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Medieval Manuscript Manual

Medieval Manuscript Manual

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Published by Anca Dobre

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Anca Dobre on Feb 28, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/18/2013

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62
Medieval ManuscriptManual
 
62
Art Patronage
 
and
 
Function of Medieval Manuscripts
 Art patronage is an active collaboration between the artist and the patron leading tocompletion of a work of art. In the Middle Ages it was of essential importance for the artisticcreation; both sides provided contributions to the realisation of the project without which nomedieval work of art could have been made. We can see the phenomenon of patronage of book production in the Middle Ages from two angles: the collective ownership of booksintended for the common use by a religious community and the individual patronage of areligious person or layman, the phenomenon that gradually took over during the thirteenth andfourteenth centuries. The books ordered for individual use mirror a variety of personalinterests. They were collected for the purpose of self-educationand study, satisfying one'seagerness for information. A phenomenon of ardent bibliophile interest also occurs relativelyfrequently during the Middle Ages. Finally, a specific kind of a book intended for privatedevotion and contemplation of an individual was favoured in the Late Middle Ages.In the Early Middle Ages, the majority of books produced served as the liturgical books andwere used by priests and monks in churches and monasteries. These books - especially Bibles-were seen as the property of the titular saint of the church or monastery in order to assuretheir attachment to a particular community and symbolise its continuation. Very often we findthe representation of the titular saint depicted on the dedication page or book opening,sometimes together with a symbolic representation of the community. This very attitudeexpresses itself also in the occasional inclusion of transcriptions of important documentsrelated to the legal status and privileges of the community or even of its historical accounts.The proximity of these documents to the sacred text obviously should supply them with larger credibility and authenticity.The major need for new books appeared when a new monastery was founded and had to befurnished with all the necessary liturgical equipment. As a common practice, the abbot or themonks came from an already established monastic community,which then provided the mosturgent books for the new community; other necessary books were been copied as soon aspossible. We are shown by the example of the first abbot of the French monastery of St.Evroult, who himself copied a number of books and led a 
there, what kind of books were needed in the newly founded monastery. Among those the abbot copied was an
, a
and a Collectar. Other books were copied by his companions, as werethe exerpts from the Old Testament and its commentaries,
Heptateuch
and a
.

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