Medieval inspiration – The Huth Hours

Bluebell-beautiful-shapeWhen I was a teenager my family visited El Escorial, Spain. It was a memorable experience as apart from queuing down a marble staircase to visit the Pantheon of the Kings, it was the first time I saw a medieval illuminated manuscript. In fact, the library of El Escorial now, like many of the world’s great libraries, shares its collection online and thanks to digitisation we can all scrutinise these exquisitely decorated manuscripts.

I’ve recently been looking for inspiration from the collection of illuminated manuscripts held by the British Library. And, a Flemish Book of Hours, the Huth Hours (Add. MS 38126), created some time between 1485 and 1490 contains a selection of beautiful wild flower and bird illustrations. These strawberry flowers and bluebells caught my attention.

Repeating a simple bluebell shape, but

not entirely sure about the colours so far – will probably add a little brown.

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

11 thoughts on “Medieval inspiration – The Huth Hours”

  1. What a lovely post! After my attempts at lino cutting earlier this year – and I’ve only just succeeded in equipping myself to continue – I think that these manuscripts could inspire me too, even though the medium would provide very different results. They certainly work wonderfully on silk, if the image you’ve shared is anything to go by.

    1. Yes, the manuscripts have much to offer especially if you crank up the magnification on the decorative margins. I’ve found them useful because they often have the essence of the flower or bird as a simple shape which is then painted to give depth and texture. I should think they’d be ideal to translate into designs for lino cuts. Have fun! šŸ™‚

      1. Yes, I’ll be putting up some pics after next batch steaming. By the way I have had a sneak peak of photos of the finished prom dress – will be posting some after the ‘big’ event. Delighted to say client looks happy with outcome! Phew.

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