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Flemish Illuminated Manuscripts 1475-1550

Flemish Illuminated Manuscripts 1475-1550

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Threatened by advances in book printing, Flemish miniaturists around 1500 responded by making their illustrations of handwritten codices ever more inventive, beautiful and artistically complex. Their illuminations of prayer books, calendars, moral and philosophical treatises, romances, musical scores, official registers and classical and historical texts yielded exquisite works of daring imagination, impeccable observation of people and nature, marvelous color and a remarkably realistic record of everyday life. This stunning showcase of the swan song of Flemish miniature art catalogues an exhibit at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, which travels to Florence, Italy. Among the artists represented are Simon Bening, whose poetic landscapes evoking the changing seasons prefigure Pieter Brueghel, and Gerard Horenbout, a virtuoso of narrative charm. The authors, art historians in Belgium, explore the culture of words and images that imbued works prized by an international clientele including kings, clerics, merchants and wealthy citizens.
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