Short Writing Assignment #2

Following the specific directions below, your assignment is to write a 750-1000 word comparative analysis of two manuscript openings from the Morgan Picture Bible.

1.Go to the Morgan Library\’s online exhibition of the Morgan Picture Bible and read about the history of the manuscript, its patronage, its contents, and the artists responsible for the illuminations.
2.Open the attached powerpoint deck labeled \”Morgan Picture Bible\” and scroll through the book. Get a sense of its construction and overall style.
3.Identify two openings FROM DIFFERENT ARTISTS that you are interested in studying further (I have labeled each opening with the identification of the specific artist). Note that each opening is accompanied by two hyperlinks to the Morgan Library\’s more detailed analysis of the specific pages (providing bible verses as well as translations of the various textual additions made to the manuscript over its lifetime). Note also that some openings are not labeled with an artist identifier. Do not select an opening that does not have the artist identification in the upper right corner.
Describe the openings both formally and contextually:
1.For each selected opening:
a. Describe the overall layout of the illuminations – this should be one paragraph composed of three to four sentences that address:
i.How many narratives are illuminated?
ii.How are the illuminations on the two pages laid out? Describe the boarders, and any overarching architectural features. Do the borders constrain the images? Do episodes penetrate into neighboring scenes?
iii.What are the primary colors used? How are the colors employed overall?
b.Describe the individual scenes found in your two openings. For each individual episode discuss:
i.The biblical story depicted – You may provide Bible quotations to support your discussion.
ii.How the artist distills the Biblical narrative? (i.e. What moment is selected? How is the action of the story suggested?)
iii.Formal analysis of the individual scenes – knowing the iconography, describe the individual paintings formally (line, shape/form, modeling, composition, etc.). Review the powerpoint from the first lecture on formal analysis for additional guidance on the elements of composition and style.
c.Describe how the individual scenes in the openings relate to each other. Think about the artist\’s use of diagonals and lines to guide the \”reader\” through the stories. Are there multiple ways you can \”read\” the images? (i.e. are there formal elements that direct you to \”read\” in a non-linear manner?)
2.Compare and contrast the two openings stylistically. Are there observable differences in the way your two artists treated their openings?
Be sure in your text to address each opening separately then compare them after completing your individual assessments.
Please be as accurate, clear, and concise in your writing as possible.
In order to complete this analysis, you must look closely at your openings. Use the \”zoom\” feature for each page found on the Morgan\’s website and available via the individual hyperlinks. Please use the Douay-Rheims version of the Bible for your description and analysis. The English version of this translation of the Latin Vulgate is available at:
You must work to find the right words, and to build the right sentences, to convey your observations effectively through written language. To write well – at any length – requires time, effort, and, usually, multiple drafts.
Your 750-1000 word assignment must be a double-spaced Word document (or saved as .doc or .docx), using 12-point text with one-inch margins.

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