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The Rochefoucauld Grail, in French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [eastern Artois or western Flanders (most probably Saint-Omer, Tournai or Ghent), c.1315-23]
Estimation
1 500 0002 000 000
Lot. Vendu 2,393,250 GBP (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
33
The Rochefoucauld Grail, in French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [eastern Artois or western Flanders (most probably Saint-Omer, Tournai or Ghent), c.1315-23]
Estimation
1 500 0002 000 000
Lot. Vendu 2,393,250 GBP (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Rochefoucauld Grail, in French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [eastern Artois or western Flanders (most probably Saint-Omer, Tournai or Ghent), c.1315-23]

three large volumes: each approximately 405mm. by 295mm., (I) 118 leaves, complete, collation: i-vii8, viii10, ix-xiv8, xv4 (last 4 blank and cancelled); (II) 233 leaves, complete, collation: i10, ii8, iii10, iv-xiii8, xiv10, xv8, xvi9 (ix a singleton), xvii-xxviii8, xxix2 (2 singletons from 1st gathering of volume III); (III) 104 leaves, complete, collation: i4 (of vi, see previous), ii-xiii8, xiv4; all two columns, ruled in plummet for 44 lines in a number of excellent and early gothic bookhands in black ink, initials touched in yellow, rubrics in red, 2- or 3-line initials in red or blue with penwork to contrast and extensions of bi-coloured scrollwork up and down vertical margins terminating in ornate penwork loops, eighty-four large initials (4 to 8 lines in height, one 10 lines) in burnished gold and enclosing scrolling flourishes in gold, on pink and blue grounds heightened with white penwork and bezants (I, fols.1r, 6r, 9rv, 11v, 12r, 15v, 16v, 20v, 21r, 23r, 24r, 25r, 31v, 34v, 37v, 40r, 42r, 43r, 45r, 53v, 55v, 57v, 66v, 68r, 74r, 75v, 76v, 87r, 87v, 89r, 91v, 95v, 102v, 107v, 109r, 112v, 113v, 114r, 116r; II, fols.39v, 42v, 45r, 46v, 51v, 58v, 67v, 72r, 78rv, 80r, 93r, 98v, 99r, 100r, 101v, 104v, 106r, 107r, 109v, 110v, 111r, 112r, 113v, 115r, 116rv, 119v, 120r, 125v, 126r, 127r, 142v, 144v, 154v, 156v, 160v, 174r, 179v, 185v, 188r, 189r and 194r; none in third volume; that in II, fol.72r with notable damage from cockling, others with minor scuffs to gold), one hundred and seven miniatures within pink, blue and white borders all enclosed within gold or silver frames (I, fols.1rv, 6v, 18r, 21r, 30r, 88v, 89v, 91r, 97v, 100v, 101v, 102v, 104r, 105v, 108r, 113rv, 114v, 115v, 116r, 117v, 118r; II, fols.1r, 37r, 41r, 43v, 49r, 54v, 98v, 102r, 108r, 114r, 118v, 129r, 135r, 140r, 150v, 157r, 162r, 170r, 179r, 196v, 199r, 202r, 218r, 219r, 227v, 232r; III, fols.1r, 2rv, 4r, 5v, 6r, 9r, 10v, 13r, 16v, 18rv, 22r, 24r, 25r, 26r, 27v, 29r, 31v, 37v, 39r, 43v, 45r, 48r, 50r, 52r, 53v, 54v, 58v, 61v, 65rv, 72r, 73r, 79v, 81r, 82v, 83r, 87v, 88rv, 89rv, 91r, 93rv, 94r, 95r, 99rv, 102r and 103r; some minor chipping and scuffing, silver often oxidised), those on the opening leaves of volumes I and II with pink, blue and burnished gold vinework tendrils extending along borders and enclosing a rabbit, a leaping stag, a tame bird tethered to a perch near a fruit tree to attract other wild birds, five apes (one carrying a sword and shield) and a human headed drollery with a set of musical pipes (all somewhat scuffed), repair to splits in I, fols.83 and 101, and some water-staining and minor cockling to areas of volume II with damage to edges of leaves with early repair (perhaps eighteenth-century), but overlooked on fols.15-19, a number of singletons now separated at base but firm in volume (fols.135 and 233), all volumes trimmed with some losses to outermost edges of frontispiece-borders and ornamental penwork loops, folded-in corner of III, fol.59 showing extent of small loss, overall in excellent condition with wide and clear margins, all in identical eighteenth-century gilt-tooled Dutch or Flemish red morocco over pasteboards, paper flyleaves with watermark of "P.IOLLY" and arms of Amsterdam (thus made c.1713 near Limoges for the Dutch or Low Countries market by one of two mill-owners of this name), small cracks, scuffs and lower corner of volume I skilfully replaced, else excellent, each volume with fitted cloth case

