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Illustrated Manuscript

Illustrated Manuscript

An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials, borders (marginalia) and miniature illustrations. In the strictest definition of the term, an illuminated manuscript refers only to manuscripts decorated with gold or silver, but in both common usage and modern scholarship, the term is now used to refer to any decorated or illustrated manuscript from the Western traditions. Comparable Far Eastern works are always described as painted, as are Mesoamerican works. Islamic manuscripts may be referred to as illuminated, illustrated or painted, though using essentially the same techniques as Western works.