Book Series Studies in Medieval and Early Renaissance Art History, vol. 42

The Cambridge Illuminations

Ten Centuries of Book Production in the Medieval West

Stella Panayotova, Paul Binski

  • Pages: 416 p.
  • Size:210 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:285 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2005

Out of Print
  • ISBN: 978-1-872501-59-8
  • Hardback
  • Out of Print


"The catalogue, (...), will retain its value as a work of reference long after the exhibition closes. The standard of entries is uniformly high and they display a welcome variety of approach." (C.M. Kauffmann in The Burlington Magazine, CXLVII, November 2005, p.767-768)

"Par la qualité, la variété et l'ampleur quantitative des œuvres réunies, l'ouvrage publié ne servira pas seulement de catalogue pour le chercheur intéressé par l'un ou l'autre de ces manuscrits, mais sera aussi un travail de référence pour l'histoire du livre et de l'enluminure." (C. Heck dans Bulletin Monumental, 165-IV, 2007, p. 405-406)


Cambridge is the depository of one of the greatest collections of illuminated  manuscrips in the world. The present volume is published to accompany the exhibition of some two hundred spectacular Cambridge treasures – from the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Cambridge University Library and the individual College libraries – covering a unique array of outstanding but rarely seen illuminated books.
The Catalogue spans over ten centuries of book production, from the significant sixth-century Gospels of St. Augustine, to the great Romanesque Bibles such as the Bury and Dover Bibles, the exquisite and emotive devotional books of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, up to the refined, classical elegance of the Humanist books of early Renaissance Italy. Manuscripts are grouped thematically under eight headings: 1. The Coming of Christianity, 2. The Bible and its Study, 3. The Liturgy and the Offices, 4. Private Devotion, 5. History and Literature, 6. The Medieval Encyclopedia, 7. The Humanist Manuscript, 8. Manuscripts and Documents for Cambridge University. The Catalogue entries as well as the introductory essays to each section are by well-known authorities in their field, among them the editors Paul Binski and Stella Panayotova, and Jonathan Alexander, Christopher de Hamel, Rosamond McKitterick, Nigel Morgan and Tessa Webber. All manuscripts catalogued are illustrated in full colour, and there is a Glossary, exhaustive Bibliography and detailed Index.