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The French King at Court
France (Place Created)
about 1460 - 1470
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment
Ms. 68 (2001.45), fol. 1
Leaf: 17.6 × 11.4 cm (6 15/16 × 4 1/2 in.)
A fashionably dressed young man approaches the king of France, who sits on a throne draped in a blue fabric patterned with the French fleur-de-lis. The courtier, perhaps a messenger, wears long riding boots and spurs. This suggests that he may be the same figure as the black-clad rider of the white horse visible in the miniature's background. Both the ceremony and the intrigue of court are represented in the subtle gestures of the figures and the discrete groups of attendants around the king. The king peers out of the miniature with a seemingly knowing expression, as if to indicate his wariness of competing factions. The miniature sets the tone for the text, which concerns the perils of life at court.
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