Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination

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Illuminated manuscripts collected by the kings and queens of England from the 9th to the 16th century form the heart of a unique and visually stunning collection held by the British Library. A key figure in the formation of the collection is King Edward IV (1461-1483), who commissioned luxury manuscripts decorated with his arms. Subsequent monarchs added to this library, which was given to the nation by George II in 1757. Over 150 examples from this exceptional collection are presented in this catalogue, which accompanies a major British Library exhibition of the same name. These manuscripts contain paintings produced by some of the finest artists of the Middle Ages and together provide the most vivid surviving source for understanding royal identity, moral and religious beliefs, learning, faith and international politics.

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