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Rare Book School at the University of Virginia

M-50. Introduction to Illuminated Manuscripts

Roger S. Wieck

This course is aimed at those who, whether by professional or personal interests, seek some basics on what can be a difficult field. Because of their light-sensitive nature, manuscripts are almost never on permanent exhibition anywhere; furthermore, their consultation is often restricted to the learned few. The course will emphasize illumination, and will thus discuss chronological and stylistic development, iconography, nomenclature (how all those "Masters of ?" get their names) and other pertinent terminology, and text/picture relationships. The course will concentrate on liturgical service books, and thus lectures will treat such relevant topics as Medieval Catholic dogma, liturgical practices, calendars and concepts of time, and rubrics.

The course, which will be based at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City, will be taught through slides, facsimiles, and original manuscripts. Books of Hours will receive special scrutiny, since this genre is the instructor's specialization.

Course Resources

Course History


Roger S. Wieck teaches this course (as H-20) for the first time.