Saint Dominic
Hundreds of years ago, in the Middle Ages, books were handmade by teams of people who all worked on different parts of the book. There was someone to prepare the writing surface, which was made from animal skin called vellum; there was someone to write the text; and finally there was someone to draw the pictures. These weren't just any pictures, though; they were more like small paintings.

The pictures in these old books, or manuscripts, were called illuminations, and the people who made them were called illuminators. They were called this because the books were often painted with real silver and gold. They reflected light, making them luminous. These materials also made the books very expensive. In fact, some illuminated books cost more than painting a room or even an entire chapel.

The pictures in these books are also sometimes called miniatures, partly because they are so small. They could probably fit in an adult's hands. The miniature shown here is from a book that lists all the shoemakers living in the Italian city of San Procolo, which is where the artist lived. If you weren't sure what the text said, you could look at the bottom of the page for clues. The artist included a tool that cuts leather (which is what most shoes were made from at the time) and a finished shoe and sandal.

More Fancy Art Scoops!

Art for the Fireplace A Fishy Chandelier A Royal Chest of Drawers Nike: The Winged Goddess of Victory
A Fashionable Frenchwoman A Magnificent Miniature Furniture Fit for a King