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2,801 media by topicpage 1 of 29

A Mirror of Gathered Seaweed (Mokagami) Calligraphy Album

Albums of exemplary calligraphy specimens, referred to as tekagami, or “mirrors of the hand,” demonstrate the high esteem in which the art of brush writing has been held in Japan, as in East Asia more generally... more

Luke from BL Royal 1 E VI, f. 43

Incipit page with a miniature of an ox, the symbol of Luke, with God the Father above, and an illuminated initial 'Q'(uoniam), at the beginning of Luke. Image taken from f. 43 of Gospels, imperfect (the 'Royal ... more

Text page from BL Harley 2904, f. 1v

Text page with plain initials in gold 'C'(anticum Psalmorum). Image taken from f. 1v of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican version, with a litany (ff. 209-211) followed by pr... more

Illuminated initial from BL Harley 2904, f. 125

Detail of illuminated initial 'D'([omi]ne exaudi orationem meam), with beakhead, foliate, and knotwork motifs, at Psalm 101. Image taken from f. 125 of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in ... more

Illuminated initial from BL Harley 2904, f. 71

Illuminated initial 'D'(eus reppulisti nos) at Psalm 59. Image taken from f. 71 of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican version, with a litany (ff. 209-211) followed by prayers... more

Illuminated initial from BL Harley 2904, f. 164

Illuminated initial 'A'(d dominum cum tribularer), with foliate motifs, at Psalm 119. Image taken from f. 164 of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican version, with a litany (ff... more

Illuminated initial from BL Harley 2904, f. 64v

Detail of illuminated initial 'D'(eus in nomine tuo saluum me fac) at Psalm 53. Image taken from f. 64v of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican version, with a litany (ff. 209-... more

Illuminated initial from BL Harley 2904, f. 63v

Detail of a illuminated initial 'D'(ix[it] insipiens in corde suo) at Psalm 52. Image taken from f. 63v of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican version, with a litany (ff. 209-... more

Illuminated initial from BL Harley 2904, f. 181

Detail of illuminated initial 'B'(enedictus), with foliate motifs, at Psalm 143. Image taken from f. 181 of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican version, with a litany (ff. 209... more

Illuminated initial from BL Harley 2904, f. 144

Illuminated initial 'D'(ixit dominus domino meo), with foliate and knotwork motifs, at Psalm 109. Image taken from f. 144 of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican version, with ... more

Beatus initial from BL Harley 2904, f. 4

Illuminated initial 'B'(eatus vir qui non abiit) with a beast's head, and knotwork and foliate motifs, at the beginning of Psalm 1. Image taken from f. 4 of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald')... more

Illuminated initial from BL Harley 2904, f. 144

Detail of an illuminated initial 'D'(ixit dominus domino meo), with foliate and knotwork motifs, at Psalm 109. Image taken from f. 144 of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican v... more

Litany from BL Harley 2904, f. 209

Litany with the names of Mary and Michael in gold letters. Image taken from f. 209 of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican version, with a litany (ff. 209-211) followed by pray... more

Illuminated initial from BL Harley 2904, f. 203v

Detail of an illuminated initial 'B'(enedicite). Image taken from f. 203v of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican version, with a litany (ff. 209-211) followed by prayers (ff. ... more

Decorated initial and border from BL Eg 2904, f. 47

Decorated initial and border. Image taken from f. 47 of Prayer book. Written in Dutch.

