The Epistles or letters of Saint Paul, part of the New Testament, became increasingly popular study texts in the 1500s. Humanist scholars and church reformers read them anew, inspiring luxurious copies such as this French manuscript. Elaborate borders indebted to both Italian Renaissance and Northern European art surround the manuscript's two full-page miniatures and the two facing text pages. The architectural borders of the miniature pages share many elements with contemporary Italian architecture, both being inspired by ancient Roman buildings. The fruit and flower borders of the text pages, on the other hand, draw on Flemish designs. The layout of the text on the page followed the design used in contemporary Italian printing, and the easily readable humanist script also found its inspiration in Italian manuscripts and printed books. The Master of the Getty Epistles, the leading artist in a workshop that specialized in illuminating devotional books, may have painted this book in the Loire valley.


  • Title: Getty Epistles
  • Date Created: about 1520 - 1530
  • Location Created: France
  • Physical Dimensions: w10.3 x h16.5 cm
  • Type: Manuscript
  • Rights: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • External Link: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=1566
  • Medium: Tempera colors and gold paint on parchment bound between pasteboard covered with French seventeenth-century red morocco

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