Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Ms-3516
(L'Image du monde / Bestiaire of Pierre de Beauvais)


Produced: France, 13th century
Current Location: Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris, France
Manuscript Type: Miscellany
Bestiary Family: French
Language: French
Folios: 356
Author: Gossuin de Metz / Pierre de Beauvais
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Parchment
Dimensions: Height: 32.8 cm Width: 24.5 cm
Sample page - Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal Ms-3516
Folio 199v


This is a multi-part manuscript with four sections relating to animals.

Folio 128v-130v: De Jonas et de la balaine, a commentary in French verse about the biblical story of Jonah and the whale.

Folio 139v-140v : De l'unicorne, a text in French verse on the religious and allegorical meaning of the unicorn. A piece of the manuscript on folio 139v above the start of the poem has been cut out and patched; this may have originally been an illustration. Part of the text on folio 140r has been lost.

Folio 160r-179v: Livre de Clergie en romans, qui est apelé l'Ymage dou monde (L'Image du monde, first verse version), an encyclopedia by Gossuin de Metz. There are animal accounts in the Geography section; none are illustrated.

Folio 198v-212v: Li livres des natures des bestes, the Bestiaire of Pierre de Beauvais (here called Pierre le Picard), The illustrations are colored drawings with colored backgrounds, almost all enclosed in decorative frames. Many of the images are rubbed and faded, and some are damaged. This is the Bestiaire manuscript designated P. This manuscript has a description and illustration of the Orphan Bird, found only in Pierre's Bestiaire, on folio 212v.

There is also a treatise on the Mappa Mundi (Map of the World) on folio 156v-158v, and two Lapidaries starting on folio 213r.

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Bibliothèque Nationale de France