote 
peace and friendship between that monarch and the French 
King, Charles VI. In the upper half are the crowns of 
France and England on blue and red fields, with the 
Crown of Thorns between them on a black ground, all 
three under Gothic canopies and inscribed " Charles roy 
de France, Jesus roy de paix, Richart roy d'Angleterre." 
The space below is filled with the arms of the two coun- 

1 Brit. Mus., Roy. 19 C. iv. See Pal. Sot:., ii, 169. 

2 Roy. 20 B. vi. See Warner, Reprod., i, 25. 

253 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

tries, the sacred monogram in gold written across the two 
divisions. On the opposite page is a large miniature of 
the author presenting his work to King Richard, together 
with initial and border ornament of the usual type. Like 
the miniatures of the Berry Bible, and of many con- 
temporary manuscripts, these two pages are a blaze of 
brilliant colours. 



254 




U 

</i " 

2 s 

a - 
j 

b H 




CHAPTER XV 

ITALIAN ILLUMINATION IN THE FOURTEENTH 

CENTURY 

A' the outset we might naturally have expected to find 
Italian illumination at its prime during the age of 
Giotto, Duccio, and their immediate followers. But 
as a matter of fact we find instead, among the manuscripts 
of the fourteenth century, a few frontispieces and other 
large pictures of supreme beauty, but hardly a single 
volume whose decoration as a whole will bear comparison 
with that of a representative French manuscript of the 
same period. That this is the case need not, however, 
surprise us very greatly. Closely as all branches of the 
art of painting must inevitably be allied, there is yet a 
certain divergence, indeed almost an antagonism, between 
the true aim of the book-decorator and that of the painter 
of frescoes or panels. The large, spacious manner which 
befits the latter requires modification even when applied 
to a full-page miniature, with its comparatively reduced 
scale, and is altogether inappropriate to the illumination 
of a page of text. Hence the ascendency of the great 
masters of early Italian painting led their disciples who 
practised miniature into the adoption of methods at 
variance with the strict canons of the minor art. 

The fresco-like manner is seen at its best, naturally, 
in paintings which fill the page, without any writing to 
restrict the space and interfere with the design ; as in 
Mr. Yates Thompson's remarkable series l of miniatures 
of the life of Christ, painted about the beginning of the 
century, doubtless for inclusion in a Psalter or other 

1 No. 8 1, formerly Ashburnham, Appendix 72. See H. Y. Thompson, Cata- 
logue^ iii, pp. 45-9, Ilhtstrations, ii, pi. 5-15 ; also Pal. Sac., ii, 18. 

255 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

liturgical manuscript, of which, however, not a vestige 
remains. These pictures, thirty-eight in number, are 
painted on a deep blue ground and framed in plain 
narrow bands of blue and red, with no ornamentation 
beyond a little tracery in white on the inner side of the 
borders. The absence of conventional ornament is in 
keeping with the severity of the compositions, which are 
solemn, majestic, and thoroughly monumental in style. 
The grouping is well ordered and spacious, the gestures 
are leisurely and dignified, the faces expressive, with 
careful preservation of types ; and one almost forgets 
such blemishes as the faulty proportions or the character- 
istically " Giottesque " representation of the hair as 
a series of laboriously emphasized wavy lines. The 
British Museum possesses a similar set of paintings (Add. 
34309), detached in like manner from the manuscript 
for which they were made. They seem contemporary 
with the Yates Thompson series, and are closely allied 
with it as to the subjects represented, some of which are 
unusual ; both series include, for instance, a picture of 
Christ ascending the cross. The Museum paintings are 
greatly inferior, however, in feeling and execution, even 
when due allowance is made for their damaged condition. 
Most of the compositions are obviously of Byzantine 
descent, but the round table in the Last Supper seems 
to link the series to the German Psalters of the thirteenth 
century. 

The illuminator of the verses l addressed by the town 
of Prato to its protector Robert of Anjou, King of Naples, 
about 1335-40, was evidently more at home in fresco- 
painting than in miniature. Large as the pages are, 
he almost always claims the whole of them for his de- 
signs, leaving the text to fit itself as best it can into the 
interstices left by his solid and gigantic figures. These 
are painted in a thick, rather viscid medium, generally 
without frames or background. On the best pages the 
work is very highly finished, face and hair especially 

1 Brit. Mus., Roy. 6 E. ix. See Warner, Reprod., ii, 39, 40. 
256 



ITALIAN ILLUMINATION, HTH CENT. 

being treated with great care. The curious greyish pink 
flesh-tints, with a greenish tinge in the shadows, are 
characteristic of early Italian painting in general, and are 
found in most of the fourteenth century miniatures. 
Gold is used plentifully, and the colouring is strong, but 
with little attempt at gradation or modelling, so that the 
figures are flat and unshapely masses of colour rather 
than draped human beings. 

The illustrated frontispiece lent itself readily to treat- 
ment in the large manner of the panel-painter. Such 
frontispieces were not confined to literary works, which 
in fact rarely contained them ; but were prefixed to books 
of a kind from which modern ideas of congruity would 
banish all ornament : registers of wills, " matricole " 
(i.e. statutes and lists of members) of trade-guilds, 
municipal account-books, etc. The great majority of 
these are of no particular merit as works of art, though 
useful historically as fixed points, 1 date and locality being 
seldom stated with equal precision in other manuscripts. 
But there are one or two gems among them, especially 
the lovely Assumption of the Virgin 2 painted by Niccold 
di Ser Sozzo on the first page of a Caleffo, or register 
of public documents, which was compiled at Siena in 
1 334-6, and is preserved in the Archivio di Stato of that 
city, where it is known as the Caleffo dell' Assunta. No 
other works by this great artist are known to exist ; but 
he has fortunately signed this masterpiece (" Nicholaus 
ser sozzo de senis me pinxit "), which alone is enough to 
stamp him as one of the great Sienese painters of his 
time and that the time of Simone Martini and the 
Lorenzetti. It is more than probable that in the next 
century Matteo di Giovanni, whose great altar-piece of 

1 A few examples may be named, more or less elaborately decorated at the 
beginning : Brit. Mus., Add. 16532 (Bologna, 1334), 21965 (Perugia, 1368), 
22497 (Perugia, before 1403); Vitelli e Paoli, Facsimili paleografici, Lat., pi. 20 
(Florence, 1340); F. Carta, Atlante pal.-art., 1899, pi. 58 (Venice, 1392), 59-60 
(Bologna, 1394). Others will be mentioned farther on, in connection with Niccolb 
da Bologna. 

2 PI. xxxix. 

'7 257 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

the same subject is now in the National Gallery, was 
inspired by this beautiful miniature, which he must have 
had many opportunities of seeing. The frontispiece to 
Petrarch's Virgil, now in the Ambrosian Library, was 
painted by Simone Martini himself; and he has also 
been credited by some critics with the charming illumina- 
tions of the " Codice di S. Giorgio " in the Archives of 
S. Peter's at Rome, but this attribution is doubtful. 1 

The next best thing to a full page, for a painter who 
demands amplitude, is a large share in a page of excep- 
tional size ; and this was provided in generous measure 
for the illuminators charged with the decoration of the 
gigantic choir-books in which Italian chapter-libraries 
are so rich, and which form so important a feature in the 
history of Italian painting. The historiated initial, to 
the Northern illuminator at first a field for the congenial 
exercise of minute compression, afterwards so irksome 
through its restrictions that it was virtually abandoned in 
favour of the purely ornamental initial surmounted by 
a miniature in a separate frame, followed a different 
course of development in the hands of his Italian confrere. 
The letter itself, of elaborate design, rich in gold and 
bright colours and lavishly adorned with pendent decora- 
tion, claimed more and more of the page of a huge 
Gradual or Antiphoner, and framed a picture which 
in largeness of manner often rivalled the compositions 
of contemporary panel-painters. These splendid Libri 
Corali reached their full development before the end of 
the fourteenth century, as regards the main outlines of their 
decoration, though the finest examples now extant were 
mostly produced about a hundred years later. To be 
studied properly they must be visited in their native 
land. 2 Such enormous volumes do not lend themselves 
readily to transport overseas ; and the single leaves or 

1 See Venturi, Storia delt Arte italiana, v, pp. 621, 1018-30, fig. 786-91. 

2 A few examples are given by Venturi, iii, fig. 445~57> v > n g- 793- 8o6 from 
Modena, Siena, and elsewhere. See too Atl. pal-art., pi. 51 (Asti Antiphoner, 
dated 1332). 

258 



PLATK XXXIX 




NICCOLO DI SER SOZZO, 1334-6 

SIENA, ARCHIVIO Dl STATO. CALEFFO DELL* AS 



ITALIAN ILLUMINATION, 14- CENT. 

initials, cut out unscrupulously from their original setting, 
which abound in English libraries and art-collections, 1 
public and private, are unsatisfactory for scientific pur- 
poses, however beautiful they may be in themselves. 
The British Museum is fortunate in possessing a hand- 
some Gradual (Add. 18198)* made for some monastery 
near Florence, perhaps that of Vallombrosa, about the 
middle of the fourteenth century. It contains the 
Proprium and Commune Sanctorum, the former adorned 
at the principal feasts with large initials enclosing minia- 
tures. These are painted in soft tints of blue, red, and 
other colours, on backgrounds of richly burnished gold. 
There is no border-ornament beyond a slight continua- 
tion of the leafy decoration of some of the initials. The 
initials to the less important feasts are mostly historiated 
with half-length figures of saints, painted on grounds 
of blue or lake with a little white tracery, and are not 
specially noteworthy ; but many of the ordinary blue and 
red initials are surrounded with a most elaborate sort of 
lace-work design in red, white, and blue. Italian scribes 
or illuminators were particularly fond of this form of 
decoration, and practised it with amazing skill and excel- 
lent taste, especially in the fourteenth century. It is seen 
at its highest perfection of delicate intricacy in a late 
fourteenth century Missale Pontificis (Add. 21973), a 
book not otherwise remarkable artistically, though the 
painting of the Crucifixion, on a pale blue ground edged 
with white tracery, is by no means without merit. This 
filigree pen-work was sometimes extended from the initial 
to form a partial border, as in Add. 34247,* a Bolognese 
Book of Hours written near the end of the century. 

Byzantine traditions were still strong in Italy at the 

1 Several volumes and portfolios in the British Museum are filled with cuttings 
of this kind, fourteenth to sixteenth centuries (Add. MSS. 18196-7, 21412, 
32058, 35254); and many fine leaves are exhibited in the Victoria and Albert 
Museum. 

2 Warner, Reprod., i, 46 (accidentally given the lettering which belongs 
to pi. 45). 

3 Warner, Reprod., ii, 44. 

259 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

beginning of the fourteenth century, and appear plainly 
in much of the best illumination that was not really 
fresco or panel-painting on a small scale. Looking at 
the exquisite little figures which fill the margins of a 
Benedictine Breviary in the British Museum (Add. 
I5205-6), 1 we are forcibly reminded of the Theodore 
Psalter and the Simeon Metaphrastes. The small 
miniatures enclosed within initials are of course Byzan- 
tine in their iconography ; this is all but inevitable in 
Italian art of the time. But the same influence is 
apparent here in the subdued colouring, the pose of the 
figures, the treatment of the faces. Among other inter- 
esting features of the book are the raised patterns of dots 
and lines with which the gold nimbi and backgrounds 
are covered. 

Traces of Byzantine tradition may be seen again, 
combined with other influences, in the great Bible of the 
British Museum (Add. 18720)* and its twin-sister at 
Paris (Bibl. Nat., lat. i8), 3 where the figure-compositions 
and borders are not only effective in themselves, but are 
controlled by a nice sense of the due proportions between 
text and illumination a rare quality in fourteenth 
century Italian manuscripts. Sig. Venturi assigns these 
two books, together with a similar Bible in the Vatican 
(Vat. lat. 2o), 4 to a school of Bolognese miniaturists 
flourishing about the beginning of the fourteenth century. 
Whatever their provenance may be, about their excellence 
there can be no question. In the main outlines of its 
scheme of decoration, Add. 18720 follows the pattern of 
the normal thirteenth century French or English Bible : 
a series representing the Days of Creation set in a tall 
narrow frame at the beginning of Genesis, a similar 
frame containing a Jesse-tree prefixed to S. Matthew, 

1 Warner, Reprod., ii, 38. 

2 Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 38, Reprod., i, 43. 

3 Venturi, ii, fig. 345-5, v, fig. 774. 

4 Mr. Yates Thompson's Bentivoglio Bible (No. 4, Cat., i, pp. 12-18, Illus- 
trations, ii, pi. 16-21) has much in common with these manuscripts; it also seems 
allied to the Franciscan Bible (D. i. 13) at Turin. See All. paL-art., pi. 53. 

260 



ITALIAN ILLUMINATION, 14 CENT. 



and historiated initials to the other books. But the 
treatment is very different from that of the Northern 
miniaturists : the stately pose, the fine modelling of 
limbs and draperies, the soft, subdued, almost sombre 
colouring, the swarthy faces, with white high-lights and 
greenish shadows, all show close adherence to the best 
traditions of Italo-Byzantine art. The Genesis and 
Matthew pages have three additional scenes in the lower 
margin : the expulsion from Paradise, the sacrifices of 
Cain and Abel, and the murder of Abel on the former, 
the Annunciation, Nativity, and Presentation on the 
latter. The borders are of the light and pleasing type 
described at the end of chapter ix as characteristic of 
Italian fourteenth century illumination ; less subdued in 
tint than the miniatures, they brighten up the pages most 
effectively. Human figures are sometimes employed as 
terminals or supports to the stems which form the frame- 
work ; among these is a graceful youth, nude and 
exquisitely modelled, on the first page. At the foot of 
this page are also two Dominican friars, whose presence 
recalls the fact that Bologna was a great stronghold 
of that order. 

The same well-adjusted balance between text and 
decoration is found in the British Museum Durandus 
(Add. 31032) j 1 but this book has nothing like the large 
simplicity and majestic beauty of the great Bible. Borders 
and initials are very highly finished, but the multiplicity 
of minute details of ornament gives them a somewhat 
meaningless and finicking appearance. Detached gilt 
discs, a favourite device with Italian illuminators in the 
fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, are used abun- 
dantly in the borders ; but instead of enriching the decor- 
ative scheme they serve rather to enhance its triviality. 
The colour-effect would be somewhat pallid but for the 
brilliancy of the stippled gold grounds. 

One might naturally expect to be confronted at every 
turn with evidences of the influence of Giotto ; but as 

1 PaL Soc., i, 221 ; Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 39, Reprod.^ ii, 41. 

261 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

a matter of fact there are few manuscripts in which any- 
thing of the sort appears. One of these few is Add. 
27428* in the British Museum, a volume containing 
Simone da Cascia's Lordene della Vita Cristiana (com- 
posed in 1333), followed by lives of saints in Italian. 
These last are illustrated with miniatures on gold 
grounds, in plain rectangular frames, set in the column of 
text and rilling its whole width. The compositions are 
crowded, and appear still more so from the fact that the 
figures are of almost the full height of the picture, as 
though the artist had designed them without regard to 
the amount of space at his disposal. It would be a gross 
injustice to the great master to call these quaint, bril- 
liantly coloured little paintings Giottesque ; but there is 
a far-away suggestion of his manner in the clear-cut 
profiles, the well-defined types, the careful treatment of 
the hair. 

A few words must be said about the great tomes of 
civil and canon law, the output of which must have been 
prodigious, to judge from the numbers still preserved. 
They were mostly written, no doubt, in the universities 
of Bologna and Padua, and were probably illuminated 
at the same time, as a rule, though some were sent out 
plain, to be decorated in their place of destination. 2 The 
illuminations in the vast majority of cases are singularly 
unattractive, being coarsely executed, with repulsive 
underhung faces. This ugly type of face is not peculiar 
to law-books, but recurs constantly in the inferior work 
of the North Italian schools in the first half of the 
century, e.g. in a copy of the Divina Commedia now in 
the British Museum (Eg. 943). After the middle of the 
century some improvement is visible, as in Add. 23923, a 
copy of the Decretals of Boniface VIII, written between 
1370 and 1381, and illuminated in a style which Sig. 
Venturi considers distinctive of the school of Niccolb da 

1 Pal. Soc. t i, 247 ; Warner, Reprod.^ i, 42. 

2 Roy. 10 E. iv, for instance, was illuminated in England. See above, p. 230. 

262 



ITALIAN ILLUMINATION, HTH CENT. 

Bologna. This prolific miniaturist, 1 who worked from 
1349 to 1399, does not seem himself to have painted many 
law-books ; his illuminations are to be found chiefly in 
choir-books, missals, and " matricole," and seem to be 
remarkable for his unusual habit of signing them rather 
than for their own superlative excellence. Of the many 
fourteenth century Italian law-books in the British 
Museum, the only one with real artistic significance is a 
fine two-volume copy of the Decretum (Add. 15274-5), z 
written in the latter part of the century. A large picture 
of the Pope in Council fills half the first page, which has 
also an initial enclosing a miniature of a scribe at work, 
and an elaborate and handsome border replete with a 
great variety of ornament. Each of the thirty-six 
chapters is preceded by a miniature illustrating its 
subject-matter, and begins with a large initial enclosing 
a single figure, usually legal or clerical. All these are 
well executed and very richly coloured, vermilion and 
deep blue prevailing. 

The curious manuscript attributed to that shadowy 
person, Cybo the Monk of Hyeres (Brit. Mus., Add. 27695, 
2884 1 ), 3 has no very obvious relation to the main course 
of Italian illumination, but is too interesting to be passed 
over in silence. The Monk of Hyeres was clearly an 
individualist, who owed as little to his predecessors as he 
bequeathed to his successors. His large miniatures, 
illustrating the text, a treatise on the Vices, are bold and 
expressive in design ; but with their vivid colouring and 
aggressive checkered background they cannot be called 
beautiful. The conventions of figure-composition did not 
suit his genius, which was emphatically that of a natural- 
ist ; and he found a congenial exercise for his powers in 
covering the margins and line-endings of the text-pages 
with plants, insects, birds, and animals of various kinds, 

1 See Venturi, v, pp. 942, 1014-6 ; Archivio Storico del? Arte, 1894, pp. 
1-20 j LArte, 1907, pp. 105-15. 

2 Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 40, Reprod., ii, 42. 

3 Pal. Soc., i, 149, 150. 

263 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

painted with the most marvellous fidelity to nature. All 
are wonderful, but his special predilection was evidently 
for insect life : his spiders, bees, grasshoppers, and stag- 
beetles seem to be positively starting out of the page. It 
is hard to find a parallel nearer to his date (end of the 
fourteenth century) than the Flemish miniaturists a 
hundred years later; and even their work seems tame and 
flat in comparison. 



264 



CHAPTER XVI 

FRENCH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1400 

BY the beginning of the fifteenth century the produc- 
tion of illuminated manuscripts had become in 
France almost a staple industry. Books of Hours, 
in particular, were produced in vast numbers, not only to 
the order of wealthy patrons, but also for booksellers to 
add to their stock and sell to any chance customer. 
Specimens of these "shop copies' 7 may be seen in nearly 
every library in Europe, and form the nucleus of most 
private collections ; being comparatively easy to acquire 
and at the same time pleasing to behold, despite the 
perfunctory nature of much of the miniature-painting, 
through the fidelity with which an excellent tradition in 
border-decoration was followed. This was founded on 
the "ivy-leaf" pattern which came into vogue early in 
the fourteenth century : modified by the gilding of the 
leaves and their diminution in size, by the increased 
intricacy of the stem-convolutions, and by the introduction 
of a few additional forms of foliate, floral, and other 
ornament, the type persisted with little variation until 
the second half of the fifteenth century, when it gave way 
to a much less tasteful style of border, with backgrounds 
partly or wholly gilt instead of the plain vellum. Another 
change for the worse began to come in about the same 
time, viz. the substitution of architectural frames of heavy 
Renaissance style, with much gilding, for the simple 
bands which had hitherto enclosed the large miniatures. 

So much for the average work, which exists in such 
quantity as to demand some notice, and at the same time 
to render any attempt at detailed treatment impossible in 
a general sketch like the present. Of work of a higher 

265 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

class there is enough to fill many chapters, and only the 
salient points can be indicated here. The death of the 
Duke of Berry in 1416 marks the close of the first and 
greatest epoch, culminating (as indeed the whole art of 
illumination may be said to do) in the wonderful " Tres 
Riches Heures," which Pol de Limbourg and his brothers 
were then engaged in painting for him. These artists did 
not long survive their patron ; and the period which 
followed, though one of great luxuriance and brilliancy, 
producing a remarkable group of books among which the 
Bedford Hours holds a leading place, showed already the 
beginning of a decadence in point of taste. About the 
middle of the century flourished the great painter Jean 
Fouquet, and his influence survived among his disciples, 
notably the " egregius pictor Franciscus " who has been 
conjecturally identified with his son Francois, and later in 
the works of Jean Bourdichon, painter of the Hours of 
Anne of Brittany, and of his school, continuing until 
well on in the sixteenth century. 

French illumination had reached a very high level by 
the end of the fourteenth century, as we saw in chapter xiv; 
and the opening years of the next century have bequeathed 
to us a great many manuscripts of such excellence that 
one only hesitates to call them first-rate because they are 
eclipsed by the superlative beauty of the few real master- 
pieces. An admirable sample of this class is the Bouci- 
caut Hours, 1 in Madame Jacquemart-Andr^'s collection. 
This book, executed for the Marechal de Boucicaut 
between 1396 and 1421, shows its transitional nature in 
the backgrounds, which in a few of the miniatures are 
filled with deep blue sky spangled with stars, a welcome 
relief from the somewhat wearisome checkered and bro- 
caded patterns. The latter, appropriate enough as a 
setting for the comparatively flat, conventional treatment 

1 Les Heures du marlchal de Boucicaut ', Soc. des Bibliophiles fr., 1889. See 
too Durrieu, " La peinture en France au debut du xv e siecle," in Revue de fart anc. 
ef mod., xix, pp. 401-15, xx, pp. 21-35 ; and his "Jacques Coene," in Lesarts anc. 
de Flandre, ii, pp. 5-22. 

266 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1400 

of figures and accessories seen in the miniatures of earlier 
date, match ill with the realism which begins to show 
itself in these pictures with their improved perspective 
and increasing attention to landscape. Still more striking 
is this incongruity in a splendid copy of the Livre de la 
Chasse of Gaston Phe*bus, Comte de Foix (Bibl. Nat., 
fr. 6 1 6), whose numerous and extremely interesting illus- 
trations 1 quaintly combine these purely conventional back- 
grounds with a spirited and by no means unsuccessful 
attempt at naturalistic treatment of woodland hunting 
scenes. The various operations of the chase are depicted 
most clearly and in the fullest detail : questing for trails, 
setting snares, traps, and nets, etc., nothing is forgotten, 
not even the hunters' meal in a glade of the forest. The 
various species of game, and the corresponding breeds of 
dog, are all recognizable at a glance ; and the whole of the 
foreground, vegetable as well as animal, shows a genuine 
and careful study of nature. But on reaching the tree- 
tops our artist almost invariably relapses into convention- 
alism, and gives us, instead of skies, backgrounds covered 
with the stereotyped lozengy, tessellated or brocaded 
patterns. 

In many manuscripts of this period, however, these 
formal backgrounds are discarded altogether, and in their 
place we have a clear blue sky, very pale at the horizon, 
and deepening by careful gradation towards the top of the 
picture. Of this class are the Livre des Merveilles (Bibl. 
Nat., fr. 2810), the British Museum Statins (Burney 257), 
and the famous Terence of the Arsenal Library (No. 664). 
The first-named was apparently made for Philippe le 
Hardi, Duke of Burgundy (d. 1404), whose son, John the 
Fearless, gave it in 1413 to the Duke of Berry. It is a 
collection of Eastern travellers' tales, compiled from the 
narratives of Marco Polo, Mandeville, and others ; and 
its 265 illustrations, 2 as might be expected, are interesting 

1 Published in reduced facsimile, ed. C. Couderc [1909]. For full-sized 
reproductions see W. A. and F. Baillie-Grohman, The Master of Game, 1904. 

2 Livre des Merveilles, ed. H. O[mont], 2 vols. [1907]. 

267 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

and amusing, presenting a most welcome variety of 
subject. The Arsenal Terence, 1 usually known as the 
"Terence des Dues" from its first possessors, Louis, 
Duke of Guyenne and Dauphin (d. 1415), and John, 
Duke of Berry, is also very copiously illustrated ; and its 
miniatures have a special value from the complete absence 
of any marvellous or symbolical element to interfere with 
the simpler aim of depicting actual life as the artists saw 
it. The faces are well and clearly drawn, the posing and 
grouping of the figures full of dramatic expressiveness, 
the costumes carefully painted. The Statius 2 is a less 
sumptuous manuscript, but belongs more or less to the 
same family ; its figures are mostly in grisaille, very softly 
and delicately executed, with much grace and charm. 

Among the many fine Books of Hours of this period, 
Lat. 1161 in the Bibliotheque Nationale is worthy of 
special mention. As in the Boucicaut Hours (with which 
this book, though on a smaller scale, has much in common), 
only a few of the miniatures have sky-backgrounds, the 
others having mostly a checkered pattern, or else purple 
or blue covered with gold filigree-work. The borders 
are graceful and varied, containing among other details of 
ornament (besides the inevitable ivy-leaf, which of course 
predominates) the long sinuated leaf entwined about a 
slender stem, which we noticed in some English manu- 
scripts of the end of the fourteenth century ; quatrefoils, 
birds, mermaid, and grotesque organist also occur. The 
miniatures are remarkable for their brilliant yet finely 
harmonized colours, the rich bright red and blue of the 
costumes contrasting effectively with the white or pale 
grey architecture. The best of them, perhaps, is the 
really beautiful half-page picture at the end, of the Virgin 
and Child adored by a lady whose guardian angel stands 
by her. The burial-scene in a monastic cemetery, pre- 
fixed to the Vigils of the Dead, is an impressive and 

1 H. Martin, Le Terence des Dues, 1 908, Les Miniaturistes f ran fats, 1 906, 
fig. 29-32. 

2 Warner, Reprod., iii, 28. 

268 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1400 

interesting composition ; but modern ideas of propriety 
are rudely jarred by the presence of a white dog, squatting 
just behind the celebrant, in the " Salve sancta parens " 
miniature (f. 192). 

Closely allied to Lat. 1161 is a Horae in the British 
Museum (Add. 32454), l whose miniatures (above all, the 
splendid Coronation of the Virgin on f. 46), show the 
same brilliancy of colouring, and whose borders are even 
more varied, especially those which accompany the large 
miniatures. Some of the devices, e.g. putti springing 
from flowers, suggest the influence of Italian art ; 
an influence unmistakably present in the decoration 
of another Horae in the same collection (Add. 29433). 2 
This manuscript follows the liturgical use of Paris, 
and its minor decorations are thoroughly French in 
style, with diapered grounds to the small miniatures ; 
but in the more elaborate pages there is a strong, some- 
times even preponderating, admixture of the Italian ele- 
ment. These pages are very finely executed, and glow 
with burnished gold and bright colours. The borders are 
filled with various forms of natural or conventional 
foliage, partly painted on the plain vellum, partly against 
a ground of burnished gold ; putti disport themselves 
among the leaves or grow Clytie-wise out of flowers, and 
birds, butterflies, rayed gilt discs, and detached flowers are 
disposed about the margins. All this gaiety produces 
sometimes a whimsical effect, as in the opening page of 
the Penitential Psalms : the miniature represents the 
damned being collected by devils from castle, city, and 
convent, and hurled down into hell, where they are 
devoured by Satan and tortured by his myrmidons ; but 
instead of inspiring dread and horror, the whole picture 
gives an impression of light-hearted, hustling activity. 
There is a touch of the same bizarre humour in the fine 
miniature of the Annunciation : the Virgin and Gabriel 
are in opposite transepts of a Gothic church, while the 

1 Warner, Reprod., ii, 25 Michel, Hist, de I' Art., iii, i, fig. 96. 
- Warner, i, 26. 

269 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

space between them, in the nave, is occupied by a cat and 
dog fighting. 

A very finished and beautiful example of this period 
is the Burgundy Breviary in the British Museum (Harl. 
2897, Add. 3531 1). 1 Executed for John the Fearless, 
Duke of Burgundy (1404-19), and his wife Margaret of 
Bavaria, it was originally complete in one volume ; but 
for convenience it was soon afterwards divided into two 
parts, and the Calendar and Psalter duplicated so as to 
complete the second part (now Harl. 2897), the miniatures 
in the second Psalter having evidently been copied, by a 
somewhat inferior hand, from those in the first, or at any 
rate from the same designs. The two volumes, after 
centuries of separation, were brought together again 
through the Rothschild bequest in 1899. Both volumes 
have suffered some mutilation, and the Rothschild MS. 
has now only two large miniatures, the Harleian but one. 
All three are of great beauty, and are specially remarkable 
for their luxuriant and yet harmonious colour-scheme. 
Particularly lovely is the blue, so characteristic of French 
illumination at this time ; at once cold and brilliant, 
exquisitely transparent yet capable of forming a solid 
mass upon the page, its effect is always beautiful and 
satisfying, whether it be used in a pure or modified form, 
for skies, draperies, or ornament. The smaller miniatures 
are very numerous, and the best of these, though less 
imposing than the three large paintings, are no whit 
inferior in beauty and finish. One of the most charming 
is that of S. Anne teaching the Virgin to read; 2 the soft 
treatment of the face, the delicate gradations of colour, 
the fine modelling of the draperies, are here seen at their 
best, and so is the typical border-ornament of gilt ivy- 
leaves. More sumptuous and varied borders surround 
the three principal pages. The most splendid of these is 
at the beginning of the Psalter (Add. 35311, f. 8), with 
plaques of burnished and delicately patterned gold en- 

1 Pal. Sac., i, 224-5 ; Warner, Ilium. JifSS., pi. 45-6, Reprod., i, 27, iii, 29-31. 

2 See Frontispiece. 

270 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1400 

closing half-length figures of David, Goliath, and angel- 
musicians, and with exquisitely painted birds and 
flowers. Within the initial "B" on the same page is a 
wonderfully tender Madonna holding the Child closely to 
her and sheltering Him with her cloak. The border of 
the Ascension-day page (Harl. 2897, f- i88b) is more 
monotonous in design ; its special interest lies in the 
graceful figure of a lady who sits on a daisy-studded lawn 
and holds the shields of arms of the Duke and Duchess 
furnishing the sole evidence as to the history of the 
manuscript. 

