Machaut Manuscript A (BnF, ms. fr. 1584): An Art Historical Overview

Figure 1. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise frontispiece (fol. 309, A149) Figure 2. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. First folio of the Index (fol. Av) Figure 3. Rubric above the Index: “Vesci l’ordenance que G. de Machau wet qu’il ait en son livre” (Here is the order G. de Machaut wants his book to have.), (fol. Av, det)

by Domenic Leo[1]

Introduction

With 154 miniatures in partially tinted and gilded grisaille, an appended bifolium with two large miniatures by the renowned Master of the Bible of Jean de Sy, and an original ‘index’, MS A ranks as one of the three most luxurious, complete-work manuscripts of Guillaume de Machaut’s oeuvre, which were made in his lifetime (fig. 2, fol. Av). [2] Beyond MS A’s importance to Machaut studies in general, however, it holds a special place in art historical scholarship. The first two images for the Prologue are deservingly recognized as masterpieces of late-fourteenth-century French manuscript illumination.[3] They are as remarkable for the artist’s spectacular command of his medium as for his sophisticated and creative iconography. 

 

[1] Many people patiently read this commentary in various forms over a stretch of time, and I am especially thankful to Jacques Boogaart, Lawrence Earp, R. Barton Palmer, and Yolanda Plumley.

[2] Henceforth, the Jean de Sy Master. Two other manuscripts were painted during Machaut’s lifetime. Manuscript C (BnF, ms. fr. 1586), of c. 1350-56, was in all likelihood made for Bonne de Luxembourg; see Earp, 1995, pp. 77-79; Earp, 2014, pp. 34-38; and Leo, “The Pucellian School,” pp. 155-163. The Ferrell-Vogüé manuscript (MS Vg), of the 1370s, was in the duc de Berry’s collection; on patronage see Earp, 2014, especially pp. 38-44, and, in the same, Leo, p. 126. Two other complete-work, heavily illustrated manuscripts were painted posthumously. MS F-G (BnF, ms. fr. 22545-22546), was painted in the early 1390s. See Earp, 1995, pp. 90-92; Earp, 2014, p. 38, n. 72; and the forthcoming research on patronage by Plumley, “A Courtier’s Quest.” Manuscript E (BnF, ms. fr. 99291), of the 1390s, was also in the duc de Berry’s collection; see Earp, 1995, pp. 92-94. The latest manuscript, Pm, of c. 1425-30, is a partial complete-works manuscript (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library M.396); its iconographic program closely follows that of MS A. On MS Pm, see Earp, 1995, pp. 101-102; and Drobinsky, “Recyclage et création,” infra.

[3] On the Prologue, see Drobinsky, “Peindre, pourtraire, escrire,” ‘Les frontispieces du Prologue: deux pourtraits à la gloire de l’auteur’, pp. 553-569; Perkinson, The Likeness of the King, pp. 218-231; and for an expansive analysis devoted to these two miniatures, see Leo, “The Beginning is the End.” Leach, Guillaume de Machaut, pp. 87-103, has fused Leo and Perkinson’s interpretations – among others – in her own important discussion of the Prologue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Machaut Master Part I

Figure 4. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lyon, the lover (fol. 80v, A25, det.) Figure 5. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Remede, a teacher (fol. 49v, A13) Figure 6. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lovers embracing in a historiated initial at the head of the ballades (fol. 454, A154, det.) Figure 7. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Voir dit, Lady Fortune (fol. 297, A147, det.) Figure 8. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise,
peacock in right margin (fol. 309, det.)
  Figure 9. Prise, historiated initial with
old man (fol. 309, det.)
  Figure 10. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Mass, historiated initial with a bishop (fol. 449v)  Figure 11. Mass, historiated initial with a king (fol. 449v, det.)   Figure 12. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lays, historiated initial with a man and woman (fol. 367, A152, det.) Figure 13. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lays, historiated initial with a man and woman (fol. 367, A152, det.)   Figure 14. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prologue, Machaut in his study (fol. D, A1) 

by Domenic Leo

The identification of the artists who painted in MS A is a critical issue. I believe there are five. Until now, it has been commonly accepted, based on the groundbreaking work of François Avril, that there are two artists: the well-known Jean de Sy Master who painted the two Prologue images (figs. 46, 48); and the primary and otherwise unknown artist responsible for the main body of miniatures, the ‘Machaut Master’ (figs. 4-7, 15). The latter’s iconography is sometimes novel and nearly always inventive, making up for his maladroit style. Avril, foremost among the art historians to have written on MS A, wrote that, “Although this volume shows a strong stylistic kinship with other illuminated manuscripts executed for the court, it may have been illustrated in Reims…by a local illuminator who worked under the poet’s direction.”[1] In the 1981 exhibition catalogue for Les fastes du gothique, Avril added that the Machaut Master’s style fits well within a group of manuscripts from the East of France, possibly Metz, that date to the third quarter of the fourteenth century.[2] Apart from the Parisian sartorial finesse, there is no indication that this was made for the court, and the comparison of the Machaut Master’s style to that of Eastern France in general, or Reims in particular, remains highly problematic.[3]

Some scholars follow Avril’s comparison of MS A to a French translation of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy from Metz, though there is no substantial stylistic link between these manuscripts.[4] The artist of the Boethius manuscript uses a bold palette with a preponderance of brick red and orange whereas the artists of the Machaut manuscript use an elegant grisaille. Moreover, the retardataire style in the Boethius manuscript is most obvious, relatively speaking, in the cursory drapery folds, the crude execution of the faces, and the ubiquitous use of figures with the so-called Gothic sway, an exaggerated contrapposto. In addition, although it is possible to recognize styles in general from Lorraine and Champagne c. 1300, there is, seemingly, no style specific to Reims in the 1370s.[5]

The foundation of the Machaut Master’s stylistic vocabulary is the adept use of grisaille for figures, buildings, plants, and animals. He uses contrasts between lighter and darker shades of gray for modeling but sharply defined grays and black to give the architectural components a three-dimensional appearance. The use of a fairly heavy silhouette for the figures contrasts with the backgrounds, which are devoid of decoration (with the exception of the Prise frontispiece; fig. 1), and flattens the images rather than suggesting depth. Certain elements of the Machaut Master’s style are fresh and spontaneous, as is his use of portrait à l’encre tinting. He sparingly applies translucent washes of colored ink for more delicate modelling: pale peach tones for faces and hands and blond streaks for hair; green for leaves and sometimes violet for clothing; aquamarine for water and a steel blue for shading. To focus attention on the more important images, especially frontispiece images, he uses densely saturated colors. See, for example, the Prise (fig. 1), and the highly detailed artwork of the opening image for the Dit de la rose (fig. 16). The opening image for the Voir dit also received more attention, as the intricately painted pillows and variegated trees make clear (fig. 17). The Machaut Master also uses gilding, albeit sparingly, for crowns and the costly linked belts worn by noblemen.

In his more finished work, he relies on a sharp, fine black line to pick out details, most apparent in the strands of hair and the outlines of the eyes; the best examples are the historiated initial in the ballades (fig. 6) and the image of Lady Fortune as Described by Titus Livius in the Voir dit (fol. 297, A147; figs. 7, 15).[6] The latter is his single most beautiful work, and with it, he reminds the viewer of the level of finesse he can attain (conversely demonstrating the rapid and sometimes gauche execution of less important or more repetitive images). This miniature is more refined than the body of the Machaut Master’s work, but they do share stylistic idiosyncracies: the lips have a pronounced line at the center, giving them a slight pout; and the modeling in flesh tones under the jawline and at the side of the nose match. The delicate and graceful facture of Lady Fortune’s eyes, hair, and hands may be meaningful: by emphasizing her physical beauty, the artist most likely alludes to the fate of those who would fall under her spell.

The Machaut Master was proficient in his trade, and quite inventive. The iconographer, was well read, and the Roman de la rose, the Bible historiale, and the Ovide moralisé figure prominently in the images. As the Ovide moralisé was the visual source for mythological tales in, for example, Fonteinne, so too did the Bible historiale provide the iconographic programs for the lengthy biblical stories used as exempla in the Confort.[7] Surprisingly, the artist demonstrates an intimate familiarity with Machaut’s texts. The artist used pre-existing iconographic moduli from well-known sources when Machaut did the same with citations which derive from pre-existing sources in the text.

For example, Machaut mined the Roman de la rose, and the Machaut Master, in turn, quoted directly and systematically from Rose pictorial vocabulary. This is most obvious in the highly finished opening image for the Dit de la rose, where a cleric leans over a wattle-and-daub fence to pluck a large, scarlet and pink rose in the midst of a thorny, leafy bush (fol. 365v, A150; fig. 16). In a more subtle fashion, the artist visually cites Rose miniatures in the opening images of three of the dits, thereby highlighting Machaut’s use of a dream vision construct (figs. 18-20). In the opening miniatures for the Vergier, Behaingne, and Lyon, the narrator discovers, enters, and enjoys a garden: the very heart of the Rose.[8] Meradith McMunn writes that “The artist of MS A clearly uses the same imagery, figure placement, and postures that appear frequently in Rose manuscripts and it is very plausible that he is deliberately referring to Rose images.”[9]

The Machaut Master also created new imagery for Machaut’s ever-growing body of poetry and music. The Voir dit, for example, a late work, appears for the first time in MS A, and the artist produced a rich body of innovative iconography. For example, he depicted what Machaut names an ’ymage‘ of his beloved as a panel painting (fol. 235v, A125; fig. 21).[10] He also transformed an image of God creating land from a cloud-like mass in the frontispiece of an Ovide moralisé (Lyon, BM MS 742, fol. 1), into an erotic scene where Venus uses a perfumed cloud to envelop the narrator and his beloved who are together, albeit clothed, in bed (A130, fol. 255r; fig. 22; l. 3760).[11] Here the lovers gaze into each other’s eyes and slightly incline their heads toward one another. Whereas Machaut holds one hand to his chest, as if about to speak (or, perhaps, to designate his contentment). The beloved lies awkwardly, with her legs crossed, one hand partially touching her genitalia (the pattern of the drapery folds creates a very distinct outline), and the other hand on her thigh. She is not surprised at this situation because she initiated it and, thus, is in control of it.

