Illuminated manuscript

   A manuscript hand-written on parchment with the text complemented by miniature painted scenes, decorated initials, and borders. The earliest illuminated manuscripts date from the Early Christian era. Most were created by monastic communities who, through the medium, were able to preserve the Greco-Roman literary culture and disseminate religious doctrine. With the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, the need for illuminated manuscripts was eliminated as printed books became a more practical and economical way to disseminate information. Examples of illuminated manuscripts created in the Renaissance are the Psalter of the Duke of Berry (c. 1380-1385; Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale) for which André Beauneveu painted a series of prophets and apostles, the Book of Hours of Jean le Meingre, Maréchal de Boucicaut (beg. c. 1409; Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, Ms. 2) by the Boucicaut Master, the Limbourg brothers' Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry (1416; Chantilly, Musée Condé), and the Rohan Hours (c. 1414-1418; Paris Bibliothèque Nationale).
   See also Jean, Duc de Berry.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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