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Illuminating the Medieval Hunt at the Morgan Library and Museum
Livre de la Chasse, 15th century. Bibliothèque Nationale.
NEW YORK.-The Morgan Library and Museum opens the exhibit Illuminating the Medieval Hunt through August 10. The most influential medieval treatise on hunting was Livre de la chasse, written by Gaston Phoebus between 1387 and 1389. The forty-six surviving manuscripts and numerous printed editions of the text testify to its popularity. The Morgan Library & Museum is fortunate in possessing one of the two most luxuriously illustrated manuscripts; the other, in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, was made at the same time and also contains eighty-seven miniatures. Both were made in Paris about 1407 and were probably commissioned by John the Fearless. Since the manuscript had to be disbound—for reasons of conservation and the preparation of a facsimile—the Morgan has decided to exhibit as many leaves with miniatures as possible, providing the public a unique opportunity to "walk" through the manuscript as well as to turn the pages of the facsimile. Four parts of the exhibition will show miniatures from the four books of the treatise, which deal with gentle and wild animals, the nature and care of dogs, instructions to hunters with dogs, and the use of various snares and crossbows by hunters. Another part would comprise other hunting-related manuscripts and printed books, including among the latter the famous St. Albans's Hunting Book of 1486 and the first illustrated version of Livre de la chasse (ca. 1505–07).





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