Although these subtleties may reveal Machaut’s personal involvement, the artist did have some difficulties, as three pentimenti make clear. In the most blatant, he has not left sufficient room for one of the five maidens described in the text of the Voir dit; and she is cut off by the frame at far right (A148, fol. 301v; fig. 23; l. 8652). In a miniature depicting the assassination of Julius Caesar, traces of a falling figure just left of the center, with his hands tied in front of him has not been sufficiently erased, nor, for that matter, explained (A137, fol. 278, l.5907). Julia Drobinsky identified another pentimento on fol. 90 in the Lyon. Here, a fallen soldier lies on the ground, nearly crushed by a horse, which extends its muzzle to smell him (ll. 1345-504 – chivalrous knights). This explains the raised hands and expressions of surprise on a group of knights (fig. 24).[12]

Despite the Machaut Master’s shortcomings, his talents shine in a handful of images. A single miniature heads the Alerion, a man on horseback hawking (fig. 25; A51, fol. 96v). It is filled with amazing detail, from the man’s windblown hair to his decorated capuchon (hooded capelet) and his mi-parti pourpoint (in this instance, a very short, padded doublet).[13] The rider has a loose-fitting leather gaunt on his left hand where an immense bird of prey is taking off or alighting.[14] In his right, he holds the delicately painted reins, standing on the balls of his feet in the stirrups above the decorative pommel and cantle of the saddle (Is he posting or is the raised saddle working as a ‘shock absorber’?). The Machaut Master also depicts the rider’s spurs. He painted the stallion with rich attention to realistic elements, such as the shaggy fetlocks, the diagonal movement of the legs, designating his gait as a trot, and the fine-lined red caparison.[15] The horse’s bent neck is a sign of submission and attests to his good training.


[1] Avril, Manuscript Painting, p. 36.

[2] Avril, Les fastes, p 329, writes that this style “…présente un caractère plus spontané et certains traits provinciaux qui cadre bien avec la production de l’Est de la France telle qu’elle nous est connue par les manuscrits messins du milieu et troisème quart du siècle.”

[3] This does not, however, preclude the possibility that MS A was illustrated in this city by an artist trained elsewhere.

[4] Montpellier, Bibliothèque de la Faculté de Médicine, MS H. 43. Notably Leach, Guillaume de Machaut, writes that “[the Montpellier manuscript] is a close match for the style of the rest of A…” (original emphases), p. 96.

[5] See Avril, L’Art au temps des rois maudits, pp. 313-324.

[6] The Machaut Master uses this type of black line for Lady Fortune and the texts on the wheels she holds.

[7] See, for example, the tale of Ceyx and Alcyone in the Fonteinne (fols. 157d-159v, A82-88) and the story of Susannah and the Elders in Confort (fols. 127v-129d, A54-60). For a discussion of Machaut’s use of Ovid in the Voir dit, see Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Reading Myth, pp. 130-170; and Mühlethaler, “Entre amour et politique,” infra. Drobinsky worked extensively on the Ovide moralisé and its influence on illuminated Machaut manuscripts, see: “Eros, Hypnos et Thanatos,” and “Amants péris en mer,” (for the latter, plates VI-IX are hors-texte).

[8] Respectively: fol. 1r, A4; fol. 9c, A8; and fol. 80v, A25.

[9] I am grateful to Meradith McMunn who gave invaluable insight, via private communication, into the visual rapports between opening images. For comparison, McMunn pointed out a four-part Rose frontispiece by the Jean de Sy Master, (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS M.132, fol. 1r), that has two images which correspond to the narrator before a stream and the narrator listening to birds in MS A.

[10] I will be treating this subject matter in a forthcoming volume on the Voir dit. ‘Ymage’ can also mean ‘statue’, as has been represented in the later Machaut MS F (BN FF 22545; fol. 148r, F112) and the lyrics for L’ymage que fist Pymalion (Lo 203, B28 with music). For in-depth studies on the concept of portraiture and the permutations of the word ‘ymage’ in fourteenth-century France, see Perkinson, The King’s Likeness, infra; Tura, “Living Pictures”; Drobinsky, “Peindre, pourtraire, escrire,” pp. 564-576; and Leo, “Authorial Presence,” pp. 198-216.

[11] The convention for depicting a couple having intercourse shows them under the covers, as in fig. 44. Jacques Boogaart, private communication, points out that the artist is not following the text in the Voir dit, in which Toute Belle is nude, wearing nothing “fors les oeuvres de nature” (l. 4022). 

[12] I thank Julia Drobinsky for sharing this information with me from her forthcoming book on MS A.

[13] I am using terminology based on van Buren and Wieck, Illuminating Fashion.

[14] The largest of the hunting birds, such as gyrfalcons or brown eagles, were too heavy to hold on the wrist and, instead, perched on a pole attached to the front of the saddle.

[15] On horses in general in the Middle Ages, see Hyland, The Horse; she addresses three elements germaine to my remarks: the gaits, pp. 28-30; saddlery, pp. 59ff; and the spur, p. 60.

 

The Machaut Master Part II

by Domenic Leo

The Machaut Master also painted the marginalia – light-hearted, amusing, and sometimes shocking – that inhabit the borders of MS A.[16] As a phenomenon, the popularity of marginalia stretches from the bawdy mid-thirteenth-century Flemish manuscripts[17] to the elegant Parisian manuscripts of the late fourteenth century. At times the marginalia are ‘participants’ and resonate with the text or miniatures, be they sacred or secular. Most often, however, they simply ‘exist’ in manuscripts’ borders, floating around the text as shards of forgotten performances, fragmentary narratives, and pithy proverbs.

Figures 16, 17, and 18. 
BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Dit de la rose, opening image, the lover picks a rose (fol. 365v, A150)Voir dit, opening image, a messenger delivers a letter to Guillaume (fol. 221, A119); BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Vergier, the lover enters a garden (fol. 1, A4, det.)

For the most part, the marginalia in MS A are whimsical, joyful, music-making hybrid creatures. They have the head and torso of a man, but their lower parts are either wrapped in a cloak or comprise an imaginary creature. They regale the viewer with hand bells, a harp, a vielle, a gittern, a buisine, a portative organ, and nakkers: appropriate subject matter for the musical content in this manuscript (Appendix 1). These particular images, as a whole, reflect the elaborately detailed, imaginary instrumentaria which fictively combine haut and bas (loud and soft) music in the text of Machaut’s dits.[18] For example, Machaut lists a dizzying number of instruments playing in the festivities before the formal dinner in the Remède (ll. 3959-3977) and in the emperor’s castle in the Prise (ll. 1147-1146).

Figures 19, 20, and 21. 
Behaingne
, the lover in a garden (fol. 9v, A8, det.)
;
 Lyon, the lover stands before a river (fol. 80v, A25, det.);  Figure 21. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Voir dit, the portrait of the beloved (fol. 293r, A125, det.)

There are also numerous animals in the margins: winged dragons, harts, apes, dogs, rabbits, squirrels, butterflies, magpies(?), a peacock, and more. They sometimes perch on or fly amidst the foliate bar extenders, which represent a garden- or forest-like space. Of interest for the process of creating the marginalia, in the bas-de-page on fol. 227, the artist has painted a lion seated on its haunches in profile at left and, at right, never erased the sketch of a lion’s head, which stares out at the viewer – a subject we will address below (fig. 58).[19]

Figures 22, 23, and 24.
Voir dit, Venus creates a perfumed cloud for the lovers in bed (fol. 255, A130, det.); MS A. Voir dit, the five virgins (fol. 301v, A148, det.); Lyon, knights on horseback discover a dead body (fol. 90, A40, det.)

Figures in the upper margin, on fol. 245, may be a humorous commentary on the miniature below (A128; fig. 26). A hybrid archer with a tall (hunting?) hat prepares to shoot an arrow. The intended recipient is an ape who taunts the man by spreading the cheeks of his buttocks while his cape flutters in the wind. Below, a red rubric, l’amant, heads a miniature in which Guillaume is receiving Toute Belle and her friends. Both Toute Belle and Guillaume gesture to each other, most likely the sign of a conversation rather than a simple greeting. Machaut stands on the threshold of the dark interior of a church. Could this perhaps represent a mockery of the lack of decorum in the text? In this section, Machaut recounts in an aside that ladies can deceive their husbands in order to have some pleasure (Voir dit, ll. 2930-2940).[20]

Figures 25 and 26.
BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Alerion, a nobleman on horseback with a hunting bird alighting on or taking flight from a leather gaunt (fol. 96v, A51 det.); BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Voir dit, a hybrid hunter prepares to loose an arrow at a monkey who bares his ass (fol. 245, upper margin, A128, det.)

With the exception of a butterfly in the left margin on fol. 450, there are no marginalia in the music section of MS A, only historiated initials (Appendix 2). The most commonly occurring creature is a winged dragon, one of which inhabits a particularly lavish letter ‘L’, which begins a lay on fol. 401v, (Lay 18/13; fig. 27).[21] Others contain small animals or human hybrids, mostly on grid-like backgrounds. A number of them function as an internal comedic device. The theme of the topsy-turvy world where animals perform as humans, commonly seen in marginalia, is exemplified by a fox standing before an altar celebrating mass, on fol. 478 (fig. 28). Another example, on fol. 485v, interacts in an amusing fashion with the lyrics of a virelai. Here, a monkey churns butter. This image parodies a peasant woman making noise at her sloppy work which is at odds with the noblewoman being addressed in the worshipful lyrics, “Dame, a qui” (fig. 29; virelai, 12).[22] In another example, the Machaut Master has created an interesting image-text dialogue. A nude, standing man gestures with his hand as if in a conversation on fol. 472v; rinceaux fill the background. He is a literal illustration of the virile, mythological men in the lyrics, “Quant Theseüs, Hercules et Jason” (ballade, B34, fig. 30).[23]

Figure 27. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lay 18/13, dragon in a historiated initial ‘L’ (fol. 401v, det.)