The books mentioned hitherto may serve to indicate 
the abundance and the great, excellence of French illumina- 
tion in the opening years of the fifteenth century; but they 
all even the Burgundy Breviary pale into insignificance 
beside the glory of the aptly named "Tres Riches Heures," 
which Pol de Limbourg and his brothers Jehannequin and 
Hermann were painting for the Duke of Berry, when his 
death in 1416 brought their work to a premature end. 
This wonderful book, now in the Musde Conde* at Chan- 
tilly, 1 was completed about 1485 by a miniaturist named 
Jean Colombe for Charles, Duke of Savoy, and his Duchess, 
Blanche de Montferrat ; and the later illuminations, ex- 
cellent examples of their period, only serve as a foil to the 
dazzling beauty of the pages painted by the Limbourg 
brothers. The latter begin with twelve full-page Calendar- 
pictures, the occupation-scenes in which were taken as 
models by Flemish illuminators at the end of the fifteenth 
century, e.g. in the Grimani Breviary and the Hennessy 
Hours. But while the later artists generally placed their 
compositions in landscapes of a distinctly Flemish char- 
acter, Pol and his brothers paid a subtle compliment to 
their patron by introducing a fine series of paintings of 
his chateaux. Thus in March we see the fortress of 
Lusignan, with the dragon-fairy MeUusine flying to re- 

1 No. 1284. See the Chantilly Catalogue^ i, pp. 59-71, pi. 5-8; Delisle, in 
Gazette des Beaux-Arts y 1884, i, pp. 401-4 (four plates); and above all Durrieu's 
two stately volumes, Les Tres Riches Heures de Jean, due de Beriy, 1904. 

271 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

join her husband Raymondin ; the dainty and gracious 
betrothal-scene, which illustrates April, is placed just out- 
side the walls of Dourdan; the May-day hunting-party 
rides through a wood above which the towers of Riom 
are visible. Moreover, the Duke himself is represented 
in the January picture, sitting in state at a banquet, con- 
versing with an ecclesiastic, while groups of fashionably 
dressed courtiers stand about. Above each of these 
pictures, in a semicircle enclosed by a starry arch bearing 
the zodiacal signs for the month, is the chariot of the sun, 
drawn by winged steeds across the sky. 

Landscape-painting is not confined to the Calendar, 
but is used when possible to enrich the scriptural and 
hagiographical scenes. The meeting of Mary and Eliza- 
beth, 1 for instance, takes place in a region of bleak and 
craggy hills, with a stately pinnacled city in the distance. 
More specially appropriate is the illustration to the Mass 
of S. Michael a fine picture of Mont S. Michel with its 
abbey buildings and with the waves breaking at the foot 
of the mount, the islet of Tombelaine in the offing, the 
Archangel and Satan fighting furiously in mid-air. 

Masterly artists in every way, it is as colourists above 
all that the Limbourg brothers show their consummate 
powers. At once brilliant and delicate, clean without 
hardness, and infinitely varied without loss of unity, the 
colouring could hardly be surpassed in beauty; on vellum, 
at any rate, it assuredly never has been. Most of the 
pages glow with bright and joyous sunlight ; but night- 
effects are attempted with great success in a few pictures, 
as in the dusky blue of the Gethsemane scene, where the 
soldiers fall prostrate before the divine majesty of Christ; 
or in the lurid darkness of hell, with the devils, and the 
lost souls whom they torture with every circumstance of 
medieval ingenuity, seen dimly in the smoky gloom. 

Very little is known as to Pol and his brothers, beyond 
the fact that for the last few years of the Duke of Berry's 
life they were salaried members of his household. A 

1 PI. xl. 

272 



PLATE XL 




" TRES RICHES HEURES " OF JEAN DUG DE BERRY, D. 1416 

BY PAUL DE LIMBOURG AND HIS BROTHERS. CHANTII.LY, MUSRE CONDK 



FRENCH ILLUiMINATION AFTER 1400 

document dated i February, 1434, concerning a house at 
Bourges given by the Duke to Pol about 1409, shows 
that he had long been dead (his widow having married 
again and died, and her second husband having " longue- 
ment tenu et occupe* " the said house), and implies by its 
silence that his two brothers were also dead. They must 
have had time, however, before 1416 if not after, to execute 
many other paintings besides those in the "Tres Riches 
Heures"; among those which have been more or less 
confidently assigned to them, on grounds of style in 
default of documentary evidence, are the miniatures in 
the " Belles Heures " of the Duke of Berry, now in Baron 
Edmond de Rothschild's collection, 1 and a Crucifixion 
and a Majestas Domini in a Missal given to the church 
of S. Magloire at Paris in 1412 (Bibl. de r Arsenal, No. 
623), 2 Whether these attributions be well founded or not, 
it is clear that in the "Tres Riches Heures" we have the 
supreme achievement of this remarkable band of brothers. 
In it, as in Add. 32454 and 29433, signs of Italian influ- 
ence have been recognized ; indeed, the miniature of the 
Purification (Durrieu, pi. 39) is all but identical in com- 
position with Taddeo Gaddi's fresco of the Presentation 
of the Virgin, in the church of Santa Croce at Florence. 3 
We come next to a splendid group of manuscripts 
illuminated at Paris in or about the second quarter of 
the century, three of them for John, Duke of Bedford, 
uncle of Henry VI and Regent of France from 1422 until 
his death in 1435. The finest of these is his Book of 
Hours (Brit. Mus., Add. 18850),* commonly but incor- 
rectly called the " Bedford Missal." It was probably 
made on the occasion of his marriage, in 1423, to Anne, 
daughter of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy ; for it 

1 Gazette dcs Beaux- Arts, 1906, i, pp. 265-92. 

2 Primitifs Franfats, 1904, pt. ii, No. 222 (pi. opp. p. 61); Martin, Peintres, 
p. 75, fig. 20. 

3 M. Durrieu maintains, however (pp. 45-73), that not even this resemblance, 
striking though it is, affords any proof of direct Italian influence. 

4 Pal. Soc., i, 172-3 ; Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 47, Reprod., iii, 32-4. 

IS 2/3 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

contains her portrait, arms, and motto as well as his, and 
it was given by her, with his consent, to the young King 
Henry on Christmas Eve, 1430. Its wealth of decoration 
is extraordinary, almost unique, in fact, though it falls far 
short of the "Tres Riches Heures" in beauty. Every 
page of text has a full border of the same type as the 
most elaborate borders in the Burgundy Breviary, but 
more luxuriant, with columbines, violets, and other 
flowers combined with ivy-leaf and acanthus, and with 
brilliant little medallion-miniatures introduced. After 
the Calendar are four full-page paintings of scenes from 
Genesis, without borders; these are among the best pages 
in the book, especially the building of the Ark and the 
Tower of Babel, with their interesting details and the 
lively, natural action of the figures. Each of the large 
miniatures prefixed to the principal divisions of the text 
is accompanied by a series of vignettes connected with it 
in subject, usually placed in a richly ornate border of 
flowers, birds, and foliage, with little or none of the ivy- 
leaf pattern which forms the groundwork of the other 
borders. Thus the Lessons from the four Gospels have 
large pictures of the Evangelists writing, surrounded with 
vignettes representing incidents in their lives ; at the 
Hours of the Dead, monks are seen chanting round a 
bier which stands in a stately Gothic choir, while the 
vignettes in the border illustrate the last rites of the 
Church. 1 But the Annunciation, prefixed to Matins of 
the Virgin, is completely framed by twelve scenes from 
Our Lady's life, which leave no space for any non-pictorial 
border-ornament. The two portrait-pages, near the end 
of the book (fT. 2$6b, 25yb), are splendid. The Duke 
and Duchess, in magnificent attire, kneel before their 
respective patrons ; their faces are very carefully painted 
in pure profile, and have every appearance of being 
authentic portraits of high value. The last miniature in 
the volume (f. 288b) is a fine full-page composition, illus- 
trating the legend of the divine origin of the royal arms 

i PI. xli. 

274 



PI,A TK XLl 



rvs*r! ' w^M\f j-ip * 

"t ominnir lot rrtcbif iofifur cr If fcuurcfriiimrtfc pjurlr^ 
\JMV iqnjctiuinifir ^ rdmublc vioifir on(ciatf oamnifr 




v:iaurbimquU(airionnc 

o:r.comTa . i ifomirin.T; 



';-. 



BEDFORD HOURS. FRENCH, CIRCA 1423 

BRIT. MUS. ADD. 18850 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1400 

of France. On the whole, it is chiefly through its exces- 
sive sumptuousness that the Bedford Hours misses the 
very highest rank. Every page is lavishly flowered with 
brilliant colours and ingenious patterns, but the total 
effect is gorgeous rather than entirely satisfying; splendid 
and skilful as the painting is, it fails to achieve complete 
success through lack of restraint and simplicity of plan. 
In fact, a decline in artistic taste has already begun. 

The Sarum Breviary in the Bibl. Nat. (lat. I7294) 1 
was also made for the Duke of Bedford ; its decoration 
is similar to that of his Hours, and was evidently 
the work of the same artists. Its date, however, is 
somewhat later, for it contains the arms of his second 
wife, Jacqueline of Luxembourg, whom he married in 
1433. Another book begun for the same patron was the 
famous Pontifical of Jacques Jouvenel des Ursins, which 
was acquired by the city of Paris in 1861. Ten years 
later it perished in the fire at the Hotel de Ville a truly 
lamentable loss, to judge by Vallet de Viriville's descrip- 
tion of the manuscript, 2 and by Le Roux de Lincy's 
coloured reproductions 3 of three of its miniatures contain- 
ing views of old Paris. 

The Sobieski Hours 4 (so called from having once 
belonged to John Sobieski, King of Poland), bequeathed 
by Cardinal Henry Stuart to George IV, and now in the 
Royal Library at Windsor, belongs to the same group. 
The precise circumstances of its origin are uncertain, but 
it seems probable that it was made for Margaret, sister of 
Anne, Duchess of Bedford, to signalize her marriage in 
1423 to Arthur, Comte de Richemont. At any rate, it 
is clearly contemporary with the Bedford Hours and 
decorated to a large extent by the same artists. The 
best pages indeed are even superior to most of the work 
in that book : less overlaid with border-ornament, more 

1 Primitifs Fr., ii, No. 106. 

2 Gaz. des Beaux-Arts, 1866, ii, pp. 471-88. 

3 Paris et ses historic ns, 1867, pi. 4, 8, 10. 

4 New Pal. Soc., pi. 94-6, 194-5 ; Burl. F.A. Club, No. 209, pi. 134. 

275 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

delicate and harmonious in colouring. In fact, it may be 
regarded as a sort of connecting link between the com- 
paratively restrained style of the Burgundy Breviary and 
"Tres Riches Heures," on the one hand, and the florid 
sumptuousness of the Bedford books on the other. The 
Calendar preserves some traces of fourteenth century 
symbolism in its figures of prophets and apostles with 
scrolls, balancing each other at the foot of the page ; but 
it also has, like the Bedford Hours, figures of saints in 
the margins opposite their respective days, not framed as 
in the Bedford Hours, but inserted in the borders. The 
large miniatures, many of which are interesting in subject 
as well as admirable in treatment, are mostly composite 
pictures, either divided into compartments or else repre- 
senting several incidents continuously. Of the former, 
one of the most charming examples is the series of scenes 
from the life of the Virgin prefixed to her Hours ; of the 
latter, the Mont S. Michel picture at the Memoria of 
S. Michael. 

Of the same class, though on a much smaller scale, 
is a beautiful little Book of Hours in Mr. Yates Thomp- 
son's collection, 1 made for the famous Dunois, Bastard of 
Orleans, probably after his capture of Paris in 1436, for 
it is evidently the work of the brilliant school of Parisian 
illuminators who had enjoyed the patronage of the Duke 
of Bedford under the English regime. In its long series 
of admirable miniatures are some of uncommon design, 
especially the representations of the seven deadly sins 
which illustrate the Penitential Psalms ; one of these, 
the picture of Idleness (f. 162), has a fine landscape back- 
ground, which has been recognized as a careful copy from 
Jan van Eyck's well-known "Vierge au donateur" in 
the Louvre. Dunois himself is introduced in three of 
the miniatures, and these are perhaps the only authentic 
portraits of the great soldier in existence. 

The same collection includes another Book of Hours 2 

1 No. ii. See Catalogue, i, pp. 49-57- 

2 No. 85. See Catalogue, ii, pp. 238-64. 

276 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1400 

of this period, even more plentifully adorned with minia- 
tures, though hardly of quite so high a level of artistic 
excellence ; made for Admiral Prigent de Coetivy 
(d. 1450), probably before 1445. In colouring the contrast 
between the two manuscripts is great, the Dunois book 
having all the rich brilliancy of its class, while most of 
the miniatures in the Coetivy Hours are painted in what 
is practically a modification of grisaille, the draperies 
being left white, against backgrounds coloured in light 
tones. 

Somewhat earlier is the Psalter of Henry VI, 1 which 
was probably a gift from his mother, Queen Catherine, 
on his coronation in 1430. It has nothing like the wealth 
of illustration with which the manuscripts just described 
abound ; but its fifteen miniatures are all finely executed, 
and six of them have an added interest from the portraits 
of the young king which they contain now kneeling 
before the Image of Pity or the Virgin and Child, now 
looking on at the combat between David and Goliath. 
The borders show the gilt ivy-leaf style at its best, and 
the church scenes, with nuns and friars singing the 
office, are admirable both for the display of architec- 
tural detail and for the soft and delicate treatment of 
the faces. 

The first half of the fifteenth century was the flower- 
ing-time of French illumination in the proper sense of 
the term. An immense quantity was produced in the 
next fifty or sixty years, and some of this has considerable 
artistic merit ; its special beauty, however, is that of 
pictures on a small scale, painted on vellum instead of 
wood or canvas, rather than that of manuscript pages 
fittingly adorned. The great master of the new school 
was Jean Fouquet, who, after receiving unstinted praise 
from his contemporaries and immediate successors, 
Italian as well as French (he is enshrined in the pages of 
Vasari), fell into neglect for nearly three centuries, but 
has been amply rehabilitated in recent years ; on few 

1 Brit. Mus., Dom. A. xvii. See Warner, Ilium. MSS^ pi. 48, Reprod., i, 29. 

277 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

painters indeed, certainly on no other miniaturist, have 
such unremitting study and research been lavished. 1 

Born at Tours about 1410-20, he went to Rome while 
still a young man, and painted there, apparently between 
1443 and 1447, a portrait of Pope Eugenius IV, on 
canvas, for the church of S. Maria sopra Minerva. He 
probably returned to France soon after, but nothing is 
actually known of his movements until 1461, when he 
was commissioned to paint the dead King Charles VI Fs 
portrait. From this time till his death, which took place 
between 1477 and 1481, his abode was at Tours, where 
he was engaged from time to time in designing the 
decorations for great civic displays. When Louis XI 
instituted the order of S. Michael, in 1469, Fouquet was 
charged with the execution of "certains tableaux . . . 
pour servir aux chevaliers de 1'ordre " ; these are not 
specified, but they doubtless included the frontispiece to 
the copy of the Statutes now in the Bibl. Nat. (fr. 19819),* 
which represents the royal founder presiding at a 
chapter. In 1474 he received payment " pour avoir tire 
et peint sur parchemin " a portrait of Louis when that 
monarch was having his tomb prepared in advance ; and 
in 1475 he was dignified with the title " Peintre du Roy." 
Contemporary records further show that he was com- 
missioned to illuminate a Book of Hours for the Duchess 
of Orleans in 1472, and another for Philippe de Commines, 
apparently in or before 1474. 

None of these works of Fouquet's is now known to 
exist, with the single exception of the frontispiece to the 
Statutes of the Order of S. Michael ; and even that is not 
so precisely documented as could be wished. So this 
great painter would be a mere name to us, but for a note 
which Francois Robertet was happily inspired to insert, 
between 1488 and 1503, in a volume then belonging to 

1 The Fouquet literature is vast and scattered, but its results are very fully 
and carefully set forth by Durrieu, Les Antiquitls Juddiques et le peintre Jean 
Foucquet, 1908. For a more succinct but useful summary, see G. Lafenestre, 
Jehan Fouquet ^ 1905. 

2 Durrieu, Ant. Jud., pi. 19. 

278 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1400 

his master Pierre de Bourbon, Sire de Beaujeu and Due 
de Bourbon. This volume (now Bibl. Nat., fr. 247) con- 
tains the first half of a French translation of Josephus' 
Antiquities of the Jews and Jewish War, written originally 
for the Due de Berry between 1403 and 1413; and the 
note states explicitly that its first three "ystoires" are by 
" 1'enlumineur du due Jehan de Berry," and the remaining 
nine (or rather, actually, eleven) are by the hand "d'un 
bon peintre et enlumineur du roi Loys XI e , Jehan Fouc- 
quet, natif de Tours." These "ystoires" are of large size 
and in perfect preservation, and sufficiently varied in sub- 
ject to enable modern critics at once to endorse the verdict 
of his contemporaries and to form some idea of his dis- 
tinctive characteristics ; and his hand has consequently 
been recognized in other paintings, both miniatures and 
panels, the latter including some splendid portraits. The 
second volume of the Josephus, long given up as lost, 
reappeared in 1903 at Sotheby's sale-rooms, where it was 
bought by Mr. Yates Thompson. It then lacked twelve 
of its thirteen miniatures, but ten of the missing ones 
were discovered two years later by Sir G. Warner, in an 
album of detached leaves belonging to the Royal Library 
at Windsor; and thanks to King Edward's public-spirited 
generosity and that of Mr. Yates Thompson the volume, 
complete but for two leaves, has now rejoined its com- 
panion in the Paris Library, where it is numbered nouv. 
acq. fr. 21013. I* s opening miniature is unmistakably 
by Fouquet ; and the others, though much smaller, are in 
exactly the same manner, so that if (as some critics hold) 
they are not the master's own work, they must at any rate 
be assigned to a singularly faithful and skilful disciple. 1 

We need not follow those daring critics who see in 
certain manuscripts 2 the work of Fouquet in his youth, 

1 All the miniatures of both volumes, together with other examples of Fou- 
quet's work, are reproduced by Durrieu, Ant. Jud, ; for reduced facsimiles of the 
Josephus miniatures, see H. O[mont], Antiquites et Guerre des Juifs de Josephe 
[1906], 

2 e.g. Brit. Mus., Add. 28785 (Warner, Reprod., ii, 30), a Book of Hours 
whose interesting miniatures are specially admirable for their distant landscapes. 

279 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

before his style had reached the maturity evident in the 
splendid paintings of the Josephus. The latter show 
plainly the hand of a great master in the plenitude of his 
powers ; their large manner, moreover, bespeaks the 
"peintre" rather than the "enlumineur." In his faculty 
for handling landscape, his understanding of open-air 
effects, Fouquet rivals the_ great Flemish painters of his 
time ; he resembles them too in the homely directness 
of his portraiture. From Italy he seems to have borrowed 
little directly beyond architectural details, in particular the 
twisted columns of S. Peter's ; but there are suggestions 
of Italian influence in some of his figure-compositions. 
His pictures are admirably planned, with an unerring 
sense of balance and due proportion between the several 
parts. In battle-scenes and processions, especially, he 
excels in combining the total effect of serried crowds with 
life and individuality in the single figures. All these 
characteristics appear in other miniatures, along with 
more minute traits which stamp them as Fouquet's work 
beyond all question ; among these are the illustrations 
of the Grandes Chroniques de France, 1 the Munich Boc- 
cace, 2 painted for Laurens Gyrard in or soon after 1458, 
and above all the Hours of Iitienne Chevalier. The 
last-named manuscript, Fouquet's great masterpiece, was 
probably painted in or before 1461, since it contains 
a representation of Charles VII as one of the Magi. 
Etienne Chevalier, for whom it was made, as appears by 
his initials 3 or full name being introduced into most of 
the miniatures or ornamental initials, was a personage of 
great note under Charles VII and Louis XI, from about 
1440 until his death in 1474. His portrait occurs twice 

1 Bibl. Nat., fr. 6465. Published in reduced facsimile by H. O[mont], 
Grandes Chroniques de France [1906]. 

2 Munich, Hofbibl., Cod. gall. 369. See Durrieu, Le Boccace de Munich, 
Reproduction des gi miniatures, 1909. 

3 The same "EC" device appears in a charming little Horae now in the 
British Museum (Add. 16997. See Pal. Soc., ii, 116 ; Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 49, 
Reprod., i, 30) ; a manuscript probably of slightly earlier date, and certainly not by 
Fouquet. 

280 



PLATE XLII 




HORAE OF E. CHEVALIER, BY JEAN FOUQUET, MID. XV CENT. 



CHANTII.LY, MUSP.E CONDK 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1400 

in the Hours : first, kneeling with his patron S. Stephen 1 
before the Virgin and Child, in a splendid double-page 
picture at the beginning ; and again in the Entombment, 
kneeling at the foot of the sepulchre. 

Only forty-four detached leaves remain of this lovely 
Book of Hours ; of these, forty are in the Musee Conde 
at Chantilly, 2 two in the Louvre, 3 one in the Bibliotheque 
Nationale, 4 and one in the British Museum. 5 Contrary 
to what might be expected, these are the most interesting 
as well as the most beautiful of Fouquet's extant minia- 
tures. There is a touch of monotony in the battles, 
ceremonial processions, and murders with which the 
Jewish and French chronicles and the " Cas des nobles 
homines et femmes " are illustrated ; but here, well worn 
as the themes are, Fouquet has found ample scope in 
their presentment for his imagination and originality of 
design. In the Enthronement of the Virgin, for instance, 
his instinct for majestic composition and his skill in per- 
spective are finely exemplified. We seem to be looking 
down the nave of a vast cathedral, built up not of stones 
but of saints and angels, rising tier on tier to the key of 
the vault. Far away in this living temple the Three 
Persons of the Trinity, all exactly alike, sit clothed in 
white on three Gothic canopied thrones ; and the Virgin 
is seated on a fourth throne, placed like a bishop's at the 
side of the choir. The same conception appears, but 
with many variations in detail, in the Coronation of the 
Virgin, 6 where the Son descends from His place in the 
triple throne (here of Renaissance style) to place the 
crown on Mary's head. Sometimes Fouquet fills up his 
pages by inserting legendary scenes, as of the woman 

1 A panel-portrait of Chevalier, again supported by S. Stephen, was painted 
by Fouquet, probably about 1450, and is now in the Berlin Museum (Primitifs 
Fr., i, No. 41, plate between pp. 24 and 25). 

2 Published by F. A. Gruyer, Les Quarante Fouquet, 1897. 

3 Prim. Fr., i, Nos. 50, 500. 

4 Ibid., ii, No. 131 (nouv. acq. lat. 1416). 

5 Warner, Reprod., iii, 35 (Add. 37421). 
PI. xlii. 

281 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

forging the nails for the Crucifixion ; or delights us with 
lifelike but irrelevant touches, such as the subsidiary group 
in the Visitation, a man drawing water from a well, under 
the deeply interested supervision of a little boy. Some 
of the subjects too are unusual : the curious " Mission 
of the Apostles" (Gruyer, pi. 20), for instance, or the 
beautiful picture of the angel's visit to Mary to announce 
her approaching death. 

Fouquet's sons Louis and Francois were painters of 
some note ; and it may be that the latter was the " egregius 
pictor Franciscus" who illustrated a huge "Cite" de Dieu" 
(Bibl. Nat., fr. 18, 19)* for Charles de Gaucourt in or 
shortly before 1473, and whose hand has been recognized 
in other manuscripts of the time, notably in a Valerius 
Maximus made for Philippe de Commines about 1475, in 
two stately volumes (Brit. Mus., Harl. 4374~5). 2 Another 
large volume in the British Museum 3 has miniatures 
which may safely be referred to the same school, if not 
to the same artist. In all these the influence of Jean 
Fouquet is plainly discernible, in the composition, the 
pose of individual figures, the treatment of draperies, the 
frequent touches of gold to heighten effects ; but the 
master's supreme genius is lacking, his pupil has not 
inherited his charm, refinement, and width of range, nor 
his consummate skill as a landscape-painter. That 
" Franciscus " was, however, an artist of considerable 
versatility is proved by the fact that besides these and 
other manuscripts of large size he also illustrated Books 
of Hours of the tiniest dimensions. Two such books, at 
least, are extant: one in Mr. Yates Thompson's collection, 4 
executed for Rend II, Duke of Lorraine (1473-1508) ; the 

1 Prim. Fr., ii, Nos. 141-2. Count A. de Laborde, MSS. a peintures de la 
Cite de Dieu (Soc. des Bibliophiles fr., 1909), pp. 397-416, pi. 47~S 6 - 

2 Warner, Valerius Maximus. Miniatures of the School of Jean Fouquet, 
1907 ; also Ilium. MSS., pi. 50, and Reprod., ii, 33. 

3 Add. 35321, Boccace, Cas des malheureux nobles hommes et femmes; the 
subject of an illustrated article by Sir E. M. Thompson in the Burlington Magazine, 
vii, 1905, pp. 198-210. See too Warner, Reprod., i, 33. 

4 Warner, Valerius Maximus, pp. 12, 15-17. 

282 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1400 

other in the British Museum, 1 perhaps made for Louis de 
Luxembourg, Count of St. Pol (d. 1475). The latter has 
borders of the unpleasing type which came into vogue 
towards the end of the century, gilt triangular insertions 
alternating with the plain vellum as background for 
scrolls of foliage. But the miniatures are very finely 
painted, especially when one considers that the artist was 
accustomed to work on a much larger scale a fact only 
recalled by an occasional tendency to make the heads too 
big for the bodies. The distant landscapes are excellent, 
and many of the compositions are interesting, notably 
the charming picture of the Virgin teaching the Child- 
Christ to read, and still more the frontispiece to Vespers 
of the Dead, with the mysterious symbolism of its nine 
crosses each bearing the crucified Saviour, and its twofold 
representation of the dead Christ in angels' arms below 
an empty cross. 2 

The work of Jean Fouquet and his school, like that 
of most Northern French illuminators in the latter half 
of the fifteenth century, shows strong affinities with 
Flemish art. In South-eastern France, on the other 
hand, there is often some admixture of Italian influence, 
especially in the border-ornament. There are hints of 
this in the Hours of Rene" of Anjou (d. 1480) ; 3 and it is 
more pronounced in the Saluces Hours, 4 executed about 
1450-60, probably for Amedee de Saluces. The former 
manuscript contains two miniatures, painted in a curious 
and somewhat uncouth style, which have been attributed to 
"le bon roi Rend" himself, but though his love for illumina- 
tion is well known, 5 no certain evidence is forthcoming as 
to his practical proficiency in the art. 

Illuminated manuscripts continued to be produced in 
France long after the introduction of printing, and much 

1 Eg. 2045. See Warner, Val. Max., pp. 16-17, Reprod., i, 31. 

2 For these two pages (ff. 2i6b, 280) see pi. xliii. 
8 Eg. 1070. See Warner, Reprod., iii, 36-7. 

4 Add. 27697. See Pal. Soc., i, 253 ; Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. $\,Reprod.,\, 32. 

5 See E. Chmelarz in the Vienna Jahrbuch^ xi, 1890, pp. 116-39. 

283 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

skill and labour were expended upon them. But the 
art may be said, without grave inaccuracy, to have 
finished its course by the end of the fifteenth century. 
It was no longer instinct with life and capable of natural 
development ; and the great masters of painting ceased, 
with few exceptions, to devote their talents to it. Pre- 
eminent' among the exceptions is the illuminator of the 
Hours of Anne of Brittany, Queen Consort of Charles 
VIII (1491-8) and of his successor Louis XII (1499-1514). 
This famous manuscript 1 was long attributed to Jean 
Poyet of Tours, on the strength of an entry in the 
Queen's accounts, recording a payment made to him in 
1497 f r illuminating "unes petites heures"; but since 
the discovery of a warrant, dated March 14, 1507, for 
the payment of six hundred crowns to Jean Bourdichon 
for having " richement et somptueusement historic' et 
enlumyne' une grans heures " for Anne's use, it has been 
generally identified, not with Poyet's "petites heures," 
but with the presumably larger and more sumptuous work 
of Bourdichon. 2 Like his rival Poyet, Bourdichon be- 
longed to Tours, and was quite possibly a pupil of 
Fouquet, having been born in 1457. As early as 1478 
he was commissioned to decorate the Royal Chapel at 
Plessis-les-Tours, and from 1484 onwards he bore the 
title of " painctre du roy," apparently until his death in or 
shortly before 1521. Like Fouquet, he employed his 
artistic talents in various ways : he designed coins, lamps, 
and reliquaries, painted portraits, banners, and views of 
towns, as well as illuminating manuscripts. As in the 
case of Fouquet, too, we are dependent on a single 
manuscript for our knowledge of his actual work, and 
even of that, as we have seen, he has not been left in 
undisputed possession. M. Male has recognized his 

1 Bibl. Nat., lat. 9474. See H. O.[mont], Heures d* Anne de Bretagne [1907] ; 

E. Male, in Gaz. des Beaux-Arts^ 1902, i, pp. 185-203, 1904, ii, pp. 441-57; also 

F. de Mely, in Gaz. des Beaux-Arts, 1909, ii, pp. 177-96, 1910, ii, p. 173. 

2 It should be mentioned, however, that M. de Mely upholds the attribution 
to Poyet, though the weight of evidence seems against him. 

