Pen and Parchment


Antiquity makes it presence felt in an illustrated copy of the plays of the Roman playwright Terence that was made in St. Albans, England, in the 12th century. Here classical motifs and details mix freely with medieval ones in plain ink and wash, which were considered appropriate for pre-Christian themes.


In an 11th-century French codex, the Maccabees pursue their retreating foe across the gutter of a two-page spread as over adjacent hills. Line dominates, especially satisfying in its account of the lunging horses and contrasting body language of victors and vanquished.

“Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, features 50 rarely-seen works on view.

Roberta Smith writes:
The works span nearly five centuries and reveal medieval drawing to be vital, evolving, remarkably diverse and essential to the medium’s Renaissance blossoming.

Pilgrims Progress Pilgrims' Progress (repost)

Slow Progress Slogger's Progress Digital image by Fung Lin Hall (repost)