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The Evolution of the Book in Italy 101: Illuminated Manuscripts


Humanity's infatuation with the written word has echoed throughout the ages. The creation and development of the book was one of the most outstanding achievements in preserving the social, religious, and political values of societies throughout history. These series aim to provide insights into the technologies and cultural context that led to the advancement of the book from the Middle Ages to the Italian Renaissance. Examining the book's function and technologies helps better grasp the mutual influence between society and the written form. The series examines the book's materials, purpose, and values as a knowledge repository and communication channel. It also delves into the development of the printing press, its relationship to literacy, and its impact on the book economy and humanist agenda. Illustrating a shift in form and function of the book from Medieval to Renaissance Italy, this series explores how ecclesiastical and secular use of the written word liberated and enriched culture. It will also provide insight into how the book also served as a reflection of cultural values and ideologies throughout its evolution.

This 101 series is divided into six articles, including:

3. History of the Book 101: Illuminated Manuscripts

4. History of the Book 101: Universities & the Rise of Humanism

5. History of the Book 101: Rise of the Printing Press

6. History of the Book 101: A New Age of Literature

Illuminated Manuscripts

Throughout the Middle Ages, manuscripts continued to be a crucially important cultural phenomenon. Medieval society experienced an important shift in the function of the codex from a repository of knowledge and ancient wisdom, to an object of great beauty that symbolized wealth and religious devotion. In the early Middle Ages, monasteries were the primary producers of the manuscript, through a time consuming and intricate tradition that is overwhelmingly religious in nature. The uniformity of the Carolingian minuscule font that had been established in earlier monastic production allowed for the flourishment and vast production of texts, and provided a foundation for illuminated manuscripts, which featured major stylistic developments of exquisite ornamentation and splendid decorations. Books continued to play an increasingly important role in spreading faith, but was an art form soon adopted by the secular, aristocratic patrons of the later Middle Ages. In the form of an illuminated manuscript, the codex became adorned embodiments of spiritual and societal values, encouraged by the prominent role of sacred books in the Christian church. The illuminated book saw its origins in early monastic manuscript productions, but evolved into a secular commercial product by the thirteenth century. It was a time-consuming and expensive undertaking that involved a highly organized and intricate series of steps, which resulted in a variety of stylistic features, such as borders, gilded pages, and small paintings. During the late Middle Ages, these decorations were executed by the rising professional class of secular and commercial manuscript producers and reflected the developing cultural values of art and beauty.

Illuminated manuscripts are handwritten texts that have been generously embellished with ornamentation and pictorial representations. These elaborate volumes were richly decorated with gold and occasionally silver, creating a mirror-like finish that brings life and color to the written word. The decoration of an illuminated manuscript involved several artistic elements, and each stage of its production was completed by a specialist. Intricate borders, ornate chapter letters and titles, small painted scenes, and adorned full-page paintings were common features of the illuminated manuscript that were used to enhance textual narratives (Alexander, 2000). These colorful and gilded books represent the peak achievement of visual arts during this time. The decoration of the folios and application of gold was the responsibility of the illuminator, a title which takes its name from the Latin word lumen, meaning light. In a very literal sense, medieval manuscript illuminators were the bringers of light to a written text (Wellesley, 2021). As the production of illuminated manuscripts was monastic in nature during the early Middle Ages, illuminators typically resided within the institutions to engage in the collaborative enterprise that is involved in the making of a manuscript.

Figure 1: Illuminated manuscript folio (1450-1475)

Illuminated manuscripts, especially those of great size and religious significance, were often produced by a number of artists and illuminators who would simultaneously execute the various stylistic features.