284 



FRENCH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1400 

hand, however, in five other manuscripts now in French 
libraries ; and a sixth, executed apparently for Jean 
Bourgeois soon after 1490, has been found in the Univer- 
sity Library at Innsbruck. 1 All these show some 
lingering traces of Fouquet's influence, particularly the 
Innsbruck MS., which contains a miniature of David 
praying, clad in full armour, directly reminiscent of the 
corresponding picture in the Chevalier Hours (Brit. Mus., 
Add. 37421). The best of them is undoubtedly the 
Hours of Anne of Brittany, in its somewhat decadent 
way a veritable masterpiece. The groups are well planned, 
the landscapes and architectural ornaments are finely 
painted, but the faces, though not without a certain 
individuality, are sentimental, sleek, lacking in animation. 
Though not a great master, Bourdichon evidently had 
a numerous following ; more or less feeble imitations of 
his manner abound in almost every large library, 2 the 
dying efforts of French illumination. 

1 See H. J. Hermann, " Ein unbekanntes Gebetbuch von Jean Bourdichon," in 
Beitrdge zur Kunstgeschichte, Franz Wickhoff geividmet, 1903, pp. 46-63. 

2 Samples may be seen in the Brit. Mus. MSS. Add. 18854 (executed in 1525 
for Francois de Dinteville, Bishop of Auxerre), 18855, (early sixteenth century, 
contrasting unfavourably with two leaves from an exquisite Flemish calendar, of 
about the same period, inserted at the end of the volume), and 35254, T-V. The 
last, three leaves from a large Book of Hours, early sixteenth century, is decidedly 
the best of these ; it is perhaps the work of one of Bourdichon's pupils. 



285 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

WE saw that in the fourteenth century Italy failed 
to reach in illumination a pre-eminence com- 
mensurate with that which she achieved in 
fresco and panel painting. Speaking broadly, the same 
may be said of the fifteenth century. In the first half 
she is eclipsed by the Franco-Flemish schools ; and in 
the second, when her distinctive style had reached full 
maturity, even her most superb productions are rivalled, 
if not surpassed, by the more sober colouring and the 
minuter finish of the finest Flemish work of the same 
period. Her prime too was much briefer than her 
Northern rival's, her decay more rapid and complete ; in all 
the mass of Italian sixteenth century illumination that 
exists there is little which gives the beholder anything 
like complete satisfaction by its beauty, which does not 
rather repel him by its tasteless exuberance of ornament 
and its ill-harmonized scheme of colour. 

No great masterpieces have survived from the early 
decades of the fifteenth century, and there is no reason 
for supposing that any were produced ; but the con- 
tinuance and gradual development of the fourteenth cen- 
tury style often produced very pleasing results. A fair 
sample of the work of this period may be seen in the 
Hymnal of the Austin Hermits of Siena, 1 dated 1415, 
and decorated with large historiated initials and pendent 
borders. Compared with the fourteenth century Vallom- 
brosa Gradual 2 which stands near it in the same show- 

1 Brit. Mus., Add. 30014. See Warner, Reprod., i, 45 (accidentally given the 
lettering which belongs to pi. 46). 

2 Add. 18198. See above, p. 259. 

286 



THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

case at the British Museum, it marks a considerable 
advance ; not so much in the miniatures (though these 
too show more elaboration of detail, more effort after 
minute finish) as in the borders. These are a modifica- 
tion of the old rod-and-acanthus design : the rods become 
less prominent and are usually curved, the leaves grow 
more freely and luxuriantly, and flowers and delicate 
sprays of foliage issue at the corners and extremities ; 
human, grotesque, and other figures too are introduced 
a monk praying, a woman carrying a basket on her head, 
a bird flying with food to its nestlings, etc. The most 
elaborate page is at Christmas (f. 51), where the initial 
encloses a miniature of the Nativity in a landscape of snow- 
clad hills, the Annunciation to the Shepherds is depicted 
in an interesting pastoral scene in the lower margin, and 
the borders are enriched with medallions of angel- 
musicians and half-length figures of David and John the 
Baptist. The miniature has a sky of stippled gold, and 
is surrounded with a square frame filled with a geo- 
metrical repeat-pattern. Throughout the volume, though 
the technique is not of the highest quality, the total effect 
is satisfying, sometimes even charming, through the 
simplicity and good taste of the compositions and orna- 
ment, and above all through the purity and brilliance of 
the colour-scheme, with its predominant gold and ver- 
milion set off against paler tints and the plain vellum. 
The manuscript is full of exquisite lace-work initials in 
red and blue another heritage from the preceding cen- 
tury. 

This Hymnal is of special interest as being a complete 
manuscript, and one whose date and place of origin are 
known. The finest specimens of its class are mostly 
found (outside Italy, at all events) in single leaves or por- 
tions of leaves, ruthlessly cut out from choir-books to 
enrich collectors' albums. Among many such cuttings 
that have found their way to the British Museum are two 
large miniatures, which have evidently been taken from 
early fifteenth century Sienese choir-books. Both are 

287 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

resplendent with vermilion and burnished gold ; and both 
are enclosed in tessellated frames, like the Nativity in the 
Hymnal. Characteristic too of the school are the large- 
ness and simplicity of the compositions, and the serene, 
slightly sentimental facial types. One of these paintings 1 
represents the Burial and Assumption of the Virgin, 
between two precipitous hills of the familiar primitive 
Italian type, against a vast expanse of gold background ; 
the other 2 treats the subject of the Annunciation in a 
somewhat original way, Gabriel being half-hidden by the 
elaborately foliated "R" which encloses the picture. The 
Sienese school was exceptionally conservative, and these 
miniatures form an interesting link between the great 
masterpiece of Niccolo di Ser Sozzo and the illuminations 
painted by Sano di Pietro, after the middle of the fifteenth 
century, in choir-books still preserved in the cathedral at 
Siena. 

Fra Angelico is sometimes said to have practised 
illumination, and he has actually been credited with the 
decoration of certain choir-books now exhibited in the 
Museo di S. Marco at Florence. But this attribution 
seems ill-founded, 3 though signs of his influence are 
obvious ; and there is no real evidence that he painted on 
vellum at all. The history of Florentine illumination in 
the earlier part of the fifteenth century is obscure ; and 
much the same may be said of Italian illumination gener- 
ally during that period, until the Renaissance infused new 
life into the art. One of the first indications of the new 
movement was a revival of the style of script and decora- 
tion of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. This appears 
as early as 1433, in a copy of Justinus made at Verona ; 4 
still earlier at Florence, in a Valerius Flaccus written in 

1 Add. 37955. A. 

2 Add. 35254, C. See pi. xliv. 

3 See Langton Douglas, Fra Angelico, 1902, p. 159. For descriptions of 
the S. Marco MSS. see F. Rondoni, Guida del R. Museo fiorentino di S. Marco, 
1872, and for plates, V. Marchese, S. Marco, Convento del Padri Predicaiori in 
Firenze, 1853. 

4 Brit. Mus., Add. 12012. See Pal. Soc.> i, 252. 

288 



I'LATK XL1V 




SINGLE LEAF, PERHAPS FROM A CHOIR BOOK. SIENESE, EARLY XV CENT 

BRIT. MUS. ADI). 35254 <: 



THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

1429.* The script soon developed into the well-known 
" scrittura umanistica," whose exquisite neatness and pre- 
cision made Italian calligraphers famous, and prepared 
the way for the triumphs of the early Italian printers ; 
while the decorative scheme produced the borders which 
are so familiar to all students of late Italian illumination, 
and whose foundation is an interlaced scroll of white vine- 
tendrils. This scroll-work design was usually painted on 
grounds of alternating blue, green, and crimson, and set 
in a rectangular frame composed of narrow gold bands ; 
and putti, birds, rabbits, and other animals were often 
introduced, together with medallions enclosed in wreaths 
of close - set foliage, and containing sometimes figure- 
compositions, sometimes heraldic or symbolical designs, 
sometimes busts copied from antique gems. This type of 
Renaissance work may be seen at its best in the sump- 
tuous books written by Hippolytus Lunensis,a calligrapher 
who worked chiefly for Ferdinand of Aragon, King of 
Naples (1458-94), and who probably directed the illumin- 
ation of the volumes to which his name is attached. 
Among these is a copy of " Joannis Scoti super libros 
Sententiarum quaestiones" in several bulky tomes, 
four of which are in the British Museum and one at 
Paris ; 2 vol v. having on the opening page, 3 besides a 
full and elaborate border of this kind, a neatly executed 
miniature of a scribe at work, attached to the initial. The 
Ovid in Mr. Perrins's collection, 4 written by Hippolytus 
for Antonello Petrucci about 1480, combines the vine- 
tendril design with another style of Renaissance border, 
a scroll of thread-like stems with tiny leaves and large 
flowers on a plain vellum ground ; and the artist cannot 
be congratulated on his juxtaposition of the two schemes, 
effective though each of them is when employed separately. 

1 Vltelli and Paoli, Facsimili Paleografid, Lat., tav. 48. 

2 Brit. Mus., Add. 15270-3; Bibl. Nat., lat. 3063. See Warner, Reprod., 
iii, 38. 

3 Pl.xlv. 

4 Burl. F.A. Club, No. 186, pi. 124. 

19 289 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

This lack of simplicity and restraint, this tendency to 
spoil the decorative effect of a page by overloading it with 
ill-assorted ornaments, was a besetting sin of the Renais- 
sance illuminators, and one which grew as time went on, 
after the accustomed manner of besetting sins. Early 
manuscripts are comparatively free from it, even to so 
late a date as 1457, when a Roman Missal 1 was executed, 
probably at or near Florence, for Sandra di Giovanni 
Cianchini da Gavignano, Abbess of Rosano in the diocese 
of Fiesole. This manuscript has no great intrinsic 
importance, but may be taken as marking the limit of 
persistence (outside Siena) of the Pre- Renaissance tradi- 
tion. Its one full-page miniature, a Crucifixion prefixed 
to the Canon, is crude and unattractive ; but the initial 
and border decorations are simple and effective, especially 
on the opening page of the Temporale (f. 7), where they 
form a pleasing harmony in pale blue, pale green, and 
burnished gold. 

But more sophisticated tastes were coming in, together 
with a much wider range of decorative ideas and a great 
advance in technical skill. Despite the transitional 
character of this Missal, Italian illumination had already 
entered on its most brilliant period, and the next half- 
century witnessed the production of many splendid 
masterpieces. The florescence was general, and it is not 
easy to discriminate between the different local schools. 
The leading miniaturists undoubtedly moved about from 
place to place, fulfilling particular commissions ; and 
though many of their names are preserved in records, 
there is still the old difficulty of identifying their work 
in actual extant manuscripts. Very few of them had the 
habit of signing their paintings ; and the records, when 
they do specify individual manuscripts that are still in 
existence, often connect them with the names of several 
painters, giving no indication of the precise part per- 
formed by any one of them. It is tantalizing information 
of this kind that we are given, for instance, about the 

1 Brit. Mus., Add. 14802. 
290 



PLATE XLV 



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patimf tntdinrum .mtilir rffiarftn jua fuwifipfmf iiu/nrnfiif <cpfc 
m rrddira famtntr iti fin prmupium a <fuo Jr t'nmimf A kimifafmi Jr 
tnJtiitrari ftnalmrtT(jiii.irur c tfla fjucn llinartonr fj/uirr -Jcdc 
HIT trtJucnonr iinali wnq df rrrfffxif ffiftnnf futvr (b/inm f.rif/f<im mi 
pllrrin boc OKTT frnj/i Jf frrmitwr ur licur cr pnmo <V fnundo r/jm 
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orrOTfuJf prtnnpmm 1'ic rv rrmo A'^uatro jppjrcar i^'fum fflf<Vo 
ram m fr finrm u/nmum q ftrjniir Cut per fcfpfiim in fjtpfum fina 
/Jtrrrrdumtitim H-ini-Jiirrni mlMfMIMH fitnalrtn rtntxdir ciir.ino 
frtmp/ma ft plma ctiratio comir.ntir 5fctiiifiutn hjnr Jilftnmonr 
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/cllium 54crafr>mra tntm di!ponur>r f< prrparanr. ptrmu iirroptrfi 
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SCOTUS, QUAESTIONES IN SENTENTIAS. ITALIAN, 1458-94 

BRIT. MUS. ADD. 15273 



THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

great two-volume Bible of Borso d'Este, Lord of Ferrara, 
now in the library of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand 
of Austria-Este. Borso's accounts show that the decora- 
tion of this splendid book was begun in 1455 and com- 
pleted in 1462, that the illuminator-in-chief was Taddeo 
Crivelli, and that his principal assistants were Franco 
Russi, Giorgio Tedesco, and Marco dell' Avogaro ; but 
they leave much room for conjecture in the attribution to 
each artist of his share in the work. 

The Borso Bible marks the highest achievement of 
the illuminators attached to the court of Ferrara, where 
the Este princes, especially Leonello (1441-50) and his 
successor Borso (1450-71), were liberal patrons of art. 1 It 
is, indeed, one of the most perfect and magnificent of all 
existing monuments of Italian illumination. For wealth 
of decoration it is almost without a rival, having some- 
thing like a thousand miniatures. There is documentary 
evidence that the superb double-page illumination at the 
beginning of Genesis was painted by Taddeo Crivelli 
himself; and it amply justifies his reputation as one of 
the greatest illuminators of his time. The wide border 
which surrounds the three columns of text is filled with 
a great variety of decorative elements, but these are so 
well adjusted as to result in an admirable design, rich and 
yet harmonious and not overloaded. The two inner 
margins are comparatively simple, having a style of border 
very often found in Ferrarese manuscripts, 2 though not 
peculiar to them : consisting of flowers and discs, con- 
nected by a sort of network of filigree lines, representing 
the stems, which also enclose plaques painted with the 
Este arms and imprese. But decoration is freely lavished 

1 See H. J. Hermann, "Zur Geschichte der Miniaturmalerei am Hofe der 
Este in Ferrara," in the Vienna Jahrbuch, xxi, pp. 117-271 (copiously illustrated, 
especially from the Borso Bible); also G. Gruyer, LArt ferrarais, 1897*, ii, pp. 
4I5-5 1 ; F- Carta, AtL pal.-art,, pi. 92-7; VArte, 1900, pp. 341-73, 1910, 
PP- 353-6i. 

2 e.g. in Brit. Mus., Add. 17294, a Ferrara Breviary made about 1472, ap- 
parently for Borso's successor, Ercole I, whose arms it contains, together with the 
" diamante" impresa : a beautifully written manuscript, but its decoration, though 
well executed, is not sumptuous or in any way remarkable. 

291 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

on the two broad outer bands, which, with the upper and 
lower margins, contain a series of Creation-scenes, placed 
in a gorgeous setting of Renaissance architectural and 
other ornament, putti, vases, doves, and conventional 
foliage. The Creation-scenes show much originality in 
composition, especially that in which the Almighty is 
putting the finishing touches to a lion under the interested 
surveillance of a horse. The animals and nude human 
figures are treated in a naturalistic and graceful manner, 
the putti are particularly charming ; in the purely decora- 
tive work a fertile fancy is combined with excellent taste ; 
the drawing is firm and delicate, the whole execution 
finely finished. Dr. Hermann has reproduced many other 
examples of what is apparently Taddeo's work, showing 
the same excellent qualities ; the pages which he assigns 
to one or other of Taddeo's collaborators, though evi- 
dently painted by skilful craftsmen, are distinctly inferior, 
lacking the master's freedom, originality, and charm. 

The Borso Bible is the only book in which we have 
anything like certainty that Taddeo Crivelli's work is to 
be found. But he is known to have been much in request 
from 1452 to 1476, illuminating choir-books for the Certosa 
at Pavia and the monasteries of S. Procolo and S. Petronio 
at Bologna; he died in or before 1479. His work at 
S. Petronio was continued, from 1477 to 1480, by Martino 
da Modena, son of his former collaborator Giorgio 
Tedesco. Martino also decorated service-books for 
Modena and Ferrara cathedrals, between 1480 and 1485, 
and he has been credited with a splendid Missal now in 
the Trivulzio collection at Milan. He seems to have had 
less aptitude than Taddeo for planning a sumptuous full- 
page design ; but his treatment of the human face and 
figure, still more of landscape, is much more advanced. 
Elaborately painted landscape-backgrounds were now 
becoming a regular feature in Italian miniature ; they 
are prominent, and sometimes quite beautiful, in the 
famous Breviary of Ercole I, most of which is now in 
the Austria-Este Library. Executed about 1502, this fine 
292 



THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

book already shows signs of decadent taste. The details 
of ornament, exquisitely painted though they be, are ill- 
distributed, now crowding up the borders with reckless 
profusion, now arranged in stiff and monotonous sym- 
metry. The miniatures too are often hampered with 
incongruous details, and lacking in spaciousness of com- 
position. The pages are gorgeous, magnificent ; but few 
of them are satisfying. Among still later Este manu- 
scripts the Officium of Alfonso I (circa 1505-10), in the 
Austria-Este Library, and the Missal of Cardinal Ippolito I 
(1503-20), in the University Library at Innsbruck, deserve 
mention for the fine pictures which both contain ; but 
these are only the last flickerings of a moribund art. 

Dr. Hermann's admirable survey of Ferrarese illu- 
mination, on which the above brief sketch is based, gives 
a fairly accurate idea of the course of development and 
decay of Renaissance illumination in any of the great 
centres of Italian painting. The names of patrons change 
we have the Medicis at Florence, the Sforzas at Milan, 
and so on ; so do the names of artists, where these are 
known at all. There are great varieties of style, due to 
the special circumstances of a local school or the individual 
genius of a great master. But the general trend is much 
the same everywhere, though its course cannot as a rule 
be followed step by step for lack of material, or of precise 
data with regard to the abundant material which exists. 
One of the few exceptions is the Venetian school, whose 
successive stages are shown by the Ducali in almost 
uninterrupted continuity down even to the eighteenth 
century. 1 Strictly speaking, the Ducale was the covenant 
which the Doge made with the Venetian people on his 
election ; but the term is also applied in a more general 
sense to ducal commissions and other documents, and 
even to congratulatory addresses offered to a Doge. The 
decoration of the earlier Ducali was usually confined to 
a figure-initial with pendent border-ornament, and had 

1 Holmes and Madden's Catalogue of Ducali (Brit. Mus., Add. 20758) ranges 
from 1367 to 1718. 

293 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

little artistic significance ; l but it became more elaborate 
about the middle of the fifteenth century, and began to 
be fairly representative of Venetian illumination. The 
earliest Ducale in the British Museum, the covenant of 
Cristoforo Mauro, 1462* has on the first page three 
illuminated initials, besides a full border of flowers, rayed 
discs, and filigree-stems, with numerous small figures of 
birds, foxes, etc., painted on the plain vellum (like the 
Ferrarese borders described above), and enclosing medal- 
lions of apes, lions, and other animals, with the Mauro 
arms within a wreath supported by putti in the lower 
margin. The principal initial contains (or rather, is re- 
placed by) a miniature of the Doge adoring the enthroned 
Madonna and Child between S. Mark and S. Bernardino ; 
finely painted, for the most part in subdued colours, but 
lit up by the deep crimson of the Doge's robe. Venetian 
illumination is seen at its best in this early Renaissance 
phase, preserving due balance between text, ornament, 
and figure-composition. The full-page frontispiece which 
usually adorns the later Ducali 3 is more imposing, with 
its gorgeous colouring and florid design, but is much less 
satisfying as a work of art ; lacking as it does the 
essential character of miniature, it quickly degenerates 
into a poor imitation of panel-painting on a reduced scale. 
Florence, the great home of all the arts, produced a 
large number of illuminated manuscripts during the 
Renaissance period ; but comparatively few of these 
approach the first rank. There are two manuscripts in 
the British -Museum which contain the Medici arms, and 
were perhaps made for Lorenzo the Magnificent himself, 
to whose time (1469-92) they seem to belong ; but they 
cannot be called better than mediocre. One of them is a 

1 See L. Testi, Storia della Pittura Veneziana, i, 1909, pp. 503, 512-15. 

2 Add. 15816. See Warner, Reprod., i, 48. 

3 There are many of these in the British Museum, including a volume (Add. 
20916) filled with detached frontispieces, late fifteenth century to 1620. Of the 
rest, the following may be noted as fair samples of their respective periods : Add. 
21463 (1486, see Warner, i, 49), 18000(1521), 21414 (c. 1530), 17373 (1554). and 
King's 156 (1568). 

294 



THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



Breviary (Add. 25697), the other a Petrarch (Harl. 
both are very small books, and are chiefly worth notice 
for the border-ornament, which is characteristically 
Florentine, painted on the plain vellum, and differing 
chiefly from the North Italian border, already described, 
in its profusion of rayed gilt discs. The Petrarch also 
has tiny vignette miniatures at the foot of the pages, 
representing the Triumphs in a sketchy, but skilful 
and effective manner. Another type of border, not 
peculiar to Florence, but often found also in Milanese and 
other illuminations of the end of the fifteenth century, 
appears in Add. 33997, a Horae made in Florence, after 
1472,* for a lady named Smeralda, consisting mainly of 
arabesques in dead gold on blue, green, or crimson 
grounds, enclosed in a rectangular frame. The colouring 
in this manuscript is brilliant, but somewhat hard ; one 
of the most pleasing features in the book is the half- 
length portrait of a fair-haired girl (evidently the lady 
Smeralda), which appears on almost all the illuminated 
pages. Both styles of border are used in the decoration 
of Add. 29735^ a Breviary of the great Franciscan convent 
of S. Croce, written towards the end of the century 
(certainly after April 14, 1482, the Calendar citing a decree 
of that date, instituting the Feast of S. Bonaventura). 
The more sumptuous style, with grounds of crimson, 
blue, and green, occurs only on the opening page of the 
Temporale (f. 7) : the most elaborate page in the book, 
the lower border filled with a miniature of the Annuncia- 
tion, the arabesques at the sides interrupted by half- 
length figures of saints set in richly jewelled medallions. 
The long narrow picture of the Annunciation is very 
carefully painted ; it has some resemblance in manner to 
Lorenzo di Credi's panels, especially in the sentimental 
figures of the kneeling Gabriel and his attendant angels. 
Borders of the lighter and more graceful type, with 

1 Warner, ii, 48. 

2 Having the Translation of S. Bernardino in the Calendar. 

3 Pal. Soc., i, 227; Guide to Exhibited MSS., 1906, p. 139; Warner, ii, 50. 

295 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

figure-initials, abound throughout the volume ; and there 
is an interesting miniature, at the Invention of the Cross 
(f. i2yb), of the miracle whereby the true cross was 
recognized. 

To be seen at its best, however, Florentine illumina- 
tion should be studied in the work of Attavante ; or in 
such books as the beautiful little Horae of Lorenzo the 
Magnificent, formerly Libri MS. 1874 in the Ashburn- 
ham Library, 1 but now restored to the Laurentian 
Library at Florence. The latter volume, like its 
companion, the " Liber Precatorius " in the Munich 
Library (Cimel. 42), 2 was written in 1485 by the famous 
scribe Antonio Sinibaldi. Its little miniatures are 
surrounded with very lovely borders, in which tiny but 
wonderfully lifelike amorini uphold festoons and vases 
of fruit and flowers, amidst a well-ordered medley of 
medallions, cherubs, birds, sphinxes, etc., and the 
characteristic scroll of foliage, flowers, and rayed gilt 
discs. All this sounds crowded, especially when one 
considers that the whole page measures only six inches 
by four ; and yet, painted on the plain white vellum, it 
produces a light and charming effect. 

Attavante degli Attavanti, the most famous of the 
Florentine miniaturists, had the useful habit of signing 
his work, much of which has survived. Mr. Bradley 8 
enumerates no less than thirty-one manuscripts certainly 
or probably illuminated by him. Born in 1452, he had 
already established his reputation by 1483, when he was 
commissioned by Thomas James, Bishop of Dol, to 
decorate a Missal which is now in the treasury of Lyons 
Cathedral ; * and in the next few years he illustrated 
several volumes for that great book-lover Mathias Cor- 
vinus, King of Hungary (d. 1490). One of these, a 

1 Pal. Soc., ii, 19. 

2 L. von Kobell, Kunstvolle Miniaturen, p. 88. 

3 Diet, of Miniaturists, i, pp. 74-80. See too P. d'Ancona, in Thieme and 
Becker's Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Kiinstler, ii, 1908, pp. 214-16. 

* Described, with illustrations, by E. Bertaux and G. Birot in Revue de I' Art 
Anc. et Mod., xx, pp. 129-46. 

296 



THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

Missal executed in 1485-7, and now in the Royal Library 
at Brussels, 1 may be taken as representing his style at its 
best. It is splendidly decorated throughout, especially 
the great double-page paintings prefixed to the Temporale 
and the Canon (ff. 80-9, 193^4), the latter including 
a fine picture of the Crucifixion set in the foreground of a 
Tuscan landscape. It is in the accessories, however, 
rather than the large figure-compositions, that Attavante 
finds the most congenial scope for his powers : he delights 
in gorgeous colouring and rich and varied ornament; his 
pages glow with crimson, blue, and gold, his borders are 
filled with a bewildering wealth of " humanistic " decora- 
tion copies or imitations of Classical friezes, cameos, 
and coins ; arabesques, putti, pearls, and rubies ; all 
painted with great skill, against grounds of brilliant 
hues. In fact, his work is typical of Renaissance illu- 
mination at its height, with its florid taste and dexterous 
technique. 

Many of Attavante's contemporaries are chiefly known 
as illuminators of choir-books. Pre-eminent among these 
are Girolamo da Cremona and Liberale da Verona, both 
of whom did some of their finest work of this kind at 
Siena, the former from 1468 to 1473, the latter from 1470 
to I476. 2 - The conventional ornament, in the books 
illuminated by these two masters, is often heavy, 
commonplace, even perfunctory, and was perhaps done 
by their assistants ; but the miniatures enclosed in the 
large initials are always interesting and finely finished, 
and sometimes exquisite, e.g. Liberale's illustration of the 
parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard. 3 A fine North 
Italian choir-book, apparently made for a church dedi- 
cated to SS. Cosmas and Damian, was recently acquired 

1 No. 9008. See J. van den Gheyn, Cat. des MSS. de la Bibl. Roy. de 
elgique t i, 1901, pp. 277-9; E. Miintz, Hist, de I' Art pendant la Renaissance, 
ii, 1891, p. 221, and in Gazette ArcheoL, 1883, pp. 116-20. For another, but 
inferior, example of Attavante's work, the Martianus Capella at Venice, see A. 
Perini, Facsimile delle miniature di Attavante Florentine^ 1878. 

Bradley, Diet, of Min. ; Crowe and Cavalcaselle, Hist, of Painting in N. 
Italy. 3 PI. xlvi. 

297 



by the Society of Antiquaries. 1 Besides the large his- 
toriated initials, it has at the beginning a half-page 
miniature of that favourite episode in the legend of the 
two physician-saints, the miracle of the Ethiopian's leg. 
A sixteenth century inscription, signed " Prater Jacobus 
de Mantua," attributes the illuminations to Andrea 
and Francesco Mantegna. This attribution cannot be 
accepted, though it may indicate a Mantuan origin. 
Both borders and miniatures have a strong resemblance 
to the work of the neighbouring school of Ferrara about 
1460-70. 

Most important of all the local schools, perhaps, is the 
Milanese, 2 a superb monument of which is preserved at the 
British Museum in the Sforza Book of Hours. 3 Executed 
for Bona of Savoy, widow of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, 
Duke of Milan (d. 1476), probably about 1490, this 
famous book seems to have been given by her to her 
daughter Bianca Maria, who married the Emperor Maxi- 
milian I in 1493; and thus to have descended to Charles V, 
who succeeded Maximilian in 1519. At all events, in 
1519-20 several pages were inserted to make good the 
then imperfections of the manuscript. The illuminations 
on these inserted pages are Flemish, and will be noticed 
in the next chapter ; here it need only be said that they 
include a portrait of Charles V, dated 1520. The imper- 
fections have been conjecturally accounted for by the 
supposition that the book was originally intended as a 
wedding-gift to Bianca Maria as the bride of John Cor- 
vinus, natural son of King Mathias, and that the pages 
which contained direct allusions to this abortive marriage- 
project were removed when Bianca's hand was transferred 
to the Emperor. Be this as it may, the book is fully 

1 New Pal. Soc., pi. 171-3. 

" 2 See G. Mongeri, "L'arte del minio nel ducato dt Milano," in Archivio 
Storico Lombardo, 1885, pp. 330-56, 528-57, 759-96. 

3 Add. 34294. See PaL Soc., ii, 204-5 ? Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 58-9, 
Reprod., iii, 42-3, and above all his fully illustrated monograph, The Sforza Book 
of Hours, 1894. 

298 



PLATE XLVI 




LIBERALE DA VERONA, CIRCA 1475 

SIENA, LIBRRRIA PICCOLOMINI. GRADUAL 



THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

worthy, even in its unfinished or mutilated condition, 
either of an Empress or of the daughter-in-law of so 
impassioned a lover of Italian art as Mathias Corvinus. 
Its forty-eight full-page miniatures and numerous frame- 
borders vary in merit, as well as in style, and are plainly 
the work of several hands ; but the great majority of them 
represent Milanese illumination at its highest pitch of 
excellence. They are painted in the sharp, vivid manner 
of the Lombard school ; as crisp as medals, as brilliant 
as enamels, they yet avoid hardness, and their saints and 
angels have all the tense, ardent spirituality of expression 
which the great North Italian masters knew so well how 
to convey. The contrast between them and the Flemish 
insertions, as to colouring and style, is very striking and 
instructive, but is not detrimental to either ; each school 
has its own special qualities, and each is admirably repre- 
sented here. 

The forty-eight Italian miniatures include three Evan- 
gelist-portraits, ten scenes from the Passion, the Death 
and Assumption of the Virgin, and a long and interesting 
series of saints. In this last series are many of the most 
beautiful compositions in the book ; it is difficult to make 
a selection, but among the best, unquestionably, are the 
two S. Catherines and SS. Clare, Bernardino, Albert of 
Trapani, and Gregory. 1 The borders are painted with the 
same brilliancy as the miniatures, and are designed with 
equal freedom and originality, with regard to details of 
conventional ornament as well as figure-compositions. 
The conventional ornament is all of the Renaissance 
Classical type, but is varied with amazing fertility of 
invention. The figure-compositions include angel-musi- 
cians 2 (an extremely interesting and charming series), 
saints whimsically depicted as putti, a putto teaching a 
dog to beg, etc. 