 

One of the principal manuscripts of the greatest romance of the Middle Ages, with over one hundred miniatures illustrating warfare, chivalry and courtly love


Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

Provenance

1. Written and illuminated in Flanders or Artois in the second or third decade of the fourteenth century (by the same team of artists and scribes who produced the de luxe copies of the text now London, British Library, Add. MS.10292-4 and Royal MS.14.E.III), perhaps for Guy VII, baron de La Rochefoucauld (d.1356 at the Battle of Poitiers), who was stationed in Flanders in 1317-18 as the representative of King Philip V of France: baronial arms and standard of Rochefoucauld inserted later (perhaps in fifteenth or sixteenth century) midway along text frame in bas-de-page of volume I, fol.1r. These three volumes were originally part of a set of four, the fourth and final volume now itself split between Manchester, John Rylands, Fr.1, and Oxford, Bodleian, Douce MS.215 (see Ker, iii, pp.428-31, and Middleton, pp.224-5 and 228). They most probably passed by descent through the Rochefoucauld family until the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century, when they were divided up and sold (they do not appear in the family's library catalogue of 1728: M. Gérard, 'Le Catalogue de la bibliothèque de La Rochefoucauld à Verteuil', in Images de La Rochefoucauld, 1984, pp.239-92; and the John Rylands volume had been acquired by Charles Spencer, third Earl of Sunderland, before his death in 1722).

2. John Louis Goldsmid (d.1815); volume II and III of the set acquired in Evans' sale, 16 May 1815, lot 143; these returning to the market on Goldsmid's sudden death a few months later; his sale, Evans, 11 December 1815, lot 159, to the bookseller Arnaud Dulau, and recorded by Francis Douce as offered by Dulau in his shop in Soho in July 1817 (Ker, iii, p.428).

3. Robert Lang (1750-1828) of Portland Place, "a collector who specialized in romances of chivalry" (Munby, Phillipps Studies, iii, p.55); volumes II and III probably acquired from Dulau; his sale, Evans, 17 November 1828, lot 1305, for £43, 1s.

4. Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872); volumes II and III together his MS.3630, and probably acquired at Lang's sale; thereby reuniting these with volume I, which Phillipps had acquired from the bookseller Longman, who had bought it in the P.C. Parris sale, in our rooms, 18 May 1815, lot 1035. Phillipps failed to number volume I, and later confused it with two of his other Arthurian manuscripts: hence '1045' in error on spine, and '1045' and '1047', both in error, in pencil on flyleaf. His copious pencil notes in margins of volume II.

5. H.P. Kraus (1907-88); acquired in 1977 as part of the remnant of the Phillipps collection; his catalogue 153 (Bibliotheca Phillippica), 1979, no.31, pls.1 and 15-17, and catalogue 165 (Cimelia) 1983, no.3, with 8 illustrations.

6. J.R.Ritman, Amsterdam, his MS.1, his first (and greatest) manuscript.

Bibliographie

selected literature

B. Woledge, Bibliographie des Romans et Nouvelles en Prose Française, 1954, p.84

A. Micha, 'Les manuscrits du Merlin en Prose', Romania 79 (1958), pp.78-93 at p.89; from Woledge's notes made while the volumes were with the Robinson brothers

E. Kennedy, Lancelot do Lac, 1980, ii, p.9; but "at present inaccessible"

N. Ker, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries (1983), iii, pp.428-31

J.P. Gumbert, Illustrated Inventory of Medieval Manuscripts in the Netherlands III (1987), no.101

A. Stones, 'Another Short Note on Rylands French 1', in Romanesque and Gothic, Essays for George Zarnecki, ed. N. Stratford (1987), pp.185-192

A. Stones, 'Indications écrites et modèles pictureaux, guides aux peintres de manuscrits enluminés aux environs de 1300', in Artistes, artisans et production artistisque au Moyen Age III (1988), pp.331-32

Illuminated Manuscripts in Dutch Collections, Preliminary Precursor I (1989), pp.7-9

M. Meuwese, 'Twelve Bleeding Tombs and Seven Flaming Hands: Text and Image in the Amsterdam Estoire', The Arthurian Yearbook 2 (1992), pp.135-58

