colophon page

The layout or format of the pages of ancient Egyptian scrolls can look surprisingly "modern", suggesting that the relationship of text and image remained unchanged for thousands of years. In these three examples of The Papyrus of Ani, we see

the image in a separate box with text in columns
the text freely wrapped around the images
the image as full page historiated initial

Return to the Essay

See an Arabic illuminated manuscript

See a 15th century illuminated Book of Hours

Copyright © 1996 Colophon Page. Text by Richard Minsky, images are from The Egyptian Book of the Dead, published 1994 by Chronicle Books San Francisco, and copyright 1994 by James Wasserman.