Virgin Mary from BL Harley 2904, f. 3v

Detail of tinted drawing with the Virgin Mary standing at the base of the cross. Image taken from f. 3v of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican version, with a litany (ff. 209-... more

Litany from BL Harley 2904, f. 210v

Litany with the name of Benedict in gold letters followed by the number III, indicating that he is to be invoked three times. Image taken from f. 210v of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), i... more

Illuminated initial from BL Harley 2904, f. 151v

Detail of illuminated initial 'B' (eati inmaculati) at Psalm 118. Image taken from f. 151v of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican version, with a litany (ff. 209-211) followed... more

Illuminated initial from BL Harley 2904, f. 164

Detail of illuminated initial 'A'(d dominum cum tribularer), with foliate motifs, at Psalm 119. Image taken from f. 164 of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican version, with a ... more

Illuminated initial from BL Harley 2904, f. 181

Detail of illuminated initial 'B'(enedictus), with foliate motifs, at Psalm 143. Image taken from f. 181 of Psalter (the 'Ramsey Psalter' or 'Psalter of Oswald'), in the Gallican version, with a litany (ff. 209... more

Page of Calligraphy

Made in Egypt

Illuminated headpiece and initial from BL Harley 5598, f. 56

Headpiece with geometric and foliate decoration and inscribed with title in display capitals, and illuminated initial. Image taken from f. 56 of Gospel lectionary with Menologion and Gospels for special service... more

Illuminated headpiece and initial from BL Harley 5598, f. 142

Headpiece with geometric and foliate decoration and inscribed with title in display capitals, and illuminated initial 'T'. Image taken from f. 142 of Gospel lectionary with Menologion and Gospels for special se... more

Excerpts from Bai Juyi's "Biography of a Master of Drunken Poetry" (Suigin sensei den)

Comprising just four columns of Chinese calligraphy removed from a long handscroll, this precious fragment of early eleventh-century calligraphy has been mounted as a hanging scroll. It was brushed by the celeb... more

Wood Panel with Calligraphy

The program of interior decoration for Andalusian palatial residences included a tile dado surmounted by carved stucco or stone, crowned by wooden friezes and cornice elements. This panel is probably a fragment... more

Samyutagama Sutra, chapter 25

Sutra writing developed its own distinctive tradition of regular script in which individual characters retained the squat, fleshy proportions and compact strokes of early clerical script. In this scroll, compri... more

Biographies of Lian Po and Lin Xiangru

Poet, calligrapher, and Chan (Zen) Buddhist adept, Huang Tingjian believed that calligraphy should be spontaneous and self-expressive—“a picture of the mind.” Containing nearly twelve hundred characters, this h... more

Poem Written in a Boat on the Wu River

Sun Guoting's Manual on Calligraphy (687) states that calligraphy reveals the character and emotions of the writer. Few works demonstrate this principle as clearly as this handscroll by Mi Fu, the leading calli... more

Quatrain on fishermen

Following his abdication in 1162, Gaozong lived another twenty-five years in retirement with his wife, the empress Wu (1115–1197), devoting himself to scholarly and artistic pursuits. This poem, written in runn... more

Couplet on pond scenery

The individual brush mannerisms of this couplet, though stylistically related to the calligraphy of Emperor Gaozong (1107–1187), to whom it has traditionally been attributed, compare most closely with those fou... more

Illuminated initial from BL Eg 1139, f. 46v

Illuminated initial 'D'(ominus) with a dragon. Image taken from f. 46v of Psalter (The 'Melisende Psalter') with canticles, prayers, and litany. Written in Latin.

Jerome from BL Harley 2803, f. 1

Miniature of Jerome writing at a desk with a small monk below, and the illuminated initial 'F'(rater) with foliate interlace and bands, at the beginning of Jerome's letter to Ambrose. Image taken from f. 1 of B... more

Three poems from the “Later Collection of Japanese Poems” (Gosen wakashū), known as the “Karasumaru Fragment” (Karasumaru-gire)

Traditionally attributed to Fujiwara no Sadayori (Japanese, 995–1045) Heian period (794–1185)

Three Poems from the “Later Collection of Japanese Poems” (Gosen wakashū), or “Shirakawa Fragment” (Shirakawa-gire)

Traditionally attributed to Monk Saigyō (Japanese, 1118–1190) Heian period (794–1185)

The Vimalakirti Sutra

Throughout Buddhism’s early history in China, the ascetic aspects of the religion—the practice of celibacy and self-deprivation—came into conflict with the Chinese family system and social values. The Vimalakir... more

