Showing posts with label manuscripts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label manuscripts. Show all posts

Saturday, March 05, 2011

New medieval art websites, IV.

This is turning into a regular feature of my blog - once again I collected some wonderful new websites on medieval art. I learned about most of them on Twitter (you can find a number of excellent Tweeters just by clicking on my list of Medieval Art - or if you don't like Twitter, check out the Medieval Art Weekly, an automatic paper created from tweets on this list). Other websites I found on the Facebook page dedicated to Medieval Art. So, here are the recommendations for March, most related to medieval manuscripts:

Oxford, Bodleian Library. 
Ms Douce, 134. fol 98 

Medieval Imaginations: Literature and visual culture in the Middle Ages is a database coordinated by Faculty of English of Cambridge University. It has been online for some time, and it is an ongoing project. I am quoting from the main page: "Medieval Imaginations provides a database of images to enable you to explore the interface between the literature and visual culture of medieval England. It has been compiled to provide images corresponding to the main episodes dramatized in the English Mystery Plays, because these present the medieval view of human history from the Creation to the Last Judgement. The images are mostly of English origin and from the later Middle Ages, with an emphasis on material from East Anglia, one of medieval England's most dynamic regions."

Getty, Ms. Ludwig XV 3.
Fol. 89v

Stories to watch: Narratives in Medieval Manuscripts is a website of a new exhibition at the Getty Center, Los Angeles (February 22 - May 15, 2011). The exhibition focuses on narrative images and storytelling in medieval manuscripts. The website also has a nice interactive feature, where the gospel narrative from a prayer book can be studied.

München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek,
Cgm 1952  
Treasures of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek 3D. More and more medieval manuscripts can be studied in digital format. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is now offering something more: 3D digital versions of some medieval manuscripts. You can virtually turn the pages, and even turn the book upside down or spin it. Its the kind of thing one often sees in new exhibitions, on touchscreen computers - where the real thing is in a showcase nearby. Browsing books like this at home, however, is really not all that useful - although fun, at first. The application is slow, pages often tend to turn the wrong way, zooming is quite limited, etc. I'll take an old-fashioned digital facsimile any day instead of this - luckily, the BSB has plenty of those!

It is more fun to look at virtual buildings in 3D - and that is precisely what you can do at the Catedral - Libro de Piedra website. It is a web application providing a virtual tour of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and its museum, through new technologies. If you are interested in more details, this website describes the making of this web application.

The last site to be mentioned today is not only about medieval art - it is a general listing of art history websites, especially blogs. As stated in the overview, "the Art & History Database (AHDB) is an ongoing collation of information on art and history resources on the web". The database offers search capabilities, as well as a list of websites. You can read more about AHDB on the Three Pipe Problem blog of its creator, H Niyazi.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

New medieval art websites, III.

I will keep this post very short - there seems to be an ever richer selection of medieval art websites out there. I just want to point out a few I've recently discovered.

The Utrecht Psalter 

Medieval manuscripts in Dutch collections

"This database contains descriptions of all medieval western manuscripts up to c. 1550 written in Latin script and preserved in public and semi-public collections in the Netherlands. These include the collections of libraries, museums, archives, collections of monastic orders and some private institutions open to researchers."

Arthur - La légende du roi Arthur

An online exhibition with copious illustrations from medieval manuscripts. Made by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, with direct links to Gallica, the 'Bibliothèque numerique' of the BnF, providing full digital versions of medieval manuscripts.

Reliquary with the Man of
The Walters Art Museum 

Treasures of Heaven: Saints, relics, and devotion in Medieval Europe

This exhibition, previously shown in Cleveland, is now going to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. A brand new website has been created for this occasion, which contains really nice things, such as 3D photographs of several objects - photos where you can rotate and zoom in the objects. "The exhibition features over 130 sculptures, paintings and manuscripts, gathered from world-class collections, including the Louvre and the Vatican." For us in Europe, the exhibition will be available this summer at the British Museum in London.

Duccio: Rucellai Madonna
Florence, Uffizi 

Finally, I would just like to mention a great new project, which created quite a buzz on Twitter: The Google Art Project, with virtual tours (streetview style) of several major museums worldwide. You can also browse (and zoom) works in the artwork viewer module.
Description from the website: "Explore museums from around the world, discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels, and even create and share your own collection of masterpieces."

Well, go ahead, and explore!

