The architectural wonders of soaring cathedrals and majestic castles are some of the greatest achievements of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. While many of these spectacular buildings no longer survive, vivid records can be found in manuscript illumination. This exhibition explores how medieval artists incorporated architecture into scenes from scripture, literature, and history, manipulated the forms of buildings to convey symbolic meaning, and used architectural elements as decorative motifs to fill the landscape of the painted page.

The Old Testament figure Nimrod, king of Babylonia, oversees the construction of a tower. Details suggest medieval working methods, such as the planks of a wooden scaffold which support several men who receive stones hauled upward by a pulley system.

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Contact information

J Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center
J Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles
90049 - 1687
United States
(310) 440 7751


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