Thursday , December 3 2020

The BNF and the British Library illustrate 800 illuminated medieval manuscripts



This unprecedented French-British collaboration between the British Library and the National Library of France reveals the richness and splendor of the English and French manuscripts from the early Middle Ages, the BNR welcomed. It offers researchers and the general public access to exclusive documents.

Bestiary, the late twelfth century - the beginning of the thirteenth century, the British Library, Haley MS 4751: an elephant carrying a wooden tower and armed soldiers

Bestiary, the late twelfth century – the beginning of the thirteenth century, the British Library, Haley MS 4751: an elephant carrying a wooden tower and armed soldiers

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Documents available on two sites

Two sites have been created. The French site, titled "France-England 700-1200: Medieval Manuscripts of the BNF and the British Library", brings together 800 Anglo-Saxon and Norman sanctified manuscripts, half preserved on each side of the canal, and selected according to their importance for the history of French- The Middle Ages, their artistic, historical or literary interest, "says BNR.

As for the United Kingdom site for a wide audience, it also offers videos on topics such as medical knowledge in the early Middle Ages or techniques for creating an illuminated manuscript.

400 manuscripts from each of the two institutions are digitized, recovered, cataloged and accessible to these two sites, which should allow students and researchers to deepen the little-known period.

Canterbury Psalter, About 1200, BNR, Manuscripts Department, Latin 8846: Scenes from the Old and New Testaments

Canterbury Psalter, About 1200, BNR, Manuscripts Department, Latin 8846: Scenes from the Old and New Testaments

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"Stunning Manuscripts"

Charlotte Deenol, chief curator of the medieval manuscripts at the BNF, speaks of "800 astonishing manuscripts."

Among these treasures are Benedictionary of Winchester (about 1000), a collection of letters from Saint Thomas Beckett (end of the 12th century) and the magnificent Canterbury Pasteur (about 1200) with a trilingual translation of Latin, French and English. English Workmanship in Canterbury.

"We hope to develop knowledge about this period of political and cultural conflicts: the clerks continue to travel between England, France and Normandy, working in English in manuscripts, English and French, beauty and" unprecedented perfection, "said Kathleen Doyle, chief curator of the illuminated manuscripts of the British Library.

Lighting, probably from the psalter, 3rd quarter of the 12th century, British library, cotton MS Caligula VII / 1: Annunciation of Shepherds

Lighting, probably from the psalter, 3rd quarter of the 12th century, British library, cotton Caligula A VII / 1: Annunciation of Shepherds

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