Online course

Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts: The Work of an Angel

Thursday 16 June 2022 - Thursday 21 July 2022

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

During the Middle Ages books made from parchment, written laboriously by hand, illuminated with gold, and painted with costly pigments, were prized by ecclesiastical and lay patrons as the most desirable of possessions. Join us on this six week course to explore various aspects of medieval illuminated manuscripts and some early printed books, including the close study of examples from the V&A's collection.

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Dr Sally Dormer

Course Director Dr Sally Dormer

Dr Sally Dormer is a specialist medieval art historian, with an MA in Medieval Art History and PhD on Medieval manuscript illumination from the Courtauld Institute. Sally has taught for the Art Fund, Arts Society, Art Pursuits, Cox & Kings, Ciceroni, Swan Hellenic, Gresham College, and was Dean of European Studies for two universities in Tennessee.

I feel very privileged to have received expert knowledge from V&A staff and guest lecturers. These courses have encouraged me to visit the V&A more frequently Online student autumn 2021

Course Overview

During the Middle Ages books made from parchment, written laboriously by hand, illuminated with gold, and painted with costly pigments, were prized by ecclesiastical and lay patrons as the most desirable of possessions. Gerald of Wales, a late twelfth-century chronicler, was so impressed by a manuscript he saw that he exclaimed it must have been “the work of an angel”. Such volumes are equally appreciated today, in part for their intrinsic beauty as well as for the light they shed on various aspects of medieval life. The materials and techniques used to produce them reveal a great deal about the working methods of medieval craftsmen. The texts and illustrations of Bibles, Psalters, Books of Hours, and the works of secular authors such as Pliny and Petrarch inform us about patterns of public worship, private devotion, intellectual pursuits and the everyday lives and leisure interests of the men and women who commissioned and used them. This course will feature seven of the V&A’s fine collection of medieval illuminated manuscripts and early printed books, as well as volumes from other libraries.

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Membership Priority Booking opens Monday 24 January at 10am; General Booking opens Monday 31 January at 10am

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Online course: Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts: The Work of an Angel

16 June 2022 - 21 July 2022

£120.00

Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 9.30 - 17.30, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)