Life, loss, love and being human.
Like people, artworks endure—and sometimes succumb to—pandemics, disasters, and wars. Museums preserve the survivors. Archives and libraries (such as the Getty Research Institute) both deepen our appreciation of what remains and help us piece together the histories of what does not.
Some gorgeous photos of illuminated manuscripts, along with some meaningful reflections on the human condition. Bryan Keene writes some illuminating (forgive the pun) prose which accompanies each artifact. There is much worthy of quotation and further exposition.
One of the losses we suffer in the modern world is that we see the past as a foreign land, full of names and dates disassociated from ourselves. There is no otherness like the otherness of the dead. But in collections like these we have an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with a common life all human beings share.
These works are not "Medieval" or "Roman Catholic" or even "religious" as if that sets them apart from who or whatever we are. Art is human, and we can know these masters, though we cannot name them, in that we also know better ourselves.