None of the illuminations are signed, and no docu- 
ment has been discovered which helps to identify the 

1 PL xlvii. 2 PL xlviii. 

299 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

artists, with the doubtful exception of a letter from an 
otherwise unknown "presbiter Johannes Petrus Biragus, 
miniator," concerning an "officiol imperfecto" which he 
had in hand for Duchess Bona. Even if, as is by no 
means certain, this "officiol" is the Museum Sforza Book, 
Birago cannot be supposed to have painted the whole of it 
himself. Other names have been suggested, viz. Antonio 
da Monza and Ambrogio de Predis. The former, a Fran- 
ciscan friar, illuminated a Missal for Pope Alexander VI 
(1492-1503), whereof one leaf remains in the Albertina 
Museum at Vienna, containing a miniature 1 of the Descent 
of the Holy Spirit ; a fine painting, and clearly allied to 
some of the miniatures in the Sforza Book, though the 
resemblance is hardly close enough to form secure founda- 
tion for an attribution. Ambrogio de Predis is best known 
through his association with Leonardo da Vinci ; but Dr. 
Miiller-Walde attributes to him some of the miniatures 
in a Donatus made for Maximilian Sforza, now in the 
Trivulziana ; and if this attribution be correct, there seems 
little doubt that he must also be credited with the Passion- 
series, at any rate, in the Sforza Book. The British 
Museum is fortunate in possessing two more fine examples 
of Milanese borders of this period, in the printed Sforziada 
(Milan, i49o) 2 and a grant of lands 3 from Ludovico Sforza 
to his wife Beatrice d'Este, dated 1494. These are in the 
same style as the Sforza Book borders, though on a larger 
scale, and are specially interesting for the splendid medal- 
like portraits of Ludovico and Beatrice, and of Ludovico's 
father Francesco Sforza-Visconti. They have not led so 
far, however, to a satisfactory solution of the question of 
the artists' identity. 

If Ambrogio de Predis really painted the miniatures 
which Dr. Miiller-Walde has ascribed to him, then he 
must be acknowledged to rank still higher as a miniaturist 
than as a panel-painter, and to outshine completely his 

1 Reproduced in Arch. Stor, Lomb., 1885, p. 769. 

2 Warner, Sforza Book, p. xxvii, pi. Ixi-lxv, Ilium. MSS., pi. 60. 
8 Add. 21413. Sforza Book, p. xxxii. 

300 



1'LATK XLVH 




SFORZA BOOK OF HOURS. MILANESE, CIRCA 1490 
BRIT. MIJS., ABD. 34294 



THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

deaf-mute brother Cristoforo, 1 who is only known in the 
former capacity. Cristoforo's extant works are : (i) the 
Borromeo Hours in the Ambrosian Library ; 2 (2) Lives of 
SS. Joachim and Anna, etc., in the Royal Library at 
Turin (Cod. 14434); (3) Missal, in the church of the 
Madonna del Monte sopra Varese ; (4) a detached leaf, in 
the Wallace Collection. All these are signed, and all but 
the first are dated, viz. Nos. 2 and 3, 1476, and No. 4, 
147.. (the last digit is illegible, but the miniature was 
evidently painted in the lifetime of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, 
and so not later than 1476). Thus Cristoforo represents 
an earlier phase of Milanese illumination than the master- 
pieces which we have been considering. He adopts the 
full Renaissance style of ornament, filling his frame- 
borders with festoons, arabesques, vases, pearls, and 
precious stones, cameos and medallions, as well as birds 
and innumerable putti ; but his figure-drawing and per- 
spective are poor, and his colouring, though deep and 
brilliant, is ill-harmonized and unpleasing in effect. The 
Calendar-pictures in the Borromeo Hours are one of the 
most interesting features of his work ; filling the lower 
margins and part of the sides of each page (a plan often 
followed in the later French Horae), and containing some 
curious illustrations of contemporary life. 

The materials probably do not exist for writing a 
complete and orderly history of Central and South Italian 
illumination. The court of Rome doubtless attracted, or 
from time to time hired the services of, the best illumina- 
tors from all parts of Italy ; we have seen, for instance, 
that the Lombard Antonio da Monza worked for Alex- 
ander VI. But there is no evidence of the existence of 
what could properly be called a Roman school of minia- 
ture. The Neapolitan school is equally elusive. There 

1 The relationship between them, together with many other facts concerning 
them and their three brothers, has been ascertained through the researches of 
Dr. Biscaro, published in Arch. Star. Lomb., 1910, pp. 132, 223-6. For other 
notices of Cristoforo, with illustrations, see Vienna Jahrbuch, xxi, p. 214, and 
Rassegna (TArie, i, 1901, p. 28 ; see too Arch. Star. Lomb., 1885, pp. 344-7. 

2 Published in heliotype by L. Beltrami, II libro (fore Borromeo^ 1896. 

301 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

is a great mixture of styles in the Psalter 1 executed in 
1442 for Alfonso of Aragon, King of Naples 1442-58; 
it looks in great part like a clumsy imitation of French 
work of earlier date, and was probably done by Spanish 
artists. Alfonso's natural son and successor Ferdinand, 
King of Naples 1458-94, appears more definitely as a 
patron of Italian art. Besides the volumes prepared 
for him by Hippolytus Lunensis (above, p. 289), the British 
Museum possesses a copy of S. Augustine's Commentary 
on the Psalms, written for him in 1480, in four large 
volumes, 2 by a scribe named Rudolfo Brancalupo. There 
is nothing very distinctive about its decoration, which 
consists mainly, like that of countless other manuscripts 
of the time, of gold initials with pendent borders of inter- 
laced white vine-tendrils on coloured grounds ; but the 
third volume has an elaborately bordered first page of 
text, in full Renaissance style (putti, architecture, etc.), 
preceded by a well-designed title-page. A word may be 
said here about these late Italian title-pages, which are 
among the most pleasing features of Renaissance illumina- 
tion, being usually characterized by a good taste checking 
that delight in ornament which so often ran riot else- 
where. One of the most charming examples is in Add. 
I5246, 3 another manuscript connected with the Neapoli- 
tan court : a copy of S. Augustine's De Civitate Dei 
made for Don Inigo Davalos, Count of Monte Odorisio 
and Grand Chamberlain of Naples under King Ferdi- 
nand, d. 1484. The title, written in plain Roman capitals, 
is encircled by a garland, which again is surrounded by a 
scroll-work design of foliage, flowers, and rayed gilt discs, 
with the patron's arms and with numerous putti disport- 
ing themselves among the branches; the total effect is 
delightful, combining symmetry, lightness, and grace. All 
the decoration of this volume is admirable, especially 
the first page of text, with its miniature-initial and its 

1 Brit. Mus., Add. 28962. Pal Soc,, i, 226. 

2 Add. 14779-14782. 

3 Warner, Reprod.^ iii, 39, 40. See too Ilium. MSS., pi. 57. 
302 



PLATK XLV111 



''*. 



[/VriatfHno 
anncmn no 
_ mini: Linen] 
Linccclcfu ft 

mmirifnidmcp] 

on cvnltrnnnrcgc 

fiiolPJ*iiittiirnoihl 
cms in clx>:o in nin 

p*ino:r 






SFORZA BOOK OF HOURS. MILANESE, CIRCA 1490 

BRIT. MUS., ADD. 34294 



THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

highly ornate, yet light and pleasing, full border. It 
would be difficult, however, to point out any definite 
feature which stamps it as Neapolitan and differentiates 
it from the best Ferrarese or Venetian or Florentine work 
of the same period. The same may be said, mutatis 
mutandis, about a smaller and more mediocre manuscript 
of the same period, Add. 28271 ; a Horae of Rome use, 
made for a patron whose name began with C (f. 159), and 
whose arms (per bend, azure and or, over all a leopard 
rampant argent) are on the first page. It lacks the 
Calendar, but the Litany points distinctly to Sicily or the 
extreme south of Italy a localization which could not 
easily have been inferred from the decoration, unless 
perhaps through a certain coarseness in the miniatures, 
especially in the facial types. There is more distinctive- 
ness, on the other hand, in Add. 2II2O, 1 a copy, evidently 
made for the translator himself, of Prince Charles of 
Viana's Spanish translation of Aristotle's Ethics. This 
manuscript, which has no miniatures but is elaborately 
adorned with initials and borders, is generally sup- 
posed to have been made in Sicily during the Prince's 
residence there (1458-9). But there is no direct evidence 
of this ; and a Spanish origin seems not only to be 
indicated by the language and what little is known 
of the history of the volume, but to be confirmed 
by the resemblance in style between its decoration 
and that of a fragmentary Toledo Missal recently 
acquired by the British Museum. 2 The borders are 
a modification of the familiar branch-work type, with 
putti, birds, and human figures interspersed somewhat 
stiffly ; they are chiefly distinguished from those found 
in undoubtedly Italian manuscripts by the greater thick- 
ness of the curving stems. The initials are mostly gold, 
filled with conventional foliage, and have the marked pecu- 
liarity of being made to appear as if cut out of the solid. 

1 Pal Soc. t ii, 157 ; New Pal. Sac., pi. 145-6 ; Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 56, 
Reprod., i, 47. 

2 Add. 38037. 

303 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Not much need be added to what has already been 
said about sixteenth century illumination. Its quantity 
is considerable, both in the great choir-books which 
were still required for use in monastic and other 
churches, and in smaller volumes made to gratify 
the sumptuous tastes of princes and prelates. But 
its quality is decadent, its vitality is ebbing rapidly, 
and it has no real significance in the history of 
painting. Great masters of panel-painting condescended 
at times to practise the art : Perugino, for instance, painted 
one of the miniatures in the Albani Horae. 1 But among 
the specialists in illumination the names which stand out 
most prominently are those of Giulio Clovio and his 
disciple Apollonio de' Bonfratelli. Giulio Clovio, 2 though 
reckoned among Italian painters, was actually a Croatian, 
born at Grizane in 1498; but he came to Italy in 1516, 
and remained there almost continuously until his death 
in 1578, working now at Perugia, now at Rome, now at 
Florence. He formed his style largely on that of his 
friend Giulio Romano, the pupil of Raphael ; but he also 
felt the influence of Michelangelo, and effete imitations 
of that great master's sibyls and athletes often appear in 
his miniatures. Giulio Clovio is a typical master of the 
decadence ; fond of weak suave forms, cheap sentiment, 
and soft broken colours. His work, though often tech- 
nically good, never rises above an insipid elegance. He 
is best known in England by two works of his middle 
period, both done for his patron Cardinal Marino Grimani : 
the Commentary on S. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, in 
the Soane Museum, and a Book of Hours in the British 
Museum (Add. 20927). The Soane MS. has a large 
frontispiece of the Conversion of S. Paul, painted in 
Clovio's characteristic style, weak and affected, but beau- 

1 Pal. Soc., ii, 38. The plate is from another page, signed by Amico 
[Aspertini] of Bologna, on which the picture combines great brilliancy in execution 
with confused and overcrowded composition, while the border is a mere incoherent 
medley of disconnected and incongruous ornaments. 

2 J. W. Bradley, Life and Works of Giorgio Giulio Clovio, 1891. 

304 



THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

tifully finished. The Horae is a much smaller book, 
containing several full-page illuminations. These have 
frame-borders of the amazingly miscellaneous character so 
loved by the late Renaissance illuminators : satyrs, pieces 
of armour, birds, nude athletes, scriptural scenes, jostling 
one another on the gilded and coloured grounds. Many 
of the miniatures are exquisitely painted, soft and delicate; 
occasionally vigorous too, as in the vignette of David 
beheading Goliath, which forms part of the admirable 
frontispiece to the Penitential Psalms (f. Qib). But 
Clovio's usual weaknesses peep out continually, especially 
in the larger compositions : his mawkish sentiment, want 
of dignity, and florid taste. His actual output does full 
credit to his industry ; but he has also been made respon- 
sible for an immense number of paintings in which modern 
critics see rather the work of his pupils or imitators. 
Such are the Victories of Charles V, in the British 
Museum (Add. 33733) ; a large miniature of the Cruci- 
fixion, in the Musee Conde* at Chantilly : and a host of 
other pictures. The Chantilly Crucifixion is really by 
Apollonio de' Bonfratelli, as appears plainly on comparing 
it with his signed miniatures, cut out from a manuscript 
executed in 1564 for Pope Pius IV, and preserved in the 
Rogers Album at the British Museum (Add. 21412, 
ff. 36-44) ; especially with the Crucifixion and Pieta 
(ff. 42, 43). Apollonio has many of his master's affecta- 
tions ; but he composes in a larger, freer manner, and 
adopts a deeper and more brilliant colour-scheme. His 
conception of the human form too is essentially different; 
instead of Giulio's slender and often absurdly elongated 
figures he prefers a more robust type, and gives us 
thickset, clumsy, yet vital and actual men and women. 
He cannot be called a great artist, but his work is not 
without merit, and he may fitly be taken as the last repre- 
sentative of Italian illuminators. 



20 305 



CHAPTER XVIII 
FLEMISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

THE materials for the history of Flemish illumina- 
tion in the fourteenth century are as distressingly 
scarce as those for the fifteenth are embarrassingly 
plenteous. We have an abundance of manuscripts exe- 
cuted in the near neighbourhood of the year 1300; some 
of these have been noticed at the end of chapter xi, 
notably Stowe 17 and the Sneyd MS., which might 
with equal propriety have been placed at the beginning of 
the present chapter. In all of them a close affinity to 
contemporary East Anglian and Northern French work 
is apparent. French influence predominates in some, e.g. 
in the little Breviary 1 of the Dominican convent of Val- 
Duchesse, at Auderghem near Brussels, whose miniatures, 
with their daintily swaying, white-faced figures painted 
against diapered or burnished gold grounds, and their 
use of black pen-lines to indicate all details of drapery 
and features, have little to distinguish them from French 
illuminations of the time, except the characteristic Flemish 
dark blue. In others, it is the resemblance to the East 
Anglian manuscripts, noticed in chapter xiii, which 
catches the eye. This shows itself not only in the love 
for grotesques and caricatures, so prominent in Stowe 17 
and many other manuscripts, such as Add. 30029 and 
29253, both from- Blandigny Abbey near Ghent, or the 
slightly later S. Omer Horae, Add. 36684 (circa 1320), 
formerly in Ruskin's library ; but also in the whole 
decorative scheme, and sometimes in the larger composi- 
tions. Thus the Crucifixion in a Cambrai Missal, 2 now 

1 Brit. Mus., Harl. 2449. 

2 No. 149. See A. Durieux, Les miniatures des MSS. de la Bibl. de Cambrai, 
1861, pi. 7. 

306 



FLEMISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

preserved in the Public Library of that place, might 
almost pass as the work of the Gorleston or Norwich 
school ; and the same may be said about the ornamenta- 
tion of the two-volume Bible 1 in the same library. It is 
difficult to fix the "scientific frontier" between France 
and Flanders for the purposes of art history. Perhaps 
Cambrai ought strictly to be regarded as French ; un- 
doubtedly Soissons and Laon must be, and yet these 
places too provide examples of just the same type of 
miniature and ornament. 2 South-eastwards too the 
influence spread at any rate as far as Treves, where 
it appears plainly in the border-decoration of a " Kopial- 
buch " written for Archbishop Baldwin, now in the 
Archives at Coblenz. 3 

The difficulty of distinguishing Flemish from French 
illumination in the second half of the fourteenth century 
is increased by the fact that many of the best Flemish 
miniaturists are known to have worked in France, for the 
king and for great nobles such as the Duke of Berry. 
Their work, so far as it can be identified with any 
approach to certainty, was usually of a high order, as we 
saw when dealing with Andre Beauneveu and Jacquemart 
de Hesdin. 4 Their native land seems to have been content 
with a less refined form of art, if we may judge by such 
books as the "Kuerbouc" of Ypres, 5 dated 1363, and 
copiously adorned with marginal figures, almost in- 
variably of grotesque character ; or by the illustrations 
of the " Biblia Pauperum" and "Speculum Humanae 
Salvationis," most of which are worthless artistically, 
though of great interest from an iconographical point 
of view. The majority of the extant manuscripts of 

1 No. 327. Durieux, pi. 8. 

2 See E. Fleury, Les MSS. miniatures de la Bibl. de Soissons, 1865, and his 
similar volume for Laon, 1863. 

3 A. Chroust, Mon. Pa!. Denkmdler der Schreibkunst des Mittt!alters, Abth. i. 
ser. ii, Lief, vi (1911), Taf. 7. 

4 See chapter xiv. 

5 M. Verkest, " La satire dans le ' Kuerbouc ' d'Ypres," in Les Arts ana'ens de 
Flandre (Bruges, 1904, etc.), pp. 95-107. 

307 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

these two closely allied compositions l are German rather 
than Flemish in origin ; and many of them, being on 
paper, do not come within the scope of the present 
volume. One of the few exceptions is King's MS. 5 2 in 
the British Museum, a finely illuminated copy of the 
" Biblia Pauperum " on vellum, executed by Flemish or 
Rhenish artists about the year 1400. As now bound up, 
it consists of thirty-one long narrow pages, each page 
having in the centre a scene from the life of Christ, 
accompanied by four half-length figures of prophets 
bearing scrolls, and flanked by two Old Testament scenes 
by which it is supposed to have been foreshadowed. The 
parallelism is sometimes curiously far-fetched, as when 
the widow of Zarephath gathering sticks is made to 
typify Christ carrying the cross. But this manuscript 
does not differ from other copies of the work in the 
choice of subjects ; it is the finished excellence of their 
treatment which distinguishes it above its fellows. The 
backgrounds of the pictures are either gilded or diapered 
in the old style, the landscape-painting which was later to 
constitute one of the chief glories of Flemish art not 
having yet been developed. Touches of naive absurdity 
still occur in some of the compositions, e.g. where 
Michal lets down David from a window in full view of 
Saul ; but the flat treatment of the figure has now given 
way to careful modelling by means of skilful and delicate 
gradations of colour. The range of colours is not wide, 
but is generally used with felicity, a favourite tint being 
a particularly soft and pleasing violet. In the faces a 
distinct striving after individual types is noticeable, 
especially in the grave, intensely pathetic Christ. 

Among the earliest attempts to represent the figures 
in their natural setting, instead of placing them against 
a conventional background, is a series of twenty-eight 

1 For their bibliography, etc., see W. L. Schreiber, Biblia Pauperum, 1903 ; 
. Lutz and P. Perdrizet, Speculum Humanae Salvationis, 1907-9. 

2 Fully described, with illustrations, by Sir E. M. Thompson in Biblio- 
graphica, Hi, 1897, pp. 385-406. 

308 



PLATE XL1X 




MANDEVILLE'S TRAVELS. FLEMISH, EARLY XVxH CENT 
BRIT. MUS., ABU. 24189 



FLEMISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

full-page miniatures, without text, illustrating the travels 
of Sir John Mandeville. 1 Executed early in the fifteenth 
century, probably at or near Lidge, these delightful pictures 
are almost entirely in monochrome. The whole page 
is tinted a pale milky green, on which the outlines are 
drawn in ink, and delicately shaded with washes of pale 
grey, with occasional touches of opaque white. Faces 
and hands are faintly tinted, sea and sky are blue, some- 
times patterned in white, and gold is used for crowns, 
nimbi, and other accessories ; otherwise the only colouring 
is in the foliage, usually a sombre green. The pictures 
are filled almost to the limit of their frame-lines with 
buildings or landscapes, the latter sometimes of quite an 
elaborate description, as in the representation of pilgrims 
visiting Aristotle's tomb ; 2 and despite the rudimentary 
perspective, resembling that of a bird's-eye view, the 
artist goes far towards achieving his aim of making us 
see the actual scene which he has in his mind. The 
figures, though often faulty, and out of all proportion to 
the tiny buildings which surround them, are spirited and 
expressive ; and the architecture is drawn with character- 
istically Flemish attention to detail. In fact, with its firm 
yet delicate draughtsmanship, its freedom from conven- 
tionality, this series constitutes a veritable masterpiece. 

To the same period belong the first additions to that 
ill-fated book known as the Turin Hours, whose history 
has been worked out so fully by M. Durrieu. 3 Begun in 
or after 1404 for the famous Duke of Berry, it was for 
some reason left unfinished, and was given by him, 
before 1413, to his keeper of jewels, Robinet d'Estampes. 
The latter had entered it in his inventories, even in its 
incomplete state, as " unes tres belles heures de Nostre 

1 Brit. Mus., Add. 24189, reproduced for the Roxburghe Club, The Buke of 
John Maundevill, ed. G. F.Warner, 1889. See too Pa!. Soc., ii, 154-5 ; Warner, 
Reprod., i, 36. 

- PI. xlix. 

3 ff cures de Turin, 1902, reproducing the forty-five illuminated pages then at 
Turin and in the Louvre; " Les 'tres belles heures de N. D.' du due Jean de 
Berry," in Revue ArcheoL, ser. iv, vol. xvi, 1910, pp. 30-51, 246-79. 

309 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Dame " ; and the epithet is amply justified by what 
remains of the original work, which is worthy to rank 
almost among the finest productions of the Duke of 
Berry's artists. The greater part of this is now in Baron 
Maurice de Rothschild's collection at Paris. The re- 
mainder seems very soon to have been detached, and 
to have passed into the possession of William IV of 
Bavaria, Count of Hainault and Holland (d. 1417). A 
new Calendar was prefixed to this part, showing a Nether- 
landish origin by the preponderance of local saints as 
well as by the style of its decorations ; and many of the 
uncompleted pages were now filled up with miniatures by 
Flemish artists. Some of these are superb, displaying 
a remarkable advance in perspective and in all the 
problems of landscape-painting, especially the picture 
which contains Count William's portrait, a sea-shore 
piece, with a long line of breakers along the coast (H cures 
de Tttrin, pi. 37) ; and that of SS. Martha and Julian in 
a small sailing-boat, guiding the sailors into harbour 
(pi. 30), with its masterly treatment of the choppy sea, 
the boat and its occupants, and the distant wooded hills. 
This portion of the manuscript was afterwards split up 
again ; some fragments are now in the Louvre, others in 
the Trivulzio Collection at Milan, but the greater part 
(including the two admirable pages just mentioned) 
perished in the disastrous fire of January 1904, which 
wrought such havoc among the treasures of the Turin 
Library. 

These miniatures are enough to show that the art had 
already been brought to a high state of perfection ; and 
for the next hundred years Flemish illuminators not only 
held their ground against their French and Italian fellow- 
craftsmen, but ultimately eclipsed them completely, main- 
taining great excellence, and even continuing to improve, 
especially in the delicacy of their handling of landscape 
and portraiture, long after their rivals had sunk into 
tasteless decadence. This remarkable fact is largely due, 
it may not unreasonably be supposed, to the propensity of 
310 



FLEMISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

Flemish art in general throughout this period the time 
of the great masters of early Flemish painting, from the 
Van Eycks to Gerard David, Quentin Metsys, and Mabuse 
for methods peculiarly appropriate to miniature. Indeed, 
David is known to have painted miniatures as well as 
panels j 1 and there is no antecedent improbability in the 
supposition that Memlinc did so too, though the many 
attributions of miniatures to him are quite unsupported 
by evidence. It is probably safer, however, to assign the 
resemblance to his work, often noticed in illuminations of 
the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, to direct 
imitation. Most of these illuminations were done at 
Bruges, the scene of Memlinc's career as a great painter, 
and also the home of a flourishing guild of illuminators, 
whose chapel was presented in 1478 with an altar-piece 
painted by him for Willem Vrelant, a distinguished 
member of the guild. 2 What, then, is more likely than 
that younger members should have sought inspiration 
for their miniatures in Memlinc's panels, aptly suited as 
these were in so many ways to their special needs ? 

Among the many illuminators who are known to have 
worked for, or in the time of, Philip the Good, Duke of 
Burgundy (1419-67), and his successor, Charles the 
Bold (1467-77), Willem Vrelant is one of the few whose 
names are definitely associated with extant manuscripts. 
From 1454 until his death in 1480-1 his name occurs in 
the accounts of the illuminators' guild at Bruges ; but the 
only certain examples of his work are the miniatures in 
vol. ii of the " Histoire du Haynaut " (Brussels, Bibl. 
Roy., 9242-4), for which he was paid in 1467-8 ; and even 
these cannot all be assigned with confidence to his hand, 
though doubtless all were painted under his direction. 
Taking these as basis, critics have been led to attribute 
many other fine miniatures to his school, notably those 

1 See W. H. J. Weale, Gerard David, 1895, p. 47 ; also his chapter on "The 
Miniature Painters and Illuminators of Bruges, 1457-1523," in The Hours of Albert 
of JBrandenburg, ed. F. S. Ellis [1883], pp. 9-16. 

2 Weale, Hans Memlinc, 11,07, pp. 10, 20-3. 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

in the "Chroniques de Jherusalem" and the romance of 
Girard de Roussillon at Vienna, both executed for Philip 
the Good about 1450 j 1 and the " Histoire du bon roi 
Alexandre " in the Dutuit Collection at Paris. 2 M. Durrieu 
also sees his hand in the Breviary of Philip the Good 
(Brussels, 9511, 9026) ; but the illuminations in this book 
are of a less finished character, and are probably to be 
referred to a somewhat earlier date, though they may 
conceivably have been done in the atelier where Vrelant 
learnt his craft. 3 The other manuscripts prove him and 
his assistants to have thoroughly mastered the art of 
depicting the operations of war : in the representation of 
beleaguered cities especially they excelled, showing the 
scaling-ladders, catapults, and other siege engines in full 
detail, and combining the realistic and the picturesque 
with great success. There is a certain stiffness and 
artificiality about the grouping and posing of figures, 
both in battle-scenes and in other pictures : but the land- 
scape-painting has now reached a pitch of excellence not 
surpassed until the beginning of the next century, com- 
bining softness, sense of distance, and atmosphere, with a 
marvellous rendering of detail. 

Other miniaturists of the same period, and more or 
less of the same school, are Jean le Tavernier of 
Oudenarde, who illustrated the " Conquetes de Charle- 
magne" (Brussels, 9o66-8) 4 in 1458 for Philip the Good ; 
and Loyset Liddet, who worked at Hesdin and Bruges 
from 1460 to 1478, becoming a member of the guild of 
illuminators at the latter place in 1469. Several of 
Lie"det's \vorks are extant, at Brussels, Paris, and else- 
where. His illustrations to the " Histoire de Charles 
Martel" (Brussels, 6-9), made in 1463-5 for Philip the 

1 See A. Schestag, " Die Chronik von Jerusalem," in the Vienna_//Ww/&, xx 
1899, pp. 195-216. 

2 Durrieu, " L'histoire du bon roi Alexandre " in Rev. de Fart anc. et mod., xiii, 
1903, pp. 49-64, 103-21; F. de Mely, " Les signatures des primitifs," in Gaz. 
des Beaux- Arts, 1910, ii, pp. 173-94. 

3 See J. van den Gheyn, Le Breviaire de Philippe le Bon, 1909. 
* New Pal Soc., pi. 44. 

312 



FLEMISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

Good, have been published, 1 and show him to have been, 
if not a great or original artist, at least a highly accom- 
plished craftsman. Another great name is that of Simon 
Marmion of Valenciennes, called "prince d'enlumineure" 
by a contemporary poet ; 2 and fitly, if the splendid 
miniatures of the Grandes Chroniques at St. Peters- 
burg, 3 painted for Philip the Good about 1456, are 
actually, as M. Reinach supposes, the work of him and 
his assistants. The best of these are unquestionably by 
a great master, who rivalled Jean Fouquet in his power 
of giving individuality and character to the personages of 
a group.* 

Besides fully illuminated pictures, this period has 
bequeathed to us many fine examples of painting en 
grisaille. Among the most perfect are the illustrations 
to the two volumes of Mielot's Miracles de Nostre 
Dame at Paris. 5 The first volume was completed at the 
Hague in 1456 ; the second is evidently somewhat later, 
and represents a more advanced stage of the art : archi- 
tecture, landscape, and figure-composition being all handled 
with the utmost delicacy and finish. A replica of vol. ii, 
as regards text and subjects, made apparently about the 
beginning of Charles the Bold's reign, is in the Bodleian. 6 
Its seventy miniatures, in bluish grey shaded from white 
to nearly black, are spirited, humorous, and quaintly ex- 
pressive, but are not to be compared for artistic merit with 
those of the Paris counterpart. 

The alliance between Edward IV and Charles the 
Bold, consolidated by the marriage of Charles with 
Edward's sister Margaret in 1468, was followed by a 

1 Hisioirede Charles Martel, ed. J. van den Gheyn, 1910. 

2 See E. Gilliat-Smith, The Story of Bruges, 1909, p. 372. 

3 S. Reinach, Un MS. de la Bibl. de Philippe le Bon a St. Petersbourg (Fond. 
E. Piot, Mon. et Mem., vol. xi), 1904. 

4 See especially pi. i, the dedication-picture. 

5 Bibl. Nat., fr. 9198-9. Published in facsimile, slightly reduced, by H 
O[mont], Miracles de Notre Dame [1906]. 

6 Douce 374, reproduced for the Roxburghe Club, Miracles de Nostre Dame, 
ed. G. F. Warner, 1885. 

313 




ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

corresponding change in English taste ; and French 
illumination began to be supplanted by Flemish in the 
esteem of the nobility of this country. The king himself 
led the fashion, adding to his library a large collection of 
huge tomes written and illuminated in the Low Countries, 
especially at Bruges and Ghent. One of these, a Josephus, 
is in the Soane Museum ; but the great majority are now 
in the British Museum, having been transferred thither 
with the rest of the old Royal Library. 1 They consist 
mainly of copies of the Bible Historiale and of histories, 
romances, and philosophical works in French. None of 
them can be called quite first-class in point of artistic 
merit, but they serve as useful examples of the style most 
in vogue towards the end of the fifteenth century. The 
miniatures, filling half the page or more, are very large, 
and their technique resembles that of scene-painting ; 
looked at from a distance they are effective and not 
unpleasing, but a close inspection reveals in many cases 
an almost repulsive coarseness of execution. Among the 
best are those in 18 E. iii and iv (Valerius Maximus, 
dated 1479), 15 E. ii and iii (Livre des proprie'te'z des 
choses, written at Bruges in I482), 2 and 19 E. v (Romu- 
leon, a compilation of Roman history). 16 G. iii (Vita 
Christi, written by D. Aubert at Ghent in 1479) may also 
be mentioned in connection with these manuscripts, though 
its miniatures are on a much smaller scale ; they are 
attributed by M. Durrieu 3 to Alexander Bennink, and are 
certainly by an artist of some distinction and individuality. 
The borders in these books are practically always of the 
same type, consisting of a scroll of conventional foliage, 
mixed with sprays of leaves, fruit, and flowers treated 
more naturalistically, and sometimes varied by the intro- 
duction of angels, birds, or insects ; the ground of the 
border-frame is usually left white, but is occasionally 
covered with a thin wash of colour. 

