Book Series Studies in Medieval and Early Renaissance Art History , vol. 44

The Splendor of the Word

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the New York Public Library

Jonathan (J.J.G.) Alexander, James Marrow, Lucy Freeman-Sandler

  • Pages: 480 p.
  • Size:215 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:200 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2005


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  • ISBN: 978-1-905375-00-4
  • Paperback
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Summary

The New York Public Library’s collection of nearly three hundred Western European illuminated manuscripts is one of the largest in America but also one that is very little known. Dating from the turn of the tenth century unto well into the period of the Renaissance, these works give vivid testimony to the creative impulses of the often nameless craftsmen who discovered ever-new ways of animating the contents of hand-produced books through inventive and sometimes exuberant manipulations of all the elements of the book: form and format, layout, script, decoration, illustration, and binding.
To introduce this magnificent collection and many of its most important works to scholars and the wider audience, The Splendor of the Word presents one hundred manuscripts of particular cultural, historical, and artistic significance,  selected from the Library’s collection by three of the most distinguished scholars in the field — Jonathan J. G. Alexander, Professor of Fine Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, a specialist in early medieval, Romanesque, and Italian illuminated manuscripts;  James H. Marrow, Professor Emeritus of Art History at Princeton University, a specialist in late medieval illuminated manuscripts; and Lucy Freeman Sandler, Professor of Art History Emerita at New York University, a specialist in Gothic illuminated manuscripts.
The makers of medieval illuminated manuscripts invested their books with sparkle and visual energy. They did so to stimulate delight, imagination, and memory—to make of them objects that fascinate and charm as well as instruct. One need have no knowledge of medieval languages or habits of thought to appreciate the high quality and the aesthetic ebullience of the finely crafted manuscripts shown here, for the very first time, to anyone interested in the ways that books help to define the social, intellectual, and imaginative horizons of their users.

Jonathan J. G. Alexander, Professor of Fine Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, a specialist in early medieval, Romanesque, and Italian illuminated manuscripts.

 

James H. Marrow, Professor Emeritus of Art History at Princeton University, a specialist in late medieval illuminated manuscripts

 

Lucy Freeman Sandler, Professor of Art History Emerita at New York University, a specialist in Gothic illuminated manuscripts.