J. Koopmans, 'Le Lancelot-Graal d'Amsterdam (ancien Phillips 1046 & 3630)', Neophil, 76 (1992), pp.166-74

J.-P. Ronceau, L'Estoire del saint Graal (1997)

M. Meuwese, 'Three Illustrated Prose Lancelots from the same Atelier', Text and Image: Studies in the French Illustrated Book from the Middle Ages to the Present Day (Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester 81/3), ed. D.J. Adams, A. Armstrong (1999), pp.97-125

A. Stones, 'The Grail in Rylands French 1 and its Sister Manuscripts', ibid., pp.55-95

M. Meuwese, 'Op de zee', Madoc 13 (1999), pp.246-47

E. Kennedy, 'The Placing of Miniatures in Relation to the Pattern of Interlace in Two Manuscripts of the Prose Lancelot', in Essays in Honor of Norris J. Lacy, 2000, pp.269-82

A. Stones, 'The Lancelot-Graal Project', in New Directions in Later Medieval Manuscripts, ed. Derek Pearsall (2000), pp.167-82 and pl.6

R. Middleton, 'Manuscripts of the Lancelot-Grail Cycle in England and Wales: some books and their owners', in A Companion to the Lancelot-Grail Cycle, ed. C. Dover, 2003, pp.223-36, at pp.225, 228-29

A. Stones, 'Mise en page in the French Lancelot-Grail: the first 150 years of the illustrative tradition', in ibid., pp.132-44

A. Stones, 'Illustration and the Fortunes of Arthur', in The Fortunes of King Arthur, ed. N.J. Lacy, 2005, pp.116-63, at 118 and 122-3, illustrated as pls.18 and 22

Description

text

 "It was above all the Holy Grail ... that captured people's imaginations in the Middle Ages, and has scarcely relaxed its hold" (D. Owen, 'From Grail to Holy Grail', Romania 89, 1968, p.31). Few other relics are as emotive as this, the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper which caught his blood at the Crucifixion and was carried into hiding in Britain by Joseph of Arimathea, and it has held a commanding position in our literary culture for eight centuries. Countless pilgrims have set out to search for it, numerous wars have been waged to seize objects identified with it, and its fascination remains so strong that it can make bestselling authors of those who write about it.

This is the fundamental medieval work on the Grail. Individual pieces of the story appear in the works of the poet Chrétien de Troyes (the fragmentary Perceval, le Conte du Graal, composed 1181-91) and Robert de Boron (his Joseph d'Arimathie, composed 1191-1202), but it was not until the composition of this text, the Lancelot-Grail Cycle (or the Grand Saint Graal or Vulgate Cycle) in the opening decades of the thirteenth century, that it reached a fully developed written form. It is a vast comprehensive survey of Arthurian literature, which spans 8 volumes in the modern edition (Oskar Sommer, 1909-16), interweaving the history of the Grail with the tales of Arthur, Merlin, the knights of the Round Table, and most importantly Lancelot, the greatest of all knights. It has five interlocking parts:

(1) the Estoire del Saint Grail (here volume I, opening "Chil ki la hauteche ..." on fol.1r and ending "... sainte marie. Amen" on fol.118v): the early history of the Grail and its journey to Britain, which claims to have been originally copied from a book given to its writer by a vision of Christ;

(2) the Estoire de Merlin (here volume II, fols.1r-36v, opening "Qout furent irie ..." and ending "... volentiers se il le voelent"): on the origins of the magician and Arthur's early history;

(3) the Lancelot propre (here volume II, fols.36v-volume III, fol.104v, opening "Ensi le laissierent jasca ..." and ending "... de son frere agrauain", with the two volumes split at the end of chapter 122): which makes up half of the entire text and discusses the adventures of Lancelot, his illicit love affair with Guinevere, and the exploits of the other knights of the Round Table;

(4 & 5) the Queste del Saint Graal and the Mort Artu (in the Bodleian and John Rylands manuscripts: see above), ending with the death of Arthur and the collapse of the kingdom.

No romance on this epic scale had been composed before, and its emergence had great effect on the history of Western literature. Dante admired the seductiveness of its meandering storytelling, and Malory relied almost completely on it for his Morte d'Arthur. It was the first large-scale work of secular literature in prose (a format in French previously reserved for translations of sacred texts and their commentaries), and it set the model for the entire genre of romance until the late Renaissance, when the works of Edmund Spenser (1552-99) and his Italian contemporaries Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533) and Torquato Tasso (1544-95) sparked a resurgence of verse.

