Illuminated illustrations of Froissart; Selected from the ms. in the Bibliothèque royale, Paris, and from other sources

Jean Froissart Illuminated illustrations of Froissart; Selected from the ms. in the Bibliothèque royale, Paris, and from other sources
Project Gutenberg
Jean Froissart
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Опис: The volume of Illuminated Illustrations of Froissart, from the celebrated MS. in the British Museum, has created so much interest in the subject among the subscribers to that work, that many letters have been received requesting the publication of another volume to illustrate the remaining portion of the Chronicles: the MS. in the Museum containing unfortunately only the fourth book. When that beautiful MS. went to the British Museum with the Harleian Collection, a sort of tradition went with it to the effect, that the remaining portion of the MS. was in the Bibliothèque du Roi, at Paris, and that impression still prevails among connoisseurs. Having determined, at the solicitation of our subscribers, to publish a second volume illustrating the remaining portion of the Chronicles, I went to Paris, in the full hope of discovering the other portion of the Museum MS., but found that no such volumes exist in the Bibliothèque du Roi, nor is there any record of their having been there. That splendid library, however, contains several MSS. of Froissart; among others, a very beautiful one of the first book, which is the earliest known, and the standard authority for that portion of the Chronicles, but it has only one small illumination on the first page. Many other portions of the Chronicles of different ages possess no remarkable interest; but one magnificent and perfect MS. of all four books is a truly splendid work of art, far surpassing, in many respects, the Museum MS. It is evidently one of the splendid books executed for Louis of Bruges, Lord of Gruthyse, who died in 1492, and the MS. was probably executed about 1460 or 70. This Lord of Gruthyse, as is well known, was one of the greatest patrons of art of that age, and had a peculiar passion for richly illuminated books, of which he created a library which, after that of the Duke of Burgundy, was the most celebrated in all Flanders. Van Praet collected a most interesting list of the books still in existence which once formed part of this celebrated library, and classed this MS. of the{2} Chronicles of Froissart among the most beautiful. The Gruthyse library passed to his son, Jean of Bruges, and afterwards to Louis XII. of France, who added it to the library founded at the Château de Blois, by his father Charles of Orleans; from that library it was brought to the Bibliothèque Royale of Paris. The arms of Gruthyse have been, in every instance in which they occur in the illuminations, painted over by those of France; but in some places the more recent colour has peeled off a little, exposing the shield beneath, and in every instance the Gruthyse arms may be easily discerned by holding the parchment to the light.

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