L’Ornament Polychrome (Ornament in Colour)


Images and some text extracts from L’Ornament Polychrome, Cent Planches en Couleurs Or et Argent [etc] by De M. A. Racinet, 1869 – 188.

I have the fac simile published by Taschen; the text has been translated from the French into English and German, but I think only in summary form.

[picture: Inhabited Initial letter B, Anglo-Saxon]

Inhabited Initial letter B, Anglo-Saxon

This capital letter B is from an Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscript from about 1,000 years ago; the book does not identify the exact source but notes that although the decoration is in the Celtic [...] [more...] [$]

[picture: Anglo-Saxon decorative initial B in the Celtic knotwork style]

Anglo-Saxon decorative initial B in the Celtic knotwork style

An Anglo-Saxon capital B with the interior decoration removed, making it eaier to reuse. [more...] [$]

[picture: Byzantine Saint seated, with book]

Byzantine Saint seated, with book

A saint, by the hair probably female, sits on a chair and points to a book held in one hand in this detail from an illuminated letter B from an Anglo-Saxon manuscript. She (or he) has a halo, bare feet, robes and a smile. And a very long index finger. [more...] [$]

[picture: Celtic knotwork dragon ornament/initial]

Celtic knotwork dragon ornament/initial

This decorative initial was taken from a ninth century psalter [unidentified in the book] and is said to be derived from “drakslingor” style runic carvings—that is, a Viking-age style using animal-inspired motifs for decoration. [...] [more...] [$]

[picture: Fig. 99 No. 7.---Ornate border, 9th century, Gallo-Frankish School.]

Fig. 99 No. 7.—Ornate border, 9th century, Gallo-Frankish School.

This gold full-page border from the ninth century features knotwork at the upper corners and two lions on the top. I also made a simplified version of this border. [more...] [$]

[picture: Border, 9th century, Gallo-Frankish School]

Border, 9th century, Gallo-Frankish School

This gold full-page border features knotwork at the upper corners and two lions on the top. It is a detail from Fig. 99-7, which shows a much more ornate border dating from the 9th century. [more...] [$]

[picture: Fig. 99 No. 8.---Anglo-Saxon Initial letter N]

Fig. 99 No. 8.—Anglo-Saxon Initial letter N

This initial letter N in the Carolingian style was used as a decorative initial for the start of a copy of John’s Gospel (beginning In Principio, or In the beginning; this is the N from “In”). The Gospel here dates from the 8th or 9th century and was [...] [more...] [$]