As a result, untangling the relationship between the work of each artist can prove difficult (Grendler, 2004). In addition to monks, there were lay brethren who sometimes had taken no vow, but often adopted the outward dress of the monastic community. Such men “sought monasteries as a retreat in which to seek redemption for their sins and who were happy to consecrate their whole lives to the ornamentation of a single sacred book.” (Hutchinson, 1926, p. 76). Other secular scribes and illuminators of special classes had been sought out to complete the decoration of large or significant manuscripts if no laymen there had skills proficient enough to do so (Diringer, 1976). Bookbinders and illuminators were provided accommodation within the abbey precincts to set up their workshops, though they often lived outside the monastic grounds.

The making of an illuminated manuscript followed the traditional methods of early monastic practices, and built on new techniques as new artistic styles evolved (Grendler, 2004). Illuminators worked alongside scribes and rubricators, who were responsible for the transmission and coloring of the text. In the case of a text reproduction, artwork often involved very minor symbolic representations. Most of the manuscripts that were produced during the Middle Ages were intended simply for the preservation of a particular text, and are plain, lacking any decorative elements. However, If the text is to be adorned and not simply copied, the manuscript is then sent to the illuminator, who added hand painted embellishments before it goes to the bookbinder. The decoration of the manuscript is completed by more than one illuminator, though it was not impossible for one artist to complete the task by himself (Rouse, 1989). Works of great value, primarily Bibles and other sacred books of the church, feature embellishment or illumination at varying degrees. Illuminators were given instructions with regard to marginal designs, partial or full-page embellishments, stylistic features and illustrations, and other such decorations in explicit detail. The several stages of decoration were then carried out by different artisans based on their particular skill sets. Medievalist and manuscript historian Jonathan Alexander has noted that instructions provide not just direction

to the artist as to what and how to represent events, but also as an aid to the reader in understanding what is represented. Rubrics thus can become additionally important indications of the overlap between reading the text and visualizing it in terms of the triad of the author, illustrator, and spectator (1997, p. 58).

Even for the illumination of ancient texts, whose author cannot provide input into the visual direction of late Medieval manuscript reproductions, instructions provided great insight to the scribe of the expected response of a reader, and thus the motivation to translate a particular text.

Figure 2: Manuscript Illumination with David in Prayer (Libri, 1501-1502)

Ornamentation served a myriad of purposes depending on the intended function of the manuscript. Illumination elevated the value and appearance of the book in a remarkable fashion, and served to the prestige of the commissioner, who was typically an aristocratic patron or of a religious institution. The design and illustration of the manuscript was intended to reflect and enhance the ideologies and motifs of a text, and served as a visual aid to guide the reader’s interpretation of a text. The decorative elements also promoted engagement with the text through the use of colorful capital letters, gold leaves, paintings, and in border schemes, which are given careful consideration and planning. The illumination and decoration of the medieval manuscript was planned at the inception of the work, and adequate space is left by the scribes and rubricators for the placement of borders, illumination, and miniatures.

Borders were frequently employed in medieval manuscripts in various forms to assist in the structure and illustration of a textual narrative. They were presented as simple features that provided aesthetic and symmetric purpose, and in bold lines that provide structure and guidance to the text in a decorative and eloquent display. Always framing the composition, borders brought a sense of cohesion to each page and provided structure to the textual spaces (Alexander, 2000). In the early medieval era, many manuscripts featured partial borders, where lines would only appear in some of the margins or between the columns of text, but like many other art forms, borders became increasingly more complex and elaborate in style during the late Middle Ages. They could be drawn in with ink and simple penmanship, but in the illuminated manuscript, borders were painted on with colorful paint pigments such as red or blue, or gold (Treuherz, 1972).

Figure 3: Folio from an illuminated Missal (n.d.)

