the art

"ond þe þæt selre geceos, ece rædas; oferhyda ne gym"

"choose what is better, the eternal wisdom; heed not the blinding pride"

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Luna and the leaves

I think everyone should take some time to look at early manuscripts and consider how fortunate we are, as a culture, to have these landmarks of history.  Even well-educated people, too often I believe, are dismissive of early texts because they think one can only encounter a more primitive mind from a more barbaric age.  From my research, I am convinced of the opposite.  These early texts, often, preserve the best of us.  They represent a profound and sincere desire on the behalf of our predecessors to retain knowledge and make it accessible to future generations.

Looking at these manuscripts, and these beautiful illuminations, I am sure you will come to the conclusion that the minds of the authors and scribes are far from primitive.  

"A collaboration between ARTstor and the Bodleian Library to produce 25,000 images from 35mm filmstrip negatives and positive slides.Luna

To my left is a beautiful page from a 15th century Italian translation of Pliny's Natural History.  Pliny's writings were read throughout the Renaissance - the Natural History, in particular, was important as it reinforced the desire within this classical 're-birth' to shift the focus from the vague abstractions of the heavens toward the sublime potential of the world we actually live in.   

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