Figures 28, 29, and 30.
BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Rondeau, with fox serving mass in a historiated initial ‘T’ (fol. 478, det.); Virelai, ape churning butter in a historiated initial ‘D’ (fol. 485v, det.); Ballade, with nude man in a historiated initial ‘Q’ (fol. 472v, det.)

Large initials (up to nine lines high) mark the beginnings of the different genres of music. Some are filled with leaves and others are historiated. A serpent-like, winged dragon often inhabits or forms the letter itself. The most stunning historiated initials head the ballades and the lays (figs. 31-32). The Machaut Master created an intimate scene at the head of the ballades (fig. 31). A sinuous dragon’s body forms a large letter ‘S’ (S’amours; ballade, B1).[24] Its wings fill the top half and a couple embrace and kiss tenderly in the bottom. The man wears a capuchon decorated with polylobate designs over a pourpoint. This spectacular composition uses a conceit whereby dragons, with flickering, split tongues, spew foliage. The dragon’s tail in this case is caught up in extenders which create a rectilinear frame of sorts.

Figures 31 and 32. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Ballade, with lovers embracing in a historiated initial ‘S’ (fol. 454, A154, det.); Lay, courtly love scene in a historiated initial ‘L’ (fol. 367, A152, det.)

Another artist, Hand 2, whose work only appears once in MS A, painted a man courting a woman in a large initial ‘L’ on fol. 367r (A152), the first folio of a quire with the lays (fig. 32; L1, Loyauté, que point ne delay).[25] In keeping with the lyrics, a supplicating nobleman prepares to kneel, offering his folded hands in a sign of fealty and homage to his ‘liege.’[26] He is dressed in a lovingly rendered depiction of period fashion: a pourpoint with tippets (trailing lengths of fabric – in this case dagged – attached at the elbows). Although this is certainly not the Machaut Master, the young man has the same decorative, polylobate design that runs along the gilded edge of the other man’s capuchon. The woman coyly looks back at the nobleman, elegantly holding her right hand high in a gesture usually associated with conversation. With her other hand, she gracefully gathers her voluminous dress which creates a number of softly falling drapery folds arranged on a diagonal. In doing so, there is an implied narrative: this is a possible indication that she was about to walk before the man’s pleas caught her attention. At odds with the painting style used throughout MS A, this artist produced an extremely fine miniature painted in the Parisian style. The treatment of the bodies and fashion are consistent with the Machaut Master’s work. He executed the figures in grisaille, and the man’s capuchon and belt are gilded. The artist, however, uses a distinctive, thin, red-brown line to render their faces and hair. These portions are delicately modeled rather than heavily silhouetted, as is one of the hallmarks of the Machaut Master.[27] The two small trees in the background are without a doubt the work of the Machaut Master, as is clearly the case in the opening miniature for the Voir dit (fig. 17).

Hand 3, whose work only appears in the Mass, paints with a heavy line, which is reminiscent of a woodblock print. Despite the strokes of gray washes used for modelling, the images remain quite flat. This artist’s most easily identifiable contribution comprises two historiated initials, both in the Agnus Dei of Machaut’s Mass (figs. 10-11, fol. 449v). Of the two heads, one is a bishop, identifiable by his mitre, and the other a king, who wears a crown. Both have coarse, crudely drawn faces with large noses and hair turned back in rolls on each side of the head. The caricature-like exaggeration of the bishop’s nose and eyebrows and the king’s curled hair add a somewhat comedic element.

 


[16] On marginalia, see: Randall, Images in the Margins; Camille, Image on the Edge; Sandler, “The Study of Marginal Imagery”; and, Leo, Image, Text, Marginalia, pp. 75-86.

[17] Hunt, Illuminating the Borders, addresses this subject directly.

[18] See Bowles, “Haut and Bas.”

[19] The artist also painted lions within the text block in the miniatures throughout the Lyon and part of the intercalated biblical story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den in Confort.

[20] I thank Jacques Boogaart for bringing this to my attention.

[21] On this lay, see Earp, 1995, pp. 337-338.

[22] On this virelai, see Earp, 1995, p. 302.

[23] On this ballade, see Earp, 1995, pp. 362-364. He is in the same pose as the ymage of Toute Belle from the Voir dit (fig. 21; fol. 293, A142) and the figures on the Fountain of Love in Fonteinne (fol. 163d, A93).

[24] On this ballade, see Earp, 1995, p. 370.

[25] I am grateful to François Avril, private communication, who remains “intrigued by this artist” whose work he has not found elsewhere. On this lay, see Earp, 1995, pp. 338-339.

[26] This iconography is represented by a vassal or knight who kneels before a king or lord who, in turn, places his hands over the knight’s. See Ladner, Images and Ideas, who discusses ‘commendation’, “…a sign of surrender connoting dependence, trust and fidelity,” pp. 220-221. For a detailed study of this iconography, see Carré, Le baiser sur la bouche, ‘Description des rites vassaliques’, pp.188-191.

[27] See Earp, 1983, p. 171n.129, who discusses this initial in terms of mise-en-page, stating that it was drawn too large to allow for the entry of music, therefore the original line of text had to be erased and moved lower to accommodate a small staff. 

 

The Artists of the Prise Frontispiece

by Domenic Leo

The Machaut Master was fully capable of painting in a relatively finer style than that which predominates in the body of MS A. The best example of the high level of the complexity he can attain is the dense composition on the opening page for the Prise (fol. 309, A149; figs. 1, 33). It is an ambitious, two-column miniature, complete with bar extenders and marginalia.

Figure 33. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise, frontispiece, double-column miniature of Lusignan’s men storming a Saracen fortress or castle (fol. 309, A149, det.)

Another artist painted a peacock in the right margin (fig. 8). His use of brilliantly colored green and blue washes and refined style demonstrates a command of the medium which appears nowhere else in MS A. Jacques Boogaart convincingly argues that the peacock represents Juno, to whom the bird is sacred. In fact, when Pierre de Lusignan is born, four goddesses are called on by Saturn:

To look after and direct,  
To teach and instruct him (ll. 143-144).[1]

pour lui nourrir et gouverner
enseingnier et endoctriner. (ll. 141-145)

Thus, Hebe, Minerva, Juno, and Venus are entreated to bestow gifts on the newborn. After having called on Minerva for the gift of wisdom, Juno is summoned to confer the gift of wealth, and arrives:

… arrayed with such finery
That all the air shimmered
With the brightness gleaming from her (ll. 160-162).[2]

qui estoit si tres bien paree
que tous li airs resplendissoit
de la clarte qui delle yssoit (ll. 159-162)

This corresponds favorably with the vivid luster of the peacock fanning its tail feathers directly under the frontispiece miniature.

Figures 34 and 35. BnF, ms. fr. 1584.
Prise, frontispiece, Three Saracens atop a fortress or castle wielding a lance, a rock, and a bow and arrow (fol. 309, A149, det.); ‘Crusader’ heraldry’ (fol. 309, A149, det.)

The elderly man with flowing, shoulder-length white hair and a long beard in the historiated initial may be the work of another artist, as is evidenced by his treatment of the mouth as a single line making a ‘frown’ with a red line transecting it in the middle (fig. 9). Furthermore, the colors of the background in the historiated initial and surrounding frame are not used elsewhere in MS A – blue with two decorative red loops with red dots between them for the first, and matte coral for the latter. The man in the initial cannot be Pierre de Lusignan, who wears a crown and wields a hatchet in the miniature (fig. 37). He is most likely Saturn, who plays an important role in the Prise, discussed above, overseeing and directing the pantheon of Roman deities in the text (ll. 169-180). In this case, if the same artist painted both the historiated initial and the peacock, he could be subtle enough to create a meaningful visual rapport between the two images on fol. 309. 

Figures 36-37. BnF, ms. fr. 1584.
Prise, frontispiece, one of Lusignan’s men disembarks on a ladder into shallow water where fish swim (fol. 309, A149, det.); Prise, frontispiece, Pierre de Lusignan, wearing armor and a crown, wields a hatchet (fol. 309, A149, det.)

The lions on the lower bar extender, painted with tawny-brown washes, and the butterfly above speckled with red, blue, and green (with details applied on its wings with a sharp, fine quill), however, are the work of the Machaut Master (fig. 59). They relate to an earlier depiction of lions in the manuscript on fol. 227. In the bas-de-page image on the opening page of the Prise, the lion at left is a flip-side version of the one on fol. 227, and the lion at right is a ‘finished’ version of the sketch on the same folio (fig. 58). This treatment is a strong indicator that this quire was originally intended to stand on its own. Do the lions indicate a manuscript destined for royalty?

Figures 38 and 39. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise, frontispiece, Lusignan’s knight sets fire to the castle gate; the portcullis half open (fol. 309, A149, det; Prise frontispiece, orange rinceaux on a matte coral background (fol. 309, A149, det.)

