Merton College Library (Oxford), MS. 249
(Bestiaire of Philippe de Thaon)
|England, 13th century
|Merton College Library (Oxford), Oxford, England, UK
|Philippe de Thaon
|Height: 27.5 cm Width: 19.5 cm
The Bestiaire of Philippe de Thaon is on folio 1r-19v. It is illustrated with line drawings.
13th-century miscellany, probably all of English origin, including (folio. 1r-10v) Philippe de Thaon, Bestiary in Anglo-Norman verse, illustrated with drawings, (folio. 76r-78v) a calendar with added notes of events and obits, and Latin works by Gregory I, Maurice of Sully, Innocent III, etc. Given to Merton College by William Rede, d. 1385.
After the section on the Owl the text includes sixteen lines on the Pearl and ends apparently incomplete. Forty-eight drawings exist, for the most part poorly executed. The manuscript is written in double columns in the form of prose. There seems to have been no cooperation between the copiest and the illustrator since the former often did not leave sufficient space for the drawings, which were consequently squeezed into the margins. ... it appears at times that neither the copiest nor the illustrator understood Latin. ... the Latin directions occasionally are buried in the French text with no room at all left for the required illustration...
The Bestiary section of the manuscript (folia 1 to 10) has been badly trimmed, often cutting off parts of the drawings that are near the edges. The illustrations are simple pen drawings, not colored, and are the work of an unskilled artist who usually did not know the appearance of the animal he was drawing.
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