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Hugo Buchthal; Authority on Medieval Manuscript Illustration

November 14, 1996

Hugo Buchthal, 87, art historian and authority on the illustration of medieval manuscripts. Born and raised in Berlin, Buchthal fled Nazi Germany to teach at the University of London and from 1965 to 1975 at New York University. He was a frequent visiting professor at Harvard University and also spent some time with the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. Buchthal did pioneering research on the illustration of Christian religious books that were hand-copied by European scribes during the Crusades. His work included analyzing cross-cultural links between the Middle East and Western Europe. He published his findings in 1958 in the book "Miniature Painting in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem." He also studied the legend of the fall of Troy and its European retelling in the Middle Ages. From that research, he published the 1971 book "Historia Troiana: Studies in the History of Medieval Secular Illustration." On Sunday in London of heart problems.

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