The art of illumination, usually associated with the Middle Ages, experienced a spectacular revival in nineteenth-century Western Europe. This completely different context gave the illuminations ather import. The output of the lay and religious workshops reveals a great artistic, stylistic, technical and typological diversity. The works illuminated go far beyond the world of exceptional and precious manuscripts and include many occasional documents, as well as golden books, devotional images, etc. Richly illustrated with unpublished masterworks, the present volume offers an overview of the important revival of medieval illumination. The fifteen authors do t limit their approach to the traditional questions of art history. Rather, they explore the historical, socio-cultural, ideological and religious components of the revival, which changed according to time and country, in order to understand the evolution and success of the art of illumination in the long nineteenth century.
Thomas Coomans is Professor of Architectural History and Conservation at the Department of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning, K.U.Leuven. Jan De Maeyer is Professor at KU Leuven and director of KADOC-KU Leuven, Documentation and Research Centre for Religion, Culture and Society.