Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 39 (T.1.7)
Title: Vita Christi
Images: [ MS Hunter 39 fol. 29v ] [ MS Hunter 39 fol. 1r detail ]
Date of Creation: Between 1399 and 1499
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: Ludolphi de Saxonia, Vita Christi. Gallice. Vol. IV. (Guillaume le Ménard, Vie de Jésus-Christ.)
Ludolphus of Saxony's Life of Christ. Translated into French by Guillaume le Ménard. Vol. IV.
Begins - after a table of contents which occupies 1, 1 recto and verso - (2, 1 recto col. a, lines 1-4, under a picture, for which see Remarks): C [illuminated initial] Hose raisonnable est | est que apres les cho | ses dessus dictes traic | tones De la passion de.
Ends (34, 6 [fol. cc.l.v.] recto col. b, lines 11, 12): tant de corps que de ame. | Amen. Explicit.
Remarks: In the top corners of some folios, which in this volume are about half an inch longer than in the others, are traces of the first foliation, with the words colanda and charpent, i.e. instructions to the binder to 'trim' the pages.
A monogram, possibly the same as in Vol. I. fol. 204 verso is scratched four times on the picture on 2, 1 recto (on the penitent thief, on each side of the crucified Saviour, and on the B.V. Mary). The same monogram occurs again in the vignettes on fol. 136 recto, on fol. 150 recto (with the words and date: Mon Tout, 1554), on fol. 157 recto, fol. 170 verso (HR), on ff. 183 recto, 200 recto and 219 recto. There are several errors and omissions in the foliation, thus: fol. 74 is numbered lxxvij, fol. 95 is followed by an unnumbered folio, which i succeeded by 96, fol. 105 is numbered 101, fol. 132 is repeated, fol. 175 is numbered 173, fol. 189 is not numbered.
On iii, 1 recto the title is written in the same bold hand as in the other vols.: Le quart Volume | De vita christi. | pour Le Roy.
THE ILLUMINATIONS.
The following are pictured and floreated pages:
f. 1 recto picture (8½ x 7). The Crucifixion. On the left, the B.V. Mary and S. John, M. Magdalene with alabaster jar. On right, soldiers in red, blue, buff and green surcoats and white gloves. All the crosses T-shaped, Christ's as in Vol. I. 2, 1 recto (Cf. fol. 136 recto).
f. 9 verso picture (9¼ x 6 3/4). Jesus' Agony in Gethsemane. The Chalice and Host are in front of the kneeling Saviour. Three Disciples are asleep in foreground. The Garden is fenced with wattles; the gate left open.
f. 29 verso picture (7 3/8 x 6½). Judas' Betrayal. Soldiers with spears and a cresset enter by the open gate. S. Peter sheathes his sword. Malchus with a lantern, his ear bleeding, falls forward on his left hand and knee. Judas kisses Jesus.
f. 97 recto picture (7 x 6 3/4). Vision of the Crucified Saviour to King Charles VIII., who kneels with folded hands (as in Vol. I, 1, 1 recto), crowned and robed in mantle (azure) semé of fleurs-de-lys (or), lined ermine, and with ermine cape over a slate and gold sleeved mantle with large white cuffs, at a prie-Dieu covered as in the former picture. Jesus crowned with thorns, stands with His left hand resting on the prie-Dieu and His right holding a reed-sceptre, clothed in mantle like the king's (without cuffs), open in front and exposing whole figure nude, but for white loin-cloth. In the background a door is opened by a blue-capped mace-bearer to admit a young man in wide-sleeved mantle (like the others), with a sash of the same material over the left shoulder and a wallet at his side, who carries a crimson bound volume (? the present work which was originally so bound). Possibly this last figure is the translator, Guillaume le Ménard.
f. 200 recto picture (7 x 6 3/4). The Ascension. Jesus, in slate and gold robe, disappears in a cloud, from the knees upwards, leaving two footprints on the top of a green conical hill, round which kneel the B.V. Mary and Apostles.
f. 219 recto picture (6 5/8 x 6). Pentecost. Cloven fiery tongues, red and gold, enter through an open window and fly towards the B.V. Mary kneeling, in blue mantle and white wimple, at a prie-Dieu supporting an open book and covered with cloth (gules) semé of fleurs-de-lys (or), and to S. John and other Apostles kneeling.
