Erik Nitsche: Three Pansies - Manuscript Illumination
Artist: Erik Nitsche
With the coming of the Middle Ages, art reached a new level of excellence unlike anything the nations of Europe had seen in earlier years. But, perhaps more than anything else, it has been remembered for its ornateness and color. And there is no better example of the unique beauty of medieval art than medieval manuscripts, rich with bright colors and intricate designs. Besides mere manuscript copyists who patiently transcribed the Holy Scriptures and other beloved books by hand, there were also artists called illuminators whose profession it was to embellish the manuscripts copied with decorated lettering, gold and silver ornamentation and brilliant colors. Often these artists were pious monks. Prior to the Middle Ages, written pages were simple and unadorned. Then, in the earliest days of the Middle Ages, parchment was dyed purple and the writing was done in gold and silver ... but still the written page was unadorned. Finally, in the course of time, there appeared enlarged letters and calligraphic ornaments to decorate the text. Following this development came whole title pages and Canon-tables of the Gospels, richly ornamented by the imaginative monks called illuminators. Indeed, so profound were the changes in the written word, that it is little wonder that people spoke of the pages as being illuminated ... or lighted with brilliant color and fascinating decoration. Figures like the Pansies featured in this artwork were frequently a part of a monk's illuminations.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the Germany 50 + 20pf Medieval Manuscript Illumination stamp issued October 15, 1985.
Artwork Copyright © 1985 Unicover Corporation. All Rights Reserved under United States and international copyright laws. You may not reproduce, distribute, transmit, or otherwise exploit the Artwork in any way. Images of the Artwork may be watermarked and/or digitally watermarked. Any sale of the physical original does not include or convey the Copyright or any right comprised in the copyright.
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