- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
More copies of this ISBN
A History of Illuminated Manuscriptsby Christopher De Hamel
Synopses & Reviews
This volume commemorates the three-hundred-fiftieth anniversary of the birth of the Icelandic scholar and antiquarian and#193;rni Magnand#250;sson, who served as secretary of the Royal Archives and professor of Danish antiquities at the University of Copenhagen, in addition to building the most important collection of early Scandinavian manuscripts in existence. The book presents descriptions of sixty-six manuscripts from the collection, one for each year of Magnussonand#8217;s life, complemented by high-quality color photographs, a comprehensive introduction to Magnand#250;ssonand#8217;s life, and a chapter on book production in the medieval period.
This survey provides an overview of book manufacturing and decoration from late Antiquity to the Renaissance. The differing circumstances in which illuminated manuscripts were created, from monastic Gospels to secular romances, are described, revealing the stories and characters behind the texts.
This book appears in commemoration of the 350th anniversary of the birth of the Icelandic scholar and antiquarian and#193;rni Magnand#250;sson (1663 and#150; 1730), who, in addition to his duties as secretary of the Royal Archives and, from 1702, professor of Danish Antiquities at the University of Copenhagen, spent much of his life building up what is by common consent the single most important collection of early Scandinavian manuscripts in existence.
While consisting predominantly of Icelandic manuscripts, the Arnamagnand#230;an collection also contains many important Norwegian, Danish and Swedish manuscripts, along with about one hundred of continental provenance. In addition to the manuscripts proper, nearly 3000 items, there are about 14000 Icelandic, Norwegian and Danish diplomas, both originals and first-hand copies.
In this book are presented descriptions of 66 manuscripts, one for each year and#193;rni Magnand#250;sson lived. Half of these 66 are now housed in Copenhagen and the other half in Reykjavand#237;k. There are contributions by 35 scholars from eleven countries, each in some way connected to one of the two institutions which bear and#193;rni Magnand#250;sson's name.and#160; High quality colour photographs complement the texts. Descriptions and pictures of a selection from the many diplomas found in the collection have also been included, along with a comprehensive introduction to and#193;rni Magnand#250;sson's life and work and a chapter on book production in the Middle Ages.
The Arnamagnand#230;an manuscript collection is, as this volume attests, remarkably diverse, containing works of literature and science, religious texts and law books, calendars and music, to name only a few of the many genres represented. The manuscripts and documents in the collection are invaluable sources on the history and culture of medieval and early-modern Scandinavia, but their relevance is far greater than that. This was recognised when the collection was inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2009 following a joint submission by Iceland and Denmark.
Medieval manuscripts are among Western civilization's greatest glories. Laboriously written by hand and often sumptuously decorated, they have always been highly valued and remain as brilliant, fascinating and popular as ever. Christopher de Hamel vividly describes the circumstances in which such books were created, from the earliest monastic Gospel Books to the most lavish Books of Hours. For the second edition of this book the text has been revised and updated, and the whole volume completely redesigned with a wealth of new colour illustrations.
About the Author
Matthew J. Driscoll is a senior lecturer in Old Norse philology at the University of Copenhagen and head of the Arnemagnaean Institute.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Calligraphy