The Machaut Master took great care in painting this complex, crowded miniature (fig. 33). But who was responsible for the many roles necessary to create this manuscript? For example, the upper frame of this miniature is darker than the others. The ‘planner’ left room for the masts and castle turrets which pierce it rather than intersect any ruled lines. This area is populated with Saracens, identifiable by a white ‘turban’ knotted at the nape of the neck over which a helmet is worn (fig. 34). The sloppy application of the matte coral background may be a sign of hastiness. It is unique in MS A. Was it meant to be gilded? Perhaps, but a close observation reveals feathery, orange rinceaux (fig. 39). Overall, the attention to detail, mostly executed with a fine black line, and which the artist added after applying the washes of color, is impressive. The water with swimming fish (fig. 36), the armor (including two types of helmets and scalloped sections of fabric on the epaulettes), the half-raised portcullis (fig. 38), the hinges on the wooden gates to the castle, and the generic ‘crusader’ heraldry on their shields - neither Templars nor Hospitalers - make it clear that this was a time-consuming endeavor which certainly represents highly polished work by the Machaut Master.[3]

Figures 40 and 41. BnF, ms. fr. 1584.
Prise, frontispiece, foliate spray from bar extender with leaves painted in blue, red, and green (fol. 309, A149, det.); Prise, foliate spray from two-line initial with leaves painted in grisaille (fol. 310)

In sharp contrast to the amount of effort the Machaut Master expended to create the complex composition of the large miniature, the secondary decorative elements were finished hastily. The multi-colored sycamore leaves sprouting from the bar extenders do not relate in any manner to the sharply pointed leaves painted in grisaille on all other folios in the manuscript (figs. 40-41). Furthermore, given the amount of decoration lavished on this folio, one would expect the leaves to have been gilded. This is a certain indication that the artist(s) responsible for this portion of the painting was pressed for time. He painted the leaves quickly with washes of translucent color.

 

[1] Translation from Palmer, 2002.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Some of these elements also appear in the image of Paris leading Helen into a boat in Confort (fol. 145v, A77).

 

 

The Master of the Bible of Jean de Sy and the Prologue

by Domenic Leo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figures. 42 and 43. BnF, ms. fr. 15397. Bible of Jean de Sy, an angel speaks with Abraham (fol. 35, det.); Bible of Jean de Sy, sketch for a miniature with Lot deep in his cups (fol. 30, det.)

Figure 44. BnF ms. fr. 15397. Bible of Jean de Sy, sketch for a miniature where Lot’s daughter inebriates him, and then she and her sister have intercourse with him to conceive (fol. 30, bas de page, det.)

The most refined work in MS A is by the well-known Jean de Sy Master, who painted on an appended bifolium at the head of the manuscript; perhaps his greatest and, surely, his most famous work of art (fols. E/A1 and D/A2; figs. 46, 48). He was active c.1355-c.1380, although his most demanding works were in the late 1360s and throughout the 1370s.[1]

Figure 45. BnF, ms. fr. 22912. French translation of Augustine’s Cité de Dieu (fol. 384)

The earliest and, arguably, the most masterful example of his style is in a Bible of 1355-1365, translated into French by the Dominican, Jean de Sy (hence the artist’s name), at the behest of Jean le bon (BnF, ms. fr. 15397). The artist’s hallmark traits are: copses of ‘umbrella’ trees; soft, clinging textiles; the pronounced use of Italian-derived modeling; highly refined painting techniques; and characters filled with verve and wit. In one image of this manuscript, an angel delivers a message from God commanding Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac (fol. 35, fig. 42). The angel has one wing pointed down and another nearly at a right angle to his body. The Jean de Sy Master further enlivens the scene by creating a sense of drama with the position of both figures’ hands. His penchant for including everyday objects and the smallest of details runs from buttons and the nails on horses’ shod hooves, to the minute, bare feet of the angel with stunning red wings. As this Bible was left in large part unfinished, his working practices are visible. The unpainted drawings show even more closely how the artist uses modeling to attain the suggestion of three-dimensionality and solid, grounded figures (fig. 43). For example, the bas-de-page preparatory drawing on fol. 30, which shows Lot’s daughters who inebriate him and then have intercourse with him, is astonishingly well-accomplished (fig. 44).[2] Notable details include the curtain links, two types of pillows, and the carefully drawn broken pediment on the headboard of the bed at right.

Figure 46. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prologue, Nature presents her children to Machaut (fol. E, A2)

The Jean de Sy Master and his atelier created both small- and large-scale works, but none reach the same level of artistry found in the Prologue. He painted in at least fourteen major manuscripts in the 1360s and 1370s, and, based on the provenance of extant manuscripts, worked exclusively for the aristocracy.[3] For example, he painted large, high-quality miniatures in two copies of Raoul de Presles’ translation of Augustine, La Cité de Dieu, in c. 1356 and 1365. They were owned by Charles V (who commissioned the translation) and his brother, Jean, duc de Berry, respectively (fig. 45).[4]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figures 47 and 48. BnF, ms. fr. 1584.
Prologue (fol. Dv); Prologue, Love presents his children to Machaut (fol. D, A1)

At least three manuscripts are important for thematic material and compositions which are directly related to the Prologue images. The lavish opening miniature for Charles V’s illuminated copy of the Songe du vergier, (London, British Library, MS Royal 19 C IV), written at his behest, and painted in 1378, is full-folio. A cleric sleeping at the bottom of a verdant garden dreams of an argument between the secular world in the form of a nobleman, and the theological and spiritual world in the form of a cleric with scarlet red robes; the ruler is seated above in a cobalt blue mantle bedecked with yellow fleur-de-lys.[5] Between 1376 and 1379 he participated in illuminating the extravagant Grandes Heures de Philippe II ‘le hardi’, duc de Bourgogne (1342-1404) (Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 3-1954 + Brussels, BR, MSS 11035-37 and 10392), creating eleven nearly full-folio, monumental images.[6] He was equally talented at creating new iconography for secular works, such as Nicolas Oresme’s translations of Aristotle for Charles V of the 1370s (France, Private collection).[7] The Jean de Sy Master’s range is breathtaking and his delicate iconographic creations are almost always fresh, unpredictable, and unique. His presence, in and of itself, and the superior quality of his work in MS A, are clearly signifiers of royal patronage.

 

[1] The Jean de Sy Master painted a series of small miniatures in another complete-works Machaut manuscript, MS Vg, where he headed a large and varied atelier. See Leo, Introductory Study, pp. 98-101.

[2] Smaller, less detailed sketches, which have not been entirely trimmed, sometimes appear beneath the drawings.

[3] For a list of period manuscripts, including many painted by him, see Leo, “The Pucellian School,” esp. pp. 167-168. Homolka, “Painters and Workshops,” pp. 136, 280-282, discusses the argument that the Jean de Sy Master’s training was connected to the Master of the Luxembourg Genealogy’s career in Prague (fig. 223 is erroneously attributed to the Jean de Sy Master). Homolka is expanding on the work of Sterling, La peinture médiévale, pp. 174-179. For a detailed overview of this material, see Leo, “The Beginning is the End,” pp. 102-103.

[4] BnF, ms. fr. 22912 (1375, presentation copy for Charles V, 27.9cm x 20.32cm – 11in x 8in); Angers, Bibiliothèque municipale, ms. fr. 162 + Cambridge, Mass., Houghton Library, fMS Typ 201 (c. 1376, two-vol. copy for Jean, duc Berry, 48cm x 33.3cm – 18.9in x 13.11in). See Wieck, Late Medieval and Early Manuscripts, pp. 4, 128; and Smith, Illustrations of Raoul de Praelles’ Translation, pp. 47-70, 200-204. 

[5]See Avril, Les fastes du gothique, cat. no. 282, pp. 327-328. Discussed in the context of Charles V’s patronage, see O’Meara, Monarchy and Consent, p. 46. On the depiction of the author-narrator, see Sherman, Imaging Aristotle, p. 207. For recent bibliography on the text, see DLF, pp. 1402-1403.

[6]Most recently, see Binski and Panayatova, The Cambridge Illuminations, cat. no. 85, pp. 198-200.

[7] See Sherman, Imaging Aristotle, MS B (France, Private Collection; French trans. by Nicole Oresme, Politica and Oeconomica), 1375-1376, ‘Appendix III’, pp. 317-319. For a monumental miniature by the Jean de Sy Master, which has a similar treatment of the landscape and incorporates images of the homes of the peasants in the Prologue images, see ‘Bonne democracie’, fol. 230; described in Sherman’s Book VI, ‘Good Democracy: A Pastoral Vision?’ pp. 240-252.

 

The Prologue

by Domenic Leo

Near the end of a very long life and career, Machaut wrote a poem entitled the Prologue.[1] It is now in two parts at the head of MS A; the first is a mistakenly inverted, appended bifolium on which there are two large miniatures painted by the Jean de Sy Master (figs. 46-49).[2] They accompany the first, lyric section of this poem. The second part is the work of the Machaut Master (fig. 50).[3] The Jean de Sy Master’s images create a visual counterpart to Machaut’s new text, exposing the breadth and complexity of his musico-literary creations and operating as ‘portraits’ of him.[4] They document and offer access into Machaut’s life, and also elucidate feasible patrons’ perceptions of the poet.[5] For Charles V, these images would have preserved the face, accomplishments, and artistry of Machaut as a coveted possession of the patrimoine (and, no doubt, a cherished memory of his mother, Bonne de Luxembourg, Machaut’s patroness after the death of her father, Jean l’aveugle de Luxembourg, roi de Bohème).[6]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figures 49-50. BnF, ms. fr. 1584.
Prologue (fol. Ev); Prologue, author portrait (fol. Fv, A3)

But only the dedicated reader (or listener) who is familiar with Machaut’s oeuvre can fully appreciate the Prologue miniatures. Before embarking on the grandest of journeys, through the poet’s lifetime work, the viewer must page back and forth within the Prologue – from image to image, and image to text – then within Machaut’s Complete Works.




[1] On the foliation and placement of the Prologue, see Earp, 1983, p. 344; Earp, 1995, pp. 87-88; and Roccati, “Guillaume de Machaut,” infra.

