Byzantine influences on Western aristocratic illuminated manuscripts

fecamp psalter

The main subject of this study is an outstanding twelfth-century psalter produced in Normandy which has clear Eastern influences, both in terms of technical conception and iconography.

Getty Museum opens Renaissance Splendors of the Northern Italian Courts exhibition

Cutting from an antiphonal - Cutting from an antiphonal, early 16th century. Master B.F. (Italian, active about 1495 - 1510). Tempera and gold leaf on parchment. 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. 2009.5. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 104

The J. Paul Getty Museum has opened its newest exhibition – Renaissance Splendors of the Northern Italian Courts – which brings together 25 works including illuminated manuscripts, paintings and drawings that showcases the beautiful artistic production taking place in cities such as Milan and Ferrara during the 15th century.

Palm Sunday in Medieval Manuscripts


How Palm Sunday was depicted in two of the most important illuminated manuscripts of Medieval Europe: The Isabella Breviary and Bible Moralisée of Naples.

BOOKS: Medieval Ireland


In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, here are some great books on medieval Ireland!

Bejewelled backdrop to coronations did not cost a king’s ransom

Westminster Retable

Research into England’s oldest medieval altarpiece – which for centuries provided the backdrop to Westminster Abbey coronations – has revealed that it cost no more than the rather unprincely equivalent of eight cows.

10 Creepy Things to See at the Louvre That Are Better Than the Mona Lisa

Catherine de Medici - Louvre

If you’re an ancient historian, a medievalist, or early modernist, there are so many other amazing pieces and works of art a the Louvre other than these two tourist staples. Here is my list of cool, creepy, unusual and better than the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris.

Mothers of the Empire: Empresses Zoe and Theodora on a Byzantine Medallion Cycle

Khakhuli triptych

This study examines Byzantine enamel medallions of the 11th century that represent empresses in encounters with holy figures.

10 Cool Medieval Things to See at the Musée de Cluny

Ivory Bishop's crozier - Musée de Cluny, Paris

I just visited Muée de Cluny this week while in Paris and picked out a few fabulous items you might want to check out on your next visit to this amazing medieval museum!

Dragons: A Symbol of Evil in European Synagogue Decoration?

medieval Jewish dragon

At first glance, images of evil would seem to be an unexpected element in synagogue art. Only during a relatively short period in eighteenth-century eastern-European synagogues were paintings of predatory beasts and birds catching their prey depicted to convey the idea of the People of Israel pursued by enemies.

Beautiful Images from the Nuremberg Chronicle

Beautiful images Nuremberg chronicle

Created in 1493, the Nuremberg Chronicle is a history of the World going back to Biblical times. Written by Hartmann Schedel, it was printed in Latin and German editions with hundreds of copies being sold. The 1801 woodcut illustrations were done by Michael Wolgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff. Here are some of favourite images!

From Tempests and Hydraulic Machines to the Arno Diversion: the Historical Significance of da Vinci’s Study of Water

da vinci water

Reemergence of classical thought and the importance of water in society led da Vinci to pursue multiple projects regarding his study of water – culminating in the project to divert the Arno River.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Study of Light and Optics: A Synthesis of Fields in The Last Supper

Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci’s preoccupation with the natural world led him to the fields of optics and astronomy.

Can You Name These Famous People From The Middle Ages?

Famous People From The Middle Ages

Here are 20 famous medieval rulers, saints, men and women depicted in medieval art. Can you guess who they are based on the picture?

Can You Name These Famous Figures From History?

Joan of Arc

Some of the great images of art depict famous figures from history – can you guess who they are showing?

The Trouble with ‘Female Sexuality’

medieval woman and unicorn

Using medieval western art to speak of female sexuality is difficult.

The Lost Shoe: A Symbol in Medieval Scandinavian Ballads and Church Paintings

The Clog Man Photo: Tommy Olofsson

Tommy Olofsson examines the Clog Man, a medieval wall painting in a Swedish church – what was it really about?

Shaping a Saint’s Identity: The Imagery of Thomas Becket in Medieval Italy

Venetian workshop, Martyrdom and Elevatio animae of Thomas Becket, third quarter of the 13th century, wall-painting. Treviso, Diocesan Museum

This article sets out to trace the visual responses to the sainthood of Thomas of Canterbury outside of his original cultural context, namely in Italy, where his cult was readily received, integrated and modified.

A Christmas Crib as a Meek Heart of the Late Mediaeval Christian

Late Gothic Christmas crib

In the summer of 2013 the Rijksmuseum acquired a rare Late Gothic Christmas Crib (c. 1510-20). In the 15th century tangible aids – devotionalia – were promoted to support meditation, to accomplish as it were a link between God and the soul of the believer.

2015 Medieval Art Calendar for Sale

stefan sayer medieval calendar 2015

Stefan Sauer is selling a calendar based on initials on Codex Gottwicensis 235, a 15th-century illustrated manuscript created by an anonymous monk from Stift Göttweig, Austria.

The Louvre: Highlights for Medievalists

St Denis holding his head - an oil on panel painting - photo by Danielle Trynoski

Despite offering exemplary samples of almost every type of art, the Louvre showcases some great examples of medieval art. The Richelieu Wing is where it’s at!

How Witches Looked in Medieval Art

Hans Baldung - The Witches Sabbath (1510 AD)

I recently visited the British Museum and enjoyed their Witches and Wicked Bodies exhibit which runs until January 11th, 2015. It displays art depicting witches from the middle ages up to the late nineteenth century. This post looks at a few late medieval interpretations of witches and the artists behind these works.

Chasing Butterflies in Medieval Europe

medieval butterfly - from Royal 10 E IV  British Library

A survey of illuminated medieval manuscripts from Europe reveals depictions of several different methods used in the Middle Ages for catching butterflies.

The last wonderful thing: the icon of the Heavenly Ladder on Mount Sinai

The Ladder of Divine Ascent 12th c.

Description and dating of the icon of the Heavenly Ladder Jacob ‘dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached toheaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

Constructing social identity in Renaissance Florence: Botticelli’s ‘Portrait of a Lady’

Portrait of a Lady known as Smeralda Brandini (1471) by Botticelli

This study scrutinizes a work within a neglected portion of Botticelli’s oeuvre, examining the ways in which its modest, and somewhat ambiguous, visual cues also construct its sitter’s elevated social identity, while simultaneously protecting it.

Places to See: Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chappelle, Paris.

Travelling to Paris ? Add this beautiful thirteenth century Capetian chapel to your MUST-SEE list for your next visit!

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