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Penned and Painted: The Art & Meaning of Books in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts

The idea of the book was central throughout western European and the eastern Mediterranean in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

The centrality of the book to medieval thought is reflected in the countless images of books that appear in the manuscripts of the era, found in the most treasured, highly decorated, sacred texts as well as in devotional and secular works.

Penned & Painted takes us on a highly insightful exploration of some of the British Library’s most precious manuscripts, describing the many uses and meanings of these ‘books in books’ and investigating the various types and forms of books as depicted in the era. How were they produced and what did they look like? What do they tell us of the lives and skills of the scribes and illuminators? What did these books record and signify? How were they displayed, consumed and how did some of these objects of supreme beauty even come to be wantonly destroyed?

Penned & Painted is presented in full-colour throughout and includes a high number of images specially photographed for this volume.

  • Hardback, 176 pages.