The term illumination is generally used to designate the entire pictorial set of decorative or illustrative character that accompanied the texts of codices and manuscript books in the medieval period.

But if we want to know what is an illuminated manuscript we have to go further.

The application of the designation has been gradually extended, chronologically and geographically, to encompass much more varied artistic manifestations.

We have as an example the illuminations originating from Egypt and the Muslim and Hindu world.

What is an illumineted manuscript – the most famous portuguese example

In Portugal, the most important illuminated manuscript that has reached our days is the Apocalypse of Lorvão.

Dating from 1189, it was probably made in the Monastery of Lorvão, near Coimbra.

It is currently in Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, in Lisbon, and was considered Memory of the World by UNESCO.