Formation of Mediaeval Book Art in West and Central Asia: a Codicological Study of Eastern Christian, Manichaean, and Islamic Illuminated Manuscripts from the Eighth--Twelfth Centuries


Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships


Humanities, Arts, and Religion


This project explores the formative period of mediaeval manuscript illumination in West and Central Asia with special attention to specific codicological characteristics that set this book art apart from the better known "Western" European traditions. Through the codicological approach it explores the emergence of the illuminated codex against the background of the pictorial roll, and analyzes how scribes and painters worked out the marriage of text and image in the developmental stage of this artistic medium. By focusing on shared design features of Eastern Christian, Manichaean, and Islamic illuminated manuscripts, this study highlights a regional artistic phenomenon that, at one time, transcended the boundaries of otherwise distinct religious communities.