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Illuminating the past: A spectroscopic examination of the artwork in seven, thirteenth-century, French manuscripts

GARNER, LOUISE (2022) Illuminating the past: A spectroscopic examination of the artwork in seven, thirteenth-century, French manuscripts. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 26 May 2024.


Illuminated medieval manuscripts can be exquisitely decorated and extremely valuable. Whilst close investigation of the artwork contained is necessary for conservation, art-historical and historical information, only non-invasive and non-destructive techniques that can be carried out in situ are appropriate.
This thesis details the techniques employed at Durham University to analyse the pigments and dyes found in such manuscripts, along with the latest scholarship in the field and in the history of pigment production and use. An overview of the field of codicology, the study of the production of manuscripts, is provided, alongside an introduction to how scribes and illustrators prepared and produced illuminations.
The use of technology and the history of manuscript manufacture and illustration are combined in a series of case studies. The codicology and artwork of a group of seven thirteenth-century Bibles, mainly from Paris, are explored and their colourants identified. New data from the analysis of the pigments enhances and extends existing scholarship in the field of scientific manuscript analysis.
This research lies at the intersection of science, history, and artistic practice.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:"manuscript","pigments","spectroscopy","thirteenth century","art history"
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Chemistry, Department of
Thesis Date:2022
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:31 May 2022 11:24

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