Byzantine Illuminated Manuscripts at the California Rare Books School

Byzantine Illuminated Manuscripts at the California Rare Books School, August 4–8, 2014

Course Description

Inspired by the exhibition Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections which will be on view at the Getty Villa Museum, April 9- August 25, 2014, this course will explore the painted page in Byzantine manuscripts.  The Byzantine Empire spanned many centuries (c. 600 – 1453 A.D.) and covered territory from Italy to Syria and from Turkey to North Africa.  And yet with the wide diversity of people and locations, Byzantine imagery appears largely consistent. This course will give a general overview of illuminated manuscripts in the Middle Ages, as well as a survey of Byzantine art.

We will study early Byzantine manuscripts and their relationship to Ancient art and Western Medieval art.  We will continue through the middle Byzantine period and late Byzantine periods learning to identify the diversity in styles and types of illuminated texts. Attention will also be given to the codicology and technical aspects of medieval manuscripts, using primary manuscript material at UCLA. We will have the opportunity to visit the exhibition at the Villa, as well as a private viewing of Byzantine manuscripts in the Getty Museum Manuscripts reading room. The course will also include a unique opportunity to explore the materials and methods of manuscript production by trying your own hand at illuminating the page.


Justine Andrews is Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of New Mexico.  She has published on the art and architecture of Medieval Cyprus, as well as on Byzantine illuminated Books of Job. Her research interests include cross-cultural interaction in the Medieval Mediterranean, the artistic legacy of the Crusades in the Eastern Mediterranean, and illuminated manuscripts from Byzantium. She is a 2013-2014 Solmsen Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and co-curator of an exhibition of Byzantine illuminated manuscripts titled: East Meets West: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroads at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Posted on May 20, 2014 in Courses & Workshops



for Byzantine Arts and Culture

Founded in 2010 through a generous gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of knowledge about the rich heritage of Byzantine art and culture.

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