Decoration Description

<decoDesc> contains a description of the various decorative elements found in a manuscript. If multiple <decoNote> elements are present you can provide general observations in <summary> using it directly into <decoDesc> like in the example below from Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF Éthiopien 32. Within this text simply use <ref> to refer to each <decoNote> or <locus> to refer to a folio. If there is a <note> about all miniatures and a <note> about all drawings of a certain type, then the sentence in description will point to the <decoNote>s involved.

                The manuscript’s decorative features are typical of the period. It includes the Eusebian Apparatus
                (3+7 arrangement) set under colourful stylized arches and followed by a Tempietto. As the pages
                before the beginning of the Gospel of Mark <locus target="#82v"></locus>, Luke <locus target="#127v"></locus>,
                and John <locus target="#203v"></locus> contain inventories and notes it is possible that they were originally
                intended to receive <ref type="authFile" corresp="AT1013EvaPortrait"></ref>. The miniatures are painted in
                the <term key="FirstSolomonicStyle"></term> and recall examples produced between
                <date notBefore="1300" notAfter="1450"></date>. The decorations appear to have been paintedby the same artist.


Example 1

N.B. <summary> can also be used to provide information about the decorative features of the manuscript that cannot be given elsewhere. In the above example, the editor of the <decoDesc> believes that the manuscripts offers evidence that is relevant to the Art Theme AT1013EvaPortrait even though the theme is not included in the work in question.

Each decorative element in the manuscript is listed in a <decoNote> as follows:

        <decoNote type="miniature" xml:id="d30">
            <locus target="#108v"></locus>
            <desc>A miniature of the <ref type="authFile" corresp="AT1008Descent"></ref> in which <persName ref="PRS5684JesusCh"></persName>, who is surrounded by a
                <term key="mandorla"></term>  and holds a staff <term key="cross"></term>, pulls  <persName ref="PRS1385Adam">Adam</persName> out of Sheol.</desc>

Example 2

Include always a <locus> with @target to identify the position of the decoration.

There should be a ATID for each subject represented as miniature/drawing in the manuscript/item when possible (there should also be specific ATIDs for subjects that cannot be confidently identified (e.g. Saints on Horseback, Holy Men, Group of Figures). These latter IDs are to be used only when identification is not possible by means of attributes and/or captions and/or iconography and/or context. For consistency, when editing miniature and drawing @types in <desc> please try to follow, when possible, the following principles.

  1. Order: main subject and related iconographic elements; main iconographic features from left to right and from top to bottom; and secondary elements and background.
  2. Generic References and Bibliographic References are given in the ATID, include only references to: works referring directly to this particular set of miniatures; or works relevant to a particular feature of the specific Art Theme that are not included in the general ATID bibliography.
  3. Images depicting groups of individuals/saints will have a specific ATID but, when possible, each individual should be identified with the appropriate <persName> or <personGrp> record.
  4. Images depicting generical geographical features (e.g. trees; mountains) can be encoded using keywords (<term>) in the place types section. Towns, areas, etc. can use <placeName>. If a geographical reference is consistently present in a Art Theme, then consider including it in the ATID rather than in the <decoNote>.
  5. Keywords (<term>) are valuable tools that you can use to provide further information about such features as the style and iconographic elements of a theme (see relevant guidelines page).

Miniatures may include:

  1. legends that illustrate the general subject matter of the miniature;
  2. shorter captions, a short sentence or a word, that identify some of the Persons/Objects/Actions in the miniature.

Legends should be provided at the end of <desc> inside the corresponding <decoNote> and use <q>.

Captions should be associated to the relevant iconographic element using <foreign>:

            <decoNote type="miniature" xml:id="d1">
                <locus target="#viii"></locus>
                <desc>Miniature of <persName ref="PRS5332hezqeyas"></persName> lying at the feet of <persName ref="PRS3417David"></persName>,
                    identified by the caption  <foreign xml:lang="gez">
                        <persName ref="PRS3417David">ዳዊት፡</persName> ንጉሥ።</foreign>.
                    <q xml:lang="gez">ዘከመ፡ ተማኅፀነ፡ ንጉሠ፡ <persName ref="PRS5332hezqeyas">ሕዝቅያስ።</persName>

Example 3

Manuscripts that contain exclusively miniatures and no text receive the keyword miniatureCollection. Any other keywords relevant to these miniatures, such as for example Hagiography, can be assigned freely.

This page is referred to in the following pages

Revisions of this page

  • Pietro Maria Liuzzo on 2018-04-30: first version of guidelines from Wiki
  • Pietro Maria Liuzzo on 2018-04-24: stub of page