Page from the Illustrations and Explanations of the Three Jewels (Sanbō ekotoba), known as the Tōdaiji Fragment (Tōdaiji-gire)

Calligraphy attributed to Minamoto no Toshiyori (Japanese, 1055–1129) Heian period (794–1185)

Page from Illustrations and Explanations of the Three Jewels (Sanbō e-kotoba), one of the “Tōdaiji Fragments” (Tōdaiji-gire)

Illustrations and Explanations of the Three Jewels was originally compiled in 984 by the courtier-poet Minamoto no Tamenori as an introductory guide to Buddhism. The “Three Jewels” of Buddhism comprise the Budd... more

Quatrain on Heavenly Mountain

In 1162, at the age of fifty-five, Gaozong retired from the throne to devote his final years to the arts, especially the study of calligraphy. He began by following the styles of Huang Tingjian (1045–1105) and ... more

Quatrain on spring’s radiance

During the Southern Song, artists and connoisseurs who wished to express their emotional responses to paintings frequently added poems to them. Empress Yang's poems appear on a number of paintings by such court... more

Quatrain on yellow roses

During the reign of Ningzong (1202–24), his consort, the empress Yang Meizi, was a formidable presence, both in politics and in the arts. Starting out as a young musician in the palace of Empress Wu (wife of Ga... more

Three poems from the Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern (Kokin wakashū)

Connoisseurs in the past attributed this work to the hand of courtier-poet Fujiwara no Tameyori. In doing so, they seem to have made a speculative connection between the content of the calligraphic fragment, in... more

Two Poems from the Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern, Continued (Zoku Shoku kokin wakashū)

Nun Abutsu (Abutsu-ni), one of the most celebrated woman writers of the age, earned literary fame for her moving account of palace and temple culture in her Diary of the Waning Moon (Izayoi nikki). Before takin... more

Section of the Dream Diary (Yume no ki) with a Sketch of Mountains

The content of a dream is inscribed in a mixture of Chinese characters and Japanese phonetic syllables known as katakana, along with a sketchy depiction of three mountains. The dreamer records a meeting with tw... more

Letter to the Nun Jōjūbō

Myōe Kōben (Japanese, 1173–1232) Kamakura period (1185–1333)

Section of the Dream Diary (Yume no ki)

This long text is written in Chinese characters mixed with Japanese syllables, called katakana for their inflected verb endings. Katakana originally functioned as a mnemonic device used primarily by monks, but ... more

Poem of Farewell to Liu Man

Yelü Chucai played a pivotal role in mitigating the harsh rule of the Mongols over the occupied territories of North China. A trusted adviser to both Chinggis Khan and his son Ögödei, he introduced fiscal refor... more

Quatrain on Snow-covered West Lake

This fan is not dated, but the style of the writing is very close to that of Lizong's inscription accompanying Landscape at Sunset (Nezu Museum, Tokyo), a painting by the court artist Ma Lin (active ca. 1180–af... more

Poems on Painting Plum Blossoms and Bamboo

An accomplished poet, collector, painter, and calligrapher and a member of the Song royal family, Zhao Mengjian was compared by his contemporaries to the famous scholar-connoisseur Mi Fu (1052–1107). Like Mi's,... more

Quatrain by Meng Haoran

Like most imperial calligraphies, this fan is not signed or dated, but its distinctive writing style— the same as that of the couplet mounted together with Ma Lin's Landscape at Sunset (Nezu Museum, Tokyo) and ... more

Couplet from a Poem by Han Hong

The confidence and boldness displayed by the large characters of this fan epitomize Lizong's late style. Written when the emperor was fifty-six years old, the fan is his latest extant dated work.The couplet, fr... more

Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere from BL Royal 20 D IV, f. 1

Miniature of Arthur engaged in conversation with his barons, while Lancelot and Guinevere are whispering together, and on the right, the king and queen presiding over a banquet; with an illuminated initial 'M'(... more

Lancelot in the enchanted forest from BL Royal 20 D IV, f. 237v

Detail of a miniature of a castle and tents in the enchanted forest, with Lancelot making merry among the damsels and Lancelot seated in a chair between two women; with an illuminated initial 'O'(r) and a parti... more

Illuminated initial from BL Royal 20 D IV, f. 301

Detail of an illuminated initial 'O'(r) with the arms of Castile and Leon. Image taken from f. 301 of Lancelot du Lac. Written in French.

