Public Museum of Illustrations, Miniatures and Calligraphy

Exquisite examples of manuscripts embellished with miniature illustrations and gold lettering.

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Public Museum of Illustrations, Miniatures and Calligraphy

Small-scale art

Original, to say the least: there are very few museums on the Africa continent as specialised as this one, which is dedicated exclusively to illustrations, miniatures and calligraphy. The key theme of this centre is la enluminure, the French word for illuminated manuscripts; that is, manuscripts in which the text is supplemented with large decorative lettering, eye-catching borders and miniature illustrations. These codices are known for their vivid colours and beautiful craftsmanship, some of them are even made with gold and silver. The collection includes excellent historical examples and other more recent works by contemporary artists who are experts in the miniature technique. The museum is also the headquarters of international festivals on Arabic calligraphy and related handwriting techniques that attract the very best artists in this field. It is located in the famous Mustapha Pacha Palace, whose walls are decorated with around half a million tiles.

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