The text was extremely popular, and survives in some 220 manuscripts and fragments (Middleton, p.223). There are numerous early translations: those in German and Middle Dutch recorded from the mid thirteenth century, and in Middle English and Italian from the early fourteenth century, and copies of the text are even recorded in the libraries of King Martin of Aragon (1356-1410) and King Duarte of Portugal (1391-1438). It offered a model of spiritual chivalric behaviour, a guidebook for a Christian courtly society through the whole gamut of human emotions and experience. We are shown friendship and love as well as lust, treachery and sin, and look on as the characters struggle with ambition, achievement and crushing failure.

The present volumes stand in a small and select group of early manuscripts which contain important and accurate witnesses to the text and the picture-cycle. They were used, alongside Rennes, Bibl. Municipale ms.255, as the basis of J.-P. Ronceau's edition of the Estoire del saint Graal in 1997, and are one of three sets of manuscripts selected by A. Stones for her edition of the picture-cycle accompanying the text (The Lancelot-Graal Project, published online at: http://www.lancelot-project.pitt.edu/lancelot-project.html; the others being British Library Add. MS.10292-4 and Royal MS.14.E.III). It was photographed in 1996 for that project, and following its publication on the internet is now the most widely accessible manuscript of the text. Numerous academic studies of these volumes have been published, and it is inconceivable that any comprehensive future studies of the Grail text, its history, or the art that accompanies it, can fail to take account of them.

illumination

This is a grand book, in a monumental format, with one hundred and seven miniatures, each a dazzling jewel of early gothic illumination. The subjects are almost entirely secular, and quintessentially medieval, with scenes of jousts, tournaments and battles, noble adventures and daring tests of strength and courage, miraculous events and enchanted castles, secret loves and stolen illicit kisses. The scenes often have a riotous energy, and often stretch beyond the boundaries of the picture frames, with lofty towers poking through the borders at the top, and figures tumbling out of the miniatures onto the blank page as they fall or scramble to escape their enemies.

These volumes are among the finest surviving productions of a small group of artists who worked in the region of eastern Artois or western Flanders (most probably in one of the towns of St-Omer, Tournai or Ghent) in the first few decades of the fourteenth century. Their work is closely associated with that of the mature style of the artist Michiel van der Borch, who names himself in an illuminated Rijmbibel dated 1332 (The Hague, Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum, MS.M-W 10.B.21), and he may well be one of the artists of these volumes. Their work can be dated quite securely. One of the other copies of the text produced by these artists, British Library Add. MSS.10292-4, has the year "1316" in one of its miniatures, and the main artist of these volumes also painted a portrait of Gilbert de Sainte-Aldegonde in a psalter (now St. Omer, Bibl. municipale, ms.270), which he gave in 1323 to the Chartreuse of Longuenesse, near St. Omer (Stones, 1987, p.187).

A large number of the miniatures are accompanied by notes to the illuminators in French. These appear as small cursive notes in a number of hands and dry-point glosses in the bas-de-page (see I, fol.18v, II, fols.179v, 227v and III, fol. 2v and 5v, for examples).

The miniatures comprise:

Volume I

1. folio 1r, 95mm. by 63mm., the hermit-author prostrate before an altar in a church.

2. folio 1v, 90mm. by 55mm., the hermit standing in the door of a church as Christ  appears in the clouds and hands him the book.

3. folio 6v, 92mm. by 55mm., the Crucifixion before a wide burnished gold sky, Joseph of Arimathea seated at the foot of the Cross catching Christ's blood in the Grail.

4. folio 18r, 95mm. by 55mm., the Mass at Sarras, with Josephe (the son of Joseph of Arimathea, and here the first bishop), holding mass before an altar on which lies the Grail, three bleeding nails, a lancehead and a silver chalice.

5. folio 21r, 95mm. by 50mm., the communion of the Mass at Sarras, with Christ in clerical robes in a church giving the host to a group of kneeling worshippers, as Josephe does the same.

6. folio 30r, 95mm. by 55mm., a battle scene in which the White Knight stabs King Tholomer in the chest with a spear.

7. folio 88v, 90mm. by 55mm., the wondrous crossing of the sea to Britain, with Josephe walking over fish-filled waters with his cloak spread behind him forming a bridge for his followers to walk across; two other men, Moys and Symeu sink up to their waists and hold up their hands in alarm.

