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Illuminated Manuscripts

Book of Hours
Valencia, c. 1460
Vellum, 167 leaves, 150 x 100 mm. Chemise binding.
Collection of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Throughout history gold leaf has been used to create magic on the illustrated page. In the early fifteenth century, Paris was an important center of miniature painting. This is a page from St. Augustine, La Cité de Dieu (City of God). The manuscript is on vellum, 339 leaves, 423 x 330 mm in the collection of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek.

Book of Hours of Simon de Varie
Paris, 1455; Tours, c. 1455
Vellum, 99 leaves, 116 x 85 mm.
Collection of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Many illuminated Books of Hours were produced in France for the devotional use of the aristocracy. The great painter Jean Fouquet, who worked in Tours, executed the Madonna and Child, and the facing page is in the style of two Paris artists, Master François and the Master of the Dunois Book of Hours.

The Futurists were influenced by the illuminated manuscript pages of medieval and renaissance Europe and manifested their desire to design the page as a complete visual entity, following the French artist Maurice Denis, whose collected writings were republished in 1912.

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