MINIATURIST, French
(active around 1405-1410 in Paris)

Gaston Phoebus: Book of the Hunt

1405-10
Manuscript (Ms. français 616), 370 x 280 mm
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

By the High Middle Age the hunt was already the subject of several scientific treatises and numerous illustrations. Treatises on hunting became a popular subject for illuminated manuscripts in 14th-century France. Patrons of High and Late medieval art took pains to ensure that the codices's decorations reflected their status to the same degree as did their texts.

The present manuscript, probably commissioned by John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, is the most beautiful of the 37 preserved manuscripts commissioned in the early 15th century to illuminate Gaston Phoebus's hunting text. Gaston Phoebus (1331-1390), Count of Foix and Viscount of Bearn, wrote the text in 1387-89.

The image on folio 93r illustrates chapter 52 of the manuscript: How to hunt and kill bears.




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