8. folio 89v, 90mm. by 48mm., the crossing by the Christian sinners in a boat, one man boarding the boat by a ladder.

9. folio 91r, 97mm. by 54mm., the child Celidoine preaching to a duke seated before his entourage, on the right Celidoine embracing his father.

10. folio 97v, 88mm. by 55mm., the meeting of Flegentine with Celidoine and Nascien, all on horseback.

11.folio 100v, 86mm. by 53mm., on the left, King Agrestes ordering someone to drag a cross through the town; in the centre, the king having strangled his brother and son, chews on his own hand whilst strangling his wife; on the right, he commits suicide by climbing into a burning oven.

12. folio 100v, 90mm. by 55mm., Josephe buries Agrestes' martyrs, six coffins draped in fine cloths behind him.

13. folio 101v, 85mm. by 54mm., Moys and the Perilous Seat, with Moys sitting next to Josephe at a meal table, on the right he burns in a holy fire and is carried away by a group of men.

14. folio 102v, 89mm. by 55mm., Alain catching a big fish in a net.

15. folio 104r, 85mm. by 48mm., Joseph of Arimathea seated beneath a tree holding up the broken sword to show to the marshall.

16. folio 105v, 94mm. by 52mm., the meeting of Josephe (standing in the doorway of a castle) with Moys who rises out of a holy fire on the right.

17. folio 108r, 94mm. by 55mm., the twelve marble tombs of Chanaam's brothers, their swords lying on top of the sarcophagi.

18. folio 108r, 89mm. by 54mm., Josephe approaches and the swords stand upright on the tombs.

19. folio 113r, 93mm. by 55mm., the Coronation of Galaad, with the king seated facing front as Josephe blesses him and places the crown on his head, a male and female cleric singing from a choirbook, two angels with a censer and a ewer.

20. folio 113v, 90mm. by 55mm., King Galaad out hunting with a horse, a dog and a man with a horn, meeting Symeu who is burning in a holy fire.

21. folio 114v, 90mm. by 52mm., Josephe in his deathbed, giving the Grail into the protection of Alain, the Fisher King, who kneels before him.

22. folio 115v, 88mm. by 50mm., King Alfasem wounded and in his sick-bed in Corbenic castle; a cleric with the Grail in his left hand, holding a lance in his right, prepares to strike the king.

23. folio 116r, 90mm. by 52mm., King Bruillans and King Lambor in battle on horseback, as Bruillans strikes Lambor in the head with his sword, to the right Salomon's ship with an animal-headed prow.

24. folio 117v, 93mm. by 50mm., the duke who beheaded King Lancelot, reaching into the well to grasp the head; to the left the headless body.

25. folio 118r, 93mm. by 48mm., the duke and his followers look up in horror from where they are seated as their castle collapses on top of them.

26. folio 118r, 88mm. by 40mm., the bleeding tomb of King Lancelot, rivulets of blood running down its marble sides.

27. folio 118r, 90mm. by 50mm., two large shaggy lions lapping at the blood coming from the tomb; the tomb has two large black apertures indicating it is a shrine which can cure wounds.

Volume II

28. folio 1r, 94mm. by 100mm., the Harrowing of Hell and a Council of Devils: a large double-compartmented miniature with a crocketed roof with spires, on the left Christ reaching into a yawning hell-mouth to pluck out naked sinners, on the right, the Devil with a bright orange face, holds court before a number of other grotesque demons.

29. folio 37r, 90mm. by 107mm., the besiegement of Lancelot's ancestral castle of Benoyc by the neighbouring king, Claudas, a large and detailed miniature showing the siege of a large castle, knights on horseback before brightly coloured field-tents raising spears and swords up towards the defenders on the battlements, as other troops prepare crossbows and begin to dig under the battlements.

30. folio 37r, 65mm. by 70mm., Lancelot's parents on horseback leaving the castle to go and seek Arthur's aid, his mother carrying him wrapped in swaddling clothes as his father, the king, stops to take one last look over his shoulder at his castle.

31. folio 41r, the death of Lancelot's father, King Ban; the king falling from his horse as his heart bursts on seeing his castle betrayed by its steward and burning; in the foreground Lancelot's mother lays him down on the grass and runs to her husband (where he will be found by the Lady of the Lake and carried away into her enchanted realm).

32. folio 43v, 45mm. by 50mm., the Lady of the Lake in an elaborate green and red headdress rising from the waves and taking up the baby Lancelot in her arms.

