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2.1 French medieval illuminated manuscripts

Brotherton Collection MS 18, fol. 7r
Explore digitised images of medieval manuscript illumination. Find out more about the significant provenances of the manuscripts, and how they came to the University of Leeds Library.
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[Evangelistarium]
Medieval manuscripts collected by the University Library in 1925, University of Leeds Special Collections
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Photograph of Lord Brotherton, 1926
Lord Brotherton's collecting of medieval manuscripts, held at the University fo Leeds Special Collections
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Jerome (fol. 2r)
Medieval illuminated manuscripts from the Ripon Cathedral collection, held at the University of Leeds Special Collections
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King David (fol. 21r)
French medieval illuminated manuscripts at the University of Leeds, Special Collections
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St. Luke, the Evangelist (fol. 14v)
French medieval illuminated manuscripts at the University of Leeds, Special Collections
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Corpus Christi (fol. 25r)
Southern Netherlands medieval illuminated manuscripts at the University of Leeds, Special Collections
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Coronation of the Virgin (fol. 17v)
Northern Netherlands medieval illuminated manuscripts at the University of Leeds, Special Collections
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Crucifixion of Christ (fol. 103r)
Italian medieval illuminated manuscripts at the University of Leeds, Special Collections
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Pan and other mythical creatures (fol. 97r)
German medieval illuminated manuscripts at the University of Leeds, Special Collections
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Burial service (fol. 7v)
English medieval illuminated manuscripts at the University of Leeds, Special Collections
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Seven Sorrows of the Virgin (fol. 142v)
Illuminated medieval manuscripts at the University of Leeds, Special Collections
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BC MS 1: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 1: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 2: [Breviarium ad Usum Parisiensem]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 2: [Breviarium ad Usum Parisiensem], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 3: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 3: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 4: [Hours of Antoine de Crèvecœur]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 4: [Hours of Antoine de Crèvecœur], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 5: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 5: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 6: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 6: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 7: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 7: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 8: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 8: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 9: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 9: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 10: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 10: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 11: [Preces]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 11: [Preces], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 12: [Preces]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 12: [Preces], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 14: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 14: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 15: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 15: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 16: [Beverley prayer book]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 16: [Beverley prayer book], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 18: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 18: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 22: [In epistolas canonicas]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 22: [In epistolas canonicas], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 23: Legenda aurea sanctorum
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 23: Legenda aurea sanctorum, held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 24: [Psalterium]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 24: [Psalterium], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS 100: [Biblical and genealogical chronicle from Adam and Eve to Louis XI of France]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS 100: [Biblical and genealogical chronicle from Adam and Eve to Louis XI of France], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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MS 124: [Evangelistarium]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript MS 124: [Evangelistarium], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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MS 498: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript MS 498: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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Ripon Cathedral MS 1: [Biblia]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript Ripon Cathedral MS 1: [Biblia], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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Ripon Cathedral MS 3: [Apocalypsis et Epistolae catholicae, cum glossis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript Ripon Cathedral MS 3: [Apocalypsis et Epistolae catholicae, cum glossis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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Ripon Cathedral MS 4: [In Apocalypsim; Threni Ieremie cum glossis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript Ripon Cathedral MS 4: [In Apocalypsim; Threni Ieremie cum glossis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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BC MS Frag. 1: Three single leaves from medieval liturgical manuscripts
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript BC MS Frag. 1: Three single leaves from medieval liturgical manuscripts, held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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Ripon Cathedral MS 9: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis]
View a high-resolution digitised version of the illuminated medieval manuscript Ripon Cathedral MS 9: [Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis], held in Special Collections at Leeds University Library.
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The collections hold 11 medieval manuscripts illuminated in France. The most remarkable example of French illumination is found in a fragmentary Parisian book of hours that contains only four gatherings: a calendar; Gospel extracts and the Obsecro te prayer; the seven Penitential Psalms; and the Penitential Psalms with a litany of the Saints (BC MS 1).

No indication survives in the manuscript to identify its patron; the coat of arms on the shield was left unpainted.

The only large miniature present, seen here, represents King David (fol. 21r) and is painted in the characteristically soft brushwork of the Bedford Master (identifiable possibly as Haincelin of Haguenau). The illuminator used fine tonal transitions of colour for modelling, in the near absence of line.

A skilled associate seems to have painted the surrounding medallions that narrate the story of David and Bathsheba, as well as the small miniatures of the occupations of the months and the signs of the zodiac in the calendar (see for example February).

One or more assistants are likely to have been responsible for the cruder and more linear historiated borders that decorate the outer margins throughout the manuscript.

The manuscript can be dated to the 1420s, during the later stages of the Hundred Years War, when the English occupied Paris. While local illuminators continued to work for their French patrons, they also acquired new masters from the English camp, most notably the English Regent of France, John, Duke of Bedford, after whom this illuminator has been named.

The decorative, International Gothic style exemplified by this manuscript was in fashion at the turn of the 15th century in Paris, Milan, Prague, and every important court throughout Europe

Dr Katja Monier