||MS Hunter 398 (V.2.18)
|Date of Creation:
Between 1399 and 1499
|Level of Description:
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
||Apocalypsis S. Joannis, cvm Commento.
Apocalypsis S. Joannis, Gallice Reddita.
On iii, 1 recto in a XVII.-XVIII. Cent. hand: En 48 figures. | mignatures. Under which in a XVI.-XVII. Cent. hand: Lapocalice.
On , 1 recto (under the picture) in XVII.-XVIII. Cent. Gothic characters: LAPOCALYPSE | de saint Jehan Lenangeliste | en Latin | Avec une Traduction francoise | Paraphrasee | Manuscrit sur uelin orne de Mignature.
The arms of the original owner (probably Le Conte de Mollyn - see J.W. Papworth, Ordinary of Armorials, London, 1874, p. 1053): (azure) six plates, 3, 2, 1 (argent) and a chief (or) with the motto: SANS NOMBRE occur in the lower margin, the latter being repeated round the page and on the baldachin in the picture. The arms and motto are to be seen in nearly every picture (often repeated in the same picture), and also on , 1 recto.
The 48 pictures which adorn the first 24 folios average 7½ x 4 3/4, and illustrate the following passages of the Apocalypse with the exception of the first, which shows the translator, with doffed Astrakhan cap and on bended kneew, presenting his work to his patron, who, seated on a cushion of cloth of gold on a canopied throne of gold and crimson damask, touches the volume with his right forefinger in token of acceptance. Both these figures are in black, but the rest of the audience chamber is occupied with group of gaily dressed lords and ladies, pages, etc., who appear to admire the landscape shown through windows and arched doorway:
[1 recto] 1. Author's dedication..
[1 verso] 2. Apoc. i. 1, 9-11.
[2 recto] 3. Apoc. ii. 1-iii. 21.
[2 verso] 4. Apoc. i. 12-20.
[3 recto] 5. Apoc. iv. 1-8.
[3 verso] 6. Apoc. v. 2-5.
[4 recto] 7. Apoc. iv. 10, 11.
[4 verso] 8. Apoc. v. 6.
[5 recto] 9. Apoc. v. 7-14.
[5 verso] 10. Apoc. vi. 1, 2.
[6 recto] 11. Apoc. vi. 3, 4.
[6 verso] 12. Apoc. vi. 5, 6.
[7 recto] 13. Apoc. vi. 7, 8.
[7 verso] 14. Apoc. vi. 9-11.
[8 recto] 15. Apoc. v. 12-17.
[8 verso] 16. Apoc. vii. 1-3.
[9 recto] 17. Apoc. xi. 14-18.
[9 verso] 18. Apoc. xi. 19-xii. 6.
[10 recto] 19. Apoc. xii. 7-12.
[10 verso] 20. Apoc. xii. 13, 14.
[11 recto] 21. Apoc. xii. 15, 16.
[11 verso] 22. Apoc. xii. 17, 18.
[12 recto] 23. Apoc. xiii. 1-3.
[12 verso] 24. Apoc. xiii. 3-7.
[13 recto] 25. Apoc. xiii. 4-6.
[13 verso] 26. Apoc. xiii. 7-10.
[14 recto] 27. Apoc. xiii. 11-14.
[14 verso] 28. Apoc. xiii. 14, 15.
[15 recto] 29. Apoc. xiii. 16-18.
[15 verso] 30. Apoc. xiv. 1-4.
[16 recto] 31. Apoc. xiv. 2-5.
[16 verso] 32. Apoc. xiv. 6, 7.
[17 recto] 33. Apoc. vii. 9-15.
[17 verso] 34. Apoc. viii. 1, 2.
[18 recto] 35. Apoc. viii. 3-5.
[18 verso] 36. Apoc. viii. 6, 7.
[19 recto] 37. Apoc. viii. 8, 9.
[19 verso] 38. Apoc. viii. 10, 11.
[20 recto] 39. Apoc. viii. 12.
[20 verso] 40. Apoc. viii. 13.
[21 recto] 41. Apoc. ix. 1-11.
[21 verso] 42. Apoc. ix. 12-16.
[22 recto] 43. Apoc. ix. 17-21.
