Illuminated Letters. What is an illumination?. Strictly speaking, illumination is decoration which uses gold, gold leaf or silver; However, the term is often used loosely to mean decorated or illustrated. So . . . What is an illumination?. An illumination is an embellishment,
is an embellishment,
or additional decoration
to fit into or around the letter
The image took on the shape of the letter itself.
all documents and books were handwritten. Called "manuscripts" - from the Latin words for hand (manu) writing (script)
produced before printing ushered in the European Renaissance.
Writing and books were in the hands of the literate nobility, merchant upper class and the church.
Most books were made by monks and nuns in a monastic scriptorium, the room(s) reserved for producing books.
Because the recording of historical events was such an important task, illuminations were ordered by Kings and religious leaders to be added to various pages in order to add interest and importance to their appearance.
The Egyptians were the first culture known to document events by use of Illuminated Manuscripts.
One of the most famous being the Book Of The Dead that dates back to 1310 B.C..
As written languages developed, various countries adopted the idea of illuminating their manuscripts.
The tradition was carried on for hundreds of years into Medieval Europe during the Middle Ages.
By the 7th century, Illuminations became the idea of illuminating their manuscripts.
a highly respected Art
At this time some of the most beautiful and famous illuminations were now being created in Ireland and England.
1. a parchementer to make the parchment from the animal skin
2.a scribe to do the calligraphy (from the Greek
beautiful [Kalli] writing [graphia])
3.an illuminator who actually created the illuminated letters and other decorations on each page.
4.a bookbinder to sew the individual pages into a book format and make the leather binding.
Illuminations defined a time in history when the ability to read was sacred and reserved for religious leaders or those born of royal blood.Because it took great skill to create such items of beauty and because these creations were so important, it was a great time in history for artists! For without their skills and talents such beautiful images might not have ever existed!
A Few Examples: the idea of illuminating their manuscripts.