33. folio 49r, 55mm. by 55mm., the recognition of Lancelot as a young man, with Lancelot standing before an old friar who recognises him, gives him one of his greyhounds and promises his help should he ever need it.

34. folio 54v, 55mm. by 50mm., Adragain reports the sad fate of King Ban to King Arthur and his court as the Lady of the Lake looks on.

35. folio 98v, 90mm. by 62mm., Arthur's arrival at the enchanted island castle of Dolorous Guard, with Arthur dismounted and washing his feet in a river, as Lancelot approaches on horseback through the water.

36. folio 102r, 90mm. by 60mm., Lancelot raising his sword to threaten Brandin (the evil ruler of the enchanted Dolorous Guard), who kneels before him hands clasped in submission, demanding the release of Gawain and the other prisoners in exchange for his life.

37. folio 108r, 90mm. by 60mm., the King of a Hundred Knights and another knight jousting.

38. folio 114r, 90mm. by 55mm., Galehaut jousting with the treacherous and misogynistic Brehus; Brehus falling from his horse.

39. folio 118v, 95mm. by 58mm., Gawain in battle, thrusting his sword inside the breastplate of another mounted knight, as both tread the bleeding bodies of a third knight and his horse underfoot.

40. folio 129r, 90mm. by 59mm., a tournament, with both knights with broken spears and fallen steeds, one tumbling off his horse over its rump.

41. folio 135r, 86mm. by 60mm., Lancelot kneeling before Arthur and the knights of the Round Table swearing fealty.

42. folio 140r, 88mm. by 60mm., Galehaut arranges Lancelot's and Guinevere's first secret kiss, with Guinevere holding his face and Galehaut pulling him closer to her; to the right the Lady of Malohaut and a follower sit talking to man.

43. folio 150v, 95mm. by 65mm., Lancelot in disguise fighting in a tournament, as Gawain and other knights look on in amazement at this mysterious knight, hoping they have found their champion to breach the enchanted castle of Dolorous Guard.

44. folio 157r, 100mm. by 68mm., Lancelot on horseback knocking Gawain from his horse with his lance, Guinevere looking on from the castle in the background.

45. folio 162r, Hector, the illegitimate son of King Ban (and thus Lancelot's half-brother) yielding to him before a tent and two noblewomen.

46. folio 170r, 90mm. by 80mm., Hector and the Saxon Marganor unhorsed and fighting before the castle of King Belinant of South Wales, as Hector strikes the death-blow to the head of his opponent.

47. folio 179r, 90mm. by 75mm., Lancelot on horseback fighting with the seneschal of Camberwick, before a crowd with hands raised in shock.

48. folio 196v, 95mm. by 88mm., a detailed miniature showing Lancelot's battle with the Saxons, as he charges forward on his horse, trampling dead and dying men and horses underfoot, the Saxons fleeing to the right spilling out of the miniature in their panic; limbs, severed heads and a Saxon standard scattered on ground.

49. folio 199r, 90mm. by 70mm., Lancelot meeting with his friend King Galehaut in a wooded area, between their horses.

50. folio 202r, 95mm. by 80mm., a messenger from the False Guinevere and Bertholais bring a letter in a gold case to King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, both seated, she with a small dog on her lap.

51. folio 218r, 90mm. by 68mm., King Arthur, having been imprisoned by the False Guinevere, sits with her and with one hand on a bible swears to recognise her authority.

52. folio 219r, 95mm. by 70mm., the barons (here on the right) offer the crown to Gawain because of Arthur's continued absence.

53. folio 227v, 90mm. by 68mm., the False Guinevere in her deathbed, with Bertolais at her side, repeating her confession to King Arthur and the barons.

54. folio 232r, 94mm. by 58mm., King Arthur embracing Lancelot before Guinevere and the court.

Volume III

55. folio 1r, 95mm. by 85mm., the entrance of the duke of Clarence to a castle, a young man opens the door to greet him.

56. folio 2r, 90mm. by 70mm., Gawain approaching the White Castle.

57. folio 2v, 95mm. by 70mm., Ywain meets a wounded knight and his weeping lady on the road, and is challenged by her to lift him from his coffer; he tries (as in the miniature) and fails, leaving Lancelot to complete the task in the next chapter.

58. folio 4r, 93mm. by 80mm., Ywain coming to woman's aid as she is besieged in her house by armed robbers; Gawain striking his sword through the head of the last robber as two lie dead over their horses and two more bleed from their wounds; to the left the woman's squire fires arrows at the robbers from a tower.

