Although they are rarely displayed due to conservations issues, illuminated manuscripts - both complete oeuvres and dismantled pages - represent an important corpus of material for French museums.
Arriving through donations and the occasional acquisition, these objects are precious witnesses for the art of illumination during the medieval period and the Renaissance, even though they are little known and remain understudied.
Since 2005, the INHA (Institut national d'histoire de l'art) has sought to respond to this state of affairs through the creation of the Corpus of Illuminated Manuscripts and Detached Pages from the Middle Ages and Renaissance in French Collections.
In order to publicize this important inventory, the INHA has organized a series of three exhibitions that will be simultaneously mounted in three museums: the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Angers, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille, and the Musée des Augustins in Toulouse.
This ambitious project not only presents an opportunity to highlight these rich collections, but also to show the larger public the importance of this fragile and rarely seen piece of patrimony.