National Gallery of Art, Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscript Illumincations from the J. Paul Getty Museum
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The Exhibition (1 of 2)

Image: Master of the Murano Gradual, Initial G: Saint Blaise, Venice, c. 1450-1460, cutting from a gradual, Cutting: 15.7 x 12 cm (6 3/16 x 4 3/4), The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 73, recto, 2003.87
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Italy has long been considered the birthplace of Renaissance painting, overshadowing splendid artistic achievements in other areas, including manuscript illumination. In fact, painting in books was a major art form throughout the medieval and Renaissance periods, and some princes preferred illuminated manuscripts to other media, even though they could cost more than entire frescoed rooms or chapels. The exhibition highlights six cities and regions of Italy that were significant centers for manuscript illumination, each with its own traditions and circumstances of production. The exhibition begins in southern Italy with primarily medieval manuscripts and then takes visitors on a journey north to Bologna, Florence and Siena, Lombardy and the Duchy of Milan, and Ferrara, Mantua, and the Veneto. It culminates in the cosmopolitan center of Rome, where during the High Renaissance Italian illumination experienced a final flowering. The variety and innovation seen in the miniatures and manuscripts drawn from these diverse regions provide a glimpse of the accomplishment of Italian illuminators.

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image: National Gallery of Art image: Manuscripts in Miniature: Italian Manuscripts Illumination from the J. Paul Getty Museum