Book of Flower Studies

Master of Claude de France

On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 10

The Book of Flower Studies belongs to what is often dubbed "the last flowering" of northern European manuscript illumination in the medieval tradition. Illuminators working at Tours brought the garden inside to enrich the pages of princely manuscripts. The pages of this book unquestionably provided the models for renderings in several celebrated commissions linked to Claude, Queen of France and to Antoine de la Barre, a prominent ecclesiastic who became Archbishop of Tours.

These flowers were painted in witness to their inherent beauty, not gathered merely for their symbolism, nor for their perceived medicinal value. Each of them can be found in the gardens of The Met Cloisters.

See Catalogue Entry for a codicological description of the manuscript.

Book of Flower Studies, Master of Claude de France, Opaque water color, organic glazes, gold and silver paint, iron and carbon-based ink and charcoal on parchment, French

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Folio 1: Blackberry, unripe fruits and flower (lat. Rubus sectio rubus) with a jaybird