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Detailed record for Harley 4329

Author Martin de Braga (translated by Jean Courtecuisse) (ff. 1-28v); Marcus Tullius Cicero (translated by Laurent de Premierfait) (ff. 30-192v)
Title Le livre des quatre vertus (De quatuor virtutibus) (ff. 1-28v); Le livre de vieillesse (De senectute) (ff. 30-129v) and Le livre de amitié (De amicitia) (ff. 130-192v); Letter of Bernard of Clairvaux (ff. 193-195v); Hymn to the Virgin (ff. 196-199)
Origin France, Central (Tours)
Date 1460
Language French
Script Gothic cursive
Scribe Pierre le Fevre
Artists Master of the Munich Boccaccio, perhaps one of the two sons of Jean Fouquet (see Avril 2003).
Decoration 1 full-page miniature with a large decorated foliate initial and full foliate borders including heraldic arms and scrolls, in colours and gold (f. 130). 3 large decorated foliate initials with full foliate borders including heraldic arms and scrolls, in colours and gold (ff. 1, 30, 107). 7 smaller decorated foliate initials with three-sided foliate borders including scrolls and a few also the heraldic arms, in colours and gold (ff. 33, 44, 53, 63, 85v, 124, 126v); 1 page missing after f. 35). Small decorated foliate initials with partial foliate borders, in colours and gold. Small initials in blue on red grounds, decorated with golden acanthus, with partial foliate borders, in colours and gold. Line fillers decorated with coloured flowers on red or blue grounds, at the beginning including the letters T and G (ff. 1-28v). Capital letters highlighted in yellow.
Dimensions in mm 150 x 90 (95 x 55)
Official foliation ff. 216 (+ 1 paper and 2 parchment flyleaves at the beginning and 2 parchment and 1 paper flyleaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Harleian binding of gold-tooled red leather; marbled endpapers; gilt fore-edge.
Provenance Jean Le Gous, notary and secretary of Charles VII, written for him by Pierre le Fevre, colophon with the date 1460 'transcriptz par moy Pierre le Fevre pbrestre et cure de Marsac aux fraiz et costz de hounorable homme et saige Maistre Jehan le Gous notaire et secretaire du roy Charles viie. de ce nom a present regnant et roy de France. le penultime jour davril mil.CCCC. et soixante' (f. 192v); his arms and anagram 'Je glane nous' (ff. 1, 30, 107, 130, etc.).
Inscribed in French by a late 15th- or early 16th-century hand (ff. 199v, 213v-216).
Inscribed in French in a 16th-century hand (f. 35).
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 '13 die mensis Augusti, A.D. 1724.' (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 The text of 'foy charite et esperance' (incipit: A la saison tenebreuese...), decorated with small initials in gold on red or blue grounds, added by a professional late 15th-century hand (ff. 200-213v).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1808-12), III, no. 4329.

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. 18.

Robert Lucas, 'Medieval French Translations of the Latin Classics to 1500', Speculum, 45 (1970) , 225-53 (pp. 235-36).

Andrew G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c.700-1600 in the Department of Manuscripts, The British Library (London: British Museum, 1979), I, no. 807.

Jean Fouquet: Peintre et enlumineur du XVe siècle ed. by François Avril (Paris: Hazan, 2003), no. 31.

A l'Escu de France: Guillebert de Mets et la peinture de livres a Gand a l'epoque de Jan van Eyck (1410-1450), ed. by Dominique Vanwijnsberghe and Erik Verroken, 2 vols (Brussels: IRPA, 2017), p. 574, L26.


Images
* * *
 
Foliate initial

f. 30
Foliate initial
Decorated initial

ff. 32v-33
Decorated initial
Decorated initial

f. 63
Decorated initial
 
Line-fillers

f. 102
Line-fillers
Cicero

f. 130
Cicero

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