Intellectual and Material Currents: Within Europe and Beyond
The manuscripts of the middle ages tell a story of delicacy and refinement; each finished product is the culmination of an artist-scribe’s intense precision and artistry. One may explore the paths of communication that allowed the creation of a history of the English and Scottish royal lines, or that placed a French clergyman in the lands of Italy. Moreover, these manuscripts were the result of essential and complex networks of trade that would bring some of the more exotic pigments to European workshops for manuscript illumination. In a luxurious example, ultramarine blue would have come from Afghani lapis lazuli, imported and ground into pigment. Thus one may move through the manuscript room and consider a middle ages both spectacular in its artistry and deeply cosmopolitan in its tendencies.