On the history of Illuminated Manuscripts and their Facsimiles

Detail of the Muhibbi Divani

Poems in Bloom: Unraveling a Sultan’s Quest for Love

Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent was not just a powerful statesman, but also a sensitive and emotional poet: in the Muhibbî Dîvânı manuscript, his verses are encased within an intricate artwork made of 370 different flower and plant patterns. Scroll down to see the video!

Detail of the Menazilname

Istanbul Through the Eyes of an Ottoman Miniaturist

If you ever wondered what Constantinople looked like in the 16th century, check out this Ottoman-era manuscript, as kaleidoscopic as the city itself. You can even compare past and present with our interactive map!

Detail of the Leggendario Sforza-Savoia

Fashion Stylists in Miniature

If you think you have already seen the strangest outfits in the world, check out these medieval clothes and accessories, some of which were considered "inventions of the devil" by the Church.

Detail of the Breviary of Martin of Aragon

The Jewel in the Crown

King Martin I of Aragon (1356-1410) was so fond of art he supported the creation of paintings and manuscripts even in periods of financial distress. This Alumina article tells us more about his breviary, an exquisite example of international Gothic style.

Detail of the Catalan Micrography Mahzor

Discovering the Art of Micrography

A little (medieval) fiesta never killed nobody: follow us for a trip into the Catalan Mahzor, a unique prayer book from the second quarter of the fourteenth century. Spoiler alert: contains stunning micrographies.

Detail of the Codex Aureus of Echternach

The Golden Word

With its 60 pages of illuminated art, and over 500 initials, the Codex Aureus of Echternach is a true gem of the Ottonian era. This Alumina article unveils its history.

Detail of the Codex Manesse

The Discovery of Love

Music is ethereal, but manuscripts go down in history. Volumes such as the Codex Manesse have preserved the texts of thousands of Medieval courtly songs. Find out more in today's Alumina article!

Detail of the Apocalypsis Johannis

Apocalypsis Johannis: A Renaissance Comic Book?

The events described in the Book of Revelation cannot be compared to the adventures of Superman, but clerics at the end of the 1400s had surely found a way to make sacred Christian writings appealing to a very wide audience.

Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel

A Beacon of Culture

If you are a book lover, you cannot miss this Alumina article about the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, whose vast collection has remained untouched for over four hundred years.

Detail of the Stammheim Missal

A Forever-Shining Gem of the German Romanesque Period

After eight and a half centuries this liturgical book, profusely decorated with shimmering gold and silver, is almost untouched by time. A new facsimile edition by Quaternio Verlag Luzern takes us closer to the perfection of its Romanesque illuminations.

The Jewel of Renaissance Lombardy

Did you know that the illuminator of this precious book of hours helped Leonardo da Vinci paint the Virgin of the Rocks? Find out more in today's Alumina article!

Under Dürer’s star

A fan of German book illumination? Don't miss this Alumina article about Nikolaus Glockendon, one of the foremost artists of his time.