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Workshop: Inside the lab of the miniaturist

23 February 2023
11:00 - 16:00

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Slime, roots, scale insects, ferrous sulphate, urine (preferably that of a man who has been drinking) and fish glue … these are not the ingredients of some magic potion, but the materials used in medieval colour recipes!

In medieval illustrators’ studios, there were no boxes of watercolour paints or tubes of gouache to be found. Colours were made from natural ingredients or sometimes resulted from chemical reactions.

In the Middle Ages, it was not only men who made colours and illuminated manuscripts: there were also many female miniaturists.


Get to work yourself

In this workshop at the KBR museum, you will discover how medieval artists transformed plants into colours which they used to paint miniatures.

Get to know the raw materials, see how natural materials are transformed into the most beautiful shades and test the quality of the colours produced for yourself.

A miniaturist can always use some help, so be ready to get your hands dirty and pound, dip or mix raw materials to make paint.


Practical information

  • When? Wednesday 21 and Friday 23 February from 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Where? In the atelier at the exit of the KBR museum
  • Price? Included in the price of your museum ticket
  • Age? Suitable for adults and children 8 years and older

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In cooperation with the National Centre for the History of Science.