59. folio 5v, 90mm. by 65mm., Lancelot leaving the castle of Sagremour escorted by Meliens on horseback, meeting the squire who aided Ywain.

60. folio 6r, 95mm. by 65mm., Galehout halting Lionel in his quest to find Gawain, to ask him where he will head.

61. folio 9r, 90mm. by 70mm., Lancelot and Ywain on the road, meeting the sister of the damsel saved by Galeshin, who guides them to Escalon li Tenebraux.

62. folio 10v, 95mm. by 60mm., Gawain in prison, with a woman kneeling at the barred window of a large fortified building, listening to his pleas for help (later she makes poison to kill the rats that trouble him, and brings him ointment for his wounds).

63. folio 13r, 87mm. by 70mm., Lancelot and the woman riding up to Gawain's prison.

64. folio 16v, 90mm. by 67mm., Morgan le Fay and Lancelot in her enchanted prison of Val Sans Retour (from which no knight could escape), as she tells him of her love for him; he recoils from her in alarm.

65. folio 18r, 98mm. by 65mm., Ywain and the duke of Clarence on horseback approaching a castle.

66. folio 18v, 95mm. by 65mm., the combat of Lancelot and Carados of the Dolorous Tower on the drawbridge of the castle, as Morgan le Fey (who had briefly released Lancelot so that he could kill Carados) leans out of the door of the castle holding a sword.

67. folio 22r, 92mm. by 65mm., Lancelot, having been compelled by magic to return to Morgan le Fay's prison, lies on a couch as she demands his signet ring for her own nefarious ends. He refuses, and she gets one of her maids to drug him and swap it when he is asleep (as shown here).

68. folio 24r, 94mm. by 65mm., Morgan le Fay sent her maid to Arthur using the signet ring to buy safe conduct; here Galehot, Ywain, Gawain and Lionel on horseback follow her back to her lady's hideout.

69. folio 25r, 90mm. 65mm., the combat of Gawain and the treacherous knight; Gawain knocked his opponent from his horse, and the knight pretended to swoon and asked for help, and then stabbed Gawain in the stomach (as shown here).

70. folio 26r, 95mm. by 60mm., Lionel about to kill a knight as a woman on a black horse pleads with him for the knight's life.

71. folio 27v, 90mm. by 68mm., Lancelot fighting in a tournament.

72. folio 29r, 95mm. by 68mm., Lancelot lying distraught in a woodland in Cornwall, consumed by madness, as the Lady of the Lake rides by and discovers him.

73. folio 31v, 95mm. by 68mm., Lancelot and Gawain being drawn in a cart across a drawbridge into a walled town, as the townspeople pelt them with filth.

74. folio 37v, 95mm. by 70mm., Lancelot unhorsing and wounding two knights on his way to his ancestral home of Benoyc.

75. folio 39r, 90mm. by 70mm., Gawain meets a woman who has been robbed by a corrupt knight guarding a toll-bridge.

76. folio 43v, 94mm. by 70mm., Lancelot and the two sons of the vavasor reach the castle of Gorre and are greeted by a feasting crowd.

77. folio 45r, 85mm. by 50mm., a miniature by another artist from the same team, inserted in the bas-de-page: Lancelot dangerously straddles the so-called sword bridge (a bridge constructed of a single razor-sharp blade, along which knights must slide themselves in order to cross) as Guinevere and her abductor Meleagant peer out of the windows of Meleagant's castle.

78. folio 48r, 85mm. by 65mm., Lancelot trying to commit suicide on hearing the false reports of the death of Guinevere; a number of knights were placed to guard from harming himself, and so he waited until the middle of the night when they had fallen asleep (the sleeping knights here in foreground, apart from one who leaps up to wrestle Lancelot's sword from him; in the struggle Lancelot wounding his side).

79. folio 50r, 95mm. by 70mm., Lancelot risking the shame of riding in a cart driven by a dwarf (not on horseback as a knight should) in his desparate hunt for Guinevere; his own exhausted horse walking behind, and all before a castle from which Arthur and his court emerge.

80. folio 52r, 95mm. by 65mm., Lancelot on horseback fighting in a tournament with other knights, bodies of men and horses scattered on the ground, as Arthur, Guinevere and the court look on from the windows and parapets of a castle.

81. folio 53v, 89mm. by 68mm., Lancelot, having been imprisoned by Meleagant (here in a tall stone tower on an island, constructed without any external doors) is nursed back to health and helped to escape by Meleagant's sister, who sits in the boat below the window loading a basket with food and water.

