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Illuminated Manuscripts Fit for a King

8 Dec 2018
9:45 am - 2:30 pm

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A PAES Study Day by Mell Fraser

Illuminated Manuscripts Fit for a King

When Henry VII came to the throne he inherited a great library.  Henry VIII added to it and invited the best illuminators to come from Bruges, which was now the centre of illumination excellence. 

Who were these artists and what did they produce?  Did they work for other rich and powerful members of the Tudor Court and if so, what did they do for them?

We will look at Books of Hours, lectionaries, portrait miniatures and indentures – all produced for English patrons.


Born in Pinner, but brought up in the Channel Islands, Mell Fraser has taught art & medieval history to various WEA groups.  She holds a BA (Hons) in The History of Art, Architecture & Design & and Master's degree in Medieval & Early Modern Studies and runs a small art history group (Ashtead Art Lovers) from her home in Surrey for the past 10 years.  Her research focus is illuminated manuscripts created by the Flemish illuminators of the 15th and 16th centuries.  Mell is also a novelist and blogger so you can follow her on FaceBook, Twitter and her personal website www.melanievtaylor.co.uk, or just Google her name!


10.00 – 11.00 Edward IV and the establishment of the Royal Library.

How illuminated manuscripts were commissioned and obtained. Some were war booty and held for ransom.

11.30 – 12.30 Henry VII and the one-eyed Dutchman.

Illuminated manuals on how a prince of the blood should behave and other instructional books for those of noble blood.

1.30 – 2.30 Illuminated books for kings and princes:

Who commissioned and created books and illuminated manuscripts (including treaties and patents) for the later Tudor courts.

2.30 – 2.45 Time for questions.    

Doors open at 9.45; Coffee break 11am; Lunch 12.30-1.30

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