Overall: 15 3/16 x 11 3/4 in. (38.6 x 29.8 cm) Study mat: 19 3/16 x 14 3/16 in. (48.8 x 36.1 cm)
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Bequest of Gwynne M. Andrews, 1930
Not on view
Charles V of France (r. 1364–80) actively encouraged the translation into French of classical texts, including the writings of Valerius Maximus, a first-century Roman historian. The illustrations here show how the artists of Charles’ circle evoked the ancient world.
The lower panels illustrate tales of Roman religion. At left, a priestess kneels before an altar of Ceres, goddess of grain, in an image that resembles scenes of Christians kneeling before the Virgin Mary. At the lower right, a Roman priest loses his official hat and consequently his job. His hat resembles a bishop’s miter, and the Roman temple a Gothic church. The upper two panels juxtapose the ancient and the medieval. The translator Simon de Hesdin (left) presents his text to Charles V. At the right, Valerius Maximus receives the emperor Tiberius, to whom the text was dedicated.
Gwynne M. Andrews, New York (until 1931)
Boehm, Barbara Drake. "Valerius Maximus in a Fourteenth-Century French Translation: An Illuminated Leaf." Metropolitan Museum Journal 18 (1983). pp. 53-63, fig. 1.
Sutton, Denys, ed. Treasures from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: French Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century. Yokohama: Yokohama Museum of Art, 1989. no. 19, p. 73.
Netzer, Nancy, and Virginia Reinburg, ed. Memory and the Middle Ages. Chestnut Hill, Mass.: Boston College Museum of Art, 1995. no. 11, p. 102.
Netzer, Nancy. "Modes of Remembering the Classical Past." In Memory and the Middle Ages, edited by Nancy Netzer, and Virginia Reinburg. Chestnut Hill, Mass.: Boston College Museum of Art, 1995. no. 11, pp. 13–15.
Reinburg, Virginia. "Remembering the Saints." In Memory and the Middle Ages, edited by Nancy Netzer, and Virginia Reinburg. Chestnut Hill, Mass.: Boston College Museum of Art, 1995. no. 11, pp. 13-15.