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Illuminated Manuscripts

An illuminated manuscript refers to a manuscript, whose text has got additional decoration like decorated initials, miniature illustrations, and borders. People used silver and gold as the precious metals to decorate manuscripts in some cases. However, in most cases, illumination of manuscripts did not require precious metals as the decorating materials, anything that was attractive. The earliest illuminated manuscripts available date back to 400AD and the production of the illuminated manuscripts came to an end when people introduced printing technology. Christian illuminated became common after the sixth century as Christian artists created them. They made the manuscripts in the scriptoriums during the seventh century and eight century.


People created illuminated manuscripts on various materials including papyrus and parchment, which was commonly of goat skin, calf skin, or sheep skin. Later on, people started to create illustrations on paper. I have found various religious illuminated manuscripts extremely appealing. For instance, Christian artists have made an illuminated manuscript on the Christmas day. This depicts the surrounding environment of Jesus’ place of birth. Another illuminated manuscript shows the believers in the church. This show that people started to attend church services long time ago, thus serving as a source of motivation. The third illuminated manuscript shows how Jesus washed the disciple’s feet, which is depicts love amongst human beings. Illumination of secular texts increased as from the 13th century due to urbanization and establishment of higher learning institutions in Bologna, Paris, and Oxford. Secular artists and scribes, who served professors and students, created the illuminates secular texts. They made the secular illuminated texts for individuals from royal families because the texts were extremely expensive.

Medieval illuminated manuscripts are extremely appealing because of the decorations and messages they pass to people. For instance, the Christian illuminated manuscripts show attractive images of Jesus Christ and Angels. The Christian artists did a fantastic work because the illuminated pictures look realistic. Personally, I like the Christian illuminated images because they are attractive and motivating.

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