A Baffling Breakthrough: Making Colour in the 1486 Book of St Albans
|Starts:||16:00 29 Sep 2015|
|Ends:||17:00 29 Sep 2015|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||John Rylands Research Institute|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults|
|Speaker:||Dr Elizabeth Savage|
The Book of St Albans (St Albans: Schoolmaster Printer, 1486) is celebrated as one of the greatest landmarks of printing. The lasting influence of its content has been well studied, but its printing technique was centuries ahead of its time. The Schoolmaster Printer reproduced illustrations of coats of arms in accurate colours, making it the first and only attempt at colour printing in England until scientific advances enabled mass production in the mid-1700s.
Consensus holds that the vibrant shields were printed like ‘normal’ woodcuts, but material evidence in the Rylands’ copy suggests otherwise. At this stage of research, all known techniques can be excluded and all attempts at reconstruction have failed. This talk explores how the visionary schoolmaster could (and couldn’t) have made these extraordinary images and explains why unlocking his forgotten secrets is so important today.
Dr Elizabeth Savage
Role: British Academy Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Organisation: John Rylands Research Institute
Biography: Dr Elizabeth Savage is Research Associate at the John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester. Her current project explores one of the most significant Victorian collections on the history of printing. In the late 1800s, Hiero von Holtorp crafted a collection of thousands of specimens from the leading artists, designers and printers from across Europe in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Dr Savage was previously Visiting Fellow at the Warburg Institute, University of London, and Munby Fellow in Bibliography, Cambridge University.
Travel and Contact Information
The John Rylands Library Deansgate