Miniature from the Romance of Pelyarmenus thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings, Room 90, The Julie and Robert Breckman Gallery

Miniature from the Romance of Pelyarmenus

Manuscript Cutting
2nd quarter 14th century (made)
Place Of Origin

This miniature comes from an early 14th-century Parisian manuscript or set of manuscripts which contained romances belonging to the 'Cycle des Sept sages'. It depicts a scene from the Romance of Pelyarmenus and is stylistically close to two other copies of this text contained in:
- Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 22548-22550
- Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 17000 and London, BL, Harley MS 4903.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Brief Description
Miniature from the Romance of Pelyarmenus, in the 'Cycle des Sept sages', Paris, 2nd quarter of the 14th century.
Physical Description
Recto: A combat on horseback between a knight and five other knights, all in armour, three of the latter party lying wounded on the ground. Diapered background.

Verso: text from Pelyarmenus, 'Mais il ot gregnour pitie de son cheval que de lui. Adonc descendi a pie et trova son cheval forment navre si quil vit b[ie]n quil ne peust pas m[ou]lt longuement durer. Lor[s] commenca a sonner un cor moult aigrement si ques aucuns de ceulx de sa compagnie loyrent si a[..]des x. en vindrent les vi[...]'.

The manuscript this miniature comes from was written on 3 columns and the miniature was the width of one column.
Dimensions
  • Height: 72mm
  • Width: 64mm
Object history
May have come from the collection of William Young Ottley: his sale, Sotheby's London, 11-12 May 1838, maybe part of lot 128 (see Kidd 2020). Collection of Nathaniel Philips Simes: his sale, Sotheby's London, 9-13 July 1886, part of lot 1095. Purchased from Charles Fairfax Murray in 1894 as part of a group of cuttings (now Museum nos 799-1894 to 817-1894) for the total sum of £190 10s 10d.

A duplicate number MS.803 was assigned to this object in error and was subsequently cancelled.



Cuttings from the same manuscript in the V&A collection: 813-1894 and 814-1894.



Cuttings from the same manuscript in other collections: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Douce d. 13, f. 2r (3 cuttings; probably purchased by Sir Francis Douce from London bookseller John Simco).



Cuttings from the same manuscript, whereabouts unknown: collection of Sir George Holford at Dorchester House: his sale, Sotheby's London, 12 July 1927, lot 2 (3 cuttings).
Summary
This miniature comes from an early 14th-century Parisian manuscript or set of manuscripts which contained romances belonging to the 'Cycle des Sept sages'. It depicts a scene from the Romance of Pelyarmenus and is stylistically close to two other copies of this text contained in:

- Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 22548-22550

- Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 17000 and London, BL, Harley MS 4903.
Associated Object
Bibliographic References
  • Savoye, M.-L., 'Deux petits bouts de Sept sages', from Ou grant livraire blog, 23 April 2020 [last accessed 17/11/2020].
  • Kidd, P., 'Cuttings from a Prose Romance in French', in Medieval Manuscripts Provenance. Notes and Observations blog, 17 October 2020 [last accessed 17/11/2020].
  • Kidd, P., 'Ottley-Simes-Murray', in Medieval Manuscripts Provenance blog, 25 October 2020 [last accessed 17/11/2020].
  • 'Pelyarmenus', in Base Jonas-IRHT/CNRS.
  • 'Pelyarmenus', in Arlima - Archives de litérature du Moyen Age.
Other Number
803 - Cancelled number
Collection
Accession Number
813-1894

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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