Monday, October 11, 2010

Codex Manesse

These charming illuminations come from 14th century, German Codex Manesse: an extensive compendium of Middle High German love songs. There's something terribly sweet about these figures, isn't there? They each have that slightly mysterious, distant smile--appropriate, I suppose, since the subjects were poets. Also note how you can see the calligraphy from the other side of each folio showing through the vellum... I love how this unintentional element becomes part of the ornamentation. It gives a certain structure to the space that would have otherwise been negative.

image from Libraryland

image from Wikipedia

image from Wikipedia

image from Wikipedia

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