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Illuminating the Renaissance
Illuminating the Renaissance
The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe
Thomas Kren and Scot McKendrick

J. Paul Getty Museum
640 pages, 9 x 11 inches
232 color and 153 b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-0-89236-703-0
hardcover, Out of Print  2003


This comprehensive and richly illustrated catalogue focuses on the finest illustrated manuscripts produced in Europe during the great epoch in Flemish illumination. During this aesthetically fertile period—beginning in 1467 with the reign of the Burgundian duke Charles the Bold and ending in 1561 with the death of the artist Simon Bening—the art of book painting was raised to a new level of sophistication. Sharing inspiration with the celebrated panel painters of the time, illuminators achieved astonishing innovations in the handling of color, light, texture, and space, creating a naturalistic style that would dominate tastes throughout Europe for nearly a century.

Centering on the notable artists of the period—Simon Marmion, the Vienna Master of Mary of Burgundy, Gerard David, Gerard Horenbout, Bening, and others—the catalogue examines both devotional and secular manuscript illumination within a broad context: the place of illuminators within the visual arts, including artistic exchange between book painters and panel painters; the role of court patronage and the emergence of personal libraries; and the international appeal of the new Flemish illumination style. Contributors to the catalogue include Maryan W. Ainsworth, curator of European paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; independent scholar Catherine Reynolds; and Elizabeth Morrison, assistant curator of manuscripts at the Getty Museum.

Illuminating the Renaissance is published in conjunction with an exhibition organized by the Getty Museum, the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and the British Library to be held at the Getty Museum from June 17 to September 7, 2003, and at the Royal Academy of Arts from November 25, 2003 to February 22, 2004.

Thomas Kren is curator of manuscripts at the Getty Museum. Scot McKendrick is curator of manuscripts at the British Library.

This title is out of print. Please look for it at your local libraries and/or used bookstores.