Book Illumination: The Secrets of the Middle Ages in Pictures (Part 3)

Now that we have explained the context of the miniatures, what to ask them, and which stylistic periods they cover, it is time to go into the details.

This video is about the symbolism of the drawings, the meaning of the animals, plants, colours and shapes. What does the artist want to tell us? What is the meaning of what we see? How can we give meaning to what we see and do not understand?

Parchments and books were very expensive in the Middle Ages. Very few people could read and write, and even fewer could afford a book. So how can we interpret art from a time when hardly any information was recorded?

What does this witness of a forgotten time want to tell us? What could be so important that a book was written for it? To get a rough idea of what we see, we have to break the picture down into its details and interpret them.

Be it colours, shapes, plants, animals or people. Everything had meaning, everything has a reason and appears consciously in the drawing. Find out with this video what the artists of the time want to tell us.

⏰⏰ TOPICS ⏰⏰

0:00​ Symbolism and methodology

0:08 Intro

0:23 Axes of time and value

1:01 Symbolism

1:38 Forms

1:53 Animals

2:31 Plants


3:40 Colours

4:22 Personification of the feelings

5:39 Size hierarchy and position

6:01 A journey that never ends

6:44 See you soon!

6:59 Outro

7:14 Acknowledgement

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