Made in Rome in the decades after 400, the Vergilius Vaticanus, an illustrated collection of Vergil’s main works, was so influential in Western art that it served as a model in the artistic circle of Raphael.
Seven hundred years ago during the Black Plague, one of the fathers of European literature taught the world a unique way to survive during a lockdown: telling each other humorous and extravagant stories. The work soon became acclaimed and inspired a magnificent French manuscript.
It is hard to tell who Aesop really was, but hundreds of generations have read his Fables. And in 15th-century Italy, a group of prominent painters illustrated many of his tales in a lavish manuscript.