The Breviary of Queen Isabella of Castile

One of the most refined scattered borders are found in the breviary that Francisco de Rojas, ambassador to the Emperor Maximilian I presented in c. 1497 to Queen Isabella of Castile. Some of the best Bruges artists collaborated on the decoration of this manuscript including Gerard David, the so-called Master of the Dresden Prayerbook, and … Continue reading

The magical effect of trompe l’oeil

I had been fascinated with scatter borders for quite a long time, but did not dare to replicate any of them until my mother’s birthday last year. I was working on the catalogue of the Royal Exhibition at the time and writing about Henry VII’s copy of the Imagination de vraie noblesse (Royal 19 C. … Continue reading

Illuminator’s blog: The Alphonso Psalter

Knight Killing a Griffin Alphonso Psalter (British Library, Additional 24686)  Margins of gothic manuscripts, especially those produced in England and Flanders, are frequently inhabited by various more or less fantastic creatures and peopled by tiny human and animal figures involved in trades, battles and games. My picture depicting a knight fighting a griffin is inspired … Continue reading

Illuminator’s Blog: The Royal Bestiary

  The Royal Bestiary – my first project –   Bestiaries may appear to a modern reader as somewhat eccentric creations of medieval mind. Full of bizarre stories and descriptions of real and imaginary creatures, the books of beasts were not, however, indented as manuals of natural history. Instead, the nature and habits of animals … Continue reading