A Medieval Mirror by Adrian Wilson, Joyce Lancaster Wilson

By Adrian Wilson, Joyce Lancaster Wilson

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Noah's Ark. Speculum humanæ salvationis, Chapter II. Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, Ms. lat. 9584, fol. 6 recto. The script is an Italian Gothic of the middle of the fourteenth century, and according to Bernard Berenson, the miniatures in pen and wash are Florentine from the last quarter of the century (figs. II-2, 3). He finds them the work of a miniaturist who had travelled widely and included, in his images, architecture with a Byzantine influence and armor in the French style. g. the angel in fig.

The illustrations near the beginning have the base coat of paint (figs. III-3-a, b, c, and 4-a) but are unfinished. Later in the minute they are line drawings (figs. III-4-b and c). Beneath the first two are written the chapter and verse of the Bible to which the text and illustration refer, but this is not continued beyond Chapter I. Miélot was a good decorator, translator, and scribe, but he was not a miniaturist and if these sketches are his, they were intended to show the subjects to the artist.

Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris, Ms. lat. 593. II-7. a. Christ Wept over the City of Jerusalem. b. Jeremiah Lamented over Jerusalem. Speculum humanæ salvationis, Chapter XV. Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris, Ms. lat. 593. the miniature titles are also the same in the two manuscripts. Berenson thought that the miniatures in the Arsenal copy were done by an Umbrian artist, and he contrasts the "bald landscapes" and stiff rustic figures with the elegant flowing lines of the Florentine manuscript.

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