Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rich Colors, Exuberant Designs on Display in The Tudor Pattern Book

As a lover of beautiful books and illustrations, one of my favorite resources on the Internet is Bibliodyssey, which features a wide array of works highlighting the art and science of historical book illustration. Curated by Sidney's Paul Peacay, the site is a treasure house of beautiful and exquisite period book illustrations.

Of interest to many of our readers would be this collection of designs from a volume known as the Tudor Pattern Book, (Bodleian MS. Ashmole 1504 ) which includes a wide range of illustrations, including herbal and bestiary images, as well as other decorative motifs. The images are full of imagination, color and detail, and are a great source of inspiration for those interested in Late Medieval and Tudor design. This particular example deserves to be treasured, as the site explains:

"Pattern books were practical tools and also helped to circulate artistic traditions and ideas around the manuscript making community. Because they were working documents, passing between many different people, few medieval pattern books have survived.

Researchers have estimated that this particular book was actually created about 1520; a slightly older (twin) version is now part of the Yale Center for British Art collection, which is housed in New Haven, Connecticut. To see all of the Tudor Pattern Book designs featured in this Bibliodyssey post, you can check out the article, HERE. Paul Peacay is also on Twitter at

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