Illuminated Letter N

All of the letter N images that were posted on have been fairly monochrome. None of them featured bright colors and certainly none of them were gilded. Each of these illuminated letter N images were used to decorate a 16th Century French manuscript.

Gilded Illuminated Letter N

letter-n-small-3 No doubt that this work was quite expensive to produce. It may have even been the only copy. Imagine, someone sitting quietly for months or maybe even years creating each letter by hand. The musical scores that were included in the book were drawn by hand as well. And then to the notes and lyrics the artisan added over 100 decorated or illuminated letters.

Some, like this letter N, were gilded as well. A blue letter N with white decorations shares the spotlight with a single white flower on a green stem with two leaves. There’s also a smaller green circle, perhaps representing a new bud.


16th Century Letters

letter-n-small-2  letter-n-small-1This pair of illuminated letter N images may not have been gilded but they still would make a fine addition to a modern creative project. I’ve left all of these letter images in their original state. I love the slightly rough and hand-made appearance of them. It would be easy enough to square off the black border and erase any other boo-boos. I tend to like the roughness of the edges and the clearly hand-drawn aspect of them.

The first of this pair features a blue letter N with white accents. A red flower with a pair of green leaves and a small red bud adorn the letter. The second letter is drawn in a somewhat similar style, except the N is done in white and grey. It has a blue and white flower and a pair of green leaves. Both drop cap letters include a beige background with reddish-brown spots.


This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.