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Detailed record for Harley 4940

Author Matfres Eymengau de Beziers
Title Breviari d'amor
Origin France, S.
Date First half of the 14th century
Language French (Occitan or Provençal)
Script Gothic
Decoration 2 full-page miniatures with foliate extensions into the margins, in colours and gold (ff. 9, 51). 11 large miniatures, the first with a large decorated initial and a full border including heraldic shields and arms, in colours and gold (ff. 4, 28, 31, 31v, 44v, 45v, 48, 65v, 93, 186, 227). Numerous small, mostly column-wide miniatures with foliate extensions into the margins, in colours and gold (ff. 5, 12v, 13v (x2), 24, 27 (x6, forming a fully illuminated page), 28v, 29 (x2), 29v (x3), 30 (x3), 30v (x2), 33, 33v (x2), 34v, 35, 35v, 36, 37 (x2), 37v, 38, 42v, 43, 44, 47v, 48v, 49 (x3), 49v (x2), 57v, 58, 58v (x2), 59, 69v (x2), 70v, 71 (x2), 71v, 72, 72v, 80v, 81, 81v, 82, 83, 88 (x2), 90 (x5), 90v (x7), 91 (x7), 91v (x6), 92 (x5), 92v (x5), 111, 112 (x2), 112v [not executed], 113 (x2), 113v (x4), 114 (x4), 114v, 116v [not executed], 134v, 147 (x2), 147v, 150v (x3), 151 (x2), 151v, 152 (x2), 152v (x2), 153, 153v (x2), 154 (x2), 154v (x2), 155 (x6, forming a fully illuminated page), 155v (x4), 156, 156v (x2), 157, 157v, 158v, 159 (x2), 160, 160v (x2), 161, 161v, 162v (x3), 163, 163v, 164, 164v (x3), 165 (x3), 165v, 166, 166v, 171, 171v (x2), 172, 172v (x2), 173, 173v, 174, 174v, 175, 176, 183v, 190, 193v, 196, 200, 204v, 209v). Large and small initials in gold on red and blue grounds. Small initials (1 line) in gold with blue pen-flourishing or in blue with red pen-flourishing.
Dimensions in mm 340 x 245 (240 x 170) written in two columns
Official foliation ff. i + 232 (+ 1 unfoliated medieval parchment flyleaf after f. 3; + 4 paper flyleaves at the beginning and 4 at the end); medieval foliation in roman numerals in the upper right margins running from 'i'-'ccxl'
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1963.
Provenance Unidentified owner, early 14th century: arms, partially effaced (f. 4).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley '18 die Januarij, A.D. 1723/4.' (f. i); inscribed 'Oxford B.H.' (f. 1).
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d. 1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts.
Instructions to the rubricator throughout.
Other manuscripts illuminated by the same artist are Paris, Bibliotheque Saint-Genevieve, MS 1029 and Vic, Arxiu I biblioteca epsicopal ms 143.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1808-12), III, no. 4940.

Walter de Gray Birch and Henry Jenner, Early Drawings and Illuminations: An Introduction to the Study of Illustrated Manuscripts (London: Bagster and Sons, 1879), p. 9.

Clovis Brunel, Bibliographie des manuscrits littéraires en ancien provençal, Société de publications romanes et françaises, 13 (Paris: Librairie E. Droz, 1935), no. 20.

Fritz Saxl and Hans Meier, Verzeichnis astrologischer und mythologischer illustrierter Handschriften des lateinischen Mittelalters, ed. by Harry Bober, 4 vols (London: Warburg Institute, 1916-66), III: Handschriften in englischen Bibliotheken (1953), pp. 193-95.

Peter Whitfield, The Mapping of the Heavens (London: British Library, 1995), half-title page.

Sophie Page, Astrology in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2002), frontispiece.

Lucy Freeman Sandler, The Lichtenthal Psalter and the Manuscript Patronage of the Bohun Family (London: Harvey Miller, 2004), p. 160 n. 107.

Carlos Miranda Garcia-Tejedor, 'Los manuscritos con pincturas del Breviari d'Amor de Matfre Ermengaud de Béziers: Un estado de la cuestión', in La miniatura medieval en la Penísula Ibérica, ed. by Joaquín Yarza (Murcia: Nausícaä, 2007), pp. 313-73 (p. 329, as 'K').

Sarah Kay, 'How Long is a Quotation? Quotations from the Troubadours in the Text and Manuscripts of the Breviari d'amor', Romania, 127 (2009), 140-68 (p. 28, MS K).

Hiromi Haruna-Czaplicki, 'Les Manuscrits occitans enluminés du Breviari d'Amor: essai d'une approche artistique et historique' in Culture religieuse méridionale: les manuscrits et leur contexte artistique, Cahiers de Fanjeaux (Toulouse: Editions Privat, 2016), 37-85 (MS K, p. 71).


Images
* * *
 
Author portrait

f. 4
Author portrait
Diagram

f. 9
Diagram
Angels turning the axis of the world

f. 28
Angels turning the axis of the world
 
Angels turning the axis of the world

f. 28
Angels turning the axis of the world
Aries

f. 28v
Aries
Cancer

f. 29
Cancer
 
Taurus

f. 29
Taurus
Gemini

f. 29v
Gemini
Virgo

f. 29v
Virgo
 
Leo

f. 29v
Leo
Scorpio, Sagitarius, Capricorn

f. 30
Scorpio, Sagitarius, Capricorn
Scorpio

f. 30
Scorpio
 
Sagittarius

f. 30
Sagittarius
Capricorn

f. 30
Capricorn
Aquarius and Pisces

f. 30v
Aquarius and Pisces
 
Aquarius

f. 30v
Aquarius
Pisces

f. 30v
Pisces
Zodiacal wheel

f. 31
Zodiacal wheel
 
Sun

f. 31v
Sun
Venus

f. 35
Venus
Diagram

f. 36
Diagram
 
Moon

f. 37
Moon
Astrological diagram

f. 38
Astrological diagram
Astrological diagram

f. 43
Astrological diagram
 
Astrological diagram

f. 44
Astrological diagram
Astrological diagram

f. 44v
Astrological diagram
Astrological diagram

f. 45v
Astrological diagram
 
Astrological diagram

f. 47v
Astrological diagram
Diagram

f. 48
Diagram
Old Testament figures

f. 51
Old Testament figures
 
Allegorical diagram

f. 93
Allegorical diagram
Mouth of Hell

f. 171v
Mouth of Hell
Mouth of Hell

f. 171v
Mouth of Hell
 
Mouth of Hell

f. 172
Mouth of Hell

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