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Ink, tempera, and gold on vellum
Codex: 20.3 x 15.7 x 7 cm (8 x 6 3/16 x 2 3/4 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1964.40.89.b
This precious book was highly prized by its owner, Charles III, King of Navarre, a French-born prince whose coat of arms is painted on 20 folios. Charles visited Paris on numerous occasions and likely acquired this volume there in 1404. Paris was the center of the European book trade at the time and attracted illuminators from many parts of Europe. This manuscript represents one of the most remarkable fusions of French and Italian taste in book illumination. Though conforming to Parisian standards, most of the book’s major miniatures are the work of the Brussels Initials Master, an Italian illuminator who previously worked in Bologna and Padua.