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Art Diary

Graphic Design in the Middle Ages

18 August 2023

Highlights from the Getty’s impressive holdings of medieval manuscripts, as well as the tools used to create them, allow visitors to this display at the Getty Center (29 August–28 January 2024) to consider how their design influenced the reading and interpretation of books in the Middle Ages. Among the exhibits is a recent acquisition – the Irmengard Codex. This manuscript was created in Germany in the mid 11th century; it contains 15 full-page illustrations in otherworldly shades of pink, blue and lavender that are characteristic of the painting of the Ottonian era. Pages from the Pink Qur’an – named after its delicate peach-coloured paper – are also on view. Find out more on the Getty’s website.

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Bifolium from the Pink Qur’an. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Decorated Initial D from a psalter of (c. 1420–30). J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Decorated incipit page from a book of gospels (c. 1100). J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

The Miracle of Mount Gargano (c. 1053), from the Irmengard Codex. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles