THE DIGITAL WALTERSMENU
Internet Archive BookReader Demo
triangle
← search "Trésor de sapience" (Creation to 138 CE) W.307
Manuscript Overview
References
Bindings & Oddities

Abstract

This richly decorated manuscript chronicles an account from the creation of the world up to 138 BCE. It was illuminated by associates of Loyset Liédet and Willem Vrelant, and was completed, likely in Bruges, ca. 1470-80. The book itself is a fine example of secular books that were in demand by aristocratic patrons in the southern Netherlands during the third quarter of the fifteenth century. Along with an expansive decoration program, this world history also features key heraldic evidence. The most current armorial shield that was painted among an abraded surrounding area is that of Adolph of Burgundy, seigneur of Bevres, Vere, and Flissinghe. He was a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece as of 1516, following his father Philip of Burgundy, and his grandfather Anthony of Burgundy ("Grand Bâtard de Bourgogne," illegitimate son of Philip the Good). The decoration and its organization throughout the text embodies principles of hierarchical design and artistic collaboration typical of expansive pictorial programs in this type of secular text. Of particular note are the six large miniatures, one before major text divisions of the chronicle and each spanning across two columns of text. These illustrations are quite imaginative and varied stylistically. There is a visual emphasis on the Trinity as evinced by the frontispiece, which features a Creation cycle in six medallions. Along with the six large illustrations, six major text divisions, and six medallion Creation cycle, this manuscript recalls Augustinian tenets on Trinitarianism linked with the Six Days of Creation, the Six Ages of Man, and the Six Ages of the World.

Text Note

Historical account from Creation through 138 CE, often with mixture of Biblical and secular themes; fols. 1r-v: Author's prologue; fols. 1v-25v: Creation to Aod's slaying of King Eglon (Gen. 1-Judges 3.14-28) in seventy-one text divisions; fols. 25v-39r: History of Thebes; fols. 39r-59r: History of Troy; fol. 59r-v: The birth of Obed (Ruth 4); fols. 59v-87r: History of Britain with seventy-five text divisions, starting with the invasion of Brutus; fols. 67v-86v: Third Age of the World; fols. 86v-87r: Overview of Italian kings since Aeneas; fols. 87r-132r: History of Rome with 106 headings, from Romulus and Remus and founding of Rome in 753 BCE, to defeat of Gauls by Marcus Valerius in 349 BCE; fols. 132r-174v: Alexander the Great and preceding rulers, with continued history of Rome through the victories of Agathocles over the Carthaginians (310-307 BCE); fols. 175r-254v: History of Rome, including war between Romans and Tarentines in 282 BCE; fols. 254v-318v Julius Caesar's career from 58 BCE through his assassination in 44 BCE; fols. 318v-348v: Biblical themes, and Roman Emperors through Hadrian (d. 138 CE)

Hand note

Written in Burgundian littera batarda; several hands apparent; distinct change of hand at fol. 192r; Table of Contents, fols. 349r-361r, by different scribe from rest (likely not originally part of volume)

Decoration Note

Ninety-eight illustrations total: six miniatures spanning two text columns; thirty-six miniatures spanning one text column; fifty-six historiated initials (5-7 lines); marginalia at six major text openings; decorated illuminated initials at major text openings (2-4 lines), at secondary text divisions (2 lines); periodic illuminated margins; line fillers found on fols. 1r-80v only; rubrics in red; text in brown ink; see Randall's Flemish catalog, pp. 368-370, for her extensive analysis of artistic influences and related manuscripts

Contributors

artist: Vrelant, Willem, -1481

artist: Liédet, Loyset, approximately 1420-1479

Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Herbert, Lynley

Cataloger: Herbold, Rebekah

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Herbold, Rebekah

Contributor: Noel, William

Contributor: Ransom, Allison

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Toth, Michael B.

Contributor: Wiegand, Kimber

Conservator: Owen, Linda

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

Watson, C. K. "Histoire universelle des Anciens Royaumes, XVth Century Manuscript" (talk delivered Feb. 8, 1866), Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries 3 (1864-67): 248-252.


Olschki, Leo S. "Manuscrits très précieux: Histoire universelle des Anciennes Royaumes." La Bibliofilia 17 (Feb.-Mar. 1916): 453-462


De Ricci, Seymour, and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935; p. 849, cat. no. 520.


Thomson, James C. Music through the Renaissance. Dubuque, Iowa: William C. Brown, 1984, p. 92, fig. 3.13 (fol. 167v)


Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 3. Belgium, 1250-1530. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1989; pp. 358-371, cat. no. 273; figs. 512-514, pl. XXXVII.


Withee, Diana. "More than a Miniature: Art in the Book". The Walters 42, no.7 (September 1989):4-5, p. 4, fol. 167v.


Caswell, Jean M. “Two Manuscripts from the Chroniques II Workshop: Chroniques de Hainaut, volume II, and Morgan-Macon Golden Legend.” Revue belge d'archéologie et d'histoire de l'art 62 (1993): 17-46; p. 25.


Jonathan J. G. Alexander. "Dancing in the Streets." Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 54 (1996):147-162, pp. 147-62, fig. 19, fol. 26r.


Bousmanne, Bernard. Item à Guillaume Wyelant aussi enlumineur: Willem Vrelant, un aspect de l'enluminure dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux sous le mécénat des ducs de Bourgogne Philippe le Bon et Charles le Téméraire. Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 1997; p. 58, 378.


McKendrick, Scot. “Reviving the Past: Illustrated Manuscripts of Secular Vernacular Texts, 1467-1500.” In Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe. Edited by Thomas Kren and Scot McKendrick, 59-78. Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003; p. 76.


Clouzot, Martine. Images de musiciens (1350-1500): Typologies, figurations et practiques sociales. Turnhout: Brepols, 2007; p. 177.


Bousmanne, Bernard and Thierry Delcourt (eds.). Miniatures flamandes 1404-1482. Belgium: Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, 2011, p. 256.


These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

25bookmarkr

Lower board outside

Spine

Fore-edge

Head

Tail

Keywords
Chronicle
Flemish
Historiated initial
Illustration
Miniature
Ornament
Flanders
15th century
History
Heraldry
Painting

Origin Place

Bruges (?)

Date

Ca. 1470-1480 CE

Form

book

Binding

Non-original Binding

Binding Description

Rebound in France ca. 1770 in brownish red leather with lap-mitered corners; resewn on six double cords at original stations of eight pairs of deep cuts; gilt-tooled designs on covers and spine; gilt title on spine reads "HIST. UNIVERSELLE DES ANCIENS ROYAUMES Mss. sur velin avec miniatures"; white and pink end bands worked with edge-bead around rolled paper core; gilt edges

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is French, Middle (ca.1400-1600).

Provenance

Bruges

Adolph of Burgundy, seigneur of Bevres, Vere, and Flissinghe

Illustrations include twenty-six other heraldic or decorative banners; recognizable of the heraldic banners are Brabant

Rebound ca. 1770, perhaps for Duke Louis-César de La Vallière, his ownership alleged on end flyleaf i,v

Family of Rev. Fletcher Fleming of Rayrigg, Windermere, Westmoreland, approximately twenty-five miles northwest of Lancaster, in possession by 1866; ancestral bookplate with interlaced initials "RF" centered on fol. i,v; later penciled arabic numerals before roman numerals in table of contents beginning on fol. 349v likely entered by "Rev Fletcher Fleming," his signature below bookplate, inscription above: "History of the World from the Creation of it to the Emperor Adrian / From the Celebrateed Library of Duke De La Valiere"

Maggs. Bros., Cat. 330, lot 229; London, 1914

Leo S. Olschki, Florence, 1916; sold to Henry Walters in New York City, Nov. 6, 1916

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest

← search "Trésor de sapience" (Creation to 138 CE) W.307

Origin Place

Bruges (?)

Date

Ca. 1470-1480 CE

Form

book

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is French, Middle (ca.1400-1600).

Provenance

Bruges

Adolph of Burgundy, seigneur of Bevres, Vere, and Flissinghe

Illustrations include twenty-six other heraldic or decorative banners; recognizable of the heraldic banners are Brabant

Rebound ca. 1770, perhaps for Duke Louis-César de La Vallière, his ownership alleged on end flyleaf i,v

Family of Rev. Fletcher Fleming of Rayrigg, Windermere, Westmoreland, approximately twenty-five miles northwest of Lancaster, in possession by 1866; ancestral bookplate with interlaced initials "RF" centered on fol. i,v; later penciled arabic numerals before roman numerals in table of contents beginning on fol. 349v likely entered by "Rev Fletcher Fleming," his signature below bookplate, inscription above: "History of the World from the Creation of it to the Emperor Adrian / From the Celebrateed Library of Duke De La Valiere"

Maggs. Bros., Cat. 330, lot 229; London, 1914

Leo S. Olschki, Florence, 1916; sold to Henry Walters in New York City, Nov. 6, 1916

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest

Manuscript Overview

Abstract

This richly decorated manuscript chronicles an account from the creation of the world up to 138 BCE. It was illuminated by associates of Loyset Liédet and Willem Vrelant, and was completed, likely in Bruges, ca. 1470-80. The book itself is a fine example of secular books that were in demand by aristocratic patrons in the southern Netherlands during the third quarter of the fifteenth century. Along with an expansive decoration program, this world history also features key heraldic evidence. The most current armorial shield that was painted among an abraded surrounding area is that of Adolph of Burgundy, seigneur of Bevres, Vere, and Flissinghe. He was a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece as of 1516, following his father Philip of Burgundy, and his grandfather Anthony of Burgundy ("Grand Bâtard de Bourgogne," illegitimate son of Philip the Good). The decoration and its organization throughout the text embodies principles of hierarchical design and artistic collaboration typical of expansive pictorial programs in this type of secular text. Of particular note are the six large miniatures, one before major text divisions of the chronicle and each spanning across two columns of text. These illustrations are quite imaginative and varied stylistically. There is a visual emphasis on the Trinity as evinced by the frontispiece, which features a Creation cycle in six medallions. Along with the six large illustrations, six major text divisions, and six medallion Creation cycle, this manuscript recalls Augustinian tenets on Trinitarianism linked with the Six Days of Creation, the Six Ages of Man, and the Six Ages of the World.

Text Note

Historical account from Creation through 138 CE, often with mixture of Biblical and secular themes; fols. 1r-v: Author's prologue; fols. 1v-25v: Creation to Aod's slaying of King Eglon (Gen. 1-Judges 3.14-28) in seventy-one text divisions; fols. 25v-39r: History of Thebes; fols. 39r-59r: History of Troy; fol. 59r-v: The birth of Obed (Ruth 4); fols. 59v-87r: History of Britain with seventy-five text divisions, starting with the invasion of Brutus; fols. 67v-86v: Third Age of the World; fols. 86v-87r: Overview of Italian kings since Aeneas; fols. 87r-132r: History of Rome with 106 headings, from Romulus and Remus and founding of Rome in 753 BCE, to defeat of Gauls by Marcus Valerius in 349 BCE; fols. 132r-174v: Alexander the Great and preceding rulers, with continued history of Rome through the victories of Agathocles over the Carthaginians (310-307 BCE); fols. 175r-254v: History of Rome, including war between Romans and Tarentines in 282 BCE; fols. 254v-318v Julius Caesar's career from 58 BCE through his assassination in 44 BCE; fols. 318v-348v: Biblical themes, and Roman Emperors through Hadrian (d. 138 CE)

Hand note

Written in Burgundian littera batarda; several hands apparent; distinct change of hand at fol. 192r; Table of Contents, fols. 349r-361r, by different scribe from rest (likely not originally part of volume)

Decoration Note

Ninety-eight illustrations total: six miniatures spanning two text columns; thirty-six miniatures spanning one text column; fifty-six historiated initials (5-7 lines); marginalia at six major text openings; decorated illuminated initials at major text openings (2-4 lines), at secondary text divisions (2 lines); periodic illuminated margins; line fillers found on fols. 1r-80v only; rubrics in red; text in brown ink; see Randall's Flemish catalog, pp. 368-370, for her extensive analysis of artistic influences and related manuscripts

References

Contributors

artist: Vrelant, Willem, -1481

artist: Liédet, Loyset, approximately 1420-1479

Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Herbert, Lynley

Cataloger: Herbold, Rebekah

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Herbold, Rebekah

Contributor: Noel, William

Contributor: Ransom, Allison

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Toth, Michael B.

Contributor: Wiegand, Kimber

Conservator: Owen, Linda

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

Watson, C. K. "Histoire universelle des Anciens Royaumes, XVth Century Manuscript" (talk delivered Feb. 8, 1866), Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries 3 (1864-67): 248-252.


Olschki, Leo S. "Manuscrits très précieux: Histoire universelle des Anciennes Royaumes." La Bibliofilia 17 (Feb.-Mar. 1916): 453-462


De Ricci, Seymour, and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935; p. 849, cat. no. 520.


Thomson, James C. Music through the Renaissance. Dubuque, Iowa: William C. Brown, 1984, p. 92, fig. 3.13 (fol. 167v)


Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 3. Belgium, 1250-1530. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1989; pp. 358-371, cat. no. 273; figs. 512-514, pl. XXXVII.


Withee, Diana. "More than a Miniature: Art in the Book". The Walters 42, no.7 (September 1989):4-5, p. 4, fol. 167v.


Caswell, Jean M. “Two Manuscripts from the Chroniques II Workshop: Chroniques de Hainaut, volume II, and Morgan-Macon Golden Legend.” Revue belge d'archéologie et d'histoire de l'art 62 (1993): 17-46; p. 25.


Jonathan J. G. Alexander. "Dancing in the Streets." Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 54 (1996):147-162, pp. 147-62, fig. 19, fol. 26r.


Bousmanne, Bernard. Item à Guillaume Wyelant aussi enlumineur: Willem Vrelant, un aspect de l'enluminure dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux sous le mécénat des ducs de Bourgogne Philippe le Bon et Charles le Téméraire. Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 1997; p. 58, 378.


McKendrick, Scot. “Reviving the Past: Illustrated Manuscripts of Secular Vernacular Texts, 1467-1500.” In Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe. Edited by Thomas Kren and Scot McKendrick, 59-78. Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003; p. 76.


Clouzot, Martine. Images de musiciens (1350-1500): Typologies, figurations et practiques sociales. Turnhout: Brepols, 2007; p. 177.


Bousmanne, Bernard and Thierry Delcourt (eds.). Miniatures flamandes 1404-1482. Belgium: Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, 2011, p. 256.


Bindings & Oddities

These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

25bookmarkr

Lower board outside

Spine

Fore-edge

Head

Tail

Keywords
Chronicle
Flemish
Historiated initial
Illustration
Miniature
Ornament
Flanders
15th century
History
Heraldry
Painting
YOUR COLLECTION

Share this Collection

Clear All

Note: This collection feature is in beta, and not yet fully functional. If you're interested in saving your collection to continue using it in the future, please us the share action.