(In this and other pictures S. John is made prominent, and his youthful features resemble those of Charles VIII.)
Floreated borders and vignettes occur on the following folios:
f. 42 recto col. b. Jesus is brought by a soldier in armour before Caiaphas in red hat turned up with lace in front, deep lace or embroidery collar over wine-coloured gown, yellow sleeves edged with black.
f. 52 recto col. b. Jesus, bound and crowned with thorns, is brought before Pilate, over whose hands a soldier in armour pours water from a flagon into a basin.
f. 72 recto col. a. Jesus bearing His Cross, is bludgeoned by a soldier who leads him with a rope tied to His waist. The B.V. Mary and S. John are in the background.
f. 128 recto col. a. The Resurrection. Jesus beside an empty sarcophagus, in a crimson and gold robe, raises His right hand in benediction, while holding, in a fold of the mantle, a patriarchal cross with His left, while an angel kneels on the lid lying diagonally across the sarcophagus-sepulchre. One soldier shields his face with his left arm; two others are asleep.
f. 136 recto col. b. Visit of the Women to the Sepulchre carrying pots of perfume (Mary Magdalene's alabaster, the B.V. Mary's gold). S. John points out the open tomb to the latter. S. Peter is in the background. An angel, in white raiment, with long wings folded (face and hands red and gilt), sits on the far end of the (transverse) lid.
f. 150 recto col. a. Jesus appears to the Three Mary's in the Garden (wattled fence as before) with robe and cross as on f. 128.
f. 157 recto col. b. Jesus reveals Himself in Breaking of Bread to the Two Disciples at Emmaus.
f. 170 verso col. b. Thomas touches Jesus' wounded side. Jesus' right hand is raised in benediction, His left muffled in His robe holds a cross (as before).
f. 183 recto col. a. Jesus, with the same robe and cross, appears to the Eleven in Galilee.
f. 230 recto col. b. The Death of the B.V. Mary, who lies with a lighted taper in her right hand, her eyes directed to S. Peter, who, kneeling on the far side of the bed, asperses her with a golden aspergillum. S. John kneels at bedside in the foreground, other Apostles kneel round.
f. 238 verso col. b. The Last Judgment (similar design to that in Vol. III. fol. 169 recto).
[Formerly R.2.11; R.2.17].
Glory of the page, 1987, no. 60
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Vellum, 16 1/8 x 10 7/8, ff. 249, originally (?) 252, written by the same hand as wrote Vols. I., II., III., in double cols. of 47 lines, each 10 3/4 x 3, signatures almost all cropped off, catchwords, foliation (from 2, 2.) and headlines rubricated, contemporary, floreated pages with pictures, floreated columns with vignettes, illuminated capitals, coloured capitals and paragraph marks, rubrics, ruled and margined with red, fine vellum. End of Cent. XV.
Binding: Modern millboards, (replacing original wooden boards covered with crimson velvet), covered fawn calf, blind-tooled edges, sides and back, view of old Hunterian Museum (gilt), lettered: MUSEUM HUNTERIANUM GLASGUENSE. Title (gilt) on crimson and black morocco shields: VITA | CHRISTI | TOM. | IV. | Blue edges stamped (?) gold fleurs-de-lys. Early Cent. XIX.
[For detailed collation see: John Young and P. Henderson Aitken, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of The Hunterian Museum in The University of Glasgow. (Glasgow, 1908), pp. 44-45.]
Access: Normal conditions
Language: French
Material Type: Document
Notes: This manuscript has been exhibited on the following occasions: 'The Glory of the Page', Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. 1988, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Jun.-Aug. 1988, Burrell Collection, Glasgow, Nov. 1988-Jan. 1989.
Bibliography: Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 60; John Young & P.H. Aitken, A catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1908), pp 44-46.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

author: Ludolf of Saxony c.1300-1377/8
Ludolphus de Saxonia.
exhibition: Glory of the Page 1987-1989
Exhibition of medieval manuscripts from Glasgow University Library: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. …
translator: Guillaume Le Ménard
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