Book Series Studies in Medieval and Early Renaissance Art History, vol. 10

Book Illumination in the Middle Ages

An Introduction

Otto Pächt

  • Pages: 224 p.
  • Size:200 x 280 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:1994

Out of Print
  • ISBN: 978-1-872501-76-5
  • Paperback
  • Out of Print

This publication provides an introduction to one of the most significant art-forms of the Middle Ages - book illumination.


'Otto Pächt's masterly exposition of the history of the illuminated book... begins with the late Roman transition from roll to codex and ends with the dissolution of the illuminated page under the impact of fifteenth-century realism. Its concern are largely formal, analysing specifically those as- pects of book illumination which differentiate it from monumental painting.. This book is well translated and beautifully designed and the colour plates are uniformly excellent. It is a richly-textured work which is always thoughtful, informative and stimulating'. Apollo


In examining in detail the relationships between script and decoration, between image and frame, surface and space, Professor Pächt opens the reader´s eyes to new aspects of the art of book illumination. He gives an invaluable account of the transition from roll to codex and the resulting problems and solutions affecting page lay-out; and he analyzes the function and development of the initial, the traditions of Bible, Psalter and Apocalypse illustration, and the particular characteristics of didactic pictures. The volume is richly illustrated with carefully chosen examples ranging from late-antique roll illustration to Renaissance miniatures; and the thirty-two colour plates, with special gold printing, in themselves provide a visual survey of the art of the medieval book. A select Bibliography and a Glossary of technical terms has been included to help the reader, and the book also contains a most useful Bibliography of Otto Pächt´s writings on book illumination.