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My illuminated manuscript - Bel Mooney

Features | By Bel Mooney

Detail of the Magi from Bel Mooney's book of hours

For years, Bel Mooney longed for an illuminated manuscript – and then a dazzling example came up at auction

It is impossible to know where obsessions start. Was it as I first practised my own teenage signature in curly script, exaggerating the swoop of the ‘y’? Or first turned the pages of a book on Giotto in my local library? Or carefully calligraphed and illustrated all the poems in Yeats’s early volume The Rose as a gift for my new husband? By then, I was 22 and fatally mesmerised by the glitter of ornate initials, rich blue and red pigments, and the hypnotic swirls of acanthus in wide, riotous margins. ...


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