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28 The Decoration and Illustration of Venetian Incunabula

From Hand Illumination to the Design of Woodcuts

Lilian Armstrong    Wellesley College, US    

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abstract

The paper summarises the decoration of Venetian incunabula from 1469-1500. In the early 1470s, illuminators experimented with schemes for ‘finishing’ the printed books, decorating the margins and spaces left blank for initials. The high numbers of hand-illuminated volumes indicate that numerous miniaturists must have come to Venice for this work. In the later 1470s and 1480s, incunabula continued to be illuminated, but greater numbers of each edition were printed, so the proportion that were decorated was lower. In the 1490s, miniaturists designed woodcuts that were printed with every copy of an edition. It is urged that historians of the book trade study the evidence provided by the hand-illumination and woodcut decoration of incunabula.

Published
Feb. 24, 2020
Accepted
Aug. 31, 2019
Submitted
May 16, 2019
Language
EN
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-333-5
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-332-8
Copyright: © 2020 Lilian Armstrong. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.