Short course
Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

Tuesday 28 April 2020 - Tuesday 23 June 2020

  • Tuesday 28 April 2020 - Tuesday 23 June 2020

  • Seminar Room 1, South Kensington

  • Course price £325.00 - £378.00

  • +44 (0)20 7942 2000

    9.00 – 17.30, Monday-Sunday (closed 24-26 December)

Sold out

This course will reveal the working methods of ingenious medieval craftsmen. With first-hand access to items from the V&A’s extensive collection, you will explore manuscripts written by hand, illuminated with gold, and painted with costly pigments. You will also gain a glimpse into the lives and devotional interests of the men and women who commissioned and used these desirable objects.

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Course Directors Dr Sally Dormer, V&A Year Course Director and Dr Catherine Yvard, V&A National Art Library, with Timothy Noad, College of Arms

I loved everything about this course - the manuscripts are truly amazing and it was a true privilege to be able to see them in such detail and to gain a fuller understanding. 2017/2018 Short Course Student

Course Overview

An eight-week course that will explore various aspects of medieval illuminated manuscripts until the advent of printing, and offer the opportunity to see at first hand items from the V&A’s extensive collection that are not usually on view to the public.

During the Middle Ages books written 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 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. The materials and techniques used to produce them reveal much about the working methods of medieval craftsmen. Their texts and illustrations 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.

Please note: numbers on this course will be strictly limited to 35, enabling students to split into smaller groups for certain sessions. Each session will be repeated to enable everyone to participate in each activity.


Course tickets will be available for priority booking for V&A Members from 9.30am Monday 6 May 2019. General booking will open on 9.30am Monday 13 May 2019, subject to availability.

This course has a Half Term break on 26 May • Refreshments served • Price reductions available for Seniors (60+), jobseekers (ES40 holders) and registered disabled people

Enrol Now

Short course: Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

28 April 2020 - 23 June 2020

£325.00 - £378.00

Sold out

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)