Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Todays manuscript

Today's manuscript (British Library, Yates Thompson 26) is a twelfth century copy of Bede's prose Life of Cuthbert. (Bede also wrote a verse Life of Cuthbert). This manuscript was produced in northern England in the last quarter of the twelfth century, probably at Durham. It is know to have been at Durham during the later fourteenth century and early fifteenth century. The manuscript has 150 surviving folios with 46 full page miniatures. This miniature shows Cuthbert setting sail with two disciples. All of the illustrations are set before the gold background within the heavy colored frame seen here. This has the effect of emphasizing the otherworldly nature of the scene. This is after all an illustration of a Saint. This is one of my favorite manuscript pages. I particularly love the way the water is piled up in alternating shades of blue into a mound.

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