Wednesday, November 17, 2010

History of the Illuminated letter Lecture on Nov. 17 2010

Illumination is an embellishment or an additional decoration that enhances the written or manuscript page. Illumination comes from illuminate, which means to fill with light, earlier on they added gold to reflect light and create a bright atmosphere. Illuminations were ordered by kings and leaders to add interest to visual appearance of the page. From 476 ad to 1450 the literature of any kind was copied and printed by hand made into books often-called manuscripts. These manuscripts were Illustrated with gold and color to draw attention to the page. Until the beginning of the 13th century most were religious monks doing the inscriptions and they were religious works used by missionaries able to find a specific section of the page faster. Pictures depicted in the letter described the text so when held up to the audience they could see visual interpretations of the story. Books were handmade and represented wealth and power and possibly magical power. People sometimes feared they would suffer great pain if they damaged the books. The only people to own the book were the wealthy high class and during the 1200’s people became wealthier and buy the illuminated manuscripts. With more people buying books more illuminated manucriptors were hired. There are different styles Celtic – birds and animal intertwined and sometimes had the red dots decorated around the letter. Book of Kells Celtic style one of the most famous manuscripts. Romanesque style is used during the 11th and 12th c. usually had an initial cap later became drop cap. Another style is gothic popular in the 13th-early15th c. smaller than before and the borders and letters were more realistic and there was white vine interlace incorporated. The renaissance 1450-17thc meaning rebirth and interest in classic art sculpture and literature, Johann Gutenberg printed a publication that was widespread but did not invent the printing press. The Gutenberg bible is one of his books and had illuminated lettering and Renaissance style. Just printing done on the press not the illumination. As a graphic designer we design and capture the idea in a logo or create a certain felling with a mark. Creating a reflection reaction and interpretation of the item we are making.

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