A new piece of academic art research by Lieve Watteeuw and Catherine Reynolds is the basis for the exhibition The Magnificent Middle Ages at the Museum Plantin-Moretus/Print Room. A new catalogue sheds light on the scientific results.
In this beautifully produced catalogue, each of the 102 volumes is illustrated in colour, with more extensive coverage of the 55 volumes with the most rewarding illumination. For the first time it is possible to gauge the extent and nature of this small but important collection. Initially obtained for their texts to inform the editions printed by the Plantin-Moretus press, the manuscripts came to be valued for their illumination and status as historical artefacts, the motivations behind a renewed phase of collecting in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Together they form a fascinating and under-explored collection, still housed in the building on the Vrijdagmarkt in Antwerp to which Plantin moved his famous sign of the Golden Compasses in 1576.
Lieve Watteeuw & Catherine Reynolds, Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts, Museum Plantin-Moretus, Corpus of Illuminated Manuscripts 20, Illuminare - Centre for the Study of Medieval Art (KU Leuven), ed. Jan Van der Stock, Peeters Publishers, London-Leuven-Walpole, 2013.