Friday, October 19, 2012

The Time of the Hunt

The Book of the Hunt of King Modus & Queen Ratio -
15th century Flemish manuscript miniatures


15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 19



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 48



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 91



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 119



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 106
A deer with ten antlers (and Christ on the cross), representing the ten commandments



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 59



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 68



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 124



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 64



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 109



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 314



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 128



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 206



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 111



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 196



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 193



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 234



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 259



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 284



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 290



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 334



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 343



15th century illuminated manuscript miniature: Henri de Ferrières, Les Livres du roy Modus et de la royne Ratio 346

[The miniatures above have been cropped and the larger images were 
made from spliced screencaps. They are otherwise unaltered.]

Attributed to an anonymous Burgundian illuminator known as the Master of Girart de Roussillon^, 'The Book of King Modus and Queen Ratio' (after 1455) is a treatise on hunting and, in the form held by the Royal Library of Belgium, is bound with a second book, 'The Dream of Pestilence', something of a poetic exposition on contemporary morals.
The Book of the Hunt of King Modus – this is the title of a work conceived in 1370 by Henri de Ferrières^, a knowledgeable expert of the art and practice of hunting. The Norman nobleman, who as an old man exchanged the pen against the sword, wrote the first treatise on hunting in the French language, which has since been copied several times. It is assumed that this manuscript was made for Philip the Good, the third of the great dukes of Burgundy who assembled a kingdom more wealthy and powerful than any other in Europe.

Who was King Modus? - The author wished to underline the authority of his text while also capturing the readers’ attention. He therefore patterned this work after the manner of the Greek philosophers, as a dialogue between a student and his teacher conversing on the hunting profession. The teacher in this case is embodied in the allegorical figure of King Modus.

56 lively miniatures - The miniatures of our manuscript, which was produced in 1455 in Burgundy, deserve special mention. Their rich golden decoration is not only intended to illustrate the instructions of the text but also to glorify the pompous lifestyle of the nobility. They intrigue us with a certain liveliness, the expert representation of animals and the authenticity of the luxurious vestments. The close association with nature was intended by the illuminators who attached great importance to authenticity in their depictions. The book thus displays the pinnacle of Flemish art in a work made for a prince of the high nobility." [Adeva Fine Manuscripts]

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