From the museum website, 19 December 2012
The finest manuscripts in the Plantin-Moretus Museum
This spring, the Plantin-Moretus Museum is showing its finest illuminated manuscripts. These handwritten works on parchment with their colourful initial letters and subtle border decorations are a real treat for the eye.
Christopher Plantin started collecting biblical and classical writings in the 16th century. A century later they were joined by superb Bibles, missals and books of hours from every corner of Europe.
In the late 18th century the last generation of Moretuses took the collection to even greater heights. From then on, illuminated manuscripts were seen as exquisite works of art from a distant and exotic mediaeval past. At the same time, the parchment folios were sometimes used as endpapers or dust jackets.
This exhibition, The Magnificent Middle Ages, shows 40 striking and important examples of book illumination. They were selected jointly by the Plantin-Moretus Museum and Illuminare – Centre for the Study of Medieval Art (KU Leuven). The foundation for the exhibition is a new piece of academic art research by Lieve Watteeuw and Catherine Reynolds.