An ever expanding glossary of terms learned from various sources, and created to keep my own research under control.
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
BINDER (Medium) - A mild glue-like ingredient mixed with pigment that makes the paint stick to the surface.
CINNABAR - A red, naturally occurring, mineral pigment (mercury sulphide) found in period manuscripts. Vermilion is it's man-made counterpart.
CODICOLOGY - The study of books as physical objects, especially manuscripts written on parchment (or paper) in codex form, concerning itself with the materials and techniques used to make books, including their binding. (Wikipedia)
DIPLOMATICS - Scholarly discipline centred on the textual analysis of documents – particularly, but not exclusively, historical documents. (Wikipedia)
DISTEMPER - Paint that uses animal glue as a binding medium.
EGG - The whole of an egg can be put to use in various ways for medieval art. Egg yolk was used for tempera painting. Egg whites are whisked to produce glair. Egg shells are made mostly of calcium carbonate and can be used as a replacement for chalk.
FACSIMILE - An exact copy of something, (i.e. a book, painting, or manuscript).
FUGITIVE (Pigment) - Non-permanent, will lighten (fade) in colour quickly when exposed to light.
GLAIR - Liquid extracted from egg whites, and used as a binder with pigment. Can also be used as a size for gilding.
GROUND - The surface on which the paint or ink is to be applied.
LEVIGATE / LEVIGATION - According to Merriam-Webster it is the process of a) "grind[ing] to a fine smooth powder while in moist condition" and b) "to separate (fine powder) from coarser material by suspending in a liquid".
For our purposes, pigment is mixed with water in a jar, thoroughly agitated and then left to stand for a period of time. Larger particles fall to the bottom of the jar while the finer, lighter particles remain suspended. These finer particles are then pour off as a liquid into a separate container and the water is allowed to evaporate, leaving only the fine-grade pigment.
LIGATURE - The word literally means to bind or tie up, and in a scribal context it is a written character (i.e. "æ") consisting of two or more letters or characters joined together.
MAJUSCULE - Considered uppercase or capital letters (i.e. Uncial, Roman Capitalis). Bischoff describes it's meaning as ". . . a script confined between two lines." (69).
MINUSCULE - Considered lowercase letters, which are not fully contained between two lines. Ascender's and descender's go above or below the lines.
MORDANT - Term used for the glue ingredient used to adhere gold leaf to a surface for gilding.
PALAEOGRAPHY - The study of ancient writing. Included in the discipline is the practice of deciphering, reading, and dating historical manuscripts, and the cultural context of writing, including the methods with which writing and books were produced, and the history of scriptoria. (Wikipedia)
PETIT LAC - Term used for a technique is laying down paint.
PIGMENT - What gives paint it's colour. Mixed with a binder, water, and sometimes other ingredients to make paint. Sometimes an inert white (chalk, eggshells...) is added to improve opacity. It was common for medieval scribes and illuminator's to grind and prepare their own pigments.
POUNCE - A powdered substance used to prepare a writing surface, getting rid of greasiness and raising the nap of the surface for better tooth.
PUMICE - Finely powdered volcanic rock used as a pounce for preparing a writing surface.
TEMPERA - Paint that uses egg-yolk as a binding medium.
VERMILION - A red, man-made pigment produced from combining mercury and sulphur (Cennini). It's naturally occurring counterpart is cinnabar.
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