The J. Paul Getty Museum

Des cas des nobles hommes et femmes

Object Details

Title:

Des cas des nobles hommes et femmes

Artists/Makers:

Boucicaut Master and workshop (French, active about 1390 - 1430)

Giovanni Boccaccio (Italian, 1313 - 1375)

Laurent de Premierfait (French, died 1418, active 1400 - 1410)

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France (Place Created)

Date:

about 1413–1415

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink

Object Number:

Ms. 63 (96.MR.17)

Dimensions:

Leaf: 42 × 29.6 cm (16 9/16 × 11 5/8 in.)

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Object Description

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.

Provenance
Provenance
by 1767 - 1775

William Henry Kerr, 4th Marquess of Lothian, Earl of Ancram, 1710 - 1775, by descent to his son, William John Kerr, 1775.
Source: Inscription on numerous folio in 18th century hand "Ancram".

1775 - 1815

William John Kerr, 5th Marquess of Lothian, 1737 - 1815, by descent to his son, William Kerr, 1815.

1815 - 1824

William Kerr, English, 1763 - 1824, by descent to his son, John Kerr, 1824.

1824 - 1841

John William Robert Kerr, Scottish, 1794 - 1841, by descent to his grandson, Philip Kerr, 1930.

1930 - 1932

Philip Henry Kerr, 1882 - 1940 [sold, American Art Association, Anderson Galleries Inc., New York, January 27, 1932, lot, 11, to Francis Kettaneh.]

1932 - 1976

Francis Kettaneh, American, 1897 - 1976

1976 - 1980

Estate of Francis Kettaneh, American, 1897 - 1976 [sold, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 20, 1980, lot 14, to H.P. Kraus.]

1980 - 1981

Hans P. Kraus, Sr., American, born Austria, 1907 - 1988, sold to private collection, 1981.

1981 - 1996

Private Collection, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

Provenance Remarks: The manuscript passed amongst the Marquesses of Lothian from the early 18th century until it reached the hands of Philip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian by 1930. As the line of descent of ownership is unclear due to the abrupt deaths of William Schomberg Robert Kerr, 8th Marquess in 1870 and his brother Schromberg Henry Kerr, 9th Marquess of Lothian, it unknown if the manuscript remained housed in the family library or if they passed through the hands of both of these Marquess' until it eventually ended up in the hands of Robert Schomberg Kerr, 10th Marquess of Lothian. As the Marquess died without issue, it is assumed that the manuscript was passed along with the estate to his cousin, the 11th Marquess, Philip Henry Kerr in 1930.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Medieval Art from Private Collections: A Special Exhibition at the Cloisters (October 30, 1968 to January 5, 1969) (fols. 2v-3)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), October 30, 1968 to January 5, 1969
Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript illumination (December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998) (fols. 2v-3)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998
Faces of Power and Piety: Portraits in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (February 2 to April 18, 1999) (fols. 242v-243)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 2 to April 18, 1999
French Manuscript Illumination of the Late Middle Ages (August 3 to September 26, 1999) (fols. 26v-27)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), August 3 to September 26, 1999
Illuminating Color (May 22 to August 26, 2001) (fols. 105v-106)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 22 to August 26, 2001
A Treasury of Fifteenth Century Manuscript Illumination (March 26 to June 16, 2002) (fols. 2v-3)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 26 to June 16, 2002
Transforming Tradition: Ancient Motifs in Medieval Manuscripts (September 23 to November 30, 2003) (fols. 18v-19)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 23 to November 30, 2003
Fit for a King: Courtly Manuscripts, 1380-1450 (June 29 to August 29, 2004) (fols. 2v-3)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 29 to September 5, 2004
Images of Violence in the Medieval World (December 21 2004 to March 13, 2005) (fols. 140v-141)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 21, 2004 to March 13, 2005
The Medieval Bookshelf: From Romance to Astronomy (January 24 to April 9, 2006) (fols. 306v-307)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 24 to April 9, 2006
Landscape in the Renaissance (August 1 to October 15, 2006) (fols. 2v-3)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), August 1 to October 15, 2006
French Manuscript Illumination in the Middle Ages (January 23 to April 15, 2007) (fols. 236v-237)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 23 to April 15, 2007
Medieval Beasts (May 1 to July 29, 2007) (fols. 236v-237)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 1 to July 29, 2007
Imagining the Past in France: 1250-1500 (November 16, 2010 to February 6, 2011) (fols. 2v-3)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 16, 2010 to February 6, 2011
Fashion in the Middle Ages (May 31 to August 14, 2011) (fols. 62v-63)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 31 to August 14, 2011
A Feast for the Senses of Beauty: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe (October 15, 2016 to April 30, 2017) (fols. 2v-3; fols. 257v-258)
  • Walters Art Museum (Baltimore), October 15, 2016 to January 8, 2017
  • The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art (Sarasota), February 4 to April 30, 2017
Outcasts: Prejudice and Persecution in the Medieval World (January 30 to April 8, 2018) (fols. 281v-282)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 30 to April 8, 2018
Painted Prophecy: The Hebrew Bible through Christian Eyes (March 10 to June 22, 2020) (fols. 240v-241)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 10 to June 22, 2020
Bibliography
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Anderson Galleries, New York. Illuminated Manuscripts, Incunabula, and Americana from the Famous Libraries of the Most Honorable the Marquess of Lothian, C.H.. January 27, 1932, unpaginated, lot 11, ill.

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