The Project: ‘How to breke a herte’ #3

Manuscript Project Three

The narrative of the text will always run through the images. Most appear as an explanation, reinforcement or elaboration on the content of the text. But through looking into other manuscripts of the period some aesthetic ideas started cropping up. One thing I hadn’t thought too much about before now was the inclusion of tessellating floral or geometric motif in blank backgrounds. I still intend to not edit any of the pupils work, but I feel taking elements and repeating them into such a motif will still keep the character of the artwork, as long as the image remains the same as the one originally produced.

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’Howard Psalter and Hours’ 1460

The manuscript was still a valuable object to be celebrated and therefore aesthetic considerations were paramount to its conception and use. Images were of great importance and so occasionally were placed alone on a page. This is demonstrative of its importance within the manuscript. But the images become more than just important as seen in Hours of the Virgin, Matins.

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Psalter and Book of Hours (the ‘Howard Psalter and Hours’) (Arundel 83 I), c 1310-20

The image here is decorated by a boarder, but through the celebration of the image the boarder itself begins to become an image. The decoration becomes entwined creating central motifs with barbed decoration surrounding them. The artwork and the decoration are not separate, all elements of the manuscript work together cohesively and therefore all elements of this new manuscript must retain a certain character for it to be successful overall.

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Hours of the Virgin. Matins. Annunciation, in a vaulted interior; the border with a Wild Man.

I think what I can take from this post about the project is that there are many more considerations than where the children’s work and the text can be placed. Every decision has to be justified in order for the manuscript to work as a whole; otherwise it will just become a collection of children’s paintings within a book. 

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