1 A few specimens are exhibited in the Saloon and the Grenville Room. See 
Guide, 1906, pp. 82, 140-1. 

2 Warner, Reprod., i, 38. 3 Gaz. des Beaux- Arts, 1891, i, p. 364. 

314 



FLEMISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

Towards the end of the century the demand for these 
colossal tomes declined ; and Flemish illumination in its 
last and most attractive phase, from about 1490 to 1530, 
is found mainly in devotional books intended for private 
use or private enjoyment, it would perhaps be more 
correct to say especially Breviaries and Books of Hours. 
In technical skill the best miniaturists had now reached 
the utmost heights attainable in the art, and their render- 
ing of landscape leaves little to be desired by the most 
exacting critics ; while their close relations with the great 
painters saved them from the decadence into which their 
French and Italian fellow-craftsmen fell, and gave their 
compositions something of the sincerity and homely 
simplicity, combined with dignity and intense spirituality, 
which give such character to the masterpieces of Memlinc 
and his contemporaries. The development of border- 
decoration was less satisfactory. The continuous scrolls 
of conventional foliage, painted on the plain margins of 
the vellum page, had served their turn, and a new style 
of border came into fashion. This, though more in 
harmony with the passionate fidelity to nature which 
inspired the landscape and genre painting of the minia- 
tures, cannot be called an entire success as a decorative 
scheme ; it has even been compared, flippantly yet not 
inaptly, to a modern seedsman's illustrated catalogue. 
The miniature-pages are now framed in broad rectangular 
bands of dead gold, or less commonly of pale grey, purple, 
or other monochrome ; and these bands are covered with 
flowers (singly or in short sprays), fruits, birds, snails, 
butterflies, bees, and other insects, painted with con- 
summate skill and most scrupulous accuracy. Each in 
itself is delightful, but as an ensemble the scheme is some- 
what incoherent and unmeaning, and tends rather to 
distract attention from the picture, instead of forming an 
appropriate setting for it. Despite these strictures, how- 
ever, one cannot refuse a tribute of admiration to these 
illustrations from natural history. The objects selected 
are beautiful in themselves (carnations, pansies, corn- 

315 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

flowers, and columbines are the favourite flowers, wild 
strawberries the favourite fruit), and colour and form alike 
are reproduced almost faultlessly ; the illusion of solidity 
is enhanced by the device of making the objects cast 
shadows on the background, as though slightly raised 
above it. 

Good examples of these naturalistic borders may be 
seen in Add. 25698 at the British Museum, an interest- 
ing fragment consisting of eleven leaves from a prayer- 
book of unknown origin, but apparently made about 
1492-3 and connected with the military order of S. 
George (founded by the Emperor Frederick III in 1469, 
and extended by his successor Maximilian), and with 
a project of Maximilian's, in which that order was meant 
to play an important part, for an international crusade 
against the Turks. This seems plainly alluded to on 
f. 3, where Frederick and Maximilian, with the Kings of 
England, France, and Spain, and the Archduke Philip of 
Austria, are kneeling before the altar of S. George j 1 and 
on f. n, an anticipatory picture of the knights of the 
order defeating the Turks in battle. Other miniatures, 
similar in plan to that on f. 3, show the Pope and prelates 
invoking S. Peter (f. 4), monks and friars invoking the 
Holy Ghost (f. 10), and all sorts and conditions of the 
laity invoking Christ (f. 8) all, probably, with the same 
object of ensuring victory against the Turk. On another 
page (f. 5) we see the deathbed of some great lady, whose 
name apparently began with M : 2 a friar holds a crucifix 
before her eyes, and props up the candle in her feeble 
hands, while Michael and the devil fight for her soul, 
and she is cheered by a vision of the Virgin and Child ; 
the picture is completed by two clerics praying by the 
bedside, and a richly dressed indifferent group chatting 
near the door. Another subject (f. 9) is the Lenten 

1 Warner, Reprod^ ii, 37. 

2 One is tempted to identify her with Mary of Burgundy (d. 1482), or with 
Margaret of York, widow of Charles the Bold (d. 1503); but there are chrono- 
logical or other objections to either conjecture. 

316 



PLATE L 



tvHOitctnnttc taur 




LEAF FROM A BOOK OF HOURS, FLEMISH, CIRCA 1492 

BRIT. MUS., ADD. 25698 



FLEMISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

Penance, 1 a priest shriving one penitent while others 
kneel before the altar with its veiled Calvary. Another 
(f. 2) is the Elevation of the Host, in a church whose 
sanctuary is raised high above the nave, with a flight of 
steps on either side and a crypt underneath. 2 This com- 
position was copied faithfully, down to the minutest 
detail, including the kneeling figures in the nave, by the 
illuminator of the Hours of Floris van Egmond, Count 
of Buren and Knight of the Golden Fleece (1505-39), 
and Margaret van Bergen his wife ; 3 but the copy- 
ist was a greatly inferior artist, and his work lacks 
the charming softness and grace of the original. One 
more page must be mentioned before we leave this 
fascinating fragment, viz. f. i, which represents simply 
a Flemish countryside : a village by a river, animals 
grazing in the fields, trees and low hills misty on the 
horizon. This is one of the few instances to be found, in 
illuminated manuscripts, of landscape painting for its 
own sake, not as the setting of a subject-picture. 

Two manuscripts of a secular character deserve some 
notice, both executed about the year 1500, and both now 
in the British Museum. One of these 4 contains the 
poems of Charles, Duke of Orleans, and was evidently 
made for Henry VII or his son Arthur, Prince of Wales. 
It has six large miniatures, of varying degrees of merit, 
and none of them quite representative of Flemish art at 
its best. The artists were perhaps brought into England 
for the purpose, or attached permanently to Henry's court. 
At all events, the work seems to have been done in this 
country, for it closely resembles that of a manuscript 
written for Henry at Sheen in 1496 (Roy. 19 C. viii), and 
one of the best miniatures is a quaint but thoroughly 
realistic picture of the Tower of London (where the poet- 

1 PI. i. 

2 This unusual construction recalls the Church of Jerusalem at Bruges, but 
the details are somewhat different. 

3 Add. 35319, f- 33- 

4 Roy. 1 6 F. ii. See Warner, Ilium. MSS. t pi. 54. 

317 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

duke spent most of his captivity, from 1415 to 1440), with 
the Thames, Traitor's Gate, London Bridge, and the City. 
It is curious to see in this picture the persistent survival 
of the " continuous " method : Charles appears at once 
writing at a table, in his prison-chamber in the White 
Tower ; looking out of a window ; and giving a letter to 
a messenger. The second manuscript 1 is a copy of the 
Roman de la Rose : a very sumptuous volume, with four 
large and eighty-eight small miniatures. There is a 
quaint artificial elegance (French rather than Flemish in 
spirit) about the large garden-scenes ; but the great merit 
of the book consists in the admirable figure-drawing and 
characterization shown in many of the smaller pictures. 
The text seems to have been transcribed from one of the 
early printed editions 2 a curious inversion of the 
usual order of things. 

The well-known "Isabella Book" of the British 
Museum 3 is a Breviary of Spanish Dominican use, 
illuminated by Flemish artists (probably working in 
Spain, where the text was evidently written), and given 
to Queen Isabella in or about 1497 by Francisco de 
Roias. Besides numerous borders, and over one hundred 
small miniatures, it contains forty-five half-page pictures, 
which taken as a whole exemplify most admirably the 
work of this period. The technique has not yet reached 
the summit of its perfection, that combination of firm 
outline with extreme delicacy and softness, which dis- 
tinguishes the Hennessy Hours and a few other books of 
slightly later date ; but many of the compositions are very 
beautiful, especially the Adoration of the Magi (f. 41), 
the Nativity (f. 29), the Apocalyptic vision of S. John 
(f. 309), and the lovely S. Barbara (f. 297), in all of which 
the influence of Memlinc and his disciples is plainly dis- 

1 Harl. 4425. See Warner, Reprod., iii, 47. 

2 See F. W. Bourdillon, Early Editions of the Roman de la Rose, 1906, pp. 
12, 28. 

3 Add. 18851. See Pal Soc.> i, 174-5; Warner, Ilium. MSS., pi. 53, Re- 
prod., iii, 45-6. 

318 



FLEMISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

cernible. The borders are of three kinds : ist, the nearly 
obsolete Franco- Flemish scroll-work ; 2nd, the natural- 
istic style described above ; 3rd, striped repeat-patterns, 
apparently copied from brocaded stuffs. This last style 
occurs also, it may be noted, on some of the pages of an 
interesting little Book of Hours 1 of the same period, 
which contains portraits of Isabella's daughter Joan and 
the latter's husband PhiliotJie__Fair. The Calendar- 
illustrations in the I sabellaBook are of a type often 
followed about this time. There are no separate minia- 
tures, but the whole text for each month is inlaid, as it 
were, in a picture of an appropriate occupation. One of 
the subjects newly introduced into the cycle is worth 
noting, for it forms a striking feature in the Calendar- 
pictures produced by the Bruges miniaturists during the 
next decade or two : for May, a boating pleasure-party on 
a river. 

Still more famous is the Grimani Breviary, preserved 
in S. Mark's Library at Venice. 2 Many conflicting and 
misleading statements have been published by various ill- 
informed writers concerning the age of this book, the 
names of its illuminators, and even its actual contents. 
For the last kind of misstatement the facsimile repro- 
duction, with Dr. Coggiola's detailed description, leaves 
now no shred of excuse. In the absence of documentary 
evidence, critics will always claim freedom to attribute the 
miniatures according to their several tastes; but one may 
perhaps venture to deprecate the repeated and confident 
attributions of particular miniatures to Memlinc, 3 who 
probably had no hand in the work at all. As to the date, 
a terminus ad quern is furnished by Cardinal Domenico 

1 Add 17280. See Warner, Reprod., i, 37. In Add. 18852 the Museum possesses 
another book associated with the unfortunate Joan : an exquisite little Horae with 
many charming miniatures, containing her portrait on ff. 26 and 288. 

2 See F. Zanotto, Facsimile delle miniature contenute ml Breviario Grimani, 
1862; F. Ongania, A Glance at the Grimani Breviary, 1903; and the complete 
reproduction, largely in colour, edited by S. Morpurgo and S. de Vries, with intro- 
duction by G. Coggiola, Le Brlviaire Grimani, 1904-10. A succinct but useful 
account of the manuscript, with illustrations, is in Weale's G. David, pp. 55-68. 

3 As in Ongania's publication, passim, 

319 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Grimani's mention of the book in his first will, dated 
5 October, 1520. He had bought it from Antonio 
Siciliano ; farther back its history has not been carried. 
The text of the Calendar, however, shows plainly that it 
was intended for the Italian market (whether actually 
written in Italy or not), and that it was certainly not 
begun before 1481, probably not before 1490. The 
advanced technique, especially in the handling of trees, 
suggests a still later date, say about 1510. Splendid 
monument as it is of the illuminator's art, its pre- 
eminence in fame above all its contemporaries is due to 
the extent of its decorations rather than to their intrinsic 
superiority in point of beauty. With its 831 leaves of 
ample size, containing forty-nine full-page miniatures, 
besides the Calendar-pictures and minor decorations, it 
stands almost alone in its class. The twelve full-page 
miniatures which illustrate the Calendar agree most 
remarkably with the corresponding series in the "Tres 
Riches Heures," not only in subject and main outlines of 
composition, but in such details as the device of the Sun- 
God in his chariot, set in a semicircle at the top of each 
page; even the backgrounds are reminiscent of the earlier 
work, though no longer containing precise representations 
of the Duke of Berry's castles. In short, there is no room 
for doubt as to the parentage of these designs ; and it 
must be admitted that they suffer badly by comparison 
with the originals one seeks here vainly for the exquisite 
dainty grace of the Limbourg brothers' painting. The 
Adoration of the Magi, again, is almost identical with 
that in the Isabella Book ; but here it is not easy to say 
which is the original if either, for very likely both are 
derived from some lost panel, perhaps by David, some of 
whose pictures are known to have inspired the artists of 
the Grimani Breviary. Other compositions also occur 
in a Book of Hours, now in the British Museum, 1 which 

1 Add. 35313. See Warner, Reprod., ii, 36. A possible allusion to the death 
of Mary of Burgundy (1482) has been seen in the design prefixed to Vigils of the 
Dead, three skeletons with darts attacking a lady in the hunting-field. 

320 



FLEMISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

is probably of somewhat earlier date, and certainly of 
greatly inferior execution : notably the Annunciation, 
Nativity, and Augustus with the Sibyl. Originality of 
design, however, is the last thing to be expected of a 
miniaturist at this period, with a few rare exceptions. As 
to execution, the various styles discernible in the Grimani 
Breviary differ widely, from the comparative coarseness 
of some of the Calendar-scenes to the charming softness 
of the picture of S. Mary Magdalene. The book is, in 
fact, not one work of art but many a gallery of little 
masters. Of the cognate manuscripts, those best worth 
notice are Mr. Pierpont Morgan's Breviary ; * the Hours 
of Albert of Brandenburg ; 2 three manuscripts at Munich ; 3 
and Maximilian's Prayer-book* and the Hortulus Ani- 
mae 5 at Vienna. 

The Flemish additions to the Sforza Book 6 were made 
during the years 1519-21, by artists working for the 
Emperor Charles V, whose portrait, with date 1520, is on 
one of the pages, painted in gold within a medallion. 
The border-decoration of this page (the first of the Peni- 
tential Psalms) is a close imitation of the work of the 
original Milanese artists. But the sixteen inserted full- 
page miniatures are thoroughly Flemish in conception, 
design, and colouring, and are among the finest extant 
examples of the school. Differences of style suggest that 
more than one artist was employed ; but an exceedingly 
high level of merit is maintained throughout, and it is 
difficult to make a selection. Especially striking are the 
Adoration of the Magi and the Presentation, with their 
masterly portraiture, simple yet effective grouping, and 
skilful, characteristically minute and careful treatment of 
architecture and costume ; the " O intemerata," with its 

1 See Burl. Mag., Mar. 1907, pp. 400-5. 

2 Ed. F. S. Ellis [1883], 

3 See Kobell, pp. 90-1. 

4 See Vienna Jahrbuch, vii, pp. 201-6. 

5 Ibid., ix, pp. 429-45 ; Hortulus Animae, facsimile reproductions (partly in 
colour), 1907, etc. 

8 See above, p. 298. 

21 321 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

placid, dreamy Madonna and the delightful group of 
angel-musicians ; and loveliest of all, perhaps, the " Salve 
Regina," with its beautiful soft colouring and large, 
gracious manner. 

Finally, a group of manuscripts must be mentioned 
whose most complete representatives are the Hennessy 
Hours 1 at Brussels and the " Golf Book " 2 in the British 
Museum. It is clear that they all emanate from the same 
school ; and the resemblance of the Calvary in the Hen- 
nessy Hours to that painted in 1530 by Simon Bennink, 
eldest son of Alexander, in a Missal at Dixmude 3 has led 
to the association of his name with the whole group. 
The Hennessy Hours contains twenty-seven full-page 
miniatures, including a full Calendar series, portraits of 
the Evangelists, scenes of the Passion, and other subjects; 
besides many pages with interesting marginal decoration. 
The " Golf Book " is more fragmentary ; it consists of 
thirty leaves, and has only twenty-one full-page miniatures, 
viz. S. Boniface, eight Passion scenes, and a Calendar 
series. The kinship between these two books is obvious, 
especially in the Passion pictures, many of which are 
identical in almost every detail (including the Calvary, a 
subject whose pathos is rendered with wonderful intensity). 
The Calendar subjects do not always agree, though the style 
is always similar; but when the two manuscripts have the 
same subject, as in the delightful May scene 4 of a boating- 
party passing one of the gates of Bruges, the June tourna- 
ment, or the exquisitely homely August picture of the 
harvest-labourers taking their midday meal in the corn- 
field, the agreement is as close as in the Passion series. 
The same, or very nearly the same, cycle of subjects 
occurs in many other Flemish manuscripts of this period, 

1 J. Destree, Les Heures de N. D. dites de Hennessy, 1895 ; Muste des Enlu- 
minures, fasc. 4-6. 

2 Add. 24098. See Pal. Soc., ii, 135-6; Warner, Reprod., iii, 49. 

8 Reproduced in Burl. Mag., Feb. 1906, p. 357, illustrating an article by 
Mr. Weale, whose researches prove that Simon Bennink was born at Ghent in 
1483-4, went to Bruges in 1508, settled there permanently in 1517, and died 
in 1561. 4 PI. li. 

322 



PLATE LI 




HORAE ("GOLF BOOK'V- FLEMISH, EARLY XVlTH CENT. 

BRIT. MIIS. ADD. 24098 



FLEMISH ILLUMINATION AFTER 1300 

e.g. in Eg. 1147 in the British Museum; but nowhere 
else is it treated in so finished and delicate a manner, 
except in a dismembered manuscript of which two leaves 
are in the British Museum 1 and two more in the Salting 
Collection at South Kensington ; 2 in this fragment the 
execution is finer still, and could hardly be surpassed in 
any form of landscape-painting. One very interesting 
feature of the "Golf Book" is the representation of 
popular games and pastimes in little miniatures at the 
foot of the pages ; it is from this that its sobriquet is 
derived, the September page showing a party of men 
playing golf. In these exquisite pictures, and in those 
of the Sforza Book, Flemish miniature-painting reaches 
its culminating point ; it would be an unprofitable as well 
as ungracious task to carry its history farther. 

1 Add. 18855, ff- IQ 8> 109. See Warner, Reprod., iii, 50. 

2 Burl. F.A, Club, No. 231, pi. 144. 



323 



NOTE 

ON THE VARIOUS KINDS OF LITURGICAL 
ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

TO purists in terminology the common habit of 
speaking of all illuminated manuscripts as missals 
is an abomination ; and there are many lovers of 
illumination who, without being in the least pedantic, 
have a laudable desire to call things by their right names, 
but who lack time or opportunity or inclination to be- 
come deeply versed in the mysteries of liturgiology. To 
such persons the following remarks may, it is hoped, be 
of some service. They must bear in mind, however, that 
no attempt is made here to cover the whole field of litur- 
gical manuscripts, or even to deal exhaustively with any 
one of the classes mentioned. The variations due to 
difference in age, locality, and circumstances are endless ; 
and the many volumes that have been written, and remain 
to be written, about them could not possibly be sum- 
marized in a few pages. My present aim is merely to 
point out to the beginner in the study of illumination the 
salient features by which he may recognize the several 
classes of manuscripts which are likely to come most 
frequently under his notice. These are all of a liturgical 
character; Biblical manuscripts form a class apart, and 
the other non-liturgical books which will come his way 
(whether religious or secular) are comparatively few, and 
neither require, nor from their diversity lend themselves 
readily to, a formal classification. 

There are six classes of manuscripts to be considered, 
viz. Missals, Breviaries, Psalters, Graduals, Antiphoners, 
and Books of Hours. This is by no means a com- 
plete list of the liturgical books of the medieval Latin 
324 



LITURGICAL MANUSCRIPTS 

Church, but it comprises those in which illuminations are 
most commonly found. As to date, the manuscripts range, 
roughly speaking, from the eleventh century to the six- 
teenth ; but illuminated Breviaries and Books of Hours 
of earlier date than the latter part of the thirteenth century 
are, to say the least, extremely rare ; and so are Psalters 
of later date than the middle of the fourteenth. The 
Calendar of festivals, which forms an integral part of most 
of these books, often contains entries which give valuable 
indications of date and provenance ; but great care must 
be taken to ascertain whether they are in the original hand 
or later additions, and not to infer more from them than 
is warranted. It is not always safe, for instance, to take 
the presence of a saint's name as proof of a date subse- 
quent to his canonization. 1 

The Missal, or Mass-book, is the book used by the 
celebrating priest at the altar, and corresponds in large 
measure to the earlier Sacramentary. Its normal con- 
tents are : (i) Calendar. (2) Temporale, or Proper of Time, 
containing the variable parts (introit, collect, epistle, 
gradual, gospel, offertory, secret and post-communion) of 
the Mass for every Sunday and week-day throughout 
the year, beginning with the first Sunday in Advent. 
This is sometimes headed " Incipit ordo missalis secun- 
dum consuetudinem ecclesie Sarum " (or whatever the 
special use may be), but more often simply " Dom. i. in 
aduentu Domini. Ad missam officium " (or " introitus "). 
(3) Ordinary (unchanging introductory part, including the 
Gloria and Credo), Prefaces for various days (always 
beginning " Vere dignum et justum est," and often set to 
music), and Canon of the Mass. These are usually 
placed in the middle of the Temporale, just before Easter. 
The Canon is the most solemn part of the Mass, includ- 
ing the consecration. It begins with the prayer "Te 
igitur, clementissime Pater," and is almost always 
immediately preceded by a full-page miniature of the 

1 S. Anselm (d. 1109) was not canonized until 1494, but his name occurs in 
English Calendars written centuries earlier. 

325 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Crucifixion. (4) Sanctorale, or Proper of Saints : the 
introits, collects, etc., for saints' days throughout the year, 
generally beginning with S. Andrew (Nov. 30). (5) 
Common of Saints : introits, etc., for saints not individu 
ally provided for, e.g. for one apostle, for many martyrs, 
etc. (6) Votive Masses, for special occasions ; followed 
by various prayers, and sometimes by the services form- 
ing what is commonly called the Manual, viz. Baptism, 
Marriage, Visitation of the Sick, Burial, etc. 

As a general rule, the Missal has but little illumina- 
tion beyond the Crucifixion-picture at the Canon ; and 
that little is confined to historiated initials at the principal 
divisions. A favourite subject is the priest lifting up his 
soul to God, illustrating the first introit of the Temporale, 
"Ad te levavi animam meam." A few magnificently 
decorated Missals do exist ; but they are quite exceptional, 
and were probably never intended for actual use. 

The Breviary contains the office, i.e. the services to be 
said or sung every day by the clergy at the canonical hours 
(Matins, Lauds, Prime, Tierce, Sext, None, Vespers, 
Compline). These services consist mainly of psalms, 
interspersed with antiphons, verses, and responses, to- 
gether with a few hymns and prayers. At matins there 
are also three, nine or twelve lessons, taken from Scrip- 
ture, patristic homilies, or lives of saints : three lessons 
on minor festivals, nine on major (except in monasteries 
of the Benedictine Order and its off-shoots, which have 
twelve). The normal arrangement is as follows : (i) 
Calendar; (2) Psalter; (3) Temporale, beginning at Ad- 
vent, as in the Missal ; (4) Sanctorale ; (5) Common of 
Saints ; (6) Hours of the Virgin, Office of the Dead, and 
other special services. Finely illuminated Breviaries are 
not common, the book being as a rule required for con- 
stant practical use. The nature of its contents, however, 
provides unlimited opportunities for illustration ; and 
these are freely used in such manuscripts as the Breviary 
of John the Fearless, the Isabella Book, and the Grimani 
Breviary. 
326 



LITURGICAL MANUSCRIPTS 

The Psalter contains the 150 Psalms, usually pre- 
ceded by a Calendar and followed by the Te Deum and 
other Canticles, a Litany of Saints, and prayers ; often 
too by Vigils of the Dead. Illuminated Psalters occur 
as early as the eighth century, and from the eleventh to 
the beginning of the fourteenth they form by far the most 
numerous class of illuminated manuscripts. Several 
pages at the beginning are filled in some copies, especially 
in the thirteenth century, with scenes from the life of 
Christ. The initial "B" of Psalm i is always lavishly 
decorated, and so are the initial letters of the principal 
divisions of the Psalter. These divisions vary with 
country and date ; in the majority of thirteenth and four- 
teenth century manuscripts they occur at Psalms xxvi 
(" Dominus illuminatio mea," usually illustrated by a 
miniature of David looking up to God and pointing to 
his eyes, enclosed within the " D"), xxxviii (" Dixi custo- 
diam"; David pointing to his lips), Hi (" Dixit insipiens"; 
a fool with club and ball, either alone or before King 
David), Ixviii ("Salvum me fac" ; David up to his waist 
in water, appealing to God for help ; or sometimes Jonah 
and the whale), Ixxx (" Exultate Deo"; David playing on 
bells), xcvii (" Cantate Domino " ; choristers singing), 
cix ("Dixit Dominus"; the Father and Son enthroned, 
the Dove hovering between them). The more sumptuous 
copies have a great wealth of additional illustration, from 
scriptural, hagiographical, and other sources. 

Graduals and Antiphoners, classed together as Libri 
Corali by Italian bibliographers, contain the choral parts 
of the Mass and Office respectively. Thus the Gradual 
answers to the Missal, the Antiphoner to the Breviary. 
The former derives its name from the Gradual in the 
Mass, a short passage from the Psalms to be said or sung 
immediately after the Epistle ; the latter from the anti- 
phons which make up a large part of its contents. They 
are enormous volumes, having the text with full musical 
setting, and being designed each to serve for several 
choristers. They have no full-page miniatures, but their 

327 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

principal initials enclose pictures as large as the page of 
an average-sized book. The finest are of the fourteenth 
and fifteenth centuries, and were produced in Italy. 

The Book of Hours is hardly liturgical in the strictest 
sense, being intended for private devotional use, and 
usually containing some non-liturgical matter. But it 
would be absurd to omit it from this list, seeing how 
immensely it outnumbers all other classes of illuminated 
manuscripts. Its contents vary greatly, both in matter 
and arrangement, but almost always include the following 
nucleus : (i) Calendar ; (2) Four Lessons, one from each 
Gospel, viz. the opening verses of S. John (" In principio 
erat verbum," etc.), the Annunciation from S. Luke, the 
Adoration of the Magi from S. Matthew, and the 
conclusion of S. Mark. These are called " Cursus 
Evangelii " by some modern writers, " Sequences of the 
Gospels " by others ; but neither title occurs in the 
manuscripts. (3) Two prayers to the Virgin, beginning 
"Obsecro te," and "O intemerata"; (4) Hours or Office 
of the Virgin. It is from this section, generally the 
longest in the volume, that the name " Book of Hours " 
is taken. The opening words of Matins are " Domine 
labia mea aperies " ; the other Hours begin " Deus in 
adjutorium meum intende," except Compline, which begins 
" Converte nos Deus salutaris noster." (5) Hours of the 
Cross, and of the Holy Ghost, usually in a very condensed 
form ; (6) The Seven Penitential Psalms (" Domine ne in 
furore tuo," etc.), followed by Litany and prayers ; (7) 
Memorials of Saints (in English Horae these are in- 
troduced into Lauds of the Virgin) ; (8) Vigils, or Office, 
of the Dead ; consisting of Vespers (called " Placebo," 
from its opening word, in old English literature) and 
Matins (" Dirige "). (9) English Horae usually have also 
the Commendation of Souls, beginning " Beati imma- 
culati." Additions to the above, too many and too various 
to be enumerated here, are frequently found, especially in 
French Horae of the fifteenth century, e.g. Hours of 
S. Catherine, Mass of the Trinity, etc. 
328 



LITURGICAL MANUSCRIPTS 

Illuminated Books of Hours occur before the end of 
the thirteenth century, and by the end of the fourteenth 
they had become extremely popular. Their normal decora- 
tion includes the following full or half-page miniatures 
(apart from Calendar-illustrations, borders, and initials): 
At the Gospel-lessons, portraits of the Evangelists. At 
Matins of the Virgin, the Annunciation, sometimes with 
a portrait of the owner adoring the Virgin ; Lauds, the 
Visitation ; Prime, the Nativity ; Tierce, Angel and 
Shepherds ; Sext, Adoration of the Magi ; None, Presenta- 
tion in the Temple ; Vespers, Flight into Egypt ; Com- 
pline, Coronation of the Virgin. Hours of the Cross; the 
Crucifixion. Hours of the Holy Ghost; Pentecost. Peni- 
tential Psalms; David kneeling, or sometimes Bathsheba, 
sometimes the Death Angel. Memorials of Saints ; 
miniatures of the several saints commemorated. Vigils 
of the Dead ; Raising of Lazarus, or sometimes a Burial, 
or sometimes the Three Living and Three Dead ; but 
most commonly the interior of a church, with monks 
chanting round a bier. Commendation of Souls ; the 
Day of Judgment, with the dead rising from their 
graves. 



329 



SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 

THE following list contains, for the most part, only those 
publications which the present writer has found specially 
useful, and which ought to be consulted by all serious 
students of the several branches of the art of illumination with which 
they deal. It may be supplemented to some extent by reference to the 
footnotes on the foregoing pages. 

I. PERIODICALS 

Archivio Storico del? Arte. Rome, 1888, etc. ; continued from 1898 as L'Arte. 

Les Arts anciens de Flandre. Bruges, 1904, etc. 

Burlington Magazine. London, 1902, etc. 

