Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Illuminated manuscript

An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript, especially of a religious nature, in which the script is supplemented by the addition of colourful ornamentation, such as illuminated initials, borders and the like.

It is said that the illumination of manuscripts came about through the boredom felt by the monks in the scriptorium due to the repetitive nature of their copying. To entertain themselves, they first added mice or birds.

Their motifs are taken from heraldry or religious symbolism.


Some of the techniques used are:

Famous illuminated manuscripts