Noelle McCall

Presidential Scholars Adviser: Dr. Mary Jo McNamara

Creating a Northern Renaissance Illuminated Manuscriptnoelle mccall photo

Illuminated manuscripts are a significant part of art history because they represent an early stage in the art of painting. Illuminations are richly decorated illustrations that accompanied texts. For this project, I used the same material Northern Renaissance artists used (vellum, iron gall, egg tempera, glair, gum Arabic, gouache, gold leaf) in order to create six full-page illuminations.

The designs are based on illuminations from 15th century Franco-Flemish books of hours. My own creativity shows in the overall narrative of the work, which is about a mother who is willing to put herself in danger in order to save her child.

In many ways, the materials used by past artists are inferior to modern materials. I have found that learning these processes, however, has made me more knowledgeable about different media and the difficulties artists in the past faced.