Illustration and ornamentation of the border were to be completed before the addition of illumination or miniatures. Beginning in the early thirteenth century, a decorative border depicting acanthus leaves became a pillar stylistic feature in Italian manuscript production (Alexander, 1997). Although it varied in color and shape, the border depicted leaves sprouting from thin stems, climbing around the perimeter of text in a bold display of artistic aptitude. This type of decoration was very simple in its display and use of colors in the early stages, but was quickly adopted throughout Italy and produced more intricate, regional variations throughout the peninsula for the adornment of religious and classical texts. It has been discovered in its earliest form in Italian schools of illumination, particularly those of Bologna (Treuherz, 1972). There were many continuities in both artistic style and organizational practices in the production of manuscripts within monastic institutions that remained unchanged during the medieval era. Though, the later Middle Ages witnessed intellectual and cultural developments that brought into existence a variety of borders that are rooted in the representation of the acanthus leaf (Alexander, 2000). The inventiveness of Italian border decoration had international significance, having influenced the style and design of the manuscript in other robust areas of production in Europe.

After completion of the border design, the illuminator is ready to begin the application of the gold leaf. Sometimes the border design includes gold in the painted design, or in the margins laid in dots to emulate the beauty and sparkles of the stars. A most valuable art form, the addition of the mineral to a text created the illusion of solid gold, and was an essential feature of the illuminated manuscript, and the application of it required particular care, attention, and technique. Gold could be added in one of two ways. First, the illuminator could grind up the gold leaf and compound the mineral with egg white or gum to make an ink. This liquid form of gold was applied to the manuscript, but resulted in a dull or matte facade. Or, if preferred, the illuminator could choose a second method of application; gold in the form of a leaf (Hutchinson, 1926). A binding mixture made of gum or plaster was applied to areas that were to be illuminated before the gold leaf could be added, and allowed time to dry. Using a brush and egg white, gold could then be applied in pieces as needed, but in most cases the illuminator preferred to use the gold leaf as a whole. In this case, it was essential to have a smooth surface beneath the folio that would ensure proper application (Haraszti, 1928). After it had been given sufficient time to dry, the gold was polished with a burnishing instrument— a hand-held tool made of a smooth, hard stone set into a handle— that created the bright mirror finish that was so greatly adored. The application of gold leaf was a task unfit for a shaky hand, and was both tricky and messy to complete. It was often recommended that the illuminator should hold their breath during the process, as they might blow away the valuable pieces of gold leaf and lose them. (Hutchinson, 1926). After the gold leaf had been burnished and set, the gilded areas likely needed to be trimmed with a knife before the addition of any miniatures.

Figure 4: Last Judgment in an Initial C (Monaco, 1406–1407)

The use of gold was the most captivating feature of the illuminated manuscript, as the vibrant, mirror-like finish provided dimension and the illusion of heavenly grandeur, but the color palette of the medieval manuscript was broad and multifaceted. Tiny paintings—called miniatures––were added to the pages to enhance the beauty of the manuscript and elucidate the themes and ideologies of the text. The bright colors and precious metals were quite literally emanating off of the page, as a physical manifestation of the power the texts had for those who produced and commissioned the manuscript. The colors of the miniatures complimented the vibrance of the gold lead, and were immense in variety, employing shades of green, purple, yellow, white, gray, and black (Hutchinson, 1926). Though, in most manuscripts, the harmony of gold, red, and blue served as the principal color scheme, presenting a grand splendor that brought light and depth to the miniature, and enhanced the overall aesthetic appeal. As illuminated embellishments became more intricate in the later Middle Ages, the paints for miniatures used also experienced significant developments in color technology. Of note, and even more rare and costly than gold, was the lapis-lazuli-derived ultramarine pigment that was used in painting the robes of the Virgin Mary, and could only be sourced from Afghanistan (Wellesley, 2021). The use of color was a vital stylistic feature of the illuminated manuscript. It added a sense of regality and luxury that lifted the textual narrative off the page through visual representation that readers could emotionally connect with. Stylistic features, including the use of depth and shadows in the artwork, and the elaborate display of imagery that depict culturally significant stories was a powerful means of inspiring devout spirituality in members of all social classes of the medieval world, and provided an experience of sophistication.