[22 verso] 44. Apoc. x. 1-7.
[23 recto] 45. Apoc. x. 8-11.
[23 verso] 46. Apoc. xi. 1, 2.
[24 recto] 47. Apoc. xi. 3-6.
[24 verso] 48. Apoc. xi. 7, 8.
All these illustrations are framed in pillared canopies with niches, etc., of varying design in Gothic style of architecture, and are executed with great taste and skill, the scrolled legends being in French. S. John appears in nearly everyone as a spectator carrying his volume of Revelation (bound in crimson with gilt edges and bosses). The conception and portrayal of the characters and incidents is suggestive and striking. A group of spires (somewhat like those of Coventry) occurring in so many of the (distant) landscapes suggests perhaps an attempt at 'local colouring' on the part of the Flemish artist whose work here closely resembles that in the "Vita Christi" (T.1.4-7), etc. The second sixteen pictures should obviously come after the third, these quires having been misplaced by the binder as well as the last quire but one, which should follow the first quire of the French translation, between which and the last of the pictured pages a whole quire is lost.
According to P. Meyer (Documents Manuscrits, Paris, 1871, p. 114), this MS. = No. 94 in Gaignat's Catalogue.
Apocalypse. Glasgow University, Hunterian Library, MS. 398 (V.2.18). Parchment. 63 ff., 312 x 215 mm. France, s. xv2. The manuscript contains a Latin version of the Book of Revelation with a commentary, followed by a translation into French by an unknown author. The forty-eight miniatures represent passages from the Apocalypse, with the exception of the first, which shows the translator presenting his work to his patron. The arms of the original owner with the motto sans nombre, which appear in nearly every miniature, have been attributed to the family of Mollyn. Bought by Hunter at the Gaignat sale in 1769. References. De Bure, no. 94. Young & Aitken, pp. 317-18.
The MS. is misbound: fols. 49-56 should come between fols. 32 and 33 - Per C.R. Sneddon, Dept. of French, St. Andrews. 15.ii.1980.
List Item Content
Vellum, 12¼ x 8 5/8, ff. 63, originally ff. 72, well written in two French hands, smaller and larger, in double cols. of 28 lines, each 5 3/4 x 3½ (first three quires), and of 33 lines, each 8 3/4 x 2 3/4 (remaining quires), all lined and margined in red ink, signatures (later) in later quires, no catchwords or foliation visible, almost certainly cropped, first two pages floreated, 48 pictures (see Remarks in Description), gilt illuminated initials (omitted in what is now the third quire), partially floreated page [5, 1 recto], initials of sentences touched with gamboge, no marginalia, much disfigured by cropping, insets of tissue paper between the pictures (cut out between 2 , 6. and 7. and doubled between 3 , 7. and 8.) well preserved, fol. sec. Hec. dixit. Late Cent. XV.
Binding: Millboards, covered cardinal morocco, gilt-tooled inside margins, edges, sides (lines) and panelled back, gilt edges, title (gilt): LAPOCALYS | DE ST. JH. | LEVANGEL | EN | LATIN | ET EN | FRANCOIS | MANUSCRI | SUR VELIN. Cent. XVII.-XVIII.
[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), p. 317.]
||This manuscript has been exhibited on the following occasions: 'The Hunterian Collection', Kenwood, London, 1952; 'Treasures of Scottish Libraries', National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1961; 'Treasures from Scottish libraries', Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1964; '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; 'The Magic of the Middle Ages, Part 1: Sacred Manuscripts', Glasgow University Library, 21 April-30 July 1994.
||M.R. James, The Apocalypse in art (London, 1931), p. 12, no. 47; R. Hausherr, 'Eine verspätete Apocalypsen-Handschrift und ihre Vorlage', Studies in late medieval and Renaissance painting in honor of Millard Meiss (New York, 1977), pp 219-240; National Library of Scotland, Treasures of Scottish libraries: catalogue (Edinburgh, 1961), x, 7; Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 59; Treasures from Scottish libraries: catalogue of an exhibition held in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (Edinburgh, 1964), no. 47; A. McLaren Young, The Hunterian Collection: an Eighteenth Century Gentleman's Cabinet, lent by courtesy of the University of Glasgow (London, 1952), no. 49g; 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 317-318.
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