Illuminated art refers to the adornment of written or printed text or design with graphics, colors, gold, or silver. The original form of the verb "to illuminate" was "enlumine" and medieval craftsmen who practiced the art were called "enlumineurs."

    We have illuminated manuscripts from before the Christian era, for example, the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Greek Iliad.

    To the left is the work of Guvart des Moulins in his Bible Historiale - 1402 - From the Life of Solomon.

      In the modern era, the illuminated manuscripts of William Blake stand out as the creative orchestration of text and imagery.

The Illuminated Manuscripts of William Blake

    The World Wide Web provides the potential for modern illuminated manuscripts - Web pages which combine images, text, and animation.

          To the right is the Breviary of Charles V. - 1052 - School of Jean Pucelle.

    A kind of camp art or cool art has evolved in the design of many Web pages. However, the developers are often more intent on splashy colors or Star Wars-type imagery than genuine esthetic design. Often, for example, the background images (used for the entire Web page) are so dark or so busy that the text and images are scarcely visible.

    Web page designers can learn a great deal by studying the illuminated manuscripts of the ancient, medieval, and modern eras.