Thursday, April 23, 2015

Medieval studies 2015, links

A door opening to Heaven, Royal MS 15 D II, f. 117v   Source:British Library

We have had a change of direction to this years study after entering an online art competition, the Apocalypse Art Prize.  Which we first found out about from a blog I follow.  And this is to me one of the great things about home-schooling.  To recognise an opportunity for learning and to be able to adapt your plans to follow it.  All of my children 6 and up have entered and we have the rest of the year to delve into medieval history, to really study the Apocalyse in depth (not something I had planned for any time soon), to concentrate on developing our art skills, and a whole lot of other avenues such that it will become a year long unit study.  Dd1 has already been explaining medieval art to me after reading a free booklet that you receive when you enter the competition, A Primer of Pictorial Devices in Medieval Painting by Gloria Thomas.

Source: Apocalypse Prize

I will edit and re-edit this post as I come across useful links.

The first of these links is a drawing skills course that is just what I was after to get our drawing skills up to scratch.

An few online books (touch to turn pages, in colour, able to zoom in to look at details):
  •  Medieval Bestiary  You can turn the pages of this online book, it really is fantastic.  You look at it with or without a pop-up text (press the 'read' button at the bottom) which explains the animals pictured.  You may wish to pre-read some of the explanatory text to decide if it will be suitable for your children or just don't use the pop-up text.
  • Lindisfarne Gospels
  • Sherborne Missal
  • Luttrell Psalter
  • The Book of Kells  This takes a long time to download.  You sit wondering where it is, but it is downloading.  You might want to give it a miss if you have a slow connection.
  • The Hunterian Psalter
  • Silos Apocalypse - Beatus of Liébana
  • 82 very detailed page from the Cloisters Apocalypse  good for identifying style.  You have to click on them one by one though, it is not in a flip book form.  Possibly the best link here though as you can zoom way in for excellent detail.

On my wishlist:

Sadly my state library system has little to nothing on manuscripts otherwise I would have liked to have a look at the following books first, so I will have to source them from online booksellers instead.


Calligraphy supplies:

Artists we will study:
Giotto and Fra Angelico.  At this point I will keep to just these two so as to spend a good amount of time on each and not to overload us.  I would like us to be able to tell the difference in style between these two artists as they very often are confused by people for each other. 

Some links:
From Youtube: a  medieval studies playlist that I'm slowly adding to.
A Warning: Please screen these video's first to make sure they are suitable for your children, including the video's in the 'what to watch next' column.


  1. It is so nice to be able to adapt to opportunities!

  2. Happening upon your page, I was delighted to see that you are interested in exploring Medieval art through our competition! Thank you for your response and best wishes in all your labors. In Amore Christi, Gloria Thomas, Director, Apocalypse Prize.