Trinity College Library (Cambridge), O.2.14
(Bestiaire of Guillaume le Clerc)


Produced: England, 13th & 14th century
Location: Trinity College Library (Cambridge), Cambridge, England, UK
Type: Miscellany
Language: French/Latin
Folios: 107
Author: Guillaume le Clerc
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Vellum
Dimensions: Height: 22.2 cm Width: 15.6 cm
Folio 44r


The illustrated Bestiaire of Guillaume le Clerc is on folios 32v-67v.

The Bestiary is illustrated with miniatures of fair execution. The artist did not appear to know what several of the animals looked like, so drew his best guess, resulting in many very odd depictions. Many of the bird drawings are repeated with minor variations to represent other birds. The images use mostly dark green, red and blue pigments, with some gold leaf in the frames. Some of the images are damaged, with pigment cracked and flaking off, and they all seem to have darkened with age.

Note: Foliation jumps from f.37 to f.39. It is not known if folio 38 is missing or if the folio numbering is incorrect.

[Adapted from James]

f.32b Hic incipit prologus super bestiarium Willelmi normanni qui fecit hunc librum translatum a latino in romanum tempore regis Iohannis quando anglia erat interdicta (Hist. Litt. xvi.220) Qe n totes oueraignes en deit / estre loez qui que il seit / Liure de bone comentaille / Ki aura bone definaille. It ends on f.66(67)b: end of col.1: Guillame qui cest liure fist / En la definaille tant dist / De sire Raol sun seignor / Explicit Bestiarius. But col.2 continues: Pur qui il fu en cest labor etc. Ending: Poisse monter a eel ior / que li iuste e li peccheor / Deuant le iuge trembleront / E lor iugement atendront.

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