An illuminated manuscript often featured a number of miniatures that were painted on after the gold had been applied and burnished. A miniature is an independent, illuminated illustration in fine manuscript books. They were not connected to the other stylistic features of a manuscript’s design, such as the border, and signified both the importance and wealth of the commissioner. Luxury books included such elaborate depictions that were employed for their aesthetic beauty, but also served primarily as an apparatus that provided visual commentary to a text, which heightened the reader's understanding and interpretation of the manuscript. Images in these illuminated manuscripts were not simply copied from earlier editions in the same manner by which the text is reproduced. These painted images were highly sophisticated, and acted as a visual indoctrination that guided the structure of the text and influenced the reader's perception and understanding of the literature (Haraszti, 1928). The level of detail in these miniatures requires significant preparation and planning before they can be completed by the painter. Each stage of the manuscript's illumination and painting was done by a specialist, who, like the scribes and illuminators, was given explicit instructions.

Figure 5: Miniature from a Devotional or Liturgical Manuscript (Cremona, 1460–1470)

Miniatures were often sketched on the parchment of the manuscript first, typically in silverpoint to minimize potential error, as corrections at this stage were difficult to correct and avoided at all costs (Bruckner, 2003). Silverpoint was used to outline the initial blueprints of the illustration, and was particularly favored by Italian manuscript production centers, typically in Florence, as it rendered more precise lines that disappeared under the guise of illumination of pigments. More complex, lengthy, or significant manuscripts could depict a myriad of miniatures, sometimes hundreds, requiring a plan of execution that was followed in great detail. For A manuscript of momentous political or religious purpose, a maquette, which was a rough copy, was provided to the artists and functioned as a guide to both scribe and illuminator. In addition to the maquette, instructions could have been gathered together as a preliminary text, or provided in the margins of the folio, where they were later erased or trimmed during the binding process (Alexander, 1992).

The miniature was painted on with a brush in tempera using colorful pigments. Many of the artist's years in apprenticeship were devoted to the study of color mixing, which was a protected discipline that heavily guarded the details and techniques of their art form. In the earlier middle ages, pigments were seldom bought premade, and were instead made by the artists as needed, but with the growth of manuscript production in the thirteenth century, paints became a more commercialized product and were available for purchase from local apothecaries (Hutchinson, 1926). The paints used for illumination are comprised of vegetable and mineral extracts that were mixed with egg yolk or gum Arabic—a method of ancient ink production that proved trustworthy and stood the test of time (Wellseley, 2021). Other additives, such as urine, ear wax, honey, chalk, or white lead were used to modify color, texture, and opacity. Some pigments could have been obtained by virtue of the environment, while others were imported from regions beyond the Italian peninsula.

Miniatures were vital in the elucidation of the intended representations of the text to the readers, and varied greatly in subject matter and style. In the early Middle Ages, particularly at the height of monastic manuscript production, miniatures were entangled with the text and representative of context. The making of any manuscript, but particularly those undertaking significant ornamentation and illustration, was a serious enterprise that could take decades to complete. Initially, bibles and other important religious texts that belonged to cathedrals or private ecclesiastes were the only manuscripts that would require such lavish embellishment (Haraszti, 1928). Miniature paintings became a pillar of manuscript production in the end of the Middle Ages, and found homage in the Book of Hours: a manuscript intended for private worship that included the Hours of the Virgin Mary, a series of prayers, and psalms to be said at canonical hours (Pettegree, 2010). This book was intended for the pious layperson, and became a lucrative part of manuscript production. The Book of Hours was also commonly found in the urban household, and many aristocratic patrons had commissioned exquisitely decorated copies for private collections. However, with the increase of secular patronage, the importance of the miniature escalated, and it soon became independent from the rest of the book as a display of great wealth and status.

