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The Getty Publishes First Comprehensive Book on the Flemish Illuminated Manuscripts that Dazzled Europe for Nearly a Century

Richly Illustrated Book Complements the Getty's Summer Premiere Presentation

April 16, 2003

Los Angeles--The Getty will publish a comprehensive and richly illustrated catalog, Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe, to complement the Getty's summer Premiere Presentation exhibition. The book, available in June 2003, will be the first monographic treatment of the subject, featuring contributions by the Getty Museum's curator of manuscripts and other leading experts in manuscript illumination. 

The catalog focuses on the finest illustrated manuscripts produced in Europe during the great epoch in Flemish illumination, between 1470 and 1560, during which the art of book painting was raised to a new level of sophistication. Flemish illuminators achieved astonishing innovations in the handling of color, light, texture, and space, creating a naturalistic style that would dominate tastes throughout Europe for nearly a century. The Getty publication includes 232 color and 153 black-and-white illustrations that showcase a stunning collection of rarely seen artworks that were contained in these brilliant Renaissance manuscripts. The works featured are by the most notable artists of the period, including Simon Marmion, the Vienna Master of Mary of Burgundy, Gerard David, Gerard Horenbout, and Simon Bening. 

Illuminating the Renaissance examines both devotional and secular manuscript illumination. It looks at the place of illuminators within the visual arts, including artistic exchange between book painters and panel painters; the role of court patronage and the emergence of personal libraries; and the international appeal of the new Flemish illumination style.

The book is written and edited by Thomas Kren, curator of manuscripts at the Getty Museum, and Scot McKendrick, curator of manuscripts at the British Library, London.  Contributors to the catalog include Maryan W. Ainsworth,
curator, European paintings department, Metropolitan Museum of Art; independent scholar Catherine Reynolds; and Elizabeth Morrison, assistant curator of manuscripts at the Getty Museum. 

The exhibition will be on view at the Getty from June 17 to September 7, 2003, and at the Royal Academy of Arts in London from November 25, 2003 to February 22, 2004.  Supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, this exhibition has been organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and The British Library. 

Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe
Thomas Kren and Scot McKendrick
Published by the J. Paul Getty Museum
640 pages, 9 x 12 inches
232 color and 153 b/w illustrations
hardcover, $125.00; paper, $55.00  
* Available June 2003 at the Getty Museum Bookstore, online at, or by calling 800-223-3431 or 310-440-7059.

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