Damsel of Hungerford with Arthur and Guinevere from BL Royal 20 D IV, f. 102v

Detail of a miniature of the Damsel of Hungerford with Arthur and Guinevere, with an illuminated initial overpainted with the arms of Bohun. Image taken from f. 102v of Lancelot du Lac.

“The Mountain is Empty; A Pinecone Falls”

A single column of dramatically cursive script reads, “The mountain is empty, / A pinecone drops.” This short line was taken from a longer poem by Wei Yingwu (737–790), one of the most renowned poets of Tang-dy... more

Letter to Monk Sekibyō

Zekkai Chūshin (Japanese, 1336–1405) Muromachi period (1392–1573)

Poem in Chinese about Sugar

A prominent figure in early fourteenth-century Japanese Zen, Shiren was born into an aristocratic family in Kyoto and studied Zen in Kamakura with the Chinese émigré monk Yishan Yining (Japanese: Issan Ichinei,... more

Poem on the Theme of Snow

Musō Soseki, the expert calligrapher of this verse, was one of the most influential Zen priests of the fourteenth century, having trained under the Chinese émigré Yishan Yining (Japanese: Issan Ichinei; 1247–13... more

Illuminated initial from BL Royal 20 D IV, f. 9

Illuminated initial ‘O’, with the arms of France, and a partial bar border. Image taken from f. 9 of Lancelot du Lac. Written in French.

Poem on the Theme of a Monk’s Life

Sesson Yūbai, one of the most accomplished literati Zen monks, was both proficient in calligraphy and learned in Chinese poetry. After studying with the Chinese émigré monk Yishan Yining (Japanese: Issan Ichine... more

Lancelot in the enchanted forest from BL Royal 20 D IV, f. 237v

Miniature of a castle and tents in the enchanted forest, with Lancelot making merry among the damsels and Lancelot seated in a chair between two women; with an illuminated initial 'O'(r) and a partial bar borde... more

Song of the Stone Drums

Xianyu Shu was a northerner who, at about the age of thirty, moved south, eventually settling in Hangzhou. There, he impressed his southern friends with his calligraphy, connoisseurship, and "heroic" northern s... more

Illuminated initial from BL Royal 15 D II, f. 17v

Detail of an illuminated initial 'P'(uerit). Image taken from f. 17v of La lumiere as lais; Apocalypse (the 'Welles Apocalypse'). Written in French.

Illuminated initial from BL Royal 2 B VII, f. 14

Illuminated initial 'D'(e) on a text page. Image taken from f. 14 of Psalter ('The Queen Mary Psalter'). Written in Latin, with French image captions.

Illuminated initial from BL Royal 15 D II, f. 11v

Detail of an illuminated initial 'D'(es). Image taken from f. 11v of La lumiere as lais; Apocalypse (the 'Welles Apocalypse'). Written in French.

Headpiece from BL Burn 22, f. 1

Illuminated headpiece decorated with a foliate pattern on a gold ground, (the right hand portion replaced with a similar pattern in red) and illuminated initial 'E'(n) at the beginning of the Gospel of John, wi... more

Page of Calligraphy from a Shahnama (Book of Kings)

Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020) Attributed to Iran, probably Isfahan

Battle from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 21v

Miniature of the battle between Crete and Athens, with Theseus and the Cretan army assigned with the arms of Anjou, with a caption reading 'La bataille de chians de crete et de ceuls dathenes'; and an illuminat... more

