From The Book of Kells to Boccaccio’s Decameron and from the Vienna Genesis to Dante’s Divine Comedy, to open Codices illustres is to open the door into a precious, private world. Now in a new format, this radiant book brings you face-to-face with 167 of the most exquisite and important manuscripts of the medieval age.
Presented in brilliant large-format reproductions, these paradigms of miniature painting and illumination from the 4th century to 1600 were once the property of some of the greatest power players in history. Now art-historical treasures, they are worth many millions and typically tucked away in private collections or closely guarded archives—until now.
Although the focus of this collection is on European manuscripts, examples from Mexican, Persian, and Indian tradition illustrate the refinement and intricacy of manuscript illumination in non-European cultures. An informative synopsis for each manuscript orients the reader at a glance, while a 36-page appendix contains biographies of the artists, as well as an extensive bibliography, an index, and a glossary for technical terms.