Figure 6: Illuminated Book of Hours of Isabelle d'Este (c. 1490)

The form and function of the Book of Hours had transitioned from an object of private devotion in early manuscript production, to an extravagant courtly and aristocratic display (Treuherz, 1972). This prayer book was among the earliest manuscripts to incorporate such richness, and was individually designed to accommodate the preferences and instructions of a particular noble or aristocratic personage. The extensive illumination and miniatures that adorned the Book of Hours was renowned and admired by members of all social classes, though was typically designed to accommodate elite interests (Haraszti, 1928). The aristocratic patronage of the Book of Hours and illuminated manuscripts was found extensively throughout the medieval world, and ultimately established a great demand for production that greatly contributed to the development of the book as a commercial product.

With the advance of secular interest in illuminated manuscript production, the art of book-making, in regards to calligraphy and miniatures, transcended monastic borders and found refuge in important artistic cities, particularly in Florence (Guilmain, 1989). Illuminated manuscripts were the pinnacle of Medieval art, and adapted to new demands and opportunities that had been presented through the growth of the manuscript industry. Monasteries continued to employ illuminators, but for secular artists, work was abundant, and there was little difference in working within a monastic institution or independently in ecclesiastic or lay structures (Alexander, 2000). Skilled artists and illuminators were already present in monasteries and abbeys throughout Medieval Italy, and only needed to adapt to the demands of the industry as it progressed. The shift in production of manuscripts from ecclesiastical to lay structures was considerable, and is largely reflective of growing secular values that were rooted in classical ideologies and naturalism.

Figure 7: Adoration of the Shepherds and the Fall of Man (Clovio, 1546)

The secular and commercial production of manuscripts materialized in the late Middle Ages, and was a highly organized industry in an effort to fulfill the needs of an increasingly literate society. Illuminated manuscripts were made on commission for a patron, and as a result of great demand, it was not uncommon for artists to work on the illustration or illuminations of manuscripts for multiple commissioners concurrently (Alexander, 1992). Production flourished so considerably that in “Florence, in the second half of the fifteenth century, Vespasiano da Bisticci could lay on numerous scribes and illuminators to produce entire libraries, on demand” (Rouse, 1989, p. 19). The sophistication and organization of the imagery was provided by the instructions given to the artist in great detail though the execution of such detail implied the artists themselves were likely literate. It was not just a question of copying the pictorial layout provided, but one of understanding the intended representation of textual concepts and the ability of illustrating a particular meaning. The level of detail, its execution, and the artists understanding of the instructions allude to his literacy and artistic aptitude.

Just as scribes had to work on gatherings out of order to allow the ink enough time to dry, the illuminator did not add decorations to folios consecutively. The artisans were seated before piles of folios and gathers and worked on them to different stages of execution, often with consideration to the availability of gold leaves or the colors that had been mixed. In a day’s work, the folios were undoubtedly stacked and restacked, and in the process folios may have been shuffled without mercy (Calkins, 1978). At this point, the gatherings retain their signature, allowing the binder to arrange the text into the proper sequence. The binding of the precious volumes “were sometimes encrusted with metal and semi precious stones, and it was not unusual to house them in beautiful caskets or boxes” (Hutchinson, 1926, p. 75). Decorative covers were common in illuminated manuscripts for public display, and played a significant role in the representation of wealth, status, and religious devotion of both ecclesiastical and secular patrons. From cover to cover, the production of illuminated manuscripts displayed a magnificent level of organizational and artistic mastery, capturing the beauty and elegance of the heavenly spirit.

Figure 8: Illuminated reproduction of a work by Aristotle (Girolamo da Cremona, 1483).

