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Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

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Sam Bicho

on 21 December 2015

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Transcript of Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

The first illuminated manuscript dated back to the 5th century up until the printing press was created. Before this, all books were handmade. If one wished to own a book, monks were the people that created them and becuase they were handmade, it usually took them months or even years to finish. These books were very elaborate and had much detail. Also, they were very rare and expensive, hence, only the higher class owned these books.
What were Illuminated Manuscripts?

An Illuminated manuscript was a hand made book using decorative borders and illustrations. They usually used gold to lighten up the manuscript. They were mainly used for two reasons. One begin religious purposes and one for individuals who had an interest in reading well known stories.
Who Made The Illuminated Manuscripts?
Parchmenter:
prepared the parchment for writing

Sribe:
copied the writing onto the pages

Illuminator:
created the illustrations




How They Were Made
Illuminated manuscripts took a lot of work with many preparations. Parchmenters would make their creations on parchment. But first, there were many steps to prepare the parchment before the writing took place. Some steps included soaking, scraping, dying, and stretching. Once treated properly, and at its finest, the parchment was called vellum. When the parchment was ready to be used, the scribe would use a quill to copy the words. Finally, the illuminator drew elaborate designs onto the manuscript.
Putting it All Together
Once the parchment was finished and ready to be put into a book, or a codex, the parchment sheets would be folded in half and put in the correct sequence to make gatherings. They were then sewed onto cords which acted as supports. This step was the most time consuming. To finish it off, the binding, and the front and back cover were usually covered in leather. Many times, they added metal pieces to protect the edges of the book. Lastly, they added a clasp to the book to keep it closed and secure shut.
The Book of Kells
The most famous illuminated manuscript was called the book of Kells which was made in Ireland. It contained four gospels and was considered the finest illuminated manuscript in Europe that has survived. The book consisted of many illustrations and used rare inks, that had to of been imported from neighboring continents, to create the illumination. Some of the artwork is so detailed that they can only be seen with a magnifying glass.
Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts
Sam Bicho

Works Cited
Inks
The two most commonly used inks were lampblack mixed with oil or water, and black encaustic. The scribe would prepare the ink by using a pestle and a mortar and grind the pigment into a creamy paste. The inks of the text usually weren't colorful however if the book was for royalty and had to be more elaborate, they would use colors such as red, blue, and gold.
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