Old French

Posted in Manuscripts and Books

The Medieval Battle That Launched Modern English

Scenes from the Life of Saint Alexis in the St. Albans Psalter / Alexis Master
Dombibliothek Hildesheim

English owes its rich vocabulary to a military conquest that took place 947 years ago. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute, Manuscripts and Books, Miscellaneous

What Do Paleographers Do?

paleography_featured

It’s nothing to do with fossils—paleographers are specialists in old handwriting. More»

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      From you have I been absent in the spring,
      When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
      Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
      That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
      Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
      Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
      Could make me any summer’s story tell,
      Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
      Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
      Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
      They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
      Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
      Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
      As with your shadow I with these did play.

      —William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564

      Vase of Flowers (detail), 1722, Jan van Huysum. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      04/23/14

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