See previous installations of this feature: Medieval Art websites part I and part II.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Medieval manuscripts at the National Library

A page from the 14th century Bible
of 'Weceslaus dictus Ganoys'
National Széchényi Library 
The National Széchényi Library preserves Hungary's largest repository of medieval manuscripts, and it is also an important research center in this field. On Monday, January 24th 2011, a series of lectures will be held about various medieval manuscripts and early printed books.The detailed program of these sessions can be studied on the blog of the National Library (in Hungarian). Lectures will be given by researchers working at the library, as well as by art historian Ernő Marosi.

If you would like to know more about the medieval holdings of the library, the 1940 catalogue of Latin medieval manuscripts is available online (Emma Bartoniek: Codices Latini Medii Aevi), to be found among the databases of the National Library (go to Kézirattár). Also, there is a lot of information available on the Bibliotheca Corviniana, as I wrote in a previous post and also on my website. Most important resource is the Bibliotheca Corviniana Digitalis. For other early Hungarian books, you might want to look at another website of the library, dedicated to the earliest Hungarian linguistic records (the full website is largely in Hungarian).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New medieval art websites, II.

My post written last month called attention the a number of interesting new websites. In recent weeks I've noticed some more interesting new websites dedicated to medieval art.

First I need to mention a new database, launched on December 15. The Gothic Ivories Project is an online database of ivory sculptures made in Western Europe ca. 1200-ca. 1530. The project is run by the Courtauld Institute of Art. In addition to the database - which currently gives access to about 700 ivories - the website also contains a news section, a bibliography and useful links. The goal of the project is very ambitious:  "a database which aims at including all readily available information on every surviving Gothic ivory, accompanied by at least one image." The website will gradually be added to through regular uploads.

Full digital editions of medieval illuminated manuscripts seem to multiply these days. One of these in particular caught my attention last week (via The National Library of Wales made available a 15th century illuminated manuscript with the Battles of Alexander (Peniarth Ms 481D).
As the website tells us, this late 15th-century manuscript is in two parts, and both parts were likely bound together as one volume from the outset, probably in England. The first part of the manuscript was written by an English scribe and illustrated by a Flemish artist, while the second part of the manuscript was written and illuminated in Cologne. The Digital Mirror section of the library's website contains digital images of other medieval manuscripts, such as the Sherbrooke Missal.

The next resource is not exactly a website, but a subset of a larger resource. The Fototeca of the Biblioteca Berenson at Villa I Tatti (Florence) started an ambitious digitization project, the first results of which are already available. These include photos of the Life of Saint Francis cycle from the Upper Church of San Francesco in Assisi,  taken during restoration carried out by Bruno Zanardi in 1974-1983.
I had some problems getting to the actual images within the Harvard University Visual Information Access system. You get the full set of images most easily by searching there for "Zanardi". Each image has a subset of detail photos, with high quality scans.

Finally, I would like to mention a Hungarian website and accompanying database. The website of the National Széchényi Library is dedicated to early Hungarian printed books, and consists of two parts. First, the section titled The Hand-Press Period, contains detailed information about 15-16th century printing houses and printed books from the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary, with lots of images. The other section - called Clavis Typographorum Regionis Carpathicae - is a database for printing and publishing that includes all data of printing houses and publishers working in the actual territory of the Hungarian state from the beginnings of local printing in 1473 to 1948. The entire website is available in Hungarian and English as well - making it a very useful resource for the early history of the printed book.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New medieval art websites

In this post I would like to call attention to a number websites dedicated to medieval art. I was inspired to do this by the latest post on the blog 1100sor (1100lines) of Gábor Endrődi - a very informative Hungarian blog on Medieval and Renaissance art. The websites below are recommended not only to specialists - although they are wonderful resources for art historians - but to everyone interested in medieval art in general. They all provide stunning images of major monuments of Gothic art.

Etampes, Collégiale Notre-Dame-du-Fort
Mapping Gothic France - This wonderful websites provides information, images and virtual panoramas of Gothic churches in France. Initiated by Stephen Murray, Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and Andrew Tallon, Assistant Professor of Art at Vassar College, the website was developed by the these two institutions. With a database of images, texts, charts and historical maps, Mapping Gothic France provides parallel stories of Gothic architecture and the formation of France in the 12th and 13th centuries, considered in three dimensions: space, time and narratives. Still officially in beta version, the website is already a treasure-trove of information.