Fondation Eugene Piot. Monuments et Memoires. Paris, 1894, etc. (Acad. 

des Inscr. et Belles-Lettres). 
Gazette des Beaux-Arts. Paris, 1859, etc. 
Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des allerhochsten Kaiserhauses. 

Vienna, 1883, etc. Cited below zsjahrb. 
Revue de FArt ancien et moderne. Paris, 1897, etc. 

II. GENERAL WORKS 

BASTARD, COUNT A. DE. Peintures et ornements des MSS. 1832-69. 

BRADLEY, J. W. Dictionary of Miniaturists. 1887-9. 

CHROUST, A. Monumenta Palaeographica. Denkmdler der Schreibkunst des 

Mittelalters. 1899, etc. 

GARRUCCI, R. Storia della Arte cristiana. 1872-81. 
KRAUS, F. X. Geschichte der christlichen Kunst. 1896-1900. 
MICHEL, A. Histoire de VArt. 1905, etc. (sections on miniature by G. 

Millet, P. Leprieur, A. Haseloff, and P. Durrieu). 
NEW PALAEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY. Facsimiles of ancient MSS., etc.^ ed. E. M. 

Thompson, G. F. Warner, and F. G. Kenyon. 1903, etc. 
PALAEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY. Facsimiles of MSS. and Inscriptions^ ed. E. A. 

Bond, E. M. Thompson, and G. F. Warner. 1873-94. 
SHAW, H. Illuminated Ornaments. 1833. 
THIEME, U., and BECKER, F. Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Kiinstler. 

1907, etc. 
VENTURI, A. Storia del? Arte italiana. 1901, etc. 

331 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

III. CATALOGUES, ETC., OF SINGLE COLLECTIONS OR 

EXHIBITIONS 

ANCONA, P. D'. La miniatura ferrarese nel fondo urbinate della Vaticana 

(L'Arte, 1910, pp. 353-61). 
BEISSEL, S. Vaticanische Miniaturen. Miniatures choisies de la bibl. du Vatican. 

1893. 
BRITISH MUSEUM. Catalogue of Ancient MSS., by E. M. Thompson and 

G. F. Warner. 1881-4. 

Guide to Exhibited MSS. 1906. 

v. Kenyon, F. G., and Warner, Sir G. F. 

BURLINGTON FINE ARTS CLUB. Exhibition of Illuminated MSS. Catalogue [by 

S. C. Cockerell]. 1908. Illustrated edition [1909]. 
CARTA, F. Codici corali e libri a stampa miniati della Bibl. Naz. di Milano. 

1895. 
CARTA, F., CIPOLLA, C., and FRATI, C. Atlante paleografico-artistico [Turin 

Exhibition, 1898]. 1899. 
CHANTILLY, MUSE COND. Cabinet des Litres. MSS. [illustrated Catalogue 

by the Due d'Aumale]. 1900. 

DOREZ, L. Les MSS. a peintures de la bibl. de Lord Leicester. 1908. 
DURIEUX, A. Les miniatures des MSS. de la bibl. de Cambrai. 1861. 
FLEURY, E. Les MSS. a miniatures de la bibl. de Laon. 1863 ; de Soissons. 

1865. 
HERMANIN, F. Le miniature ferrarese della bibl. Vaticana (L'Arte, 1900, 

pp. 341-73)- 
JAMES, M. R. Catalogue of the Fitzwilliam MSS. 1895 ; of the MSS. at 

Pembroke College, Cambridge. 1905 ; at Trinity College, Cambridge. 

1900-4 ; and of many other collections at Cambridge and elsewhere, 

especially Morgan, J. P., and Thompson, H. Y., q.v. 
KENYON, F. G. Facsimiles of Biblical MSS. in the British Museum. 1900. 
KERSHAW, S. W. Art Treasures of the Lambeth Library. 1873. 
KOBELL, L. VON. Kunstvolle Miniaturen [from Munich MSS. 1890]. 
MARCHESE, V. 5". Marco, Convento dei Padri Predicatori in Firenze. 

1853- 
MORGAN, J. PIERPONT. Catalogue of MSS. of [by M. R. James. Many plates 

in gold and colours]. 1906. 
MUNOZ, A. L'art byzantin a F exposition de Grottaferrata. 1906. 

/ codici greet miniati delle minori bibliotheche di Roma. 1905. 

OECHELHAUSER, A. VON. Die Miniaturen der Universitats-Bibliothek zu 

Heidelberg. 1 887-95 . 
OMONT, H. Facsimile's des miniatures des MSS. grecs de la Bibl. Nat. Paris, 

1902. 

PRIMITIFS FRAN^AIS, EXPOSITION DES. Catalogue. 1904. 
RONDONI, F. Guida del R. Museo ftorentino di S. Marco. 1872. 

332 



SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 

TAEGGI, O. P. Le Miniature net codici cassinesi. 1887, etc. 

Paleografia artistica di Montecassino. 1876. 

THOMPSON, SIR E. M. [Notes on an exhibition of English illuminated MSS.] 

(Soc. of Antiquaries, Proceedings, 2nd ser., xvi, pp. 213-32). 1896. 
THOMPSON, H. YATES. Catalogue of MSS. of, by M. R. James and others. 

1898-1907. 

Illustrations of too MSS. 1907-8. 

Lecture on some English illuminated MSS. 1902. 

VALERI, F. M. La collezione delle miniature deW Archivio di Stato in Bologna 

(Archivio Storico delV Arte, 1894, pp. 1-20). 
WARNER, SIR G. F. British Museum. Reproductions from illuminated MSS. 

1907-8. 
Illuminated MSS. in the Brit. Mus. [60 plates in gold and colours]. 

1899-1903. 

IV. REPRODUCTIONS OF, OR MONOGRAPHS ON, 
PARTICULAR MSS. 

ABBOTT, T. K. Celtic Ornaments from the Book of Kells. 1895. 

ALBANI, CARD. A. Menologium Graecorum. 1727. 

BAILLIE-GROHMAN, W. A. and F. The Master of Game. 1904. 

BASTARD, COUNT A. DE. Peintures de la Bible de Charles le Chauve. 1883. 

BEISSEL, S. Die Bilder der Hs. des Kaisers Otto im Munster zu Aachen. 1886. 

Des hi. Bernward Evangelienbuch im Dome zu Hildesheim. 1891. 

BELTRAMI, L. II Librod 1 OreBorromeo, alia Bibl. Ambros., miniato da Cristo- 

foro Preda. 1896. 
BERTAUX, E., and BIROT, G. Le Missel de Thomas James, Eveque de Dol 

[by Attavante] (Revue de VArt anc. et mod., xx, pp. 129-46). 1906. 
BETHE, E. Terentius. Cod. Ambros. H. 75 inf. phototypice depictus (De Vries, 

Codd. Gr. et Lat., viii). 1903. 
BIRCH, W. DE G. Liber Vitae. Hampshire Record Soc., 1892. 

Memorials of St. Guthlac. 1881. 

On two Anglo-Saxon MSS. (Roy. Soc. of Lit., Transactions, new ser., xi, 

pt. iii). 1876. 

The Utrecht Psalter. 1876. 

BOUCICAUT. Heures du Marechal de Boucicaut, Soc. des Bibliophiles fr., 1889. 
CARYSFORT, WILLIAM, EARL OF. Pageants of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of 

Warwick. Roxb. Club, 1908. 
CERIANI, A. M. Homeri Iliadis pictae fragmenta Ambrosiana phototypice edita. 

1905. 
CHMELARZ, E. Das dltere Gebetbuch des K. Maximilian I (Jahrb., vii, pp. \ 

201-6). 1888. 
Konig Rene der Gute und die Hs. seines Romanes " Cuer d> Amours 

Espris" (id., xi, pp. 116-39). 1890. 

333 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

CHMELARZ, E. Ein Vervoandter des Breviarium Grimani (ib. , ix, pp. 429-45). 

1889. 
COCKERELL, S. C. The Gorleston Psalter. 1907. 

Hours of Yolande of Flanders. 1905. 

Psalter and Hours of Isabelle of France. 1905. 

COUDERC, C. Livre de la Chasse [1909]. 

COXE, H. O. The Apocalypse of S. John the Divine. Roxb. Club, 1876. 
DELISLE, L. Les Heures dites de Jean Pucelle. 1910. 
-DELISLE, L., and MEYER, P. L Apocalypse en francais. Soc. des anc. textes 

fr., 1901. 

DESTRE, J. Les Heures de N. D. dites de Hennessy. 1895 '> 
[same title. Full reproduction of the miniatures, without letterpress] 

(Musee des Enluminures, fasc. 4-6) [1907]. 
DE VRIES, S. Codices Graeci et Latini photographice depicti. v. Bethe, E., 

Omont, H., and Premerstein, A. von. 

13. Grimani Breviary. 

DEWICK, E. S. Coronation Book of Charles V. Henry Bradshaw Soc., 1899. 

Metz Pontifical. Roxb. Club, 1902. 

DIEZ, E. Die Miniaturen des Wiener Dioskurides (Byzantinische Denkmaler, 

iii, pp. 1-69). 1903. 

DORNHOFFER, F. Hortulus Animae [reproduction in colours]. 1907, etc. 
DURRIEU, COUNT P. Les Antiquitesjudaiquesetlepeintre Jean Foucquet. 1908. 
Les Belles Heures de Jean de France, due de Berry (Gas. des Beaux-Arts, 

1906, i, pp. 265-92). 

Le Boccace de Munich. 1909. 

Heures de Turin. 1902. 

Lhistoire du bon rot Alexandre (Revue de VArt anc. et mod., xiii, pp. 

49-64, 103-21). 1903. 

Uorigine du manuscrit celebre dit le Psaiitier d 1 Utrecht. 1895. 

Les ' tres belles heures de N.DS du due Jean de Berry (Revue Archeol., 

ser. iv, xvi, pp. 30-51, 246-79). 1910. 

Les Tres Riches Heures de Jean, due de Berry. 1904. 

ELLIS, F. S. The Hours of Albert of Brandenburg [1883]. 

ELLIS, SIR H. Caedmon's Paraphrase (Archaeologia, xxiv, pp. 329-4). 1832. 

FORBES-LEITH, W. Gospel Book of St. Margaret. 1896. 

Life of St. Cuthbert. 1888. 

GAGE, J. St. Aethelwold's Benedictional and the " Benedictionarius Roberti 

Archiepiscopi" (Archaeologia, xxiv, pp. 1-136). 1832. 
GASQUET, F. A., and BISHOP, E. The Bosworth Psalter. 1908. 
GEBHARDT, O. VON. The Miniatures of the Ashburnham Pentateuch. 1883. 
GEBHARDT, O. VON, and HARNACK, A. Evangeliorum Codex graecus pur- 

pureus Rossanensis. 1880. 

GOLDSCHMIDT, A. Der A Ibani- Psalter in Hildesheim. 1895. 
Das Evangeliar im Rathaus zu Goslar. 1910. 

334 



SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 

GOODWIN, J. E-vangelia Augustini Gregoriana (Cambridge Ant. Soc. , No. 13). 

1847. 
GRIMANI BREVIARY. Le Breviaire Grimani, ed. S. Morpurgo and S. De Vries, 

with introd. by C. Coggiola [full reproduction, mostly in colours]. 1904-10. 

v. Ongania, F., and Zanotto, F. 

GRUYER, F. A. Les Quarante Fouquet. 1897. 

HARTEL, W. RITTER VON, and WICKHOFF, F. Die Wiener Genesis. 1895. 

HASELOFF, A. Codex purpureus Rossanensis. 1898 (and v. Munoz, A.). 

Der Psalter Erzbischof Egberts von Trier , Codex Gertrudianus. 1901. 

HERMANN, H. J. Ein unbekanntes Gebetbuch von Jean Bourdichon (Beitrdge 

zur Kunstgeschichte, Franz Wickhoff ge'widmet^ pp. 46-63). 1903. 
HERRADE DE LANDSBERG. Hortus Deliciarum. [reproductions in colour]. 

1877. 

Hortus Deliciarum, ed. G. Keller. 1901. 

JAMES, M. R. Description of an illuminated MS. of the thirteenth century. 

1904. 

The Trinity College Apocalypse. Roxb. Club, 1910. 

JANITSCHEK, H. Die Trierer Ada-Handschrift. 1889. 

KRAUS, F. X. Die Miniaturen des Codex Egberti. 1884. 

MAI, CARD. A. Picturae antiquissimae, bellum Iliacum repraesantes. 1819. 

Homeri lliados picturae. 1835. 

MARTIN, H. Legende de St. Denis. Soc. de 1' hist, de Paris, 1908. 

Psautier de St. Louis et de Blanche de Castille [1909]. 

Le Terence des Dues. 1908. 

MELY, F. DE. Les Heures d'Anne de Bretagne (Gaz. des Beaux-Arts, 1909, 

ii, pp. I77-9 6 )- 
Les signatures des Primitifs. Lhistoire du bon roi Alexandre (ib., 1910, 

"> PP- 173-94). 
MONT, P. DE. Un livre d'heures du due Jean de Berry (Musee des Enlu- 

minures, fasc. i) [1905]. 
MUGNIER, F. Les MSS. a miniatures de la maison de Savoie. 1894. [Many 

plates from Breviary of Marie de Savoie, Chambe'ry MS. 4, and Hours of 

Duke Louis, Bibl. Nat., lat. 9473]. 
MUNOZ, A. // Codice Purpureo di Rossano e il Frammento Sinopense. 1907. 

Reviewed by A. Haseloff in UArte, 1907, pp. 466-72. 
MUNTZ, E. Le Missel de Mathias Corvin [by Attavante] (Gaz. Archeol., 

1883, pp. 116-20). 
NOLHAC, P. DE. Le Virgile du Vatican (Notices et Extraits, xxxv, pt. ii, pp. 

683-791). 1897. 
OMONT, H. Antiquites et Guerre des Juifs de Josephe [1906]. 

Comedies de Terence [1907]. 

Grandes Chroniques de France [1906]. 

Heures a" Anne de Bretagne [1907]. 

Li-vre des Merveilles [1907]. 

335 




OMONT, H. Livre d'heures de Henri II [1906]. 

Miniatures du Psautitr de S. Louis de V Univ. de Leyde (De Vries, Codd. 

Gr. et Lat., suppl. n). 1902. 

Miracles de Notre Dame [1906]. 

Notice sur un tres ancien MS. grec [Cod. Sinop.] (Not. et JSxtr., xxxvi, 

ii, pp. 599^75)- 1 9*- 

Psautier illustre [1906]. 

Peintures (Tun MS. grec [Cod. Sinop.] (Fond. E. Piot, vii, pp. 175-85, 

pi. 16-19). 1900. 

Psautier de St. Lords [1902]. 

Vie et Histoire de St. Louis [1906]. 

ONGANIA, F. A Glance at the Grimani Breviary. 1903. 

PERINI, A. Facsimile delle miniature di Attavante Fiorentino. 1878. 

PREMERSTEIN, A. VON. Anicia Juliana im Wiener Dioskorides-Kodex (Jahrb., 

xxiv, pp. 105-24). 1903. 
Dioscurides, Codex Aniciae Julianae (De Vries, Codd. Gr. et Lat.> x). 

1906. 
QUARITCH, B. Description of a Book of Hours, illuminated probably by H. 

Memling and G. David. 1905. 
REINACH, S. Un MS. de la bibl. de Philippe le Bon a St, Petersbourg (Fond. 

E. Piot, xi). 1904. 
ROBINSON, S. F. H. Celtic Illuminative Art in the Gospel Books of Durrow, 

Lindisfarne, and Kells. 1908. 

SCHESTAG, A. Die Chronik von Jerusalem (fahrb., xx, pp. 195-216). 1899. 
SCHULTZE, V. Die Quedlinburger Itala-miniaturen. 1898. 
SIMKHOVITCH, V. G. A predecessor of the Grimani Breviary (Burl. Mag:, 

Mar. 1907, pp. 400-5). 
SPRINGER, A. Die Psalterillustrationen im fruhen Mittelalter (Abhandlungen 

der phil.-hist. Cl. der k. sacks. Gesellsch. der Wissensch., viii, pp. 228-94). 

1883. [Utrecht Psalter] 
TRZYGOWSKI, J. Der Bilderkreis des gr. Physiologus, etc. 1899. 

Die Calenderbilder des Chronographen vomjahre 354. 1888. 

Das Etschmiadzin-Evangeliar. 1891. 

STUART, J. Book of Deer. Spalding Club, 1869. 

THOMPSON, Sir E. M. A contemporary account of the fall of Richard II (Burl. 

Mag.) v, pp. 160-72, 267-70). 1904. 
Pageants of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick (ib. y i, pp. 151-64). 

1903. 

A Rothschild MS. in the Brit. Mus. (#., vii, pp. 198-210). 1905. 

On a MS. oftheBiblia Paiiperum (Bibliographica, iii, pp. 385-406). 1897. 

THOMPSON, H. YATES. Facsimiles from a Psalter. 1900. 

Les Heures de Savoie. Facsimiles of 52 pages, with a notice by Dom 

P. Blanchard. 1910. 
Hours of Joan //, Queen of Navarre. Roxb. Club, 1899. 

336 



SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 

TIKKANEN, J. J. Le rappresentazioni delta Genesi in S. Marco a Venezia 

(Arch. Stor. delV Arte, i, pp. 212-23, 2 57~^7, 348-63). 1888-9. [Cotton 

Genesis] 
Die Genesismosaiken von S. Marco in Venedig (Acta Societatis Scien- 

tiarum Fennicae, xvii, pp. 205-357). 1891. [Expanded version of 

above] 

USPENSKV, T. ' LOctateuque du Serail a Constantinople. 1907. 
UTRECHT PSALTER. Autotype Facsimile. Pal. Soc., 1874. 

Reports on the age of the MS., by E. A. Bond and others. 1874. 

-v. Birch, W. de G., Durrieu, P., and Springer, A. 

VAN DEN GHEYN, J. Le Breviaire de Philippe le Bon. 1909. 

Histoire de Charles Martel. 1910. 

Le Psaiitier de Peterborough (Musee des Enluminures, fasc. 2-3) [1907]. 

VATICAN LIBRARY. Codices e Vaticanis selecti phototypice expressi (i, Frag- 

menta et picturae Vergiliana Cod. Vat. 3225, 1899 > "> Picturae Cod. Vat. 

3867, 1902 ; v, // roiulo di Giosue, 1905 ; viii, // Menologio di Basilio //, 

1907 ; x, Le miniature della topografia cristiana di Cosma Indicopleuste, 

1908). 
Collesione Paleografica Vaticana (i, Miniature della Bibbia Cod. Vat. 

Reg. gr. i e del Salterio Cod. Vat. Pal. gr. 381). 1905. 
VERKEST, M. La satire dans le " Kuerbouc" d'Ypres (Les Arts anc. de 

Flandre, 1904, etc., i, pp. 95-107). 
WARNER, SIR G. F. Buke of John Maundevill. Roxb. Club, 1889. 

Miracles de Nostre Dame. Roxb. Club, 1885. 

Sforza Book of Hours. 1894. 

Valerius Maximus. Miniatures of the school of Jean Fouquet. 1907. 

WARNER, SIR G. F., and WILSON, H. A. Benedictional of S. Aethelwold. 

Roxb. Club, 1910. 
WESTLAKE, N. H. J., and PURDUE, W. Illustrations of O. T. hist, in Qu. 

Mary's Psalter. 1865. 

WESTWOOD, J. O. Bible of the Monastery of St. Paul near Rome. 1876. 
WILSON, H. A. Benedictional of Abp. Robert. Henry Bradshaw Soc., 1903. 

Missal of Robert of Jumieges. H. B. Soc., 1896. 

v. Warner, Sir G. F. 

WICKHOFF, F. Die Omamente eines altchristl. Cod. der Hofbibl. (Jahrb., 

xiv, pp. 196-213). 1893. 

v. Hartel, W. Ritter von. 

ZANOTTO, F. Facsimile delle miniature contenute nel Breviario Grimani. 

1862. 

V. MISCELLANEOUS 

BASTARD, COUNT A. DE. Librairie de Jean de France, Due de Berry. 1834. 
BEISSEL, S. Der hi. Bernivard -von Hildesheim als Kimstlcr^ etc. 1895. 
BERTAUX, E. L'art dans Vltalie mgridionale, i, 1904. 

22 337 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

BISCARO, G. Intorno a Cristoforo Preda (Archivio Storico Lombardo, 1910, 

pp. 223-6). 

BRADLEY, J. W. Life and Works of Giorgio Giulio Clovio. 1891. 
BROCKHAUS, H. Die Kunst in den Athos-Klostem. 1891. 
BRUUN, J. A. Celtic Illuminated MSS. 1897. 
CIACCIO, L. Appunti intorno alia miniatura bolognese del sec. xiv (L'Arte, x, 

PP- i OS- 1 5)- *97- 
CIPOLLA, C. Codici Bobbiesi. 1907. 

CONSTANTINOPLE, INSTITUT ARCHOL. RUSSE. Bulletin, vol. xii, Album 

[Octateuch MSS.]. 1907. 
DEHAISNES, M. LE CHANOINE. Histoire de FArt dans la Flandre, PArtois et le 

Hainaut. 1886. 
DELISLE, L. Les Livres d"Heuresdu due de Berry (Gas. des Beaux- Arts ', 1884, 

PP- 97-no, 281-92, 391-405). 

Livres a" images (Hist. Litt. de la France ', xxxi, pp. 213-85). 1893. 

Melanges de Paleographie et de Bibliographic. 1880. 

Memoire sur d 1 anciens sacramentaires (Mem. deFAcad. des Inscr. et Belles- 

Lettres, xxxii, i). 1886. 

Notice de douze livres royaux. 1902. 

DIEHL, C. Justinien. 1901. 

DURRIEU, COUNT P. Un dessin du Musee du Louvre, attribue a Andre 

Beauneveu (Fond. E. Piot, i, pp. 179-202). 1894. 
Jacques Coene, peintre de Bruges (Les Arts anc. de Flandre, ii, pp. 5-22). 

1906. 
Les miniatures a" Andre Beauneveu (Le Manuscrit, i, pp. 52-6, 84-95). 

1894. 
Lapeinture en France au debut du xif siecle (Revue de fart anc. etmod., 

xix, pp. 401-15, xx, pp. 21-35). 1906. 
FOWLER, J. On mediaeval representations of the months and seasons (Archaeo- 

logia, xliv, pp. 137-224). 1873. 
GILBERT, J. T. National MSS. of Ireland, pt. i. 1874. [Coloured 

plates] 

GRUYER, G. L'Artferrarais. 1897. 
HASELOFF, A. Les Psautiers de St. Lcuis (Mem. de la Soc. Nat. des Antiquaires 

de France, lix, pp. 18-42). 1900. 

Eine thiiringisch-sachsische Malerschule des /j. Jahrhunderts. 1897. 

HERMANN, H. J. Miniaturhss. aus der Bibl. des Hersogs Andrea Matteo III 

Acquaviva (Jahrb., xix, pp. 147-216). 1898. 
Zur Geschichte der Miniaturmalerei am Hofe der Este in Ferrara (ib., 

xxi, pp. 117-271). 1900. 

JANITSCHEK, H. Geschichte der deutschen Malerei. 1890. 
KALLAB, W. Die toscanische Landschaftsmalerei im xiv und xv Jahrhundert 

(Jahrb., xxi, pp. 1-90). igoo. 
338 



SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 

KELLER, F. Bilder in den irischen MSS. der schweiz. Bibliotheken (Mittheil. 

der Antiq. Gesellsch. in Zurich, vii, Heft 3, pp. 61-97). 1851. Transl. 

by W. Reeves, Ulster Journ. of Archaeol., viii, pp. 210-30, 291-308. 

1860. 

KONDAKOFF, N. P. Histoire de VArt byzantin. 1886-91. 
LABORDE, COUNT A. DE. Les MSS. a peintures de la Cite de Dieu. Soc. des 

Bibliophiles fr., 1909. 
LAFENESTRE, G. Jehan Fouquet. 1905. 
LASTEYRIE, R. DE. Les miniatures d? Andre Beauneveu et de Jacquemart de 

Hesdin (Fond. E. Piot, iii, pp. 71-119). 1896. 
LATIL, A. M. Le Miniature nei Rotoli delT Exult et. 1899, etc. 

UTZ, J., and PERDRIZET, P. Speculum Humanae Salvationis. 1907-9. 
MALE, E. Jean Bourdichon et son atelier (Gas. des Beaux- Arts, 1904, ii, 

pp. 441-57)- 
Trots oeuvres nouvelles de Jean Bourdichon (ib., 1902, i, pp. 185- 

203). 
MARTIN, H. Les Miniaturistes francais. 1906. 

Les Peintres de MSS. et la Miniatiire en France. [1909] 

MILLER, K. Die Weltkarte des Beatus (Die altesten Weltkarten, Heft i). 

1895. 
MONGERI, P. L' arte del minio nel diicato di Milano (Archivio Storico Lom- 

bardo, 1885, pp. 330-56, 528-57, 759~9 6 )- 
B., L. Miniature Sforzcsche di Cristoforo Preda (Rassegna d'Arte, i, pp. 28-9). 

1901. 
PROU, M. Dessins du xi' siecle et peintures du xiii' siecle (Revue de fart 

chretien, 1890, pp. 122-8). 
RIEGL, A. Die mittelalterliche Kalenderillustration (Mittheil. des Instituts 

fur oesterr. Geschichtsforschung, x, pp. 1-74). 1889. 
RUSHFORTH, G. McN. The " Descent into Hell" in Byzantine Art (Papers of 

the British School at Rome, i, pp. 114-19). 1902. 
REIBER, W. L. Biblia Pauperum. 1903. 
STETTINER, R. Die illustrierten Prudentius-Handschriften* 1895. 

Same title, vol. i (200 plates). 1905. 
STOKES, M. Early Christian Art in Ireland. 1887. 
SWARZENSKI, G. Die Regensburger Buchmalerei des X und XI Jahrhun- 

derts. 1901. 

TESTI, L. Storia della Pittura veneziana, i, 1909. 
THOMPSON, SIR E. M. English Illuminated MSS. 1895. 
TIKKANEN, J. J. Die Psalterillustration im Mittelalter. 1895. 
VALLET DE VIRIVILLE, A. Notice de quelques MSS. precieux (Gaz. des Beaux- 

Arts, 1866, i, pp. 453-66, ii, pp. 275-85, 471-88). 
VITELLI E PAOLI. Facsimili paleografici. n.d. 
VITZTHUM, GRAF G. Die Pariser Miniaturmalerei von der Zeit des hi. 

Ludwig bis zu Philipp von Valois. 1907. 

339 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

VOGE, W. Eine deutsche Malerschule um die Wende des ersten Jahrtausends. 
1891. 

WEALE, W. H. J. Gerard David. 1895. 

Simon Binnink, miniaturist (Burl. Mag., viii, pp. 355-7). 1906. 

WESTWOOD, J. O. Facsimiles of the Miniatures and Ornaments of Anglo- 
Saxon and Irish MSS. 1868. 

On peculiarities in Irish MSS. (Archaeol. Journ., vii., pp. 17-25). 1850. 

Palaeographia Sacra Pictoria. 1843-5. 



340 



INDEX 



MANUSCRIPTS 



Abbeville: No. i (Cod. Aur.), 101 
Aix-la-Chapelle, Cathedral : Gospel- 
books, 92, 148 

Arras: No. 1045 (S.VaastLectionary),io5 
Austria-Este, Archduke Francis Ferdi- 
nand of: Borso Bible, 291 ; Brevi- 
ary and Officium of Ercole I, 292-3 

Bamberg : A. 1.5 (Alcuin-Bible), 95 

Bari : Exultet Roll, 166 

Berlin, Royal Library: Eneidt (germ. 

fol. 282), 156; Itala, 1 6 
Boulogne, Bibl. Municip. : No. 20 (S. j 

Omer Psalter), no 
Bristol, Baptist College: Cotton Genesis, 

17 

Brussels, Royal Library : Apocalypse (B. 
282), 217 ; Berry Hours (11060-1), 
250; Breviary of Philip the Good 
(9511, 9026), 312; Conquetes de 
Charlemagne (9066-8 ), 3 1 2 ; Gospels 
of S. Victor-in-Santem (18723), 92; 
Hennessy Hours, 322 ; Histoire de 
Charles Martel (6-9), 312; Histoire 
du Haynaut (9242-4), 311 ; Missal 
of Mathias Corvinus (9008), 297 ; 
Peterborough Psalter (9961-2), 224 

Cambrai, Public Library: Nos. 149, 327 

(Missal and Bible), 306-7 
Cambridge, Corpus Christi College : No. 

286 (S. Augustine's Gospels), 160 

Fitzvrilliam Museum: No. 48 (Carew- 

Poyntz Horae), 231 

Pembroke College: No. 120 (Bury 

St. Edmund's Gospels), 136 

St. John's College : C. 9 (Irish 

Psalter), 82 

Trinity College : Apocalypse (R. 

16.2), 214; Eadwin Psalter, no; 
Winchester Gospels (B. 10.4), 128 



Cambridge, University Library : li. vi. 
32 (Book of Deer), 83; LI. i. 10 
(Bp. Aethelwald's Prayer-book), 85 

Chantilly, Musee Conde : Breviary of 
Jeanne d'Evreux, 246 ; Crucifixion 
(A. de' Bonfratelli), 305 ; Hours 
of E. Chevalier, 280, pi. xlii; Inge- 
burge Psalter, 193; Registrum 
Gregorii, 150 ; Tres Riches Heures, 
271, pi. xl 

Cividale : Cod. Gertrud., 147, pi. xix 

Coblenz, Archives : Treves " Kopial- 
buch," 307 

Constantinople, Seraglio: Octateuch, 48 

Darmstadt: No. 1948 (Gero Gospels), 

J 45 

Devonshire, Duke of: Benedictional of 
S. Aethelwold, 126 

Douai, Public Library : No. 171 (Psalter), 
226 

Dublin, Trinity College : Book of Ar- 
magh, 8 1 ; of Dimma, 72 ; of 
Durrow, 71 ; of Kells, 76, pi. vii ; 
of Mulling, 8 1 ; Psalter of Rice- 
march, 83 

Durham, Cathedral Library : Pudsey 
Bible, 138 ; Cassiodorus (B. ii. 30), 
85; Gospels (A. ii. 17), 85 

Epernay : No. 1722 (Ebbo Gospels), 104 
Etschmiadzin : Gospels, 34 

Florence : Rabula Gospels, 32 ; Reiche- 
nau Sacramentary, 146 

Gaeta, Cathedral: Exultet Rolls, 167 
Gotha: Echternach Gospels, 149 

Heidelberg, University Library: Sacra- 
mentary (SaL ix b ), 145 

341 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 



Hildesheim, Cathedral : Bible, Gospels, 
and Sacramentary of S. Bernward, 

151 
S. Godehard's Church : S. Alban's 

Psalter, 136 
Holford, Sir G. L. : Passion of S. 

Edmund, 135 
Holkham, Lord Leicester's Library : 

Weingarten Missals, 207 

Innsbruck, University Library : Missal 
of Card. Ippolito I d'Este, 293; 
Prayer-book of J. Bourgeois, 285 

Ivrea, Chapter Library : Sacramentary 
of S. Warmund, 162 

Jacquemart-Andre, Madame : Boucicaut 
Hours, 266 

Leyden, University Library : Psalter of 

5, Louis, 141 

Lichfield, Cathedral Library : Gospels 
of S. Chad, 75 

London, British Museum: Additional 
MSS. 4949, 64; 5111, 30; 9350, 
1 68; 10546 (Alcuin-Bible), 95, 
pi. xi; 11662, 4; 11695, 210; 
11838, 62; 11870 (Metaphrastes), 
54, pi. v; 1 201 2, 288; 14779- 
82, 302 ; 14788-90 (Louvain 
Bible), 158; 14802, 290; 15205- 

6, 260; 15244-5, 246, pi. xxxvii; 
15246, 302; 15270-3, 289, pi. 
xlv; 15274-5, 263; 15816, 294; 
16532, 257; 16605, 157; 16949, 
203; 16997, 280; 17280, 319; 
17294, 291; 17333. 218; 17341, 
199, pi. xxvi; 17373. 2 94; 17687, 
208; 17737-8 (Floreffe Bible), 
159; 17742, 194; 17868, 197; 
18000, 294*; 18144, 208; 18196- 

7, 259; 18198, 259; 18633, 
218; 18719, 200; 18720 
(Bologna Bible), 260; 18850 
(Bedford Hours), 273, pi. xli ; 
18851 (Isabella Book), 318; 
18852, 319; 18854, 285; 18855, 
285, 323; 18859, 164; 19352 
(Theodore Psalter), 49; 19899, 
205; 20916, 294; 20927 (G. 
Clovio), 304; 21120, 303; 21412 
(Rogers Album), 259; 21413 
(Sforza deed), 300; 21414, 294; 

342 



21463, 294; 21965, 257; 21973, 
2 S9; 22493, 218; 22497, 257; 
22736, 64; 22740, 64; 23923, 
262; 24098 (" Golf Book "), 322, 
pi. li; 24189, 309, pi. xlix; 24199, 
in ; 24683, 205 ; 24686 (Tenison 
Psalter), 190, pi. xxiv; 25600, 
210; 25697, 295; 25698, 316, 
pi. 1; 27428, 262; 27695, 263; 
27697 (Saluces Hours), 283; 
28106-7 (Stavelot Bible), 157; 
28162 (Somme le Roi), 201, pi. 
xxviii; 28271, 303; 28785, 279; 
28815, 64; 28841, 263; 28962, 
302; 29253, 306; 29433, 269; 
29704-5. 2 33. .P 1 - xxxiv; 29735 
(S. Croce Breviary), 295 ; 30014 
Siena Hymnal), 286 ; 30029, 306; 
3337 (Exultet Roll), 167, pi. xx.; 
30844-6, 30850, 30853 (Silos 
MSS.), 210; 31032, 261; 32058, 
25?; 32454, 269; 33733 (Vic- 
tories of Charles V), 305 ; 33997, 
295; 34247, 259; 34294 (Sforza 
Book), 298, pi. xlvii, xlviii ; 34309, 
256 ; 34890 (Grimbald Gospels), 
131, pi. xv ; 35030, 47; 35085, 
196; 35 l6 6, 214; 35254, 259, 
285, 288, pi. xliv; 35311 (Bur- 
gundy Breviary), 270; 3531 3, 320 ; 
353 J 9. 317; 35321, 282; 36684, 
306; 36928, 47; 37421 (J. 
Fouquet), 281; 37517 (Bosworth 
Psalter), 129; 37768 (Lothaire 
Psalter), 104; 37955^288; 38037 
(Toledo Missal), 303 

London, British Museum : Arundel 
MSS. 60, 132; 83 (E. Anglian 
Psalter), 224, pi. xxxiii; 155, 129; 
157, 176; 547,65 

Burney MSS. 3, 182 ; 19, 64, 

pi. iv; 20,64; 257,267; 275,247 

Cotton MSS. Calig. A. xv, 1 20 ; 

Claud. B. iv (Aelfric's Hexateuch), 
120; Claud. D. vi, 185; Cleop. C. 
viii, 112; Dom. A. xvii (Psalter 
of Hen. VI), 277; Faust. B. vi, 
pt. ii, 235 ; Galba A. xviii (Athel- 
stan's Psalter), 122; Jul. A. vi, 113; 
Nero C. iv, 137 ; Nero D. i, 185 ; 
Nero D. iv (Lindisfarne Gospels), 
73, pi. viii ; Otho B. vi (Cotton 
Genesis), 17; Tib. A. ii (Athel- 



INDEX 



Stan's Gospels), 144; Tib. B. v, 
114; Tib. B. viii (Charles V's 
Coronation-book), 247 ; Tib. C. vi, 
119, pi. xiv ; Tit. D. xvi, 112; 
Tit. D. xxvii, 117; Vesp. A. i 
(Psalter of S. Augustine's, Canter- 
bury), 85 ; Vesp. A. viii (King 
Edgar's charter), 125 ; Vitell. F. xi, 
81 

London, British Museum: Egerton MSS. 
617-8 (Wycliffite Bible), 231 ; 768 
(Franco-Saxon Gospels), 105 ; 809, 
153; 943, 262; 1 070 (Hours of Rene 
ofAnjou), 283; 1139 (Melissenda 
Psalter), 57, pi. vi ; 1147, 323; 
1151, 1 88; 2045 (S. Pol Hours), 
283, pi. xliii ; 2781, 231 

Harley MSS. 76 (Bury S. 

Edmund's Gospels), 130; 603 
(copy of Utrecht Psalter), 115; 
928, 188; 1023, 82; 1526-7 
(Moralized Bible), 200; 1802 
(Maelbrigt Gospels), 82; 1810, 58; 
2278 (Lydgate's Life of S. Edmund), 
235 ; 2449 (Val-Duchesse Breviary), 
306 ; 2788 (Cod. Aur.), 100, pi. ix; 
2798-9 (Arnstein Bible), 154; 
2800-2 (Arnstein Passionale), 155; 
2803-4 (Worms Bible), 154 ; 2891, 
247 ; 2897 (Burgundy Breviary), 
270, frontispiece; 2899 (Qu. 
Philippa's Psalter), 231 ; 2904, 1 16 ; 
2930, 205 ; 3045, 155 ; 4374-5 
(Valerius Maximus), 282; 4381-2 
(Berry Bible), 252 ; 4425 (Roman 
de la Rose), 318; 4751, 187; 
4986, 186 ; 5102, 141; 5761 
(Medici Petrarch), 295 ; 5790 
(Greek Gospels of Card. F. 
Gonzaga), 65 ; 7026 (Lovel Lec- 
tionary), 234; 7183, 168 

Harley Roll Y. 6 (Guthlac 

Roll), 140, pi. xvii 

King's MSS. 5 (Biblia 
Pauperum), 308; 156 (Ducale), 294 

Lansdowne MSS. 420, 179; 

1175 (Bible of Charles V), 252 

Royal MSS. i D. i (Bible of 

William of Devon), 183, pi. xxiii; 
i D. ix (Canute's Gospels), 130; 
i D x, 176, pi. xxi; i E. vi, 87; 

1 E. ix (Bible of Richard II), 232; 

2 A. iii, 205 ; 2 A. xviii. (Grandison 



Hours), 234; 2 A. xxii (West- 
minster Psalter), 141 ; 2 B. ii, 197 ; 
2 B. iii, 204, pi. xxix ; 2 B. vii 
(Qu. Mary's Psalter), 221, pi. 
xxxi-ii ; 3 D. vi, 1 90 ; 6 E. ix 
(Prato verses), 256 ; 10 E. iv, 230 ; 

14 C. vii (Matthew Paris), 185; 

15 D. ii (E. Anglian Apocalypse), 
217; 15 E. ii-iii, 314; 16 F. ii 
(Charles, Duke of Orleans), 317; 
169. iii (D. Aubert, Vita Christi), 
314; 17 E. vii, 245; 18 D. viii, 
239; 18 E. iii-iv, 314; 19 B. xv, 
217; 19 C. iv (Songe du Vergier), 
2 53.;. J 9 C. viii, 317; 19 D. ii 
(Poitiers Bible), 239; 19 E. v 
(Romuleon), 314; 20 B vi (Epistle 
to Richard II), 253 

London, British Museum : Sloane MS. 
1977 (Treatise on Surgery), 195, pi. 
xxvii 

Stowe MSS. 12 (Norwich 

Breviary), 227; 17 (Maestricht 
Hours), 205, pi. xxxviii ; 944 (New- 
minster Liber Vitae), 117, pi. xiii 

Lambeth Archiepiscopal Library : 

Apocalypse(209),2i5 ; Mac Durnan 
Gospels, 80 

Soane Museum : Giulio Clovio, 304 ; 

Josephus of Edw. IV, 314 

Society of Antiquaries : Mantuan (?) 

Choir-book, 298 ; Peterborough 
Psalter (59), 180, pi. xxii 

Victoria and Albert Museum, South 

Kensington : Flemish Calendar- 
pictures (Salting collection), 323; 
Italian Choir-books, 259; S. Denis 
Missal, 246 

Wallace Collection: C. dePredis, 301 

Westminster Abbey. Lytlington 

Missal, 231 % 

Lulworth Castle Library : Louterell 

Psalter, 229-30 
Lyons Cathedral : Attavante Missal, 296 

Manchester, John Rylands Library: Lat. 
8 (Beatus on the Apocalypse), 211 

Milan, Ambrosian Library : Borromeo 
Hours (C. de Predis), 301 ; Greek 
Gospels (B. 56 Sup.), 65 ; Greek 
Psalter (54), 46 ; Iliad, 8 ; Petrarch's 
Virgil (S. Martini), 258; Terence 
(H. 75 inf.), 12 

343 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 



Milan, Trivulzio Collection : Donatus of 
Maximilian Sforza (Ambr. de 
Predis ?), 300 ; Missal (Martino da 
Modena?), 292 ; Turin Hours, 310 

Monte Cassino: No 73 (S. Gregory's 
Moralia), 164; 99 (Homilies), 164; 
175 (Commentary on Rule of S. 
Benedict), 163 

Morgan, J. Pierpont, Esq. : Flemish 
Breviary, 321; Huntingfield Psalter, 
141 ; Windmill Psalter, 220 ; Work- 
sop Bestiary (107), 187 

Mount Athos, Pantocrator : 49 (Psalter), 
46 

Vatopedi : 515 (Octateuch), 48; 

609 (Psalter), 46 

Munich, Hofbibl: Cim. 54 (Uta-codex), 
153; Cim. 55 (Cod. Aur. of S. 
Emmeran), 98 Cim. 57 (Bamberg 
Lectionary), 150; Cim. 58 (Bam- 
berg Gospels), 149 ; Cod. gall. 369 
(Boccace, J. Fouquet), 280 

Schatzkammer : Prayer-book of 

Charles the Bald, 98 

Nuremberg, Stadtbibl : Solger in 4, 
No. 4 (Hours of King Charles), 200 

Oxford, Bodleian Library : Auct. D. 4. 
17 (Apocalypse), 213; Bodl. 27ob 
(Moralized Bible), 200; Bodl. 579 
(Leofric Missal), 116; Douce 180 
(Apocalypse), 216, pi. xxx ; Douce 
366 (Ormesby Psalter), 228; Douce 
374 (Miracles de N. D.), 313; 
Junius ii (Caedmon), 118; Lat. 
Liturg. f. 5 (S. Margaret's Gospel- 
book), 133; Rawlinson B. 484 
(leaf from Athelstan's Psalter), 123; 
Rushworth Gospels (Mac Regol), 79 
4 

Padua, Cathedral: Epistolar, 170; 
Gospel-book, 169 

Paris, Bibl. de 1' Arsenal : No. 623 (S. 
Magloire Missal), 273; 664 (Te'rence 
des Dues), 267; 1186 (Psalter of 
Blanche of Castile), 193; 5059 
(Papeleu Bible), 239 

Bibl. de Ste. Genevieve : Canterbury 

Bible, 139 

Bibl. Nationale : Coislin 79 (Chry- 

sostom of Nicephorus Botaniates), 
4i 
344 



Paris, Bibl. Nationale : Fonds franc.ais, 
18-9 (Cite de Dieu), 282 ; 247 
(Fouquet, Josephus), 2795403 (Apo- 
calypse), 213; 616 (Livre de la 
Chasse), 267; 2090-2 (Legende de 
St. Denis), 239; 2810 (Livre des 
Merveilles), 267 ; 6465 (Fouquet, 
Grandes Chroniques), 280; 9198-9 
(Miracles de N. D.),3i3; 9350 (after 
Cotton Genesis), 17; 13091 (Duke 
of Berry's Lat.-Fr. Psalter), 249 ; 
19819 (Fouquet, Order of S. 
Michael), 278 

Fonds grec., 139 (Psalter), 42; 

510 (Greg. Naz.), 40; 1208 (Homi- 
lies of Jacobus), 56 

Fonds latin, i (Vivian Bible), 

96 ; 2 (2nd Bible of Charles the 
Bald), 105 ; 18 (Bologna Bible), 
260; 257 (Gospels of Frangois II), 
105; 265 (Blois Gospels), 104; 266 
(Lothaire Gospels), 97 ; 919 (Duke 
of Berry's "Grandes Heures"), 
251; 1023 (Breviary of Philippe 
le Bel), 237; 1150 (Moralized 
Bible), 200; 1152 (Psalter of Charles 
the Bald), 98; 1161 (Hours), 268; 
3063 (Scotus of Ferd. of Aragon), 
2895 8846, anc. Suppl. lat. 1194 
(Tripartite Psalter), no; 8850 
(Soissons Cod. Aur.), 103, pi. x; 
9383, 9388 (Gospel-books), 104; 
9428 (Drogo Sacramentary), 103; 
9474 (Hours of Anne of Brittany), 
284 ; 10483-4 (Belleville Breviary), 
240; 10525 (Little Psalter of 
S. Louis), 198; 11935 (Billyng 
Bible), 240; 12048 (Gellone 
Sacramentary), 89; 17294 (Brev- 
iary of John, Duke of Bedford), 
275; 17326 (Ste. Chapelle Lection- 
ary), 199; 18014 (Duke of Berry's 
"Petites Heures"), 251 

Nouv. acq. fr., 1098 (Vie de 

St. Denys), 195; 21013 (Fouquet, 
Josephus), 279 

Nouv. acq. lat., 1203, anc. 

1993 (Godescalc Gospel-book), 
100; 1359 (Chronicle of S. Martin 
des Champs), 4; 1416 (Fouquet, 
Hours of E. Chevalier), 281 ; 
2334 (Ashburnham Pentateuch), 
161 



INDEX 



Paris, Bibl. Nationale: Suppl. gr. 1286 
(Cod. Sinop.), 29 

Collection Dutuit : Hist, du bon roi 

Alexandre, 312 

Musee du Louvre. Fouquet, Hours | 

of E. Chevalier, 281 ; Turin Hours, j 
310 

Perrins, C. W. Dyson, Esq. : Gorleston 
Psalter, 226; Ovid, 289 

Rome, Archives of S. Peter's : Codice di 
S. Giorgio, 258 

Barberini Library : Calendar of 

Filocalus, 3 

S. Paul's: Bible, 98 

Vatican Library: Pal. gr. 381 

(Psalter), 47 ; 431 (Joshua Roll), 42 

Pal. lat. 1071 (Fred. II, De arte 

venandi cum avibus), 172 

Reg. gr. i (Bible), 47 ; Reg. 

lat. 438 (Calendar-pictures), 113 

Urbino-Vat. gr. 2 (Gospels), 60 

Vat. gr. 394 (Climacus), 56 ; 

666 (Alexius Comnenus), 41 ; 699 
(Cosmas Indicopleustes), 40 ; 746- 
7 (Octateuchs), 48; 1162 (Homi- 
lies of Jacobus), 56; 1291 (Pto- 
lemy), 39; 1613 (Menology of 
Basil II), 52; 2138 (Evangelis- 
tarium). 65 

Vat. lat. 20 (Bologna Bible), 

260; 1202 (Life of S. Benedict), 
164; 3225 (Vatican Virgil), 5, 
pi. ii; 3867 (Virgil, Codex Ro- 
manus), 10; 3868 (Terence), 12 

Rossano, Cathedral: Greek Gospels 
(Cod. Rossan.) 22, pi. iii 

Rothschild, Baroness Adolphe de : 
Heures de Pucelle, 240 

Baron Edmond de : Duke of Berry's 

" Belles Heures," 273 

Baron Maurice de : Duke of Berry's 

" Tres belles heures," 309 
Rouen, Public Library : Benedictional 

of Abp. Robert, 127; Missal of 

Robert of Jumieges, 128 
Rutland, Duke of: Psalter, 188 

S. Gall: No 51 (Irish Gospel-book), 84 
St. Petersburg : Grandes Chroniques, 

3i3 

Siena, Archivio di Stato : Caleffo dell' 
Assunta, 257, pi. xxxix 

22* 



Siena, Libreria Piccolomini : Choir- 
books, 297, pi. xlvi 
Smyrna : Octateuch, 48 

Thompson, H. Yates, Esq. : Albani 
Hours, 304 ; Apocalypse, (55), 215 ; 
Beatus on the Apocalypse (97), 
210; Beaupre Antiphoner (83), 
207 ; Bentivoglio Bible (4), 260 ; 
Carrow Psalter (52), 181 ; Coetivy 
Hours (85), 276 ; Dunois Hours 
(n), 276; Gallican Missal (69), 
157; Hours of "Elysabeth the 
Quene" (59), 235; of Jeanne de 
Navarre (75), 242, pi. xxxvi; of 
Rene II, Duke of Lorraine, 282 ; 
of Yolande de Flandre, 242 ; Life 
of Christ (8 1, formerly Ashb. App. 
72), 255 ; Life of S. Cuthbert, 
140; Martyrology (8), 164; Metz 
Pontifical (formerly Sir T. Brooke's), 
237, pi. xxxv ; St. Omer Psalter 
(58), 229; Sainte Abbaye (40), 
202; Taymouth Hours (57), 231; 
Verdun Breviary (31), 237 

Treves, City Library : Ada Gospels (22), 
101 ; Cod. Egberti, 147, pi. xviii 

Turin, National Library : Franciscan 
Bible (D. i. 13), 260 ; Turin Hours, 
310 

Royal Library : Lives of SS. Joachim 

and Anna (14434), 301 

Utrecht, University Library : Utrecht 
Psalter, 106, pi. xii 

Varese, Church of the Madonna del 
Monte sopra : Missal (C. de Pre- 
dis), 301 

Venice, S. Mark's : Grimani Breviary, 
319; Iliad (454). 13 

Verdun, Public Library : Breviary (107), 

2 37 

Verona: Psalter, 161 
Vienna, Albertina Museum : Leaf from 

Missal of Alex. VI (A. da Monza),3oo 

Imperial Library : No. 847 (Euseb. 

Canons, etc.), 30; 1907 (Maxi- 
milian's Prayer-book), 321 ; 2533 
(Chron. de Jherus.), 312; 2549 
(G. de Roussillon), 312; 2706 
(Hortulus Animae), 312; 3416 
(Calendar of Filocalus), 5 

345 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 

Vienna, Imperial Library: Med. gr. i Winchester, Chapter Library: Bible, 
(Dioscorides), 34 i3 8 > P 1 - 



Theol. gr. 31 (Vienna Genesis), 



20 



Schatzkammer : Gospel-book of 
Charlemagne, 92 



Windsor, Royal Library: Sobieski 
Hours, 275 

Zurich, Cantonal Library : No. i 
(Alcuin-Bible), 95 



SCRIBES AND ILLUMINATORS 



Aelfwin, Abbot of Newminster, 117 
Aldred, 73 

Alighieri, Giovanni, 13 
Ancelet, al. Anciau de Cens, 241 
Aspertini, Amico, 304 
Attavanti, Attavante degli, 296 
Aubert, D., 314 
Avogaro, Marco dell', 291 

Basilius, 58 

Beauneveu, Andre, 237, 248-51, 307 

Bede, 85 

Bennink, Alexander, 314, 322 

Simon, 322 
Berengarius, 98 
Billyng, Robert de, 240 
Biragus, Johannes Petrus, 300 
Blachernae, Michael and Simeon of, 52 
Bologna, Niccol6 da, 257, 262 
Bonfratelli, Apollonio de', 304 
Bourdichon, Jean, 266, 284 
Brancalupo, Rudolfo, 302 

Chevrier, J., 241 
Clovio, Giulio, 304 
Coene, Jacques, 266 
Colombe, Jean, 271 
Columba, S., 71 
Cremona, Girolamo da, 297 
Crivelli, Taddeo, 291 
Cybo, Monk of Hyeres, 263 

David, Gerard, 311 

Devon, William of, 183, pi. xxiii 

Dimma, Mac Nathi, 72 

Eadfrith, Bp. of Lindisfarne, 73, pi. viii 
Ernestus, 158 

Fouquet, Francois, 266, 282 

Jean, 266, 277-85, 313, pi. xlii 

346 



Fcuquet, Louis, 282 
Franciscus, "egregius pictor," 266, 282, 
pi. xliii 

Gaibana, Giovanni di, 171 
Geroldus, clerk of Amiens, 194 
Goderannus, 158 
Godescalc, 100 
Guntbald the Deacon, 151 

Heribertus, 147 

Hesdin, Jacquemart de, 237, 248, 

250-2, 307 

Hippolytus Lunensis, 289, 302 
Honore, 237 

John, Cretan priest, 65 
Keraldus, 147 

Leo, 164 

Liedet, Loyset, 312 

Limbourg, Pol de, and his brothers, 

248, 266, 271-3, 320, pi. xl 
Liuthard, 98 

Mac Durnan, Maelbrigte, 80 

Mac Regol, 79 

Maci, Jaquet, 241 

Maelbrigt hua Maeluanaigh, 82 

Mahiet, 241 

Manerius, of Canterbury, 139 

Mantegna, Andrea and Francesco, 

298 

Marmion, Simon, 313 
Martini, Simone, 258 
Memlinc, Hans, 311, 319 
Michael the Little, 53 
Modena, Martino da, 292 
Monza, Antonio da, 300 
Mulling, S., 8 1 



INDEX 



Niccolb di Ser Sozzo, 257, 288, pi. 
xxxix 

Pantoleon, 53 
Papeleu, Jean de, 239 
Paris, Matthew, 185-6 
Pedro, Prior of Silos, 210 
Perugino, 304 
Poyet, Jean, 284 
Predis, Ambrogio de, 300 
Cristoforo de, 301 
Pucelle, Jean, 237, 240-5, 252 

Rabula the Calligrapher, 32 
Ricemarch, Bp. of S. David's, 83 



Russi, Franco, 291 

Sano di Pietro, 288 
Siferwas, John, 233 

Trevou, Henri du, 252 

Tavernier, Jean le, 312 

Tedesco, Giorgio, 291-2 

Theodore, Arch-priest of Caesarea, 49 

Verona, Liberale da, 297, pi. xlvi 
Vrelant, Willem, 311 

Whas, John, 233 



GENERAL 



Ada Gospels, school of, 99-103 

Adonis, death of, 45 

Aelfgyfu, 117 

Aelfric's Hexateuch, 120 

Aelfwin, Abbot of Newminster, Win- 
chester, 117-8 

Aethelgar, Abbot of Newminster, 127 

Aethelwald, Bp. of Lindisfarne, Prayer- 
book of, 85 

Aethelwold, S., 124; Benedictional of, 
126 

Aix-la-Chapelle, 90, 92-3, 143; Ottonian 
Gospels at, 148-50 

Albani Horae, 304 

Albert of Brandenburg, Hours of, 321 

Alcuin, 91, 94; Alcuin-Bibles, 94-7, 
149, pi. xi 

Alexander VI, 300-1 

Alexandria, 2, 14 

Alexius Comnenus, portraits of, 41, 60 

Alfonso of Aragon, King of Naples, 
Psalter of, 302 

Alfred the Great, 122 

Alphonso, son of Edw. I, 190 

Amiens, 194 

Angelico, Fra, 288 

Ani, Book of the Dead of, i 

Animal-lore, fabulous, 186-7, 222 

Anne of Bohemia, 232 

of Brittany, Hours of, 266, 284-5 

of Burgundy, Duchess of Bedford, 

273-5 
Antiphoners, 327. v. Choir-books 



Annunciation, early instance of divided 

form, 33 
Apocalypse, illustrations of, 96, 209-19, 

pi. xi, xxx 
Arabic Gospel, in portrait of S. Matthew, 

64 

Aratea, 13 
Archippus, hermit, legend of, 53-4, 

pi. v 
Aristotle, Ethics, 303 ; tomb of, 309, 

pi. xlix 

Armagh, Book of, 81 
Arnstein Abbey, Bible, etc., from, 154-5 
Arthur, Prince of Wales, 317 
Arundel Psalter, E. Anglian, 26, 224-7, 

pi. xxxiii 

Ashburnham House, fire at, 1 7 
Pentateuch, 161 
Ashridge College, 191 
Assumption of the Virgin, notable 

Italian paintings of, 137, 257-8, 

299, pi. xxxix 
Asti Antiphoner, 258 
Athelstan's Gospels, 144-5 > Psalter, 

122-3 
Augustine, S., Commentary on the 

Psalms, 302 ; De Civitate Dei, 246, 

282, 302, pi. xxxvii 

Backgrounds, architectural, 198; dia- 
pered, 140; patterned, 146, 151; 
punctured gold, 227; striped, 96, 
146, 152, 211 ; transitional, 266-8 

347 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 



Bamberg Gospels, 149-50; Lectionary, 

150-1 
Bar, Marguerite de, Abbess of S. Maur 

at Verdun, 237 

Renaud de, Bp. of Metz, 237 
Bari Exultet Roll, 166 

Basil I, the Macedonian, 36, 38 ; por- 
trait of, 40-1 

II, Menology of, 52-5 
Bavarian schools, 143, 152-3 
Beatus on the Apocalypse, 209-12 
Beaupre Antiphoner, 207 

Bedford, John, Duke of, Hours of 
("Bedford Missal"), 273-5, plxli; 
Breviary and Pontifical of, 275 

Belleville Breviary, 240-5 

Belton, wall-paintings at, 225 

Benedict, S., 130, 163 ; Life of, 164 

Benedictional of Abp. Robert, 127; of 
S. Aethelwold, 126 

Bentivoglio Bible, 260 

Berengaudus on the Apocalypse, 215 

Bergen, Margaret van, Countess of 
Buren, Hours of, 317 

Bernward, S., Bp. of Hildesheim, 143, 
151-2 

Berry, John, Duke of, 240, 247-54, 
266-8, 271-3, 279, 307, 309-10, 
320; his "Belles Heures." 273; 
Bibles, 252; "Grandes Heures," 
242, 251; "Petites Heures," 242, 
251; Psalter, 249, 251; " Tres 
Belles Heures," 309; "Tres 
Riches Heures," 266, 271-4, 276, 
320, pi. xl 

Bestiaries, 34, 186-7 

Bible Historiale, 238-9, 245, 252, 314 

Moralized, 199-200 

Bibles, nth and i2th centt., huge, 138, 
!54, i57- 8 ; 1 3th cent, mostly 
small, 175, 181-4, 196-7; i4th 
cent, Italian, 260-1 

Biblia Pauperum, 307-8 

Billfrith, 73 

Blachernse, miniaturists of, 52-3 

Black Death, 230 

Blackfriars, London, 190 

Blanche of Castile, 244 ; Psalter of, 

!93.-4 

Blandigny Abbey, near Ghent, 306 
Blois Gospels, 104 
Bobbio MSS., 83, 86, 162 
Boccace, 280, 282 

348 



Bologna, illumination at, 170, 172, 

259-62, 292 
Book of the Dead, i 
Borders, various styles of, 28, 125, 

128-33, 171-2, 175-6, 189, 231, 

241, 287, 289, 291, 295, 303-5, 

314-6, 319 
Borromeo Hours, 301 
Borso Bible, 291 
Bosworth Psalter, 129 
Boucicaut Hours, 266, 268 
Bourbon, Pierre, Due de, 279 
Bourgeois, Jean, 285 
Bourges, 248-250, 273 
Braybrooke Psalter, v. Gorleston 
Breviaries, 326 
Bridget, S., 77 
Bruges, 311-4, 3 1 7. 322 

Jean de, 250 

Bruynyng, Robert, Abbot of Sherborne, 

233 

Burgundy, Dukes of. Philippe le Hardi, 
267. John the Fearless, 267; 
Breviary of, 270-1, 276, 326, 
frontispiece. Philip the Good, 
311-3; Breviary of, 312. Charles 
the Bold, 311, 313 

Bury S. Edmund's, MSS. from, i n, 131, 

135-7 

Byzantine illumination, 14-5, 36-65 
Byzantium, 14, 19, 36. v. Constanti- 
nople 

Caedmon, 118-9 
Calendar of Filocalus, 3-5 

illustrations, 4, 39, 113-5, J 77, 

204-5, 242-5, 271-2, 276, 319-23 

Cambrai, 249, 306-7 

Canterbury, 109, 139, 184; MSS. from 
Christ Church, no, 120, 129-30, 
144; from S. Augustine's, 85-6 
(Psalter), 115, 120, 1 60 (Gospels), 
182-3 (Bible), 215 

Canute, 117, 130 

Capua, MSS. written at, 65, 163 

Cardena, S. Pedro de, MS. from, 210 

Carew-Poyntz Horae, 231 

Carolingian illumination, 88-105 

Carrow Psalter, 181 

Cascia, Simone da, 262 

Cassiodorus, Commentary on the Psalms, 

8 S 
Celtic illumination, 66-87 



INDEX 



Chad, S., Gospels of, 75-6 
Charlemagne, 88-94, 100-2 
Charles the Bald, 96-8, 105 

the Fat, 98 

the Simple, 123 

V, Emperor, 298; portrait of, 321; 

Victories of, 305 

IV, King of France, 240 

V, King of France, 240, 249, 252-3 ; 

Coronation-book of, 247 

VI, King of France, 253 

VII, King of France, 278, 280 
Chester, 179^ 

Chevalier, Etienne, Hours of, 280-2 

Chicksand nunnery, 224 

Choir-books, 258-9, 286-8, 297-8, 304, 

327-8 

Chroniques de Jherusalem, 312 
Cingal, 75 

Clement VII, Antipope, 248 
dementia, Domicella, 207 
Clermont in Auvergne, 196 
Codex Egberti, 147-50, pi. xviii 

Gertrudianus, 147, pi. xix 

Romanus (Virgil, Cod. Vat. lat. 

