Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spanish Illuminated Manuscript

Before I begin about the Spanish Illuminated Manuscripts, let me give you some backstory to what Illuminated manuscripts were. Illuminated manuscripts were hand written and hand drawn pages that were brightly colored, had terrific scenes, and were pressed with gold leafing, giving the page a bright feeling. This feeling helped give the manuscript its name due to the gold leaf "illuminating" the page, making it glow in the light. It was used from the beginning of the Roman Empire and spanned to the beginning of moveable type around 1450 A.D.

Now onto Spanish Illuminated Manuscripts. Spanish Illuminated Manuscripts began around 711 A.D. when the Morrish Army under the Arab governor of Tangier attacked the Straights of Gibraltar, destroying the Spanish Army. From there, the newly settled Morrish people took Islamic design and combined it with Christians traditions. The combination created a new design that could and would stand alone as one of the great periods in text and design.

File:B Facundus 191v.jpg

When it came to the actual design itself, the Spanish Illuminated Manuscripts had a unique design all its own. It used bold, intense color married to the use of geometrical design. It also used random shapes such as stars, rosettes, polygons, and garlands. The two major designers of the time were Florentius and Facundus. They both incorporated bold color along with textural designs that made their texts and pictures stand out.

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