Obelisk Art History
Themes in Art

Illuminated Manuscripts

When a text is considered holy, it only makes sense to present it beautifully. An illuminated manuscript is a book or document where the written word is supplemented and often surrounded by elaborate borders, filials, arabesques, and tiny illustrations. Developed in the eastern roman empire between 400-600 CE, they exploded in popularity during the european middle ages, since creating illuminated testaments and prayer books was a popular pasttime for monastic communities with a lot of time on their hands. It’s worth noting that many historic Islamic manuscripts feature similar embellishment, but are typically referred to as painted, rather than illuminated.

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Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 1: Theophany of Divine Love, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 1: Theophany of Divine Love Hildegard von Bingen, 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 2: The Cosmic Spheres and Human Being, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 2: The Cosmic Spheres and Human Being Hildegard von Bingen, 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 3: Macrocosm of Winds, Microcosm of Humors, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 3: Macrocosm of Winds, Microcosm of Humors Hildegard von Bingen, 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 4: Cosmos, Body, and Soul, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 4: Cosmos, Body, and Soul Hildegard von Bingen, 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 2, Vision 1: The Parts of the Earth: Living, Dying, and Purgatory, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 2, Vision 1: The Parts of the Earth: Living, Dying, and Purgatory Hildegard von Bingen, 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 1: The City of God and the Mirror of the Angels, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 1: The City of God and the Mirror of the Angels Hildegard von Bingen, 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 2: The City of God in Salvation History, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 2: The City of God in Salvation History Hildegard von Bingen, 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 4: Wisdom and the Ancient Counsel before the City of God, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 4: Wisdom and the Ancient Counsel before the City of God Hildegard von Bingen, 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 5: Divine Love upon the Wheel, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 5: Divine Love upon the Wheel Hildegard von Bingen, 1230

Hortus Deliciarum — Philosophy and the Seven Liberal Arts, Herrad of Landsberg

Hortus Deliciarum — Philosophy and the Seven Liberal Arts Herrad of Landsberg, 1180

Hortus Deliciarum — The Holy Spirit descends on the Apostles, Herrad of Landsberg

Hortus Deliciarum — The Holy Spirit descends on the Apostles Herrad of Landsberg, 1180

Hours of Henry VIII, Medieval Art

Hours of Henry VIII Jean Poyer, 1500

Last Judgment in an Initial C, Lorenzo Monaco

Last Judgment in an Initial C Lorenzo Monaco, 1406 – 1407

Ripley scroll (Beinecke version, panels 1, 2, 3), George Ripley

Ripley scroll (Beinecke version, panels 1, 2, 3) George Ripley, 1570

Ripley scroll (Beinecke version, panels 11, 12, 13), George Ripley

Ripley scroll (Beinecke version, panels 11, 12, 13) George Ripley, 1570

Ripley scroll (Beinecke version, panels 4, 5), George Ripley

Ripley scroll (Beinecke version, panels 4, 5) George Ripley, 1570

Ripley scroll (Beinecke version, panels 6, 7), George Ripley

Ripley scroll (Beinecke version, panels 6, 7) George Ripley, 1570

Ripley scroll (Beinecke version, panels 8, 9, 10), George Ripley

Ripley scroll (Beinecke version, panels 8, 9, 10) George Ripley, 1570

The Black Hours, Medieval Art

The Black Hours 1460 – 1470

The Fountain of God’s Work, Hildegard von Bingen

The Fountain of God’s Work Hildegard von Bingen, 1230

Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, Medieval Art

Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry Limbourg Brothers, 1412 – 1416

More Themes in Art
Autobiographies, Themes in Art

Autobiographies

Hear it from the source

Metaphysical Art, Themes in Art

Metaphysical Art

Discomforting dreamscapes

Cities, Themes in Art

Cities

Hustle and grind

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