The influence of spatial and figural realism had begun to develop in powerful city centers such as Florence, and brought light, shadow, and dimension to art which proved a critical factor in the evolution of manuscript illumination (Calkins, 1989). Wealthy merchant patrons, noble families, and religious houses provided a growing market and involved a network of individuals in the book trade, with commercial production having largely taken place in urban city-centers. The growth of the book economy was deeply enmeshed with the rapid development of cities, and widened the patronage of the arts from religious institutions to aristocrats that resulted in the proliferation of illuminated manuscripts and miniature paintings (Grendler, 2004). Manuscripts produced for patrons were much more individualistic, used as a physical representation of the wealth, power, and status of the commissioner (Rouse, 1989). Many illuminators were members of the clergy, though secular and ecclesiastical patronage courts of late medieval Italy primarily attracted great commercial illuminators and artists from all regions of the peninsula. There were a number of traveling urban bookshops and artists, and the most gifted illuminators traveled far and wide to execute commissions for leading aristocrats and ecclesiastes alike. Many illuminators in cities lived in the same neighborhoods, and frequently worked with each other in collaboration.

Florence was a powerhouse of manuscript illumination in the 1400s, as it was inhabited by a vast number of leading artists and wealthy patrons and secular aristocrats, particularly the omnipresent Medici family. One of the prominent illuminators of the time, Francesco Roselli was famously commissioned by Lorenzo de Medici to illuminate a Book of Hours for the weddings of each of his daughters (Grendler, 2004). Florence was undoubtedly of great importance in the proliferation and expansion of art leading into the early Italian Renaissance, and was home to many great illuminators of the time, both secular and of the church. Many of the city's prominent artists were illuminators in addition to their role as painters. Popes and other church leaders in Rome were also significant in the patronage of manuscripts for many illuminators, though many popes and cardinals employed illuminators from their hometowns (Alexander, 2000). Choir books, antiphonals, bibles, and Missals were prominent in Italian manuscript illumination for books utilized in religious functions and rituals (Calkins, 1989). Because of their liturgical importance, bibles and sacramentals were embellished in such great detail, featuring illuminated opening pages with decorative script and borders as such books were introduced at the heart of mass. Of the most famous Italian illuminated manuscripts produced in this time was a great Bible, featuring lavish embellishment in its opening pages. It was created for the Great Duke of Ferrara, of the leading patrons in northeastern Italy. The execution of this Bible took years to complete, as the illumination of this involved intricate details and elaborate designs on most of the pages (Grendler, 2004). Among the artists of this work were the renowned traveling illuminator Girolamo da Cremona, who worked successively in Ferrara, Siena, Florence, and Venice.

Figure 9: Folio from the Bible of Borso d'Este (1455 to 1461)

The work of the artists is intertwined, and there is not always much separation between the painters of the border decoration, illumination, and that of the miniature paintings. In the integration of the text, miniatures, and border decorations, the Italian artists also destroyed the tension between the flat, surface-emphasizing elements of the book page, being the script and pattern, and the spatial, solid elements of miniature paintings (Treuherz, 1972). This stylistic development reached its crescendo in the fourteenth century, and became a characteristic of illumination throughout the reign of manuscript production, but as a result, most artists are unknown to us today. Medieval illuminators are often anonymous because the work is often the result of “a series of interactions that come together in the creation of a text, and these include not only the author and the reader, but also practices of publication, circulation, criticism, and censorship” (Alexander, 1997, p. 55). The cultural shift of the later Middle Ages and the prominent role of sacred books in the Christian church encouraged the splendid decor and elaborate ornamentation of manuscript, and resulted in the flourishing of reproduction and illumination. In the early stages of production, especially in simple text reproductions, very few copies provide insight into the scribe or persons involved in the making of the manuscript. Towards the later Middle Ages and the advent of secular illuminators, many more manuscripts have survived with documentation that can identify both the patron who commissioned it, and the artists who created it (Rouse, 1989). The rising professional class of secular and commercial manuscript producers often included signatures on any written, decorated, or painted works as a means of distinguishing themselves from their predecessors.

