Manuscripts

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Byzantium and the West: Jewelry in the First Millennium

This full-colour catalogue explores the interrelationships between the East and West during the first millennium. This was the first time that the Roman Empire was gradually replaced by barbarian invaders, who spread through Europe and created new styles of jewellery; it was also when the capital shifted eastward to the newly founded city of Constaninople. More

Paths to Reform: Things new and old

Paths to Reform traces the fascinating and turbulent history of reform in the Medieval and Early Modern Church from the twelfth through the seventeenth centuries as seen through 40 contemporary manuscripts and a number of printed books. Brought together, these manuscripts – their physical format, their text and illustrations – offer a new historical perspective as well as vivid testimony to the ways in which communities of the faithful practiced their beliefs. More

Court and Craft: A Masterpiece from Northern Iraq

Accompanying a major scholarly exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery, this book explores one of the most beautiful and enigmatic objects in The Courtauld’s collection: a brass container richly inlaid with gold and silver, imitating a lady’s textile or leather bag, and probably made in Mosul in northern Iraq around 1300. More

Flowering of Medieval French Literature “Au parler que m’aprist ma mere”

A reassessment of the history of medieval French literature through close examination of rare and little-known medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, which endure as vibrant reminders of the linguistic, historical, and cultural legacy of modern-day France and the French language. More

The Eckstein Shahnama: An Ottoman Book of Kings

The great Persian poet Firdausi’s epic Shahnama, or ‘Books of Kings’, written at the turn of the eleventh century CE, is a seamless tapestry of historical and legendary material prominently featuring battles and individual struggles with fierce demons and enemy champions. "This book is a vital contribution to the understanding of Asiatic art, its confluences, and its narrative axes ...", Sixteenth-Century Journal, Fall 2009 More

Tacuinum Sanitatis: An Early Renaissance Guide to Health

This book is a complete catalogue and commentary on a remarkable series of 130 coloured drawings executed in North Italy, almost certainly Padua, in the 1450s by a group of artists in the circle of Andrea Mantegna. The drawings illustrate subjects from the Tacuinum Sanitatis or Table of Health. Subjects touched on include medicine, sport, farming, animal husbandry, natural history, shopping, cooking and manufacturing – constituting an extraordinary record of everyday life (and life style) in early Renaissance Italy. This manuscript is one of four known series of the kind, and the only one not published. More

The Olivetan Gradual: Its Place in 15th-century Lombard Manuscript Illumination

This illuminated manuscript, a gradual of large size which the whole congregation of monks could see and read as they sang in choir (just as they are shown doing in an illustration in the manuscript itself), was previously unknown to scholars and has only recently come to light. It was clearly produced for a monastery of the Olivetan order, a branch of the Benedictines with a particular reverence for the Virgin Mary – probably Santa Maria di Baggio near Milan. More

The Windsor Shahnama of 1648

The Shahnama (‘Book of Kings’), which chronicles the history of Iran from the Creation to the Islamic conquest, was written by the poet Firdawsi at the turn of the 11th century. Its central importance to Iranian culture is reflected in the thousands of copies made since then, many superbly illustrated and produced for royal and other powerful patrons. One of these copies, presented to Queen Victoria in 1839, is one of the finest treasures among the collection of Islamic manuscripts now in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. More

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