Envoys from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 104

Miniature of envoys complaining to the king of Sclavonia abou the murder of merchants, with an illuminated initial 'O'(u). Image taken from f. 104 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Arthur from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 361v

Miniature of Arthur doing homage to Philip, with an illuminated initial 'Q'(uant). Image taken from f. 361v of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Thiebaud from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 394

Miniature of Thiebaud, the Count of Champagne, marching against Louis IX, and being forgiven, with an illuminated initial 'A'(prez). Image taken from f. 394 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Eberulph from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 69v

Miniature of Elerulph in a sanctuary, beating a clerk, and being murdered, with an illuminated initial 'L'(i). Image taken from f. 69v of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Siege of Puisat from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 291

Miniature of the siege of Puisat, with an illuminated initial 'Q'(uant). Image taken from f. 291 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Dagobert and Clothaire from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 97

Miniature of Dagobert being wounded in battle; Clothaire at the Weser removing his helmet; Clothaire carrying off Bertoald's head, with an illuminated initial 'L'(i). Image taken from f. 97 of Chroniques de Fra... more

Murder of Chilperic from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 65

Miniature of the murder of Chilperic, with an illuminated initial 'M'(oult). Image taken from f. 65 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Dagobert from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 108

Miniature of Dagobert pardoning the Gascons, with an illuminated initial 'P'(ource que). Image taken from f. 108 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Gunbram and Sigebert from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 54

Miniature of the peace of Gunbram and Sigebert, with an illuminated initial 'C'. Image taken from f. 54 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Theoderic and Brunhilda from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 85v

Miniature of a quarrel between Theoderic and Brunhilda, and Theoderic being poisoned in his bath, with an illuminated initial 'A'(insi). Image taken from f. 85v of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Dagobert from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 105

Miniature of the gift of Dagobert to St Denis, with an illuminated initial 'E'(n). Image taken from f. 105 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Conrad from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 325

Detail of a miniature of Conrad sailing away, and Louis VII taking leave, with an illuminated initial 'L'(i). Image taken from f. 325 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Conrad from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 325

Miniature of Conrad sailing away, and Louis VII taking leave, with an illuminated initial 'L'(i). Image taken from f. 325 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Execution of Brunhilda from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 87

Miniature of Brunhilda being dragged by hands and hair behind a horse, at the beginning of chapter 20 of book 4, with an illuminated initial 'L'(i). Image taken from f. 87 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis... more

Clothaire from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 90

Miniature of Clothaire holding a council, with an illuminated initial 'O'(u). Image taken from f. 90 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Louis le Gros from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 300v

Miniature of Louis le Gros riding to mee the Pope, and the funeral of Gelasius, with an illuminated initial 'E'(n). Image taken from f. 300v of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Chiperic from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 63

Miniature of Chilperic slaying the Comte de Rouen, with an illuminated initial 'L'(i). Image taken from f. 63 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Pope sending legates from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 364v

Miniature of the Pope sending legates, and a legate before Philip, with an illuminated initial 'E'(n). Image taken from f. 364v of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Henry I from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 286

Miniature of Henry I of England receiving French envoys near Gisors, with an illuminated initial 'E'(n). Image taken from f. 286 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Battle of Dormelles from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 80v

Miniature of the apparition of an angel at the battle of Dormelles, with an illuminated initial 'O'(u). Image taken from f. 80v of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Louis le Gros from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 289v

Miniature of Louis le Gros entering Meun, with an illuminated initial 'S'(ouvent). Image taken from f. 289v of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Chilperic from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 58

Miniature of Maurice sending Chilperic gold; Chilperic attacking the Lombards before they buy him off, with an illuminated initial 'M'(orises). Image taken from f. 58 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Wri... more

Fredegunda from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 78

Miniature of fighting, and Fredegunda showing her child to the army, with an illuminated initial 'A'(pres). Image taken from f. 78 of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Coronation of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 386v

Miniature of the coronation of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, with an illuminated initial 'E'(n). Image taken from f. 386v of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.