The illumination is a Peinture or a Dessin carried out with the hand, which decorates or illustrates a text most of the time Manuscrit. The Technical S of the Printing works and the Gravure will almost make disappear illumination. However, there exist some printed books which of it are decorated.
The terms enluminer , illumination and illuminator appear at the 13th century and are formed starting from the Latin illuminare (to light, illuminate, and, with the illustrated direction, to clarify).
The " term; enluminure" is often associated with that of " miniature". The word " miniature" from the Latin minium comes, indicating a red vermilion. Formerly, the term applied, preferably, with the letters decorative capital letters (Lettrine S) drawn in red to the manuscripts; then the bringing together (without etymological base ) with the words minimum , tiny , took place, and the miniature indicated the painted images, of small size, compared with the table X and the murals (Fresque S). Applying to any representation of reduced format, the term thus also indicated the small scenes painted on other objects that the manuscripts.
One can thus speak about handwritten enluminés , handwritten with miniatures , and even about handwritten with paintings , as make it certain specialists, since the artist in charge of this share of work was named pictor with the Moyen-âge, étymologiquement to distinguish it from the scriptor (this term gave scribe i.e. " that which écrit" , but Copiste is adapted more for the Middle Ages) charged with the only copy of the text.
Types of illuminationsIllumination is not, like wants it an generally accepted idea, only simple the letter put color by the Copiste S at the beginning of chapter or of paragraph, thus making it possible to seize the structure of the text easily.
On the material plan, a written work comprises a text whose characters have a form: when the writing has an end Esthétique, one speaks about Calligraphie. The study of the old writings is the object of the Paléographie.
Illumination sometimes mixes with the text and sometimes moves away from there, at the point, sometimes, not to even maintain any relation with him more. One can establish the following distinctions, while noting their arbitrary character, the artists mixing the kinds readily.
illustrated Scenes (historiées)
- decorative Compositions of It
- They are ornaments in the shape of parchment whose ends are rolled up (generally in opposite direction) intended to receive, in the central part an inscription.
- Composition placed on first page.
- Reason more or less lengthened, having the height of the body of the letters, and intended to fill the vacuum enters the last written word and the margin of right-hand side.
- When the text is copied uninterrupted, a painted reason, rather simple and stereotyped, marked separation between two paragraphs or two verses of the original text.
- In the margins, headings and footers of the late Gothic manuscripts, one sees, among the vegetable interlacings of the more or less monstrous and comic oneiric creatures. The grotesque term comes from Italian will pittura grottesca , which indicated images painted discovered as from the 15th century with Tivoli in the Villa Hadriana, the word caves formerly indicating the hidden monuments.
- Initial S or Reference letter S
- * simple Lettres (their study is divided between esthetics and paleography)
- * Lettres champies
- They are letters, gilded most of the time, placed on a painted bottom, spillplate of stereotyped reasons.
- * Lettres champies
- They is consisted the drawing of the capital letter to which interlacings, plants, animals and even of the characters are added, without it being about a scene itself.
- the decoration alone draws the letter (monks cutting wood, for example).
- Of the narrative scenes is represented in free spaces of the letter.
- various Signes
The volumen and codex
The first enluminés manuscripts are the works of the Pharaonic Egypt , made up of papyrus and in the shape of more or less long rollers. The Book of dead the of Ani (British Museum) measurement 24 meters, and the manuscript of Turin approximately 58 meters.
Here, it will be question only of Western illumination, such as one finds it mainly on the parchment.
One calls volumen the book formed of a single sheet made several layers bent after from/to each other), and rolled up on itself or a wood stick. The word comes from the Latin volvere , to roll, roll up.
The codex is a book in bent pages, which appears at the 2nd century. It represents a remarkable progress compared to the volumen.
- * the codex contains twice more text since one can write on the recto and the back.
- * It is more easily transportable, handy and entreposable.
- * On the intellectual level, codex present of enormous advantages insofar as it facilitates the “navigation” of the reader in the text: the volumen makes difficult the flashback, the search for a passage, which makes it possible the selective reading to be spread. The text thus becomes more precise, the more exact quotations.
- * One sees appearing novel methods of comparison, like the tables of agreements, the gloses and the notes.
- * the codex allows the regrouping of texts in the same binding.
- * illumination develops better in the codex in parchment that on the volumen in papyrus.
- * It is more easily transportable, handy and entreposable.
Nevertheless, the codex does not make disappear the enluminé volumen. Thus, in the Abbey of Saint-Bavon to Ghent, a volumen going back to 1406 and comprising a beautiful historiée illumination is preserved. But generally the late rollers are not enluminés: they are used for genealogies, chronicles, inventories, parts of procedure, etc
The Parchment, support par excellence of illumination
The papyrus is very fragile and easily drinks ink and the colors. The parchment is much more resistant and offers more possibilities to artistic creation owing to the fact that it supports best the chemical action of inks and the colors.
The parchment ready to receive a text penmanship and enluminé, is prepared starting from skins of thin animals, like the Mouton and the Chèvre. During the time of great production, related to the rise of the University S in the cities, the various stages of manufacture will be entrusted to specific trade associations: Tawing, Chamois-leather factory, and parchment factory.
The most beautiful parchment is the Vélin which indicates the skins of the animals still-born children (calf, lamb, kid. The manuscripts on vellum were rarest and most expensive. Nowadays still, the calf vellum is the only support used by the Juif S to copy the Torah. The word indicates also a writing paper of high-quality (for example the vellum of Angouleme).
In the codex, the lines were then traced with the stylet with regular spaces, on all the page. The trace in visible remainder. The text was then copied by reserving spaces for the titles, the initial ones and the images. One still finds in the margins of light outlines of reference letters or images intended for the artists.
- Sepia (brown very dark), of the Latin word which indicates the cuttlefish whose liquid provides this ink. Below, some inks:
- Black: dissolution of the Lampblack in water.
- Blue: Oxide of Cobalt, powder of Lapis lazuli (extremely expensive), Azurite (mineral) (Carbonate of Copper).
- Bright red and orange: Sulfide of mercury (one uses the term Cinabre when its origin is mineral, and vermilion when it is artificial).
- Red orange chechmate: Orpiment and Realgar, which is sulfides of Arsenic (As2 S2).
- Green: containing Clay or compounds of Copper.
One used binders and Colle S to allow the color to adhere on the parchment: adhesives of Egg white Poisson, (to which one adds powder of Clove to ensure the conservation), resin S, gum S (especially the Gum arabic), etc
The colors mix very badly, and often do not mix at all. The artist works “your on your” after drying, and plays with the binders to obtain the nuances starting from same a Pigment.
Until the 14th century, with the appearance of the Gouache, painting is obligatorily encircled of a feature of ink drawn with the feather.
Schools, styles and Masters
- Illumination of Bottom Empire
- Illumination paléo-Christian woman
- Illumination mérovingienne
- Romance Illumination
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