Lot 8
  • 8

The Presentation of a manuscript to a patron, large miniature from an illuminated manuscript of Cicero, De Senectute, in the French translation of Laurent de Premierfait, on vellum [Central France (perhaps Nantes or Tours), third quarter of the fifteenth century]

4,000 - 6,000 GBP
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  • Vellum
upper portion of a leaf, 220mm. by 180mm., with a large arch-topped miniature enclosing a patron in golden robes standing with his hand on his hip before his court, accepting a red book (doubtless the parent volume of this miniature) from a kneeling scribe or artist, all within  a gothic interior and before fortifications and a river, border on two sides of coloured acanthus leaves and foliage, enclosing a man in a conical hat gazing at the scene (perhaps the author Cicero) with a follower, verso with 2 columns of 29 lines in lettre bâtarde, 3 initials in liquid gold on burgundy or blue grounds, once laid down on board with glue residue in places on verso and slight discolouration at top edge of miniature, small scuffs and flakes from areas of miniature and small areas of robes of an attendant and the cover of the book faded, else presentable condition, nineteenth-century carved gilt frame

Catalogue Note


This cutting, with a subject entirely secular in content, is from a large manuscript of the works of Cicero, translated into French by the poet and humanist Laurent de Premierfait (c. 1380–1418) in 1406. It most probably shows the presentation of the parent volume to the commissioning patron.

The artist is a follower of Jean Fouquet (1420-81), the preeminent French painter of the fifteenth century and peintre du roy to King Louis XI. He worked in both manuscript art and panel painting, and brought many of the fundamental aspects of Italian Renaissance art to the French court of Charles VII (then resident at Tours). This manuscript, with its miniatures in the style prevalent at court in the second half of the fifteenth century, may well have been commissioned by a member of the royal circle.