Voyage of St Brendan f.1r
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Religion and entertainment could merge in medieval saints lives. One of the best examples is the story of the voyage of an Irish saint, Brendan, who visits a series of islands with nearly surreal inhabitants and fauna. His journey is a kind of imaginative and even humourous reflection of the life and prayer of a monk. In the 12th century, the bride of King Henry I, Aeliz of Louvain, asked a monk named Benedeit to write a poem of the voyage of St Brendan in Anglo-Norman French. This manuscript has a copy of Benedeit's poem followed by a 'Voyage of Brendan' in Latin prose.
The beginning of the poem recounts that Aeliz married Henry and that she asked Benedeit to write the 'Voyage of St Brendan' in verse.