Illuminated Capitals - An Intersection of Art, Music, and History
Perhaps the most poignant characteristic of classical education, and certainly one of the most beautiful, is how academic disciplines intersect and inform one another. Mrs. McKay's recent lesson on monastic choral music and its accompanying artwork is one such example. Illuminated manuscripts were delicately painted by monks in the medieval period to decorate bibles, prayer books, music sheets, and the like. The term is derived from the Latin
or hand, and
meaning writing. Manuscripts which were decorated with gold or silver were called "illuminated," from the Latin,
, meaning to brighten. Some of the best examples of illuminated manuscripts are found in the leaves of Gregorian chant collections. While creating their own illuminated capitals, fit to adorn any priceless collection, our students listened to the soothing monophonic sounds of Gregorian chant. Above is an example of one of our students' beautifully illuminated capitals.