Old School, New School


Medieval maniculae in early printed books from the Elsevier Heritage Collection In medieval times you couldn’t just go and underline the important parts of the manuscripts you were reading. Well, yes, you could. Some manuscripts have strikethroughs that had the same function; other times, though, an underlined sentence in a medieval manuscript would indicate a … Read more

Putting the Sexy in Sexy Codicology

Sexy Codicology, Year II

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the term “Sexy” the following way:

generally attractive or interesting : appealing <a sexy stock>

And that is what Codicology is to me: Attractive and Interesting.

The Sexy Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry
The Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry
France, 1408/1409
Our Facebook page new cover.

While I was thinking of a name for this blog, Sexy Codicology was among the first names that clicked in my mind. I thought it was catchy and well represented the interest that codicology can rise. And so this project begun.

After more than one year, the scene has grown: I am very pleased in seeing many people sharing more and more images of medieval manuscripts and illuminations over the social media. It makes me genuinely happy. I come across great posts and links that make me love manuscripts even more.

But then I asked myself: what can we do more, here at Sexy Codicology?

In my studies of Aesthetics and Heuristics, back in the days of my BA, I came across the Socialist Realism movement. It believed that the value of art was to serve some moral or didactic purpose. Stripped of all its political sides, this was the idea behind Sexy Codicology: Use the beauty of manuscripts to spread love and knowledge about manuscripts.

It worked, for a while. But then it became the  movement’s opposite: Théophile Gautier’s art pour l’art, art for art’s sake. I see it as an unavoidable development. But, as anyone deeply influenced by the Russian avant-garde of the early 20th century, I asked myself: what can I do more? What’s the next step? How can we put the Sexy back in Sexy Codicology?

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