about 1 year ago - Age of Empires - Direct link

Transcript (by Youtube)

4s Before the invention of printing in the 15th century,
7s books were painstakingly copied by hand.
15s The finest were illuminated with brilliant colors and real gold.
28s Illuminated text wasn’t just for show.
32s Gilded illustrations decorated important passages
36s to highlight their significance.
40s Gold was used in many medieval manuscripts in early days because it was very expensive
46s and it indicated that the manuscript itself was valuable.
52s The light would reflect from candles or from the sunlight
55s and so it looked as though the book itself was illuminated.
64s In medieval manuscripts, it looks as though this is solid gold.
68s In fact, it’s not. The gold itself is tissue thin.
74s The solid appearance is achieved by laying the gold on a
78s a cushion of plaster mixed with glue called gesso.
83s By raising the gold from the surface of the skin,
86s that means that it catches the light even more.
90s The glue in the gesso is softened by breathing on it.
101s We then have three seconds to get the gold on,
104s and I’m using a burnisher, which is a polished stone,
107s just to make sure that the gold sticks.
111s Then the burnisher is used to polish the gold up.
114s See, it’s coming up now. It’s coming nice and shiny.
119s Next, the miniature is painted.
123s The base color will be done first, then the tints and the shades will be added.
128s And finally, the white highlights and the outline, which lifts it and brings the whole thing to life.
135s The medieval paint box contained pigments from across the world,
139s such as ultramarine from Afghanistan, and orpiment gathered from volcanic craters.
148s It often took a long time to complete these medieval miniatures.
152s This one between a month and six weeks, from start to finish.
161s An entire book could take a team of illuminators several years to complete.
167s Many medieval manuscripts still survive today, fully preserved,
172s with their colors just as vivid as the day they were illustrated.