Shop Amazon - Create an Amazon Baby Registry

Shop Amazon - Create an Amazon Baby Registry

Selected 14th century illustrations of costume & soldiers from the
French translation of the latin Grandes Chroniques de France.

Grandes Chroniques de St Denis, c. 1335–40
British Library MS Royal 16 G VI
British Library, Royal MS 16 G VI
Title: Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Origin: France, Central (Paris)
Date: after 1332, before 1350
Language: French
Script: Gothic
Artists: Mahiet, Master of the Cambrai Missal
Decoration: 418 one or two-column miniatures in colours and gold, at the beginning of books; the miniature at the beginning of the text with a full bar border with vine extensions (f. 3). Foliate initials in colours and gold, at the beginning of books. Initials in blue with red pen-flourishing, or in red with dark blue pen-flourishing.
Dimensions in mm: 390 x 280 (255 x 190)
Official foliation: ff. 447 (+ 3 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end; ff. 246, 247 are medieval parchment flyleaves)
Form: Parchment codex

This manuscript contains a revised edition of the Grandes Chroniques de France that was commissioned by the future John II as Duke of Normandy (1332-1350), before his assumption of the throne. The text of the chronicle extends to the death of Louis IX (1270).
According to Hedeman 1991, one of nine illustrated copies of the Grandes Chroniques made before 1350, and illuminated in at least six distinct artistic styles between c. 1335-1340

Text links to the larger images:
Battle of Etampes, Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Siege of Avignon, Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Burning of Argentan; battle of Val-es-Dunes; surrender of a castle, Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Abbey of Vezelay being attacked by three archers with crossbows; a complaint being made to Louis VII, Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Foot soldiers and cavalry - Flight of imperial army, Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Louis IX setting out on the Seventh Crusade, 1248, Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Battle-scene: deaths from pestilence, Chroniques de France ou de St Denis

The copy of the Grandes Chroniques produced for John the Good (B.L. Royal 16 G VI) is one of the most luxurious French manuscripts of the fourteenth century. With over 400 illustrations incorporating more than 600 individual scenes, this manuscript contains a painstakingly revised text of the chronicle, which runs through the life of Saint Louis.[4] Although the book is not listed in any surviving inventories of the Louvre or in descriptions of John the Good's possessions when he was captured at Poitiers in 1356, it belonged to John before he became king. On the first folio are John's arms as duke of Normandy, a title he held from 1332 to 1350. Moreover, at the end of the manuscript John's signature as duke has been erased.[5] A group of artists active for the court in the 1330s painted the book c. 1335–40.[6] Clearly, then, this Grandes Chroniques, now in London, was made for John when he was between 16 and 21 years old. Whether commissioned by John or by someone close to him at court, the manuscript offers a rare opportunity to examine the ideal of kingship deemed appropriate for the young heir to the throne. Further, the dense marginal annotations provide insights into the maturation of John's political thought.
Source: The Royal Image, Illustrations of the Grandes Chroniques de France, 1274–1422 by Anne D. Hedeman (1991)

See also Capture of Damietta, 'Vie de saint Louis' (Life of St. Louis) by Jean de Joinville, 1330-1340. BnF Ms. Fr.13568
Grandes Chroniques de France de Charles V BnF MS Français 2813, France, c.1375-1380
Other 14th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers