One of the most beautiful projects pieces of artwork from the medieval time period is the illuminated manuscript. Historically, monks were the ones who produced these illuminated manuscripts, thus, most manuscripts were religious in nature.
Illuminated manuscripts were hand-made books that included drawn, painted, and gilded decorations on pages of vellum. Calligraphic penwork divided one paragraph of text from another. In some cases you would find extravagant embellishments of letters containing tiny representations of figures or even biblical scenes.
The pictures that illustrate the text in a manuscript are called 'miniatures.' This is not only because they are small but because miniare is the Latin word meaning to color with red lead. The miniatures are painted in luminous colors and often have gold highlights that shimmer and is thus considered to be 'illuminated.'
How were Illuminated Manuscripts made?
A wonderful resource for seeing just how these pieces of artwork were made can be found at the Illuminated Manuscripts website.
Template for Making Your Own Illuminated Manuscript
Using just two sheets of paper, you can make your own manuscript. Check out the instructions from the link above.