3867), 2 . 5i I0 - 12 

Rossanensis, 19, 22-31, 33, 37, 39- 

40, 51, 61-2, pi. iii 

Sinopensis, 19, 28-30, 149 
Codices Aurei, 100-3 
Coetivy Hours, 276-7 
Commines, Philippe de, 278, 282 
Communion, representations of, 25-6, 

33, 51, pi. iii 

Conquetes de Charlemagne, 312 
Constantinople, 2, 20, 23, 35, 44, 49, 

52, 6 1. v. Byzantium 
Constantius II, 4 

Gallus Caesar, 4 
"Continuous" method, 21, 25, 41, 141, 

.318 
Copies and repetitions, 3-5, 17, 45-9, 

56, no, 114-5. i5 I 9%> 270, 

273. 276, 313, 317, 320-3; danger 

of relying on, 4 
Corbie, school of, 92, 98-9 
Coronation, Byzantine, 46, 48, 51 

book of Charles V, 247 
Corvinus, John, 298 

Mathias, King of Hungary, 296-9 ; 

Missal of, 297 
Cosmas and Damian, SS., 297-8 

Indicopleustes, 39-40 



Cotton, Sir Robert, 17, 106 

Credi, Lorenzo di, 295 

Croyland abbey, 140 

Crucifixion, earliest appearance of, in 
illumination, 32 ; various represen- 
tations of, 41, 51, 116-7, I 3 2 > 180, 
305, 322; grotesque, 82, 84-5; 
symbolical, 152-3, 194, 225-6, 
283 (nine Crucifixes, two dead 
Christs) ; Christ ascending the 
cross, 256 ; legend of nails for, 
281-2 ; pi. xxii, xxiii, xliii 

Cunigunde, S., 150 

Cuthbert, S., 73 ; Life of, 140, 195 

Daniel, commentary on, 210 

Danish raids, effect of, on English art, 

122, 124 

Dante, Divina Commedia, 262 
Davalos, Don Inigo, 302 
David as Byzantine Emperor, 46 ; as 

Orpheus, 39, 44-7 ; as prophet- 
witness, 24, 30, 51 
Deathbed scene, 316 
Decretals of Boniface VIII, 262 ; of 

Gregory IX, 230 
Decretum, 263 

Dedication of a church, 238, pi. xxxv 
Deer, Book of, 83 
Denis, S., Life of, 195, 239-40 
Desert of Religion, 235 
Desiderius, Abbot of Monte Cassino, 

164, 167 

Dimma, Book of, 72 
Dinteville, Frangois de, Bp. of Auxerre, 

285 

Dioscorides, 34-5, 186 
Diptychs, consular, imitated, 35, 46 
Dixmude Missal, 322 
Donatus, 300 

" Donor " picture, early instance of, 98 
Douai Psalter, v. Gorleston 
Dourdan, view of, 272 
Drogo, Sacramentary of, 103, 153 
Ducali, Venetian, 293-4 
Duccio, 171, 255 
Dunois Hours, 276-7 
Dunstan, S., 124, 129 
Durandus, 261 

Durham, 85, 135, 138, 140, 175 
Book (Lindisfarne Gospels), 62-3, 

66, 70, 73-6, 79, 84, 86, pi. viii 
Durrow, Book of, 71-2, 80, 84, 89 

349 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 



Eadwin Psalter, no 

Early Christian illumination, 14-35 

East Anglian school, 217-8, 223-30 

Winch, 225 

Ebbo Gospels, 104, 108-9 
Echternach Gospels, 149 
Edgar, King, 124; charter of, 124-5 
Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, 191 

S., Passion of (Holford MS.), 135-7, 

179 ; Lydgate's Life of, 235 
Edward IV, patron of Flemish art, 235, 

313-4 
- VII, 279 

Egbert, Abp. of Treves, 143, 147-8, 

15 
Egmond, Floris van, Count of Buren, 

Hours of, 317 

Egypt, skins used for writing in, i 
Egyptian influence on Celtic art, 78 

papyri, illumination of, i 

" Elysabeth the Quene," Hours of, 235 

Eneidt, 156 

English illumination, 7th and 8th cent., 

72-5, 84-7; 9th-i2th cent., 106- 

21 (outline - drawings), 122-42 ; 

1 3th cent., 174-91 ; after 1300, 

220-35 

Eormenilda, S., 179 
Estampes, Robinet d', 309 
Este, House of, 291-3 ; Alfonso I, 293 ; 

Beatrice, 300 ; Borso, 291 ; Ercole I, 

291-2; Ippolito I, Cardinal, 293; 

Leonello, 291 
Ethilwald, Lindisfarne Gospels bound 

by, 73 

Etschmiadzin Gospel-book, 34, 91 
Euclid, 248 
Eudocia, Empress, portrait of, with her 

sons, 40-1 

Eugenius IV, portrait of, 278 
Eumenes II, King of Pergamum, i 
Eusebian Canons, decoration of, 23, 28, 

30-3, 60, 74, 87, 90-105 passim, 

128, 130, pi. ix 
Evangelists, emblems of, first appearance 

of, 62-3; in Celtic MSS., 71-84 

passim, pi. vii ; Merovingian, 89 

portraits of, early Christian, 28 ; 

Byzantine, 61-4 ; Celtic, 70-84 
passim; Carolingian, 90-4, 98, 
100-3 

Exeter Cathedral, 1 1 6 

Exultet Rolls, 164-7 

350 



Falconry, illustrations of, 172 
Ferdinand of Aragon, King of Naples, 

289, 302 
Ferrara, Aeneid formerly at, 13; school 

of, 291-3 

Filocalus, Calendar of, 3-5 
Fitton, Alice, 225 
Flanders, Count of, 249 
Flann, King, 71 
Flemish illumination, A.D. 900-1200, 

156-9; 1 3th cent., 203-7; a ft er 

A.D. 1300, 306-23 
Fleury, 124 

Floreflfe Bible, 144, 159 
Florence, 259, 273, 293, 304; school of, 

288, 294-7; S. Marco, 169, 288; 

Breviary of S. Croce, 295-6 
Fortescue, Sir John, 1 7 
Fountain of Life, 34, 91, 94, 100, 103, 

pi. x 

Francis, S., 199, 204 
Franco-Saxon school, 92, 105 
Francois II, Gospels of, 105 
Frederick II, De arte venandi cum 

avibus, 172 

HI, 316 

French illumination, A.D. 900-1200, 

i43 *S 6 ~7; J 3 tn cent -> 174, 192- 
203; i4th cent., 236-54; after 
A.D. 1400, 265-85 
Froissart, 249 
[ Frontispieces, 13, 28, 31, 125, 151, 163, 

257-8, 294. v. Title-pages 
Fugger, Ulrich, 43 

Gaddi, Taddeo, 273 

Gaston Phebus, Comte de Foix, Livre 

de la Chasse, 267 
Gau court, Charles de, 282 
Gavignano, Sandra di Giovanni Cian- 

chini da, Abbess of Rosano, 290 
Gellone Sacramentary, 89 
Genesis, Cotton, 17-19; Vienna, 19- 

22, 161 

Geoffrey, Abbot of S. Alban's, 136 
George IV, 275 

S., Order of, 316 

German illumination, A.D. 900-1200, 
143-56; after A.D. 1200, 207-8, 
307-8 

Gero Gospels, 145-6 

Gertrude, owner of Cod. Gertrud. , 
147 



INDEX 



Ghent, 249, 322 ; Missal of S. Bavon's, 
203 ; Vita Christi, etc., written at, 

3U 

Giotto, 26, 255, 261 
Giraldus Cambrensis, 77 
Girard de Roussillon, romance of, 

312 

Godescalc, school of, 99-103 
Gold, MSS. written in, 19, 23, 29, 1*5. 

v. Codices Aurei 
Golf Book, 322-3, pi. li 
Gonzaga, Card. Francesco, 65 
Gorleston, 225-9, 307 ; Psalters (Bray- 

brooke and Douai) from, 226-8 
Gothic style in illumination, 135, 174, 

236 

Graduals, 327. v. Choir-books 
Grandes Chroniques, 280, 313 
Grandison Hours, 234 
Greek artists imported to Monte Cassino, 

164 

Greenfield nunnery, 217 
Gregory V, 148 

XI, 247 

Nazianzen, S., Sermons, 40-2 
Grimani Breviary, 271, 319-21, 326 

Card. Domenico, 319-20 
Marino, 304 

Grimbald Gospels, 131-2, pi. xv 
Grisaille, 245-6, 249, 277, 313 
Grizane, 304 
Guiart des Moulins, 238 
Guthlac Roll, 121, 140, pi. xvii 
Guyenne, Louis, Duke of, 268 
Gyrard, Laurens, 280 



Hague, The, 313 
Hainault, 249 

and Holland, William IV of Bavaria, 

Count of, 310 

Harrowing of Hell, various representa- 
tions of, 59-60, 119, 139, 167, pi. 
vi, xvi, xx 

Hautvillers, 104, 109 

Head-pieces, Byzantine, 55-6, pi. v 

Heidelberg Sacramentary, 145-6, 153 

Helena, S., portrait of, 41 

Hennessy Hours, 271, 318, 322 

Henry II, Emperor, 143, 150 

II, King of England, 138 
~ V, 235 

VI, 235, 273-4; Psalter of, 277 



Henry VII, 317 
-VIII, 17 

of Blois, Bp. of Winchester, 137 
Herbals, 34, 186-7 

Herrad von Landsperg, 155 
Hesdin, 312 

Hildesheim, school of, 143, 151-2 
Histoire de Charles Martel, 312-3 

du bon roi Alexandre, 312 

du Haynaut, 311 
Holkham MSS., 207 
Homer, 3. v, Iliad 
Hortulus Animae, 321 
Hortus Deliciarum, 144, 155-6 
Hours, Books of, 328-9; early, 188; 

French, i5th cent., 265 
Howard, Sir William, 225 
Hugh, S., Prior of Witham, 138 
Hunting, illustrations of, 227, 267 
Huntingfield Psalter, 141 



Iconoclastic Controversy, 20, 36; de- 
picted, 51-2 
Iliad, Ambrosian, 2-3, 8-12; Marcian, 

!3 

Incarnation, symbolical representation 
of, 152 

Ingeburge Psalter, 193 

Initials, decorative : Byzantine, 64-5 ; 
Celtic and Hiberno-Saxon, 69-87 
passim, pi. viii ; Lombardic, Mero- 
vingian, and Visigothic, 65, 88, 
209-12; Carolingian, 91-109 pas- 
sim; English, 127-42 passim, 183 
(pen-work), 189, 220-1 (pen-work), 

2 3 2 -3; German, 144-55* P 1 - xix ; 
French, 57, 195, 240-1 (pen- 
tracery); Flemish, 157-9, 203; 
Italian, 162-9, 2 59 (P en lace-work), 
287 (do.) 

historiated : early examples of, 102, 
104, no, 130, 133, 153-5; de- 
cline of, in France, 241 ; develop- 
ment of, in Italy, 258-9, 286-8, 
297-8; pi. xvi, xxvi, xxxii, xxxiv, 
xxxv, xxxvii, xxxix, xliv-vi 

Instructions to artist, written across 
field of pictures, 1 7 

Isabella Book, 318-20, 326 

Isabelle of France, Psalter of, 198-9 

Isidore, 186 

Itala, Quedlinburg, 16-7, 148 

3SI 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 



Italian illumination before A.D. 1300, 
160-73; i4th cent., 255-64; after 
A.D. 1400, 286-305 

Italo-Byzantine paintings in a Win- 
chester MS., 137 

Jacobus, Homilies of, 56 

Jacqueline of Luxembourg, Duchess of 

Bedford, 275 

James, Thomas, Bp. of Dol, 296 
Jeanne d'Evreux, 240 ; Breviary of, 246 

II, Queen of Navarre, Hours of, 

242-5, pi. xxxvi 

Jerome, S., Commentary on Daniel, 210; 
sumptuous MSS. decried by, 19 

Jerusalem, entry into, traditional icono- 
graphy of, 26-7 

Joan of Castile, Hours of, 319 

John, Abbot of Capua, 163 

Comnenus, portrait of, 60 

II, King of France, 239, 247 

S., dictating his Gospel, 54, 63 
Jordan, personified, 22, 59, 126 
Josephus, 279-80, 314 

Joshua Roll, 42-4 

Jouvenel des Ursins, Jacques, Pontifical 
of, 275 

Joyful and dolorous mysteries con- 
trasted, 201, 245 

Juliana Anicia, portrait of, 35 

Jumieges, Robert of, Missal of, 128 

Justinus, 288 

Kells, Book of, 66, 68-9, 74, 76-80, 

84, pi. vii 
Kildare, 77 

Landscape-painting, naturalistic, in the 
Vatican Virgil, 6-8, pi. ii ; peculiar 
Italo-Byzantine tradition of, 53-4, 
251, 288; gradual development of 
French, 251-3, 267, 271-2, 276-85 
passim, pi. xxxvii, xl; Italian, 
292, 297; Flemish, 308-23 passim, 
pi. xlix, li; English, 225, 2.27, 
232-3 

Laon, 307 

Laurent, Frere, 202 

Law-books, illumination of, 230, 262-3 

Lazarus, raising of, 26-7, 59 

Leo the Patrician, 47 

Leofric Missal, 116-7 

Lidge, 309 

352 



Lindeseye, Robert de, Abbot of Peter- 
borough, 1 80 

Lindisfarne Gospels, v. Durham Book 
Line-endings, 178-9, 221 
Livre de la Chasse, 267 

des Merveilles, 267 

des proprietez des choses, 314 
Livres de lestat de lame, 203 
Lombardic illumination, 88-9 ; initials, 

65 

London, Tower of, depicted, 317-8 
Longchamp Abbey, 198 
Lorenzetti, the, 257 
Lorraine, Rene II, Duke of, 282 
Lothaire, Emperor, Gospels of, 95, 97 ; 

Psalter of, 104 
Louis VIII, 194 

IX, S., 192, 199; Psalters of, 193-4, 

198-9 ; scenes in the life of, 244 

XI, 278-80 
Louterell Psalter, 229-30 

Lovel, John, Lord, Lectionary of, 234 
Lumiere as Lais, 217 
Lusignan, view of, 271 
Lydgate, Life of S. Edmund, 235 
Lyle, Robert de, 224-5 
Lytlington, Nicholas, Abbot of West- 
minster, 231 

Mabuse, 311 

Mac Durnan, Maelbrigte, Gospels of, 
80-1 

Mac Regol, Gospels of, 79 

Madan, F., 133 

Maelbrigt hua Maeluanaigh, Gospels of, 
82 

Maestricht Psalters and Hours, 205-6 

Maizieres, Philippe de, 253 

Malcolm Canmore, 134 

Mandeville, Travels of, 267, 309, pi. 
xlix 

Mandrake, legend of, 35, 186 

Mantua, Fr. Jacobus de, 298 

Marco Polo, 267 

Margaret of Bavaria, Duchess of Bur- 
gundy, 270-1 

of Burgundy, Countess of Riche- 

mont, 275 

of Scotland, S., Gospel-book of, 

133-4 

of York, Duchess of Burgundy, 313, 

316 
Martial, 2 



INDEX 



Martreuil, Itier de, Bp. of Poitiers, 248 
Mary of Burgundy, death of, 316, 320 

I, Queen of England, Psalter of, 121, 

217, 221-3, 230, pl- xxxi-ii 
Matilda, widow of Henry the Fowler, 

144 

Matteo di Giovanni, 257 
Matthew, S., portrait of, with Arabic 

exemplar, 64 

Mauro, Cristoforo, Ducale of, 294 
Maximilian I, 298, 316; Prayer-book 

of, 321 
Medici, House of, 293-4 ; Lorenzo de', 

294, 296 (Hours of) 
Melissenda, Queen of Jerusalem, Psalter 

of, 57-61, pi. vi 
Melusine, 271 

Memlinc, Hans, 311, 315, 318-9 
Menology of Basil II, 52-5 
Merovingian illumination, 88-9 
Metaphrastes, Simeon, 52, 54-7, 63, 

260, pi. v 

Metsys, Quentin, 311 
Metz Pontifical, 237-8, 241, pi. xxxv 

school of, 92, 99-104 
Michael, Abbot of the Studium, 49 

S., fighting with devil, 272, 316; 

rescuing hermit, 53-4, pi. v ; Order 

of, 278 

Michelangelo, 304 
Mielot, Miracles de N. D., 313 
Milan, school of, 293, 298-301 
Missals, 324-6 

Mitford, Richard, Bp. of Salisbury, 233 
Modena, choir-books at, 258, 292 
Mont S. Michel, 272, 276 
Monte Cassino, school of, 163-7 
Montferrat, Blanche de, Duchess of 

Savoy, 271 
Mozarabic MSS., 210 
Mulbarton, 229 
Mulling, Book of, 81 
Mundford, 224 

Nantes, 197 

Naples, 5, 160; mosaics at, 62; school 
of (?), 301-3 

Nativity, typical Byzantine representa- 
tion of, 53 

Natural history, illustrations of, 263-4, 
315-6. v. Bestiaries, Falconry, 
Herbals, Woodland 

Newminster. v. Winchester. 



Nicephorus Botaniates, portraits of, 4 1-2 

Patriarch, 5 1 

Nimbus, in Classical MSS., 10, 12 ; 

cruciferous, 27 ; rectangular, for 

living persons, 162 
Noah's wife, legend of, 222 
Norfolk, 224-5, 229-30 
Norman Conquest, 121 
Norwich, 227-8, 307 ; Breviary of, 

227* 
Nuremberg Hours, 200-1, 245 

Oath-book, 144 
Octateuch MSS, 48-9 
Offas, Lives of the Two, 185-6 
Olaf, S., scenes from the legend of, 181 
Old and New Dispensations, symboli- 
cally contrasted, 181, 194, 242-4, 
276 

Organ, early painting of, 189 
Orleans, Charles, Duke of, 317-8 

Duchess of, 278 
Ormesby Psalter, 228-9 
Otto I, the Great, 123, 143-4 

II, 143, 150 

Ill, 148-51 ; apotheosis of, 149 
Ottoman illumination, 143 seq. 
Outline-drawings, i, 12, 106-21, 140, 

184-6, 212-7, 221-2, etc. 
Ovid, 289 
Oxford, 176 

Pachomius, S., 120-1, 130 

Padua, 26, 170-1, 262; Gospel and 
Epistle-books of, 169-71 

Papyri, illuminated, i 

Parco, Abbey of S. Mary de, MSS. 
from, 158-9 

Paris, illumination at, 192-5, 198-9, 
237. 239-42, 273-6; liturgical 
use of, 248, 269 ; scenes of 
everyday life in, 240; views of, 
275 ; Hotel de Ville, fire at, 275 ; 
Sainte Chapelle MSS., 193-4, 199, 
237 ; S. Magloire's Missal, 273 ; 
University, 175, 192 

Matthew, 185-6 
Parma, 170 

Roger of, Treatise on Surgery, 195 
Paul the Deacon, Commentary on the 

Rule of S. Benedict, 163 
Pavia, 292 
Peiresc, illuminations copied for, 3, 17 

353 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 



Pen-work initial and border ornament, 

183, 220, 259, 287 
Perugia, 304 
Peterborough Psalter, at Brussels, 224 ; 

London, 180-1, pi. xxii 
Petrarch, 258, 295 
Petrucci, Antonello, 289 
Petrus Comestor, Historia Scholastica, 

190-1, 238 
Philip Augustus, 192-3, 199 

Ill, 202 

the Fair, Archduke of Austria, 316, 

3i9 

Philippa, Queen, Psalter of, 231 

Philippe le Bel, Breviary of, 237 

Philippi, 17 

Physiologus, 186 

Pius IV, 305 

Plessis-les-Tours, 284 

Pliny, 34, 186 

Poitiers Bible, 239 

Pontano, Gioviano, 5 

Prato MS., 256 

Presles, Raoul de, 252 

Priming, in Byzantine MSS., 47, 49 

Priscian, 248 

Prochorus, S., writing down S. John's 

Gospel, 54, 63 
Prophets and apostles, in pairs, 243, 

249, 276 

figures of, in Gospel scenes, 24, 29, 

5 1 

Prudentius, Psychomachia, 111-3 

Psalters, 327; illustration of, 44-52, 
109, etc.; popularity of, i2th- 
i4th cent., 140, 176, 193, etc. 

Ptolemy, 39, 248 

Pudsey Bible, 138 

Purple vellum, MSS. on, 19-29, 102 

Quedlinburg Itala, 16-7, 148 

Rabanus, De Laudibus S. Crucis, 155 

Rabula Gospels, 31-4, 41 

Raphael, 6, 304 

Ratisbon, school of, 143, 152-3 

Ravenna, 56, 90; mosaics, 7, 15, 22, 37, 

126, 148 
Raymondin, 272 
Registrum Gregorii, 150 
Reichenau, school of, 143-51 passim 
Rene of Anjou 283 

354 



Rheims, 197 ; school of, 92, 104-5, 

108-9, M3. MS 
Ricemarch, Psalter of, 83 
Richard II, Bible and Missal of, 232-4, 

pi. xxxiv ; Epistle to, 253-4 
Rigan, 186 
Riom, view of, 272 
Robert of Anjou, King of Naples, 

256 
of Normandy, Abp. of Rouen, Missal 

of(?), 127 

Robertet, Fran9ois, 278 
Rogers Album, 305 
Roias, Francisco de, 318 
Roman de la Rose, 318 
Romano, Giulio, 304 
Rome, 2, 14, 85, 90-1, 137, 160, 278, 

304 ; MS. written at, 65 ; school 

of (?), 301 ; mosaics of S. Maria 

Maggiore, 43 Bible of S. Paul's, 

98-9 ; twisted columns of S. Peter's, 

101, 103, 280 
Romuleon, 314 
Rosano, Abbess of, 290 
Rushworth Gospels, v. Mac Regol, 

Gospels of 
Rutland Psalter, 188-90 



Sacramentaries, 325. v. Drogo, Gellone, 

Heidelberg, Warmund 
S. Alban's, MSS. executed at, 136-7, 

140, 184-6, 214 

Denis, abbey of, n, 239, 249; 

Franco-Saxon school of, 92, 105 ; 
Missal of, 246-7 ; Vie de S. Denis, 
executed at, 195 

Gall, Celtic MSS. at, 83-4 

Omer, Hours of, 306 ; Psalter of 

S. Berlin's abbey, no, 156 

Omer family, Psalter of, 229 

Pol, Louis de Luxembourg, Count 

of, Hours of, 283 

Vaast, Gospel-lectionary of, 105 

Victor-in-Santem, Gospels of, 92 
Sainte Abbaye, 202-3, 236 
Salisbury Cathedral, 234 
Saluces Hours, 283 

Savoy, Charles, Duke of, 271 

Scala Paradisi, 56-7 

Script, Greek : capitals, 42 ; uncials, 8, 

17, 19; Slavonic uncials, 65; 

minuscules, 42, 44 



INDEX 



Script, Latin: rustic capitals, 6, 10, 107, 
109 ; uncials, 16 ; cursive, 1 7 ; half- 
uncials, 74 ; Irish, 67 ; minuscules, 
Merovingian and Caroline, 91 ; 
Lombardic, 165; Visigothic, 210; 
1 3th cent. Bible-hand, 175, 182, 
196 ; " scrittura umanistica," 289 

Scotus, Joannes, 289 

Sforza, Bianca Maria, 298 ; Bona, 298, 
300 ; Galeazzo Maria, 301 ; Ludo- 
vico, 300 ; Maximilian, 300 

Book of Hours, 298-300, 321-2, 

pi. xlvii-viii 

Visconti, Francesco, 300 
Sforziada, 300 
Shaftesbury, 137 

Sheen, MS. written at, 317 

Sherborne Missal, 233-4 

Siciliano, Antonio, 320 

Sicily, 303 

Siena, school of, 257-8, 286-8, 290, 297, 

pi. xxxix, xliv, xlvi 
Silos abbey, MSS. from, 210-2 
Silver, MSS. written in, 19, 20, 23 
Sketchbook, artist's, 250 
Sketches, preliminary, in margins, 239 
Smeralda, Hours of, 295 
Smithfield, S. Bartholomew's, 230 
Sneyd MS., 206, 306 
Sobieski Hours, 275-6 
Soissons, 307 ; Gospels of S. Medard's, 

103, pi. x 

Somme le Roi, 201-3, P^ xxviii 
Songe du Vergier, 253 
Spanish illumination, 209-12, 302-3 
Speculum Humanae Salvationis, 307-8 
Stained glass medallions, 140, 180 
Statius, 267-8 

Stavelot abbey, MSS. from, 157-8 
Strassburg, 155 
Stuart, Card. Henry, 275 
Surgical and medical MSS., 195-6, 

pi. xxvii 

Susa, mosaic-portrait of Virgil at, 1 1 
Syrian illumination, 31-4; influence of, 

on Carolingian art, 91, 100 



Tail-pieces, 211-2 

Taymouth Horae, 231 

Teano, 163 

Teilo, S., 75 

Tenison Psalter, 190-1, pi. xxiv 



Terence, MSS. of, 12-3, no; "Terence 

des Dues," 267-8 

Theobald, Abbot of Monte Cassino, 164 
Theodore, Abbot of the Studium, 51 

Psalter, 49-52, 54, 65, 260 
Theophano, wife of Otto II, 143, 149, 

151 

Thomas of Canterbury, S., 176, 180; 
miniatures of the murder of, 141, 
1 8 1, 184; of a miracle of the 
Virgin to, 184 

of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, 

Bible of, 231 
Three living and three dead, 205, 225 ; 

variant of, 320 

Title-pages, 31, 161, 302. v. Frontis- 
pieces 

Toledo Missal, 303 
Tombelaine, 272 
Tours, 278-9; school of, Carolingian, 

9 2 > 94-9i J 43; late French, 277- 

85 
Trefoil-arched canopy, early use of, 181, 

197, pi. xxv 
Treves, 143, 149; Gospel-lectionary of 

S. Maximin's, 153; "Kopialbuch" 

of Abp. Baldwin, 307 
Troyes, 139 
Turin Hours, 309-10 

Ussher, Abp., 77 
Uta-codex, 152-3 

Utrecht Psalter, 92, 104, 106-11; 
copies of, no, 1 15 

Val-Dieu monastery, 219 
Val-Duchesse Breviary, 306 
Valenciennes, 249 
Valentine, Calendar of Filocalus made 

for, 4 
Valerius Flaccus, 288 

Maximus, 282, 314 
Vallombrosa Gradual, 259, 286 

Van Eyck, Jan, his "Vierge au dona- 

teur" copied, 276 
| Vatican Virgil (Cod. Vat. lat. 3225), 

5-10, 12, 16-9, 21, 148, pi. ii 
Veldegke, Heinrich von, 156 
Vellum, earliest use of, i 
Venice, school of, 293-4 
Verdun Breviary, 237 

Richard de, 237 

Verona, 162, 288; early Psalter at, 161 

355 



ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 



Viana, Domicella de, 207 

Prince Charles of, 303 
Vinci, Leonardo da, 300 

Virgil, MSS. of, 2, 13, 258. v. Codex 
Romanus, Vatican Virgil 

portraits of, 2, n 

Visigothic illumination, 88-9, 209-12 
Vivian Bible, 96-7, 99 

Waermund, 186 

Warmund, S., Sacramentary of, 162-3 

Weingarten Missals, 207 

Werburga, S., 179 

Westminster, 135 ; Missal, 231 ; Psalter, 

141-2,176-7 

Wickhampton, wall-paintings at, 225 
Winchester, school of, 106-39 pcissim, 

151, 176, 231 ; Bible, 137-9. J 5 8 > 



pi. xvi; Psalters, 116, 127, 137-8; 
Newminster Foundation - charter, 
124-5; Gospels, 128-9; Liber 
Vitae, 117-8, pi. xiii; Office-book, 
117 ; Psalter, 132-3 

Windmill Psalter, 220-1 

Witham Priory, 138 

Woodland scenes, 225, 227, 267 

Worms Bible, 144, 154-5, 158 

Worksop Bestiary, 187 

Wycliffite Bible, 231 

Yolande de Flandre, Hours of, 242-5 
Ypres, 249; "Kuerbouc" of, 307 
Yves, monk of S. Denis, 239 

Zagba, MS. written at, 32 



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