82. folio 54v, 95mm. by 68mm., Lancelot (here dressed in Gawain's armour) defeating his captor, who kneels at his feet.

83. folio 58v, 90mm. by 65mm., Lancelot reunited with Guinevere; here with him kneeling at the queen's feet before the court.

84. folio 61v, 95mm. by 56mm., Sir Bors jousting with another knight, and running him through.

85. folio 65r, 94mm. by 63mm., the upsurper Galindes, having been humbled by Lancelot, kneels before the Lady of Hongrefort recognising her as the rightful ruler.

86. folio 65v, 92mm. by 65mm., Bors and Saraide leaving the castle of Marados on horseback.

87. folio 72r, 95mm. by 62mm., Sir Bors saving a maiden from a group of men; Bors riding in on his steed and running through the nearest man with his lance, as another tries to stab the captive maiden; all watched by people in the castle behind.

88. folio 73r, 90mm. by 64mm., Lancelot coming to the aid of a woman condemned to death by burning; here having rescued the woman and released her, he stands between the mob and one of her attackers whom he has cast into the flames instead.

89. folio 79v, 95mm. by 60mm., Lancelot before King Baudemagus, answering the charges brought against him by Argondras; here with Argondras on the floor before Lancelot as he prepares to decapitate him.

90. folio 81r, 90mm. by 60mm., Bors releasing Lambegues from his miserable prison; here with Lambegues standing naked apart from a coif and his pantaloons before a castle.

91. folio 82v, 95mm. by 67mm., the knight Patrides announces, on Lancelot's orders, the death of Meleagant to King Baudemagus.

92. folio 83r, 95mm. by 70mm., Arthur and Guinevere hunting at the head of a large party in the forest of Camalot, as a mysterious knight rides up, grabs the bridle of the queen's horse and claims her as his prisoner.

93. folio 87v, 90mm. by 60mm., Dodinel and his lady meeting another knight, his lady and their dwarf; the dwarf attempted to kiss the women and was slapped to the ground for his impudence.

94. folio 88r, 90mm. by 62mm., Lancelot meets an old knight (in fact Griffon del Malx Pas) carrying an opponent's severed head, and according to his old promise must surrender his weapons to Griffon (Guinevere later sees Griffon with these arms and a severed head and assumes Lancelot to be dead).

95. folio 88v, 95mm. by 67mm., Griffon del Malx Pas riding on the horse he seized from the vanquished knight Kex.

96. folio 89r, 95mm. by 60mm., Guinevere out riding, hearing the false rumour that Lancelot is dead.

97. folio 89r, 90mm. by 62mm., Dodinel having lost his footing crossing a river on a thin plank, hangs by his arms in the strong current, begging a passing peasant to enter the dangerous river and help him; the unchivalric peasant ignoring his pleas for help.

98. folio 89v, 95mm. by 70mm., Lancelot with a head wound, carried on a bier by a team of horses, and accompanied by noblewomen.

99. folio 91r, 95mm. by 64mm., Gawain and nine knights set off on horseback in a quest for Lancelot, stopping here at the Black Cross on the edge of the forest of Camelot, where a lamenting woman tells them of the finest knight in the world whom she has just seen in the next valley.

100. folio 93r, 92mm. by 62mm., Agloval steps in to prevent the rash and hasty Griffon thrusting his sword through the chest of another knight.

101. folio 93v, 93mm. by 60mm., Gawain fighting Mathamas.

102. folio 94r, 89mm. by 67mm., Hector stuns a mysterious knight with a blow to the head, and as he goes to remove the knight's helmet, the knight plunges his sword into Hector's body.

103. folio 95r, 95mm. by 54mm., Gawain drinking at the fountain near Estrangort, as a woman rides up to guide him to a tournament.

104. folio 99r, 95mm. by 58mm., Gawain before a hermit within his hermitage in the woods.

105. folio 99v, 100mm. by 65mm., Hector finds the enchanted castle in the river, and as he rides up towards its drawbridge he is warned by a woman sitting under an elm tree that if he goes in he will be killed by its guardian.

106. folio 102r, 93mm. by 58mm., Ywain meets a woman, whom he will help to recover her horses from a corrupt knight.

107. folio 103r, 91mm. by 65mm., Mordret riding up to a tent as a dwarf shoots an arrow at his horse; the dwarf killed the horse, and in retaliation Mordret beat the dwarf, earning the anger of the dwarf's master and a challenge to a duel.

 

Western Manuscripts and Miniatures

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Londres