The Three Living and the Three Dead, or the Three Dead Kings, is a poem dating back to the 13th century. It, or imagery from it, is often used to open the Office of the Dead in books of hours. Perhaps because medieval skellimans are pretty cool.
Identifying the materials used in medieval illuminated manuscripts gives us an insight into the techniques and skills of the scribes and illuminators, as well as the sometimes complex trade routes of the times.
Spectroscopy + Illuminated Manuscripts = Super Fun Science Time!
Beginner and veteran transcribers, this app is available for free, on both Android and iOS devices. Manuscript database, basic info on each of them, typography galore…
The origins of this app lie in online exercises in palaeography developed for postgraduate students in the Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds in West Yorkshire, U.K. The aim is to provide practice in the transcription of a wide range of medieval hands, from the twelfth to the late fifteenth century.
I made a thing that I think is ready to see the public eye.
I don’t know about you guys, but I am really bad sometimes about remembering to write down my bare-bones documentation for scribal stuff. That is, write it down somewhere other than on the back of the scroll that is leaving my possession. I would like to, at some point, have a portfolio of everything (or most things) that I have done along with write-ups. Writing scribal documentation for a single piece is a bit different than doing so for a portfolio type thing, but only by a little in my mind.
That being said, and in interest of promoting scribal stuff at the upcoming Northshield Kingdom Arts and Sciences Open Division and Triathlon, I made a template for scribal documentation. My hope is that if you have never written documentation before, that it will help you do so for your scribal work.
Even if you aren’t planning on submitting your work, this is a great way to keep a diary of your process, sources, etc. that you can look back on and see how you have improved. Also, writing about something you’ve done helps you learn more from it by learning more about yourself and how you think, process, and do – it’s a kind of meta-cognition.
Anyway, please feel free to use this. Remember, it’s just a template – open it up in Word and replace my guidance text with what you’re writing.
I’m open to constructive criticism about it too – if you have an idea for how I can make this better, please let me know.
YIS, Leah Jolifaunt of Schattentor Northshield Do-er of Things and SCA Reference Desk Librarian
Medieval women artists painting self portraits, 15th century.
Top: Unknown Artist Marcia Painting Self-Portrait using Mirror (from Giovanni Boccaccio De claris mulieribus, Anonymous French Translantio, Le livre de femmes nobles et renomees, France c 1440 British Library Artiste faisant son autoportrait
Bottom: Unknown Artist from Giovanni Boccaccio De claris mulieribus, Anonymous French Translantio, Le livre de femmes nobles et renomees, France c 1440 British Library Autoportrait sur bois
You can see more here (with citations): http://bjws.blogspot.com/2014/02/illuminated-manuscripts-women-artists.html
Ohmygosh tell me about it. Trompe-l’œil makes me cry. It’s beautiful, but I am a paste-eating child when I’m asked to attempt it. Tasty, tasty paste.
BTW, I’m totally doing the mental super-sekrit-scribal-handshake. Rock on, scribes! And welcome! (Also, bb!scribe makes me giggle. <3)
First of, Google is weird when it comes to finding specific images in illuminated manuscripts. My two absolute favorite resources are the British Library and the Bodleian Library. There are, of course, plenty of other libraries and institutions that have digitized cataloges that you can search, but BL and Bodl are my go-tos.
BableStone: 72 Views of the Tower of Babel – This blog has a cool run-down of various images of the Tower of Babel in manuscripts, along with citations (yea citations!) and links. If the links don’t work, use the shelf/manuscript number to search the collection (those links should work) and find it. (I’m having some issues with it, so if you run into problems, let me know and I will help you track down individual images.
“Tower of Babel” or “Babel” would be good search terms to use in Bodley and BL. “Building” and “architecture” aren’t bad, but you will get less.
A lot of 12th and 13th century portraiture use architectural elements for framing, like this portrait of King Solomon:
Additional 11639 f. 116 Miscellany of biblical and other texts (‘The Northern French Miscellany’ or earlier ‘the British Museum Miscellany’): including the Pentateuch, Haftarot, Tiqqun Sofrim, Five Scrolls, prayer book for the entire year with Haggadah, legal texts, poetry, calendars, Book of Tobit in Hebrew, etc. France, N. 1277-1286 [Link]
The Visconti Hours also has some cool architectural elements to it, but it’s a later period. It’s not tromp, but it’s still more realistic than earlier stuff. It’s not fully digitized online, but you can pick up a facsimile copy (with notes) for fairly cheap.
LF 155, Visconti Hours – The Gates of Gaza National Library, Florence Facsimile to purchase: [Abebooks]Facsimile in libraries: [Worldcat]
I hope that helps! Let me know if you need more. 🙂
Medieval shaped books are really nifty! Check out this heart-shaped one. 🙂
Chansonnier Cordiforme (1470s), also known as Chasonnier de Jean de Montchenu. “Cordiform” just means “heart-shaped.” This music manuscript was commissioned by canon Jean de Montchenu, later Bishop of Agen (1477) and Bishop of Vivier (1478-1497), in Savoy between 1460 and 1477. Link to the whole thing (PDF): [Link]Bibliotheque nationale de France catalog record: [Link]You can listen to the music, recorded by Anthony Rooley and the Consort of Musicke in two parts: [Part 1], [Part 2]
The British Library has a lot of digitized manuscripts online, which is awesome for SCA Scribes. Two of their best known treasures haven’t yet made the move from their old site, “Digitized Manuscripts”, to the new one, “Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts” – the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Luttrell Psalter. That’s because the Lindisfarne is a Cotton manuscript and the Luttrell is an Additional, and both of these collections haven’t yet made the transition yet.
The old site (DM) is actually really cool – when you click “View Bindings,” you get a viewer that allows you to page through the digitized manuscript and zoom in on elements. The new site (CIM) only gives you one high-res image and one slightly smaller one (in additional to thumbnails). They do have some detail scans, but it’s not the same (as you can imagine).
Lindisfarne Gospels (Cotton MS Nero D.IV)
[Link]c. 700-3rd quarter 10th Century Lindisfarne, Northumberland Eadfirth, Bishop of Lindisfarne (690-721)
Luttrell Psalter (Add MS 42130)
[Link]1325-1340 for Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, Irnham, Lincolnshire
You can see the BL’s Access/Reuse/Copyright notes concerning images here: [Link]