Focusing on production and patronage, this new volume features over 150 images of magnificently illustrated books and precious bindings, drawn largely from North American collections. The book's three sections are arranged chronologically, yet in each case with a different thematic focus. Opening with a look at the precedents set by the Carolingian forerunners of the Empire, the first section considers deluxe imperial manuscripts associated with the Ottonian emperors. The second section examines the role of imperial monasteries in the production of manuscripts, considering in particular the patronage of aristocratic elites. The final section offers a tour of imperial cities in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, from Vienna and Prague to Augsburg and Nuremberg. This final stop considers the impact of Albrecht Dürer and humanism on the arts of the book. The volume features a glossary, indexes, and maps showing the shifting borders of the Empire over 700 years.
Jeffrey F. Hamburger is Kuno Francke Professor of German Art & Culture at Harvard University. Joshua O'Driscoll is assistant curator in the department of Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts at The Morgan Library & Museum, New York.