[2] The title may not be his since its first and only appearance is in the later MS E; see Earp, 1995, p. 203.

[3] The section which follows this bifolium creates a stylistic rupture: the Machaut Master has painted a single-column image of a non-descript author portrait.

[4] The use of the term ‘portrait’ here will be discussed in following volumes with the Prologue and the Voir dit.

[5] Earp, 1995, p. 204, writes, “Strikingly, the Prologue is a work not associated with a patron, but rather with Machaut’s own desire to preface the collection of his life’s works…with an all-encompassing statement of his artistic aims.”

[6] On the Jean de Sy Master’s notoriety, see  Wieck, Painted Prayers, writes of (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS M.90), a book of hours, that “The manuscript was probably written in Verdun…and then brought to Paris where the miniatures were pasted in,” p. 67.

 

 

Dating MS A

by Domenic Leo

Historian Roger Bowers definitively places Machaut in Reims around 1360, where he “[took up] formal residence as cathedral canon” until his death in 1377.[1] Keeping this in mind, it is no coincidence that Machaut was so prolific during this period of time. Manuscript A was painted in the 1370s, ostensibly making it the last manuscript that Machaut himself may have supervised. Although Machaut’s Dit de la fleur de lis et de la marguerite and the Prise provide a terminus post quem of c. 1370, the assembly of separate fascicles may have been executed before, during, or after this date (and Machaut’s death in 1377).[2]

Figures 51, 52, and 53.
BnF, ms fr. 122.
Lancelot du lac, three men conversing, each wearing a cote hardy – and a woman behind them (fol. 137v); BnF, ms fr. 1586. Remède, three men, two fashionably dressed in pourpoints, watch a carol dance (fol. 51, C36, det.); BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prologue, Dous Penser, wears a later version of the pourpoint, known as a houpelande (fol. D, A1, det.)

Fashion can also aid in dating. In MS A men wear the body-conscious pourpoint, which came into style around mid-century. It supplanted the longer, looser, belted tunic with a hemline just under or above the knees, referred to as a cote hardy. For example, in an image from a Lancelot du lac (BnF, ms. fr. 122), of c. 1344-1355, on fol. 137v, three men wear knee-length, colorfully decorated cotes hardys and contrasting hose (fig. 51).

From the 1350s to the late 1360s, the pourpoint generally had a mid-thigh length hemline. The earliest extant complete-works manuscript of Machaut’s oeuvre, MS C, of c. 1350, is richly decorated with large and colorful miniatures. It is the best example of the early pourpoint with all its variations (fig. 52).[3] This is the so-called ‘short style’. The man in the center’s pourpoint buttons down the front; while at far right another man’s has ‘stripes’ around it. This demarcates the use of quilting, which originally related to the padding worn under armor.[4] Beyond this element, there are highly individualized depictions of men’s fashion. There are dagged and scalloped hemlines on the pourpoints, capuchons, and liripipes (long extensions of fabric from the hood). The last could be worn tied in a series of knots, hanging down the back, wrapped like a turban around the head, or simply thrown over the shoulder. Common to all are the low slung belts and daggers worn over the crotch. By the 1370s, the style reached its apogee (fig. 53): the chest was more heavily padded, forming a wasp waist, and the length of the hemline was mid-buttocks (as it appears in the large Prologue miniature on fol. D).

Figures 54, 55, and 56.
BnF, ms. fr. 22545-22546.
Behaingne, a knight wearing a bastard-length houpelande with bombard sleeves (fol. 9v, F10, det.); BnF, ms. fr. 22545-22546. Fonteinne, the lover wears a full-length houpelande (fol. 128, F79, det.); BnF, ms. fr. 9221. Lyon, the lion leads the lover by his robe, a buttoned, belted houpelande (fol. 61v, E14, det.)

In MS A, Love’s child, Dous Penser (Sweet Thought), is, however, wearing a pourpoint which has an important new development: normally the sleeve is fitted from shoulder to wrist, usually with buttons to the elbow, as in the main body of MS A. But Dous Penser’s ‘doublet’ (to use a style-neutral term) is blousy from shoulder to elbow, at which point it is tight to the wrist (fig. 53). This looks forward to a new fashion trend for men that began sometime in the second half of the 1380s. For example, men’s fashion in MS F-G, of c. 1390, is characterized by variations of the pourpoint: a new garment, called the houpelande, replaces it (fig. 54). This style also has blousy sleeves but, unlike Dous Penser’s, they flare at the wrists (bombards). The ‘bastard-length’ houpelande has a hemline even higher, almost above the buttocks, cinched with a gold, linked belt. At the same time a longer robe becomes fashionable (not to be confused with a cleric’s garb), sometimes slashed at the side to reveal another color or type of fabric beneath: the ‘full-length’ houpelande (fig. 55).[5] The clothing style in MS E, from the early 1390s, changes again. A soft hat replaces the capuchon and most men wear an ankle-length houpelande which buttons down the center (fig. 56).

 


[1] Bowers, “Canonry of Reims.” I thank Roger Bowers for discussing his revisionist work with me.

[2] Lyon, 1342; Navarre, 1349; Alerion, before c. 1350; Confort, 1357; Fonteinne, 1360-61; Voir dit, 1363-65; Marguerite, 1364-69; Lys, 1369; Prise, after 1369.

[3] The sole extant fourteenth-century example is the so-called Pourpoint of Charles de Blois (Lyon, Musée historique des tissus, Inv. 924.XVI.2 – no. d’entrée: MT 30307). For discussion with bibliography, see Gasq-Berger, writing on ‘Tissus et broderies’ pp. 399-400.

[4] Blanc, “From Battlefield to Court,” fig. 9.3, dated c. 1364; on Machaut, see pp. 163 and 169.

[5] On the houpelande, with all its variations in length, see van Buren and Wieck, Illuminating Fashion, pp. 307-308. The posthumous complete-works Machaut manuscripts F-G and E are solid examples of a change in men’s hairstyles from jaw-length with bangs during the short style to a distinctive bobbed cut, almost above the ears, and parted down the middle.

 

Production

by Domenic Leo

Machaut can be glimpsed keeping track of his output in the book that contains all his works, ordering copies made of single works – and of whole manuscripts – and concerning himself with the order in which his complete works should be arranged.[1]

This quote is from Sarah Jane Williams’ study of references in the Voir dit which relate to the creation, production, and dissemination of Machaut’s manuscripts.[2] The varying degrees of finish by the artists on ‘opening pages’ of these gatherings in MS A strengthen this argument. The following examples of separate gatherings make this clear:

Voir dit – framed miniature – High Finish, Machaut Master (fol. 221, A119)
Prise – two-column framed miniature – High Finish, Machaut Master with two(?) other artists (fol. 309, A149)
Lays – historiated initial – High finish, Hand 1 (fol. 367, A152)
Motets – framed miniature – Machaut Master (fol. 414v, A153)[3]
Ballades – historiated initial – High Finish, Machaut Master (fol. 454, A154)

This can be substantiated to some degree by remnants of scribal notation in the form of very small Roman numerals close to the miniatures. For example, in MS C (fol. 104v, C70), the Roman numeral “iii” coincides with the order of the miniatures within the individual dits.[4] Here, it designates the third miniature for the Lyon.

A set of disparities between the scribal notation and the present order of miniatures in MS A corroborates an approach where the iconographic program was composed in portions (Table 1). Earp noticed in MS A that the extant Roman numerals do not correspond to the placement of the miniatures, thus the through-numbering system is at odds with the original state of the manuscript.[5] The later addition – the bifolium at the head of the manuscript for the Prologue – is a variable that must be factored in before judging any discrepancies in this list; hence the column, Order in MS A, where I begin numbering the miniatures from the original Prologue image. It seems probable that the artist began this numbering system entirely apart from the Prologue. Using this hypothesis annuls the disparity in the first case, and reduces it to one in the second. In the first case, if viewed as numbered within the Section, the numbers match for A14-47. The second disparity occurs within a new text – Confort – and this is not a coincidence; surely a change was made for the iconographic program.

Table 1: Scribal Notation in Manuscript A

Through-numbered miniatures

Text: miniatures numbered according to order in text

Order in MS  / Order in Section

Scribal Notation

Disparity between scribal notation and “Order in Manuscript”

 

SECTION LATER APPENDED to MS A (fols. D-E ):

Lyric portion of Prologue

 

A1 – fol. D

Prologue:1

Appended #1

NA

NA

A2 – fol. E

2

Appended #2

NA

NA

 

ORIGINAL Body of MS A (fols. F-306):

Section 1 – “Narrative” portion of Prologue (fols. Fv-G)

 

A3 – fol. Fv

Prologue: 1

1

NA

NA

 

Section 2 – Dits (fols. 1-220v)

 

A14 – fol. 54v

Remede: 2

12 /  11

xi

-1

A16 – fol. 62

4

14 /  13

xiii

-1

A17 – fol. 63v

5

15 /  14

xiiii

-1

A21 – fol. 72

9

19 /  18

xviii

-1

A22 – fol. 73

10

20 /  19

xix

-1

A23 – fol. 78v

11

21 /  20

xx

-1

A24 – fol. 80

12

22 /  21

xxi

-1

A32 – fol. 84v

Lyon:  8

30 /  29

xxix

-1

A33 – fol. 85

9

31 /  30

xxx

-1

A40 – fol. 90

16

38 /  37

xxxvii

-1

A43 – fol. 91v

19

41 /  40

xl

-1

A57 – fol. 128v

Confort: 6

55 /  54

liii

-2

A58 – fol. 129

7

56 /  55

liiii

-2

A62 – fol. 130v

11

60 /  59

lviii

-2

A105 – fol. 174v

Harpe: 3

103 /  102

NA

NA

 

Section 3 – Voir Dit (fols. 221-306)

 

A131 – fol. 259v

Voir Dit: 13

129 /  13

viii

-5

A132 – fol. 264

14

130 /  14

ix

-5

A139 – fol. 285v

21

137 /  21

xv pentimento

-4

A143 – fol. 293v

25

141 /  25

xix

-6

A147[6] – fol. 297

29

145 /  28

xxiii(?)

