Concerning the Fates of Illustrious Men and Women

Boucicaut Master, illuminator; and his workshop; Giovanni Boccaccio, author; Laurent de Premierfait, translator
French, Paris, about 1415 - 1415
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment bound between pasteboard covered with brown calfskin
16 9/16 x 11 5/8 in.
MS. 63

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Concerning the Fates of Illustrious Men and Women, written by Florentine poet and man of letters Giovanni Boccaccio, was one of the most popular literary works among the French aristocracy in the 1400s. Boccaccio's book was a collection of stories about exemplary heroes and heroines from biblical, classical, and medieval history. Laurent de Premierfait, who undertook this French translation (Des cas des nobles hommes et femmes), added additional tales from both ancient and more recent sources to Boccaccio's. All but one of the miniatures in this volume were painted by the Boucicaut Master, one of the finest Parisian illuminators of the early fifteenth century, and his workshop of highly trained collaborators. In his framed miniatures, the Boucicaut Master used newly developed and highly saturated colors that were very expensive at the time. The high quality of the illuminations and the scale of the decoration suggest that this book was made for someone in the court circle of King Charles VI of France.

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