ILLUMINATION Gallery

All pictures in this Gallery are scans of illuminations made by Gedeon


Presentation to the Virgin

First page of the Hours of the Virgin.

Click on image for larger view (48k).

The book's owner (kneeling) and St.George present themselves to the Mother and Child. The infant Jesus holds the world in his hands, and the Angel holds lillies, the 'symbol' of Mary.

This is the frontispiece of a 'primer', or first book of prayers, usually written in the vernacular (not Latin). The words are the start of the office called 'Matins'. Primers were very popular, being'cheaper' than a book of hours, although with few, or no, illuminations.


Procession of St Gregory

The Procession of St.Gregory.

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Pope Gregory conducts a procession around the city of Rome in order to dispel the plague of 590AD. Saint Michael appears on the citadel and sheathes a bloodied sword, indicating that the plague is over.

This illumination always prefaced the 'Litany', a long list of prayers asking help from God, the Angels, and all the Saints.

A copy based on Les Tres Riches Heures, the most famous medieval book of hours, made by the Limbourg brothers for the Duc de Berry, 1402.


Virgil shows Dante through Hell

The Divine Comedy: Hell.

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Virgil, a worthy (a pre-christian who was saintly enough to be released during the harrowing of Hell), shows his fellow poet, Dante, around the various levels of 'Diss', or Hell.

Dante, in 1308, described the world as being a globe, not flat, with Hell at the centre. Persons who are unrepentant at death pay with an appropriate torment for the sins they committed whilst on earth.





Saint Luke painting the Madonna

St Luke Painting the Madonna.

Click on image for larger view (126k).

Saint Luke, apostle and the patron saint of artists, was popularly thought to have painted Mary from real-life. Note the ox, the symbol of St Luke.

Each Book of Hours would have a standard excerpt from the four gospels, this illumination would often preface that of St Luke.






Temptation of
Christ

The Temptation of Christ.

During his forty days in the wilderness, the devil offers Christ the world (in his hands) and all it's riches, represented by the worldly city below.

This illumination was often used for the prayers for the first Sunday in Lent. Hence, in all manner of prayer books, the pictures helped the reader find the right place as a kind of bookmark.






Ressurection of
Christ

The Ressurection of Christ

Jesus rises from a sarcophagus, not a tomb, witnessed by only one of the Roman soldiers (dressed as medieval sentries).

Note the wound from the lance. The 'Halo', or rather Nimbus, has not been gilded yet, and hence appears red from the Armenian bole. The illumination is dark because it is supposed to be night!

 

 


best viewed 600 X 800

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