Cost: Free of Charge
Featuring highlights from the museum's collection of over 2,000 cuttings from medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, this exhibition explores the types of books these pieces came from and the 19th-century context in which they were cut up and collected.
The secularisation of Catholic Church property that swept Europe in the late 18th and early 19th century brought numerous medieval and Renaissance books from cathedral treasuries and monastic libraries into private hands.
From the mid-1820s, a market developed for miniatures, pages, initials and border decorations cut out of illuminated manuscripts, especially large volumes that had been used for daily worship and celebrations in church. While their text was outdated or no longer understood, their pictorial and decorative elements were increasingly recognised as of antiquarian interest and relevant to the history of painting.
Fragmented Illuminations: Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript Cuttings at the V&A.
Ian has visited - review here.
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