I have been trying to restrain myself on the illuminated manuscripts front. Just because I go ape over them doesn't mean that everyone does. But enough is enough. Let's do a few.
It turns out that there are a number of medieval manuscripts online at the Royal Library of Denmark site. I have selected a mere five as presenting, in my opinion, the finest script and illuminations. TIP: Upon arriving at the introductory page of each manuscript, use
the links in the left margin to navigate from one large part to another.
These three contain only script and occasional colored initials, but they are still quite handsome:
You can even open it and discover the "surprise" inside. (There are seven different "click-throughs" -- horizontal; vertical; open; contents out; contents reversed; contents returned to interior; closed).
The Italian artist Raphael (1483-1520) painted more then twenty world-class Madonnas during this brief career. I hope to post links to all of them, in chronological order, over the next few days. Below are links to the first group.
Raphael painted these during the years 1503-1505 --
Mark Kingwell, a Canadian professor, wrote the following a few years ago --
I once wrote a book about happiness. . . . [A]t the end of the day, I kept coming back to old, old insights about happiness and world affairs, ones missed by too many psych studies and the people they poll.
Happiness, said Aristotle, is not a feeling or an experience, it is an ethical state of being. It means judging that you have made the right choices and done the right things, and enjoyed a measure of luck along the way. Where and when you are born, how the play of daily contingency affects you, do not determine your happiness, but they do constrain it. And so it often seems as though the choices of everyday life, cosmically small though they are, matter far more than events in distant capitals and war zones.
But here is the key point. You must live your entire life with honour and commitment. You must try to build something larger than yourself: a community of citizens, a community of reason, a just and peaceful world. You may be defeated, because violence, arrogance and unreason are powerful forces in history. But that does not diminish your responsibility.
(Note: The above paragraphs came from a column by Professor Kingwell in the National Post, a Canadian newspaper. The original column is, alas, no longer available at the NP's website. The book to which Kingwell refers is apparently In Pursuit of Happiness, now out of print, but still availabe at Amazon.com and, I trust, elsewhere on the Web.)