Thursday, January 06, 2011

A Getty Curator Discusses Manuscripts, France, And The Middle Ages: Imagining The Past

Manuscripts often contain written accounts and visual representations of history, but sometimes the history of a manuscript -- who commissioned it, how it was used, when and how it came to reside in a collection -- can also be a "page-turner."

In the year 1413, Duke Louis VII of Bavaria borrowed a lavish set of illuminated manuscripts from the French king. With over a million hand-written words and as many as 1600 individual images, these manuscripts contained a text known as the Mirror of History, which purported to tell the entire history of the world from the Creation to the Middle Ages. The four volumes somehow became separated from each other soon after Duke Louis borrowed them and went their own ways. Two were lost to the mists of time, one ended up at the University Library in Leiden, Holland, and a second eventually made its way to the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris. Last week, these two manuscripts from Holland and France were transported to Los Angeles for a long-awaited reunion.

Click here to read this article from The Huffington Post

See also our article Getty Museum hosts exhibition: Imagining the Past in France, 1250—1500