Most people’s awareness of manuscript illumination is based on a few outstanding examples known mainly through reproductions, such as the Book of Kells and the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. Works of this kind, which have often survived better than large-scale paintings on panel, canvas or fresco, are best preserved in closed books and for this reason are seldom displayed. Yet they belong to the longest continuous tradition of any type of European painting, extending from the end of the fourth century, the era in which the Vatican Virgil was produced, to the middle of the 16th, about a hundred years after the invention of printing. Compared with previous periods, production of this type of work in the second half of the 16th century was very restricted. Some examples even survive from later periods, such as the illustrated books of William Blake, but they are rare and exceptional.
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
'Unlike much that was extracted from India, these paintings were not plunder, and those who created them were properly remunerated and often received due credit.'
@PParkerWriting on 'Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company'.
‘"I feel", Lowell told Hardwick ... "as if I were pulled apart and thinning into mist, or rather being torn apart and still preferring that state to making a decision."'
Richard Davenport-Hines on the letters of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Hardwick.
'To me, Elmore Leonard is as comforting in extremity as Pym, and as safe, in the last resort, as Wodehouse. The guys with the best lines are going to come out the other side; the dumb fucks are going to get it in the head or chest.'