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The Art of Illumination

The Art of Illumination

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The Art of Illumination

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  1. The Art of Illumination

  2. Illuminated Manuscripts • Prior to the invention of the printing press, books were written out by hand. • MANU (hand) SCRIPTUS (writing)= manuscript • Long, difficult, expensive process to produce books. • A sign of wealth • Churches, Monestaries, and wealthy individuals owned them • Often ornamented with “illuminations”

  3. Illuminations • Illuminated literally means “lighted” • Refers to the addition of light to the artwork by the use of gold or silver leaf • Generally refers to artworks added to pages of books to: • Add beauty • Add meaning • Add value

  4. Illuminated Koran

  5. Illuminated Ramayana

  6. Illuminated Bibles

  7. Illuminated Initials

  8. Borders (Marginalia)

  9. Symbols in Illuminations Strawberry: Good works, the fruits of good labour Grapevine: Everlasting life, The Life of Jesus Christ Carnation: The crucifixion, (smell like cloves, cloves look like nails, nails used to secure Christ to the cross) Lily: Purity, virginity, Mother Mary Dogs= loyalty Lions= courage or royalty Snakes=evil, cunning, dishonesty Doves=peace or grace, or the presence of the holy spirit

  10. Illuminations as Story-tellers • Prior to the wide availability of books, most people could not read. • Illuminations helped to tell the story contained within the pages • This letter A is illuminated with a vision of the Last Supper of Jesus

  11. Your Illuminated Creed: • Must be at least ten lines stating your beliefs • Must be illuminated, including: • Use of colour • An illuminated capital letter • A border or margin • Symbols that help the reader understand the contents (ie, if you believe in peace, you might place a dove or a peace sign) • MUST BE HAND CREATED—manuscript! • You may type the contents, but your initial capital letter and all other illuminations must be completed by hand