Current name

Information from the Getty AAT

illumination (image-making process)

Action or process of creating illumination, which comprises paintings and other adornments applied to books, scrolls, or other document types for the purpose of illustrating or decorating the text.


1. The art of illumination on vellum, ivory, etc, using pigment in an aqueous gum binding medium.

As quoted from: Jo Kirby, Susie Nash, and Joanna Cannon, eds. 'the appendix: Pigment Glossary', "Limning", in Trade in Artists’ Materials: Markets and Commerce in Europe to 1700. (London: Archetype Publications, 2010), 452. 


Oxford English Dictionary definitions:

1. To illuminate (letters, manuscripts, books).

2. To adorn or embellish with gold or bright colour; to depict in (gold, etc.). Also (rare), to lay on (colour). 

3. To paint (a picture or portrait); to portray, depict (a subject). Formerly spec. to paint in water-colour or distemper.

4. Prov. to limn the water , limn (something) on water : said of something transient or futile.

5. Absol. or intr. To paint; esp. to paint in water-colour or distemper. 

As quoted from:

Historical names