News | Published: Mon 12 May 2008
Image["Detail from The Macclesfield Psalter"]
Illuminated manuscripts from The Fitzwilliam Museum featured in major Australian exhibition
The Medieval Imagination: Illuminated Manuscripts from Cambridge, Australia and New Zealand at the State Library of Victoria (20 March - 15 June 2008) draws together over 90 illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, around half of which have travelled from Cambridge. The selection of almost thirty manuscripts on loan from the Fitzwilliam are joined by a range of treasures from Cambridge University Library, Corpus Christi College and Trinity College, drawn together with works from distinguished public collections in Australia and New Zealand.
The exhibition - the first collaborative exhibition of manuscripts on this scale in Australia - presents works from Byzantium, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, spanning the eighth to the sixteenth centuries. Treasures from the Fitzwilliam on loan toThe Medieval Imagination include Bibles in Latin from the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, a thirteenth-century picture-book of saints and an illuminated Psalter from the 1380s. Dr Stella Panayotova, Keeper at the Department of Manuscripts and Printed Books at The Fitzwilliam Museum, also delivered a lecture at the opening of the exhibition, introducing a selection of fourteenth-century Florentine miniatures on loan from the Fitzwilliam.
A selection of The Fitzwilliam Museum’s internationally-recognised collection of illuminated manuscripts was featured in the Museum’s 2005 exhibition The Cambridge Illuminations: Ten Centuries of Medieval Production, which provided the inspiration for The Medieval Imagination. This immensely popular exhibition, which included the spectacular Macclesfield Psalter, attracted more than 80,000 visitors, and was the largest exhibition of illuminated manuscripts to have been held in England for almost a century.