Figure 10: Leaf from an illuminated choir book (Attavanti, 1495))

In discussion of illuminated manuscripts, the relationship between texts and their illustrations are deeply enmeshed. The grandiosity of the illuminated manuscript was the product of “a series of interactions that come together in the creation of a text, and these include not only the author and the reader, but also practices of publication, circulation, criticism, and censorship” (Alexander, 1997, p. 55). They are a reflection of the intellectual, spiritual, and cultural ideologies present in the medieval world, and were a powerful vehicle of influence among powerful secular and ecclesiastical leaders. The illustrations and decor of the text guided the reader’s interpretation of the text, ultimately shaping the values and ideological perceptions of medieval Italian society. Although the making of an illuminated manuscript is dependent on the collaboration of artists and patrons, the fruitful book economy of the later Middle Ages was necessarily flourished because of its relationship with the reader. Without an active audience to be influenced by the textual narratives and stately artistic beauty, there is no reason to endure years of such tedious, intricate work. The preservation of knowledge is dependent on society’s willfulness to influence, and be influenced by, the ideologies of the secular and ecclesiastical leaders who commission the illuminated manuscripts. The complexity of the borders, illumination, and miniatures transcended the ideas and values beyond the borders of the page. The production of illuminated manuscripts in the Middle Ages remained faithful to early monastic traditions, but evolved from a fixed form that lacked any depth or character, into one of great vibrance and color in a physical representation of power and cultural beauty. The illuminated manuscripts that were produced during this time were the result of increasingly secular interests, and were unsurpassed in quality before or since. Few objects of the past have the same personal allure; the writing and artistry of these illuminated texts come together in a proud display of perfect harmony, carefully designed with the intention of creating a work of great beauty.

The art and literature of medieval illuminated manuscripts were the cultural manifestation of secular and ecclesiastical notions of symbolic form during the Middle Ages. The illumination and artistry of these princely volumes enriched the medieval Italian society’s understanding of imagery in cultural, religious, and devotional contexts. (Alexander, 1997). Evident in different artistic elements of the illuminated manuscript was the enrichment of societal ideologies and values that liberated the text from a static form to an illustrative narrative that readers and patrons alike could connect with. The rich ornamentation of the illuminated text acted as tangible manifestation of perceived ideals of beauty, likened to that of heavenly grandeur. Illumination brought light to the minds and souls of the people in a very literal way; it was an art form that used color and exquisite decor that connected people of all social classes, and enlightened the hearts and minds of medieval culture.

Bibliographical References

Alexander, J. J. G. (1992). Medieval illuminators and their methods of work. Yale University Press.


Alexander, J. J. G. (2000). Illumination. In P. F. Grendler (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Renaissance. Charles Scribner's Sons.

Bruckner, A. (2003). Scriptorium. In New Catholic Encyclopedia (2nd ed., Vol. 12, pp. 841-845). Gale.

Calkins, R. G. (1989). Gothic Art: Painting and Manuscript Illumination. In J. R. Strayer (Ed.), Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Charles Scribner's Sons.

Diringer, D. (1976). THE BOOK OF THE MIDDLE AGES. In C. KLEINHENZ (Ed.), Medieval Manuscripts and Textual Criticism (pp. 27–38). University of North Carolina Press.

Grendler, P.F. (Ed.). (2004). ILLUMINATION. Renaissance: An Encyclopedia for Students (Vol. 2, pp. 177-179). Charles Scribner's Sons.

Guilmain, J. (1989). Manuscript Illumination, European. In J. R. Strayer (Ed.), Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Charles Scribner's Sons.

Haraszti, Z. (1928). Medieval Manuscripts. The Catholic Historical Review, 14(2), 237–247.

Hutchinson, S. A. (1926). Illuminated Manuscripts. The Brooklyn Museum Quarterly, 13(3), 73–80.

Pettegree, A. (2010). The Book in the Renaissance. Yale University Press.

Rouse, R. H. (1989). Manuscript Books, Production of. In J. R. Strayer (Ed.), Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Charles Scribner's Sons.

Treuherz, J. (1972). The border decoration of milanese manuscripts 1350-1420. Arte Lombarda, 17(36), 71–55.

Wellesley, M. (2021). The Gilded Page: The social Lives of Medieval manuscripts. Basic Books.

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