Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination

Fri 11 Nov 2011 – Tue 13 Mar 2012

Discover the hidden jewel in the British Library’s collection: a unique treasure trove of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts assembled by English kings and queens over 700 years.

They form the best surviving collection of medieval painting in England, and provide the most vivid surviving source for understanding royal identity, moral and religious beliefs, learning, faith artistic trends and international politics of the period.

The works on display include colourful histories and genealogies, Bibles and Psalters, scientific works and accounts of coronations. Each manuscript is a work of art in its own right. As a collection they give an outstanding indication of medieval and early modern royal taste and preferences.

The exhibition will also examine how manuscripts were made, and by whom.

Highlights include:

  • Book of Hours made for Margaret Beauchamp (great-grandmother of Henry VIII)
  • Henry VIII’s Psalter, commissioned and annotated by the king himself
  • Maps of an itinerary from London to Apulia and to the Holy Land
  • Shrewsbury book, presented to Margaret of Anjou on her marriage to Henry VI in 1445

Venue: British Library – PACCAR Gallery
Exhibition generously supported by the Pigott Family

Admission £10 including Gift Aid

Concessions available / Under 18s free

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Teachers and students
Workshops to accompany the exhibition are available for Primary and Secondary groups as well as CPD conferences for teachers.

Click here for more about this exhibition.

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