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Gemalt, gedruckt, gebraucht. Bild und Buch in Spätmittelalter

Painted or printed – in colour with gold or in black and white: images on parchment and paper served many purposes in the late Middle Ages. They illustrated and embellished books, but they were also served to heighten the emotional experience of religious devotion and to give sensual pleasure to the reader.

The acquisition of seven early hand-coloured engravings from the prayer book of an Utrecht nun and the return of a wartime loss provide a welcome opportunity to take a closer look at the subject of books and images. The exhibition opens with examples of hand-painted book illuminations, followed by printed images for handwritten books. Representative examples of important techniques and themes shed more light on this development. At the profane end is the oldest known printed playing card.

Relevant research areas: Western Europe, Medieval, Book arts, Relief printing

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