Stained glass from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Vidimus - The only online magazine dedicated to medieval stained glass. The online magazin Vidimus is celebrating its fourth year with an annivesary issue - No. 45. Vidimus has a regular news section dedicated (mainly) to medieval stained glass, also listing various medieval exhibitions and new publications. The monthly features - including the Panel of the Month - are short articles dedicated to individual monuments or specific topics (this month to the Fifteen Signs of Doom window in the Church of All Saints, North Street, York and to Jan Gossaert and Stained Glass). I would also recommend the Corpus Virtearum Medii Aevi (GB) website and picture archive (c. 17.000 images). CVMA GB are the publishers of Vidimus.

Haltadefinizione - A website with high resolution images of Italian medieval and Renaissance art. Haltadefinizione provides a gallery of extremely high definition images of the greatest treasures in the history of art, mainly of Italian Renaissance paintings (Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Bronzino, etc.). The main reason for  including it here is the latest addition to the site: a virtual tour of Giotto's Cappella Scrovegni in Padua. You should set the presentation to full screen, and then you can look around in the interior of the chapel (like in any other virtual tour) - then select any part of the frescoes to arrive at a very high resolution image of it. Wonderful (despite the watermark appearing on the images).

Codex Manesse
Heidelberg, UB CPg 848
Two very important Gothic manuscripts are currently exhibited in Leuven and in Heidelberg: The Anjou Bible in Leuven ("a royal manuscript revealed") is on view until December 5, 2010, while the Codex Manesse is exhibited in Heidelberg in the context of the The House of Hohenstaufen and Italy exhibition in the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museums Mannheim until 20th February 2011. Both manuscripts are available in superb digital facsimile versions on the web: the Anjou Bible in a special book viewer (the English commentary for which is in preparation), where every illuminated page can be studied and zoomed, and the Codex Manesse in the Digital Library of the Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg - with an image of every folio. These two, roughly contemporary 14th-century manuscripts are true highlights of the art of illumination, and browsing these digital editions is highly recommended to everyone.

Seen any good new medieval art websites? Let me know in a comment!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Corvinian manuscripts at the Laurenziana

Couple of weeks ago I wrote about new research on the Bibliotheca Corviniana, and mentioned a few digitized manuscripts not listed on the Bibliotheca Corviniana Digitalis website.

Now I would like to call attention to another wonderful resource, the digitized manuscripts at the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence. You can read an overall description of the manuscript collection of the library here, while the following description of the digitization comes from the website of the project:

"The project foresees the complete digitization of 3,900 manuscripts belonging to the Plutei collection and of the 18th century catalogues which describe them. On conservation grounds it will be possible that a limited number of manuscripts will not not be digitized. The project is scheduled to finish by December 2010."

The library holds over 30 codices which were originally ordered by King Matthias. Many of these manuscripts were still unfinished at the time when news of the king's death reached Florence (1490). The volumes have been incorporated into the Medici collections. It seems that most of them were only fully decorated and finished for Pope Leo X, at around 1513. Most of these volumes were illustrated by Attavante degli Attavanti. These manuscripts thus never made it to the library at Buda - but colophons, dedicatory inscriptions and other data indicate that they were originally copied for Matthias. There are also a few other Corvinian manuscripts in the library, which got there at various points. Unfortunately the most important Corvinian manuscript in Florence, the three-volume Bible of King Matthias (Plut.15. 15-17), has not been digitized. Illuminated by the brothers Gherardo and Monte di Giovanni and by Attavante, the unfinished volumes entered the collection of Lorenzo de' Medici around 1490, just like the Marsilio Ficino volume illustrated below.

Plut.73.39, M. Ficino: De triplici vita, fol. 80r.
Dedicated to Matthias, with his emblems in the margins
The coat of arms of Matthias painted over with the Medici coat of arms.
Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New research on the Bibliotheca Corviniana (updated)

The Bibliotheca Corviniana, the library put together by King Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490) was one of the largest libraries of medieval Europe. A humanist library, comprised largely of the works of classical authors, as well as modern historical and scientific works, the collection included a vast number of beautifully illuminated manuscripts. The library was dispersed soon after the death of the king, and today just over 200 volumes of it have been identified.

Frontispiece of the Didymus Corvina
 (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library)

In 2005, the Bibliotheca Corviniana was added to the list of the UNESCO Memory of the World heritage. Perhaps not coincidentally, there has been a renewed interest in the library during the last decade, resulting in a number of exhibitions as well as popular and scholarly publications. These include among other the following: