Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lancelot du lac - manuscipt miniatures I

French National Library gallica has wonderful collection of manuscripts available on the net in very high resolution - many thanks!
Today I was perusing some of the manuscripts from the XV century and found several images that caused awe and wonderment, and aroused my interest so decided to bring some of them here. This is the manuscript - direct link

The subject matter is the famous knight of the European medieval romance - Lancelot du Lac (sir Lancelot ) , one of the most important personages of the Arthurian Legends, and a Knight of the Round Table (eg a book by Howard Pyle from, with some wonderful American Golden Age of Illustration images). By the way, if you like figurines and/or little soldiers this production is splendid.

Apart from the paintings and interesting information they provide, I immensely enjoy the borders and all the arrangements surrounding the miniature paintings.

Gallica has a presentation on how the illuminated manuscripts were produced, and FitzWilliam Museum has a similar presentation, so your choice :) .  If you still hungry, there is quite a lecture to be watched:  The Making Of Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts by Dr Sally Dormer.




a horse mounted archer in the above image  is seemingly unusual but taking into account the context, XV century, quite typical in the French and English milieu.

Wikipedia Commons has some media category related to sir Lancelot for us to peruse and enjoy. has a book, The legend of Sir Lancelot du Lac; studies upon its origin, development, and position in the Arthurian romantic cycle (1901), by Jessie Weston, author of numerous books on the Arthurian legends
Also, has the British TV series The Adventures of Sir Lancelot - 10 episodes, all in public domain.
I will return to sir Lancelot du Lac and Arthurian Legends, and our medieval chivalry in general in the future.

Recently, I was privileged, thanks to one of the authors Zbyszek Hundert, to read a very nice piece of research on the identity of the Polish winged hussar who attacked the Swedish king Karl Gustav during the battle of Warsaw 1656 AD, so in the near future I will expand on the subject, I hope.

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