The Hand-Illuminated Liturgical Books of the Twentieth Century English Artist Edward Bulley

We don't often get an opportunity to feature contemporary liturgical books that have been hand-illuminated, so when we do we can hardly let such a rare opportunity slip us by. For that reason we are particularly pleased to present a set of liturgical books that were calligraphed, illuminated and bound by Edward Bulley, one-time principal of the Surrey School of Art, in the early 1960s for St John's Seminary, Wonersh in the United Kingdom. (Bulley is also known for his beautiful, hand-illuminated bible -- known as the "Bulley Bible, -- which he worked on between 1969-1983 and presented to Westminster Cathedral, London).

Bulley's work is an interesting synthesis of the medieval tradition paired and merged with modern design influences (and in that regard, his work certainly would qualify as yet another example of the Other Modern).  Aside from these traits, his works are also characterized by crisp lines, bright colours and patterns. 

To begin with, here are the two traditional Canon Missae pages of the Missale Romanum:

One will surely take note of both the traditional and contemporary nature of the work, which can also be seen in the decorative page adjacent the Missal's title page which has a very "Liturgical Movement" feel to it:

The contemporary influence can be particularly seen in this full page piece which depicts the three women at the empty tomb of Christ:

A far more strictly traditional approach, however, can be found in these pages for the chanting of the Passion according to St. John:

I had mentioned earlier the beautiful pattern work that Bulley put into his works and these next pages particularly exemplify this particular aspect of his designs:

Finally, a few more pages for your consideration:

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