-5(?)

A148[7] – fol. 301v

30

146 /  29

xviii(?)

or [x]xviii(?)

-11(?)

or  -1(?)

 

Circumstances surrounding the third set of disparities between scribal notation and the present order of miniatures in MS A support an approach where the iconographic program was composed in portions. The first excludes the Prologue. The second marks a change at the beginning of Confort. The third isolates the Voir dit.

The order of images within the Voir dit served as the basis for relating the scribal notation with the image. The Roman numeral ‘viii’ is the thirteenth image in the Voir dit. The last two Roman numerals appearing next to Voir dit images are difficult to make out; the very last, which Earp reads with a question mark as ‘xviii’, might be ‘[x]xviii’.[8] This higher number may reflect images which occur more than once – such as ’messenger delivers a letter’. In this situation the numeral could be repeated. They might also have a rapport with the text in a different, earlier form than that preserved in MS A.

Figure 57. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Voir dit, inscription in Latin (fol. 301v, bas de page)

Clearly, illuminating the Voir dit in MS A posed logistical problems. It seems that Latin inscriptions were somehow meant to be incorporated into some images, as with one of the large miniatures of Lady Fortune (fol. 301v, A148). Instead, the Latin verses appear in a neat hand in the lower margin (fig. 57); not ‘scribal notation’ in the sense of directions, but simply a part of the image that did not fit. The verses, however, were important enough that they were included, no matter the date or scribe.

Figures 58-59.
BnF, ms. fr. 1584.
Voir dit, bas-de-page with lion and a sketch of a lion’s head (fol. 227, det.);
BnF, ms. fr. 1584.
Prise, bas-de-page with two lions and a butterfly (fol. 309, A149, det.)


[1] Williams, “Machaut’s Self-Awareness,” p. x.

[2] See Earp, 1983, esp. ‘The Structure of MS A’, pp.87-93; and his definitive article, Earp, 1989.

[3] This important and complex miniature demonstrates the artist/iconographer’s close attention to detail in both the iconography and music-image rapports; a further indication of authorial presence. The motet miniature is explored in a separate volume, Leo and Boogart, “Commentary on the Motet Image” (the version on the internet is extensively illustrated).

[4] Earp, 1995, p. 158.

[5] Earp, 1983, p. 390; Earp, 1995, pp. 131-132. 

[6] Comment Titus Livius descript l’ymage de Fortune (with Latin inscriptions in miniature); Earp, 1995, p. 182n194.

[7] Comment li paien figuroient l’ymage de Fortune (with Latin inscriptions in the bottom margin); Earp, 1995, p. 182n199.

[8] Earp, 1995, p. 182.

 

Authorial Presence and Patronage

by Domenic Leo

One of the most contested topics in Machaut studies is the possibility that the poet himself played a role in the creation of the manuscripts with his complete works, particularly MSS C and A. The complex image-text-music rapport in the earlier MS C (mid 1340s), which has folios incorporating all three elements – as well as the exceptionally high quality of the illumination, flourishing, and script – all point toward Machaut’s guidance. In MS A, an inscription at the head of the Index – Vesci l’ordenance que G. de Machau wet qu’il ait en son livre – suggests authorial presence in planning this manuscript, whether or not it was finished according to Machaut’s instructions while he was alive or after his death in 1377 (figs. 2-3).[1]

Did Machaut play any role in making MS A? I believe he was involved, but to what degree I remain uncertain. Aside from the Index, the Roman numerals discussed above suggest that there were sketches or instructions for the illuminator. Could this be the intersection point of author-iconographer-artist-producer? Or does this terminology impose anachronistic reasoning for what was more likely a fluid dynamic, an effort where all four of these ‘terms’ were not necessarily separate people. Was the footwork involved in creating an illuminated manuscript in Paris, so well documented by Richard Rouse and Mary Rouse, reduced to production within one atelier in Reims, and eventually fueled by a single person’s mental negotiations, namely Machaut himself?[2] It would certainly not be a new practice. And what precludes assigning the ‘compilation’ to a date after Machaut’s death? There was surely an interaction with the Jean de Sy Master, ostensibly living and working in Paris, at a late date in MS A’s production. So why make Machaut’s death in 1377 a terminus ante quem?

Anne Walters Robertson, in Guillaume de Machaut and Reims, compares Machaut to Dreux de Hautvillers (1197-1271). She writes that de Hautvillers “put together two integral books and that he was advanced in age when he did so. Machaut of course, worked in similar fashion…He was likewise involved in the production of at least one other source [MS A].”[3] Sylvia Huot, in her influential study From Song to Book, also operates on the premise that “The codices of Machaut and Froissart were almost certainly organized by the authors themselves; Machaut may well also have designed, or at least influenced, programs of illumination for his works.”[4]

Using a different set of tools to address this subject, Deborah McGrady, in Controlling Readers, concludes “all lines of research point…to the vicinity of Reims where Machaut resided or …to an academic or cleric community.”[5] Rather than searching for evidence of Machaut’s involvement with the production of his manuscripts, however, McGrady offers an inroad incorporating reception theory to identify the intended audience. For example, she writes that “…the material quality of [MS A] points to the idea that [the codex] was produced for a reader like Machaut.”[6]

It is, however, very unlikely that MS A belonged in the cathedral library's serious atmosphere. Miniatures would not be necessary for a scholarly reading circle, and would be too expensive for such a library to command. Why would such learned and spiritually inclined readers have any interest in Machaut's erotic speculations? Most importantly, McGrady does not take into account the Jean de Sy Master’s Prologue images, a certain stylistic signifier for royal ownership, thus precluding the possibility that it was ever intended for or kept in a cathedral library. [7]

My line of reasoning is supported by Claire Richter Sherman’s study of translations of Aristotle for Charles V, in which the Jean de Sy Master and an artist that oftentimes worked alongside him – the Master of the Coronation Book of Charles V – played important roles as painters. Nicole Oresme was commissioned for the translations, and Sherman convincingly argues that he carefully crafted these manuscripts for presentation to very specific audiences. The emphasis shifts from clerics and scholars to aristocratic patronage, including Charles V.[8] Given the attention to paratextual devices that aided in navigating the text, such as informative rubrics, mise-en-page, and a glossary, Sherman also postulates that Oresme played an important role in overseeing the artists’ creation of his work.[9]

The most concentrated possible markers of authorial presence are in Machaut’s last long poem, the Voir dit. It survives in six manuscripts.[10] MS A has thirty miniatures for it. A strong indication of Machaut’s involvement is a group of four images in the Voir dit, and one from the earlier Fonteinne, which the iconographer / author “translated in [Latin] verse what appears in French in the body of the dit.”[11]

1.     Paris gives an apple labeled pulcriori de[it?] to Venus (Fonteinne [A98], fol.169a, l.2125).[12]
2.     Banderoles on L’ymage de vraie Amour ([A140], fol.289r, ll.7305-7415).
3.     Comment Titus Livius descript l’ymage de Fortune (How Titus Livius Describes the Appearance of Fortune). Here there is a series of Latin couplets written in the wheels surrounding Fortune (fig. 15; [A147], fol.297r, ll. 8262-8327).
4.     Comment li paiens figuroient l’ymage de Fortune (How the Pagans Depicted the Image of Fortune). Here a different hand translates a passage from French in the text into Latin in the bas de page (fig. 57; [A148], fol.301v, ll. 8691-8678).

At present, I will have achieved my goal if this art-historical based study of MS A opens gateways for future scholars seeking out new interpretations of images, iconography, production, reception, patronage, and authorial presence. This in many ways defines the purpose and function of this project’s massive undertaking whereby new translations and editions of texts and music will become available to all. For now, many of my insights and theories must remain hypothetical, speculative, sometimes provocative, and purposely open-ended. Above all, they are meant to foster interdisciplinary work which will incorporate new findings and broaden our horizons. The recent, groundbreaking discoveries of Lawrence Earp, Yolanda Plumley, and Uri Smilanski, concerning ownership of manuscripts Vg and F-G, are perfect examples: they have already generated work by art historians, musicologists, and literary historians.

In the fourteenth century, Machaut manuscripts inevitably became precious objects for private, aristocratic delectation and ostentation; battlegrounds where image, text, and music vied for visual domination on the folio but aurally meshed for prelectation and musical performance.[13] A new form of ownership and patronage has overtaken these fourteenth-century creations: full availability via the websites Mandragore, Gallica, Corsair, DIAMM, and a facsimile of MS Vg. This translatio studii into twenty-first century English and contemporary musical notation is crafting them for new audiences. The website will encourage interactive participation via digital navigation that will personalize and enrich individual experiences: images to see; texts to read; and music to hear and play.[14]




[1] See Earp, 1995, p. 87, in his detailed description of MS A. On the ‘Index’, most recently, see Leach, Guillaume de Machaut, pp. 86-87, n. 3-4 and McGrady, Controlling Readers, Chapter 3, ‘Instructing Readers: Metatext and the Table of Contents as Sites of Mediation in BnF, ms. fr. 1584’, pp. 88-105.

[2] Rouse and Rouse, Medieval Illuminators, infra.

[3] Robertson, Guillaume de Machaut and Reims, p. 143.

[4] Huot, From Song to Book, p. 211 and esp., n. 1.

[5] McGrady, Controlling Readers, p. 83.

[6] Ibid., p. 82.

[7] I am grateful to Jacques Boogaart for sharing his thoughts on this matter with me.

[8] Sherman, Imaging Aristotle, p. 24, “For the most part, such developments in the organization and arrangement of the book were directed to a clerical audience. But during the fourteenth century, historical works commissioned by courts or royal patrons were equipped with alphabetical indexes and other finding aids.”

[9] Sherman, Imaging Aristotle, Chapter 3, ‘Nicole Oresme as Master of Texts’, pp. 23-35, especially ‘Oresme’s Role in Designing the Programs of Illustration’, pp. 31-35.

[10] For the complete manuscripts, see Earp, 1995: A, [5], pp. 87-89; F-G, [6], pp. 90-92; E [7], pp. 92-94; for the incomplete, see: K [15], pp. 97-99; J [16], pp. 99-100; Pm [18], pp. 101-102; on this poem, see pp. 223-231.

[11] See Avril, 1982, pp. 131ff; and Earp, 1995, p.182. MS F-G falls short in this respect. The iconography, no matter the new placement of the miniatures within the text, has been simplified, and, in addition to style, is posthumous.

[12] I thank Jacques Boogaart for suggesting this transcription.

[13] Camille, “For Our Devotion and Pleasure,” infra; and Coleman, “The Text Recontextualized,” infra. I am grateful to Cristina Ashjian and Joyce Coleman who kindly sent me offprints of these articles.

[14] Huot, The Song in the Book, provides a persuasive and keenly insightful argument for a transformation in the fourteenth-century ‘experience’ of manuscripts. It occurs in the text-image-music nexus in examples such as illuminated manuscripts of Machaut’s oeuvre, and is quite literally a collapse of physical performance and the construction of the silent mental song.

 

Addendum: Authorial Absence and the Death of the Prologue

by Domenic Leo

The Prologue is illuminated in two complete-works manuscripts from the last two decades of the fourteenth century: MSS F-G and E. In comparison to the work of the Jean de Sy Master, the artists who painted these later manuscripts used simplified iconography for the Prologue and as a consequence generated predictable and conservative images. There is no evidence that Machaut played any role in creating the iconographic cycles, be it via written instructions or sketches.

In place of standing outside or sitting inside his ‘study’ as in MS A, Machaut genuflects before Nature and Love in both manuscripts (four miniatures in MS F-G and one in MS E). In these manuscripts, artists reverted to using traditional author-presentation iconography. From this aspect alone, it is evident that neither of the Prologue painters in these manuscripts ever saw MS A nor, for that matter, knew Machaut. Both painters use six women for the children of Nature and Love. Both rely on a hieratic composition, in which Nature and Love are taller than their children. In lieu of portraiture, all figures are nearly identical. The only overt variations are in coiffures and diadems, coronets, and crowns. The robes and dresses change in color but not style. Here, the artists closely follow the rubrics as literal directions and are not interpreting them.

In MS F-G, all four Prologue miniatures take place outdoors, as the grass makes clear. Rather than using two large images for the two rubrics, this manuscript has one double-column miniature followed by three single-column miniatures. Machaut genuflects facing left and right alternately in the images. This artist does, however, articulate the exchange between himself and the deities in the text, and in two of the miniatures he answers them directly. In these scenes their children are absent (figs. 60-61).

Figures 60-61.
BnF, ms. fr. 22545-22546.
Prologue, double-column miniature of Nature and her children (fol. 1, F1, det.);
BnF, ms. fr. 22545-22546.
Prologue, three miniatures of Machaut speaking to: Nature; Love and her children; and Love (fol. 1v, 1c, F2; 2c, F3; 1d, F4)

The artist who painted the double-column opening miniature for the Prologue in MS E is more proficient at his trade than the first artist in MS F-G (figs. 62-63). He has understood that the symmetry in the shape of the lyrical part of the poem can be replicated by using both deities in one miniature. There are two cut-away buildings which reveal a deity and three ‘children’ in each. The scenes are nearly mirror images of each other. Like a diptych they ‘hinge’ on the central images of Machaut. He is wearing lavender robes in both buildings and genuflecting before each allegory. There is a naïve use of perspective in the building on the right: the planks on the ceiling recede as orthogonals and help to emphasize the central placement of Love whose scarlet red wings span the room (fig. 63).

Figure 62. BnF, ms. fr. 9221. Prologue, at left, Nature and her children, with Machaut kneeling; at right, Love and his children, with Machaut kneeling (fol. 1, E1, det.)

Figure 63. BnF, ms. fr. 9221. Prologue, Love leads his children to Machaut, who kneels before him (fol. 1, E1, det.)

Like the first of two artists in MS F-G, the artist in MS E never captures the spirit of the Prologue. Although the artists may have been following the text, iconographer, or a list of scribal notations or sketches, nothing emboldened them to be more inventive or creative. One last, crucial fourteenth-century element is lacking: these are not portraits in any sense of the word, and therefore Machaut’s likeness is absent in the images. Despite the fact that these are luxury, complete-works manuscripts filled with decorative and attractive images and owned by discerning bibliophiles, it is certain that in this instance Machaut’s texts and music form a more reliable sense of the remnants of authorial presence than the images.

Gathering Structure

Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS fr. 1584[1]

Gathering

Folio

Contents

Scribe

Miniature

Artist

A

Av–Bv

Index

?

 

 

 

C–Cv

Blank

 

 

 

 

Text

 

B

D–Ev

Prologue ballades

A

1–2

Master of the Bible of Jean de Sy

 

F

Blank

 

 

 

 

Fv–Gv

Narrative Prologue

B

3

‘Machaut Master’

I

1–9

Vergier

Same scribe throughout

4–7

Same artist to fol. 297

II

9v–22

Jugement Behaingne

 

8–11

 

IV-VI

22v–49

Jugement Navarre

 

12

 

VII-X

49v–80

Remede (with music)

 

13–24

 

XI-XII

80v–96

Lyon

 

25–50

 

XIII

96v–126

Alerion

 

51

 

 

126v

Blank

 

 

 

XVII-XIX

127–153

Confort

 

52–77

 

XX-XXII

154–173v

Fonteinne

 

78–102

 

XXII-XXIII

174–177

Harpe

 

103–116

 

XXIII-XXVII

177v–213

Loange (268 texts)

 

117

 

XXVII

213v–214v

Marguerite

 

118

 

XXVII-XXVIII

214v–219v

Complaintes

 

 

 

 

220–220v

Blank

 

 

 

XXIX-XXXVIII

221–296v

Voir Dit

 

119–146v

 

XXXVIII

297

Voir Dit

 

147

Machaut Master ‘High Finish’

XXXVIII-XXXIX

298-306

Voir Dit

 

148

Machaut Master

 

306v–308v

Blank

 

 

 

XL

309

Prise

 

149

Machaut Master ‘High Finish’ with secondary decoration and historiated initial by Hand 1

XL-XLVI

309-365

 

 

 

 

XLVI

365v–366

Dit de la Rose

 

150

Machaut Master

XLVI

366–366v

Vesci les biens

 

151

 

 

•Music•

 

XLVII

367

Lay (large historiated initial)

 

152

Hand 3 (Parisian artist)

XLVI-LII

368-412v

22 lais (6 w/o music)

 

 

 

 

413–414

Blank ruled

 

 

 

LIII

414v

Motet (Framed miniature)

 

153

Machaut Master

LIII-LV

415-437v

23 motets

 

 

 

 

 

Blank ruled

 

 

 

LVI

438v–449

Mass

 

 

 

LVII

449v

Mass (Agnus Dei)

 

N/A

Two historiated initials, Hand 2

LVII

450-451

Mass

 

 

 

LVII

451v–452

Hoquetus David

 

 

 

 

452v–453v

Blank ruled

 

 

 

LVIII

454

Ballade, Large  historiated initial

 

154

Machaut Master, ‘High Finish’

LVIII-LX

454v-474v

37 ballades

 

 

 

LX-LXI

475–481

19 rondeaux (one copied twice)

 

 

 

 

481v

Blank ruled

 

 

 

LXI-LXII

482–494v [502v]

38 virelais (6 w/o music)

 

 

 


[1] This gathering structure is based on Earp, 1983, pp. 334-339.

 

List of Figures

Figure 1. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise frontispiece (fol. 309, A149).

Figure 2. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. First folio of the Index (fol. Av).

Figure 3. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Rubric above the Index: “Vesci l’ordenance que G. de Machau wet qu’il ait en son livre” (Here is the order G. de Machaut wants his book to have.), (fol. Av, det.).

Figure 4. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lyon, the lover (fol. 80v, A25, det.).

Figure 5. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Remede, a teacher (fol. 49v, A13).

Figure 6. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lovers embracing in a historiated initial at the head of the Ballades (fol. 454, A154, det.).

Figure 7. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Voir dit, Lady Fortune (fol. 297, A147, det.).

Figure 8. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise, peacock in right margin (fol. 309, det.).

Figure 9. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise, historiated initial with old man (fol. 309, det.).

Figure 10. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Mass, historiated initial with a bishop (fol. 449v).

Figure 11. Mass, historiated initial with a king (fol. 449v).

Figure 12. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lays, historiated initial with a man and woman (fol. 367, A152, det.).

Figure 13. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lays, historiated initial with a man and woman (fol. 367, A152, det.).

Figure 14. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prologue, Machaut in his study (fol. D, A1).

Figure 15. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Voir dit, Lady Fortune (fol. 297, A147, det.).

Figure 16. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Dit de la rose, the lover picks a rose (fol. 367v, A150).

Figure 17. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Voir dit, opening image with Guillaume seated on pillows outdoors about to receive a letter from a messeger (fol. 221, A119).

Figure 18. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Vergier, the lover enters a garden (fol. 1, A4, det.).

Figure 19. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Behaingne, the lover in a garden (fol. 9c, A8, det.).

Figure 20. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lyon, the lover stands before a river (fol. 80v, A25, det.).

Figure 21. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Voir dit, the portrait of the beloved (fol. 235v, A125, det.).

Figure 22. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Voir dit, Venus creates a perfumed cloud for the lovers in bed (fol. 255, A130, det.).

Figure 23. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Voir dit, the five virgins (fol. 301v, A148, det.).

Figure 24. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lyon, knights on horseback discover a dead body (fol. 90, A40).

Figure 25. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Alerion, a nobleman on horseback with a hunting bird alighting on or taking flight from a leather gaunt (fol. 96v, A51 det.).

Figure 26. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Voir dit, a hybrid hunter prepares to shoot an arrow at a monkey who bares his ass (fol. 245, A128, upper margin, det.).

Figure 27. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lay, dragon in a historiated initial ‘L’ (fol. 461v).

Figure 28. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lay, fox serving mass in a historiated initial ‘T’ (fol. 450, det.).

Figure 29. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Virelai, ape churning butter in a historiated initial ‘D’ (fol. 485v, det.).

Figure 30. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Ballade, nude man in a historiated initial ‘Q’ (fol. 472v, det.).

Figure 31. BnF fr. 1584: Ballade, with lovers embracing in a historiated initial ‘S’ (fol. 454, A154, det.);

Figure 32. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Lay, courtly love scene in a historiated initial ‘L’ (fol. 367, A152, det.).

Figure 33. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Frontispiece, Prise, double-column miniature of Lusignan’s men storming a Saracen castle (fol. 309, A149, det.).

Figure 34. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise, a Saracen wielding a lance (fol. 309, A149, det.).

Figure 35. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise, ‘Crusader heraldry’ (fol. 309, A149, det.).

Figure 36. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise, one of Lusignan’s men disembarks on a ladder into shallow water with fish (fol. 309, A149, det.);

Figure 37. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise, Pierre de Lusignan, wearing armor and a crown, wields a hatchet (fol. 309, A149, det.).

Figure 38. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise, Lusignan’s knight sets fire to the castle door; the portcullis half open (fol. 309, A149, det.).

Figure 39. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise, coral background with orange, feathery rinceaux (fol. 309, A149, det.).

Figure 40. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise, foliate spray from bar extender with leaves painted in blue, red, and green (fol. 309, A149, det.).

Figure 41. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise, foliate spray from two-line initial with leaves painted in grisaille (fol. 310).

Figure 42. BnF, ms. fr. 15397. Bible of Jean de Sy, An angel speaks with Abraham (fol. 35, det.).

Figure 43. BnF, ms. fr. 15397. Bible of Jean de Sy. Lot drinking (fol. 30, det.).

Figure 44. BnF, ms. fr. 15397. Bible of Jean de Sy. Lot’s daughter inebriates her father and then she and her sister sleep with him to conceive (fol. 30, bas de page, det.).

Figure 45. BnF, ms. fr. 22912. French translation of Augustine’s Cité de Dieu (fol. 384).

Figure 46. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prologue, Nature presents her children to Machaut (fol. E, A2).

Figure 47. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prologue (fol. Ev).

Figure 48. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prologue, Love presents his children to Machaut (fol. D, A1).

Figure 49. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prologue (fol. Dv).

Figure 50. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prologue, author portrait (fol. Fv, A3).

Figure 51. BnF, ms fr. 122. Lancelot du lac, four men conversing, each wearing a cote hardy (fol. 137v).

Figure 52. BnF MS C. Remède, three men, two fashionably dressed in pourpoints (fol. 51, C36, det.).

Figure 53. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prologue, Love with Dous Penser, who wears a later version of the pourpoint, known as a houpelande (fol. D, A1, det.).

Figure 54. BnF, ms. fr. 22545-22546. Behaingne, a knight wearing a bastard-length houpelande with bombard sleeves (fol. 9v, F10, det.).

Figure 55. BnF, ms. fr. 22545-22546. Fonteinne, the lover, wearing a full-length houpelande (fol. 128, F79, det.).

Figure 56. BnF, MS E. Lyon, the lion leads Machaut by his robe, a buttoned houpelande (fol. 61v, E14, det.).

Figure 57. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Voir dit, inscription in Latin in the bas-de-page (fol. 301v).

Figure 58. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Voir dit, bas-de-page with lion and a sketch of a lion’s head (fol. 227, det.).

Figure 59. BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Prise, bas-de-page with two lions and a butterfly (fol. 309, A149, det.).

Figure 60. BnF, ms. fr. 22545-22546 Prologue, double-column miniature of Nature and her children (fol. 1, F1, det.).

Figure 61. BnF, ms. fr. 22545-22546. Prologue, three miniatures of Machaut speaking: to Nature; to Love and his children; and to Love (fol. 1v: miniatures: 1c, F2; 2c, F3; 1d, F4).

Figure 62. BnF, MS E. Prologue, at left Nature and her children, with Machaut kneeling; at right Love and his children, with Machaut kneeling. (fol. 1, E1, det.)

Figure 63. BnF, MS E. Prologue, Love and his children, with Machaut kneeling (fol. 1, E1, det.).

Appendix 1. Checklist of Music-Making Marginalia

Fol. 1v – Gittern-playing hybrid (trimmed in part) in the upper margin.

Fol. 16v – A hybrid playing a portative organ in the upper margin shares the space with another hybrid.

Fol. 54v – Nakker-playing hybrid.

Fol. 83v – Buisine-sounding, bat-winged hybrid in the upper margin.

Fol. 92 – Harp-playing hybrid in the upper margin.

Fol. 93v – Vielle-playing hybrid in the upper margin.

Fol. 127v – Handbell-ringing hybrid in the upper margin.

Fol. 161v – Handbell-ringing hybrid in the upper margin.

Fol. 164v – Buisine(?)-sounding hybrid between the two columns of text.

Fol. 233 – Bell-ringing hybrid in the upper margin.

Fol. 237 – Zither(?)-playing hybrid in the upper margin.

Appendix 2. Checklist of Historiated Initials in the Music Section of MS A

Fol. 367r – (Lay 1) opening image of the lays: a supplicating man before a standing woman.

Fol. 381v – On parle de richesses (Lai 8, no music): Dragon outside seven-line initial

Fol. 461v – Longuement me sui tenus (Lai 18/13): Dragon inside large nine-line initial

Fol. 410v – Qui bien aime (Lai 22): Dragon head in seven-line initial; body outside descender of ‘Qui’

Fol. 414v – Quant en moy (Motet 1), beginning of motets: In a separate one-column frame a group of nobles and clerics sing from a scroll and drink around a keg

Fol. 425r – Fins cuers doulz (Motet tenor, M11): large seven-line initial, hooded man playing a horn(?)

Fol. 444v – Sanctus (Mass): serpent inside the initial (grid background)

Fol. 448v – Sanctus (Mass): dragon outside initial; lion’s head in initial (grid background)

Fol. 449v – Agnus dei (Mass): bishop in ‘A’ and king in the second column ‘A’

Fol.450r – Agnus dei (Mass): ‘A’ hooded, bearded man; ‘C’ human/animal hybrid

Fol. 450v – Agnus dei (Mass): rabbit in initial (grid background); butterfly in adjacent margin

Fol. 454r – S’Amours ne fait (Ballade 1), beginning of ballades; winged dragon creates the large, nine-line initial; in the lower part of the letter a couple embrace and kiss

Fol. 472r – Quant Theseüs, Hercules et Jason (Ballade 34) – a nude, standing man gestures with his hand as if in a conversation; rinceaux in the background

Fol. 473v – Phyton le merveilleus serpent (Ballade 38): hooded man on grid background

Fol. 478r – Rose, lis (Rondeau 10): a standing fox “celebrates mass” on an altar in the ‘T’ for tenor (grid background)

Fol. 480r – Ma fin est mon commencement (Rondeau 14, contratenor): hooded man/animal hybrid (grid background)

Fol. 480v – Puisqu’on oubli (Rondeau 18): a seated monkey (eating?), (grid background)

Fol. 484v – Dame ie weil (Virelai 9): lion’s head

Fol. 485v – Dame a qui (Virelai 12): ape churning butter

List of Manuscripts Cited in the Text

Angers, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. fr. 162. Augustine, La Cité de Dieu (French trans. by Raoul de Presles)

Bern, Burgerbibliothek, MS 128. Collected Works of Guillaume de Machaut [K]

Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 3-1954. Grandes heures de Philippe le hardi

Cambridge, Mass., Houghton Library, fMS Typ 201. Augustine, The City of God (French translation by Raoul de Presles)

Ferrell-Vogüé, Collected Works of Guillaume de Machaut [Vg]

France, Private collection, Aristotle, Politica and Oeconomica (French trans. Raoul des Presles)

London, British Library, MS Royal 19 C IV. Songe du vergier

Montpellier, Bibliothèque de la Faculté de Médicine, MS H43. Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy (French translation)

New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS M.90. Book of Hours

New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS M.132. Roman de la rose

New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS M.396. Collected Works of Guillaume de Machaut [Pm]

Paris, Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, MS 5203. Collected Works of Guillaume de Machaut [J]

Paris, BnF, ms. fr. 122. Lancelot du lac.

Paris, BnF, ms. fr. 1584. Collected Works of Guillaume de Machaut [A]

Paris, BnF, ms. fr. 1586. Collected Works of Guillaume de Machaut [C]

Paris, BnF, ms. fr. 9221. Collected Works of Guillaume de Machaut [E]

Paris, BnF, ms. fr. 22545-22546. Collected Works of Guillaume de Machaut [F-G]

Paris, BnF, ms. fr. 15397. Translation of the Bible by Jean de Sy

Paris, BnF, ms. fr. 22912. Augustine, La Cité de Dieu (French translation by Raoul de Presles)