On hunting techniques, the training and handling of horses and hunting dogs: a splendidly illuminated textbook on hunting written by the Count of Foix

Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus

France — End of the 14th century

Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus

Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus

France — End of the 14th century

  1. A comprehensive textbook on medieval hunting that was written by the Count of Foix himself

  2. Dedicated to Philip the Bold (1342–1404), Duke of Burgundy, it also covers the training of hunting dogs

  3. 78 full-page miniatures show large, aristocratic hunting parties participating in their royal pastime

Libro de la Caza de Gastón III

Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus

Caring for Hunting Dogs

The medieval hunt required different kinds of four-legged helpers who are the modern predecessors of breeds including greyhounds, bloodhounds, and mastiffs. Not only used to find and flush game, hunting dogs also fought dangerous game like boar and bear alongside their human partners. Various huntsmen are shown maintaining their master’s dogs before a diamond-patterned background of red and gold: claws are being filed, rotten teeth are being pulled, and injured legs are being bandaged.

Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus

Alternative Titles:
  • Libro de la Caza de Gastón III
  • Livre de la Chasse
  • Buch der Jagd
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Gaston III, Count of Foix and also known by the epithet Phoebus, composed a work in the 14th century that made him unforgettable: the famous Livre de la chasse, Book of Hunting. Dedicated to Philipp the Bold, it is concerned with the theme of courtly hunting and presents itself as a comprehensive textbook on the subject. A particularly beautiful illuminated manuscript of this Book of Hunting by Gaston III is stored in St. Petersburg. Originating from France at the end of the 14th century, this masterpiece of illumination amazes with magnificent miniatures in elegant frames. In this way, it offers a unique glimpse into the late 14th century!

Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus

Gaston II, Count of Foix and also known by the epithet Phoebus, composed a work in the 14th century that made him unforgettable: the famous Livre de la chasse, the Book of Hunting. Dedicated to Philipp the Bold**, it is concerned with the theme of courtly hunting and presents itself as a comprehensive textbook on the subject. A particularly beautiful illuminated manuscript of this Book of Hunting by Gaston III is stored in St. Petersburg. Originating from France at the end of the 14th century, this masterpiece of illumination amazes with magnificent miniatures in elegant frames. In this way, it offers a unique glimpse into the late 14th century!

The Hunt in the Middle Ages

A pack of hunting dogs dash through the forest, followed by lordly riders on noble steeds. A wild boar flounders in the hunter’s nets, and a bird of prey is prepared to help with the hunting of rabbits. All of these wonderful scenes play out in the illustrations of the Livre de la chasse by Gaston III also known as Gaston Phoebus. Gaston III (1331–1391), the Count of Foix, was the author of this famous French treatise on hunting. He composed an exciting textbook of medieval hunting between the years 1387–1389. The hunt was a privilege of the rulers and noblemen for a long time and was presented in all its facets in the Book of Hunting.

A Noteworthy Edition

The Livre de la chasse by Gaston III survives in several manuscripts, some of them illustrated. These are found in the Parisian Bibliothèque Nationale and the Morgan Library in New York, inter alia. A particularly beautiful specimen can be found in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Manuscript OP N.º 2 of their manuscript collection arose in France at the end of the 14th century, and thus shortly after the creation of the text its self. The treatise on hunting, spanning 224 pages with an impressive format of 33 x 23 cm, is illustrated with 78 full-page miniatures.

A Marvelous Image of the 14th Century

A half-page miniature above or below the text accompanies each of the explanations about hunting. These scenes were surrounded by fine, ornamental frames. Delicate floral bordures and precious gold initials round out the splendid overall impression of the manuscript. The depictions present all aspects of the theme, which are addressed in the famous treatise. Gaston III’s textbook, which was dedicated to Philipp the Bold, contains natural scientific and biological information about wild game and gives some directions for the specific training of hunting dogs. In combination with its wonderful miniatures, the St. Petersburg manuscript of the Livre de la chasseone of the most beautiful examples of this tradition of hunting books – offers a magnificent glimpse into the 14th century!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Libro de la Caza de Gastón III
Livre de la Chasse
Buch der Jagd
Size / Format
224 pages / 33.0 x 23.0 cm
Origin
France
Date
End of the 14th century
Style
Gothic
Language
Illustrations
78 miniatures of large format and all pages with border designs of floral motifs and multiple capitals in gold
Artist / School
Libro de la Caza de Gastón III

Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus

Hunting a Wolf

The war between man and wolf was the great unsung struggle of the Middle Ages. Europe was covered by forests and packs of wolves presented a serious threat not only to farmers’ flocks but to the members of the community – especially children. Framed by elegant tendrils and accompanied by a splendid “C” initial, this miniature is presented before an elegant, checkered gold leaf background.

The dynamic scene shows the wolf in mid-stride as a nobleman on horseback and armed with a sword pursues alongside a pack of hounds while a huntsman on foot stops to throw a spear at the fleeing beast. Furthermore, the artist has included numerous details from the clothing to the equipment, such as the hunting horns worn by the two men on horseback.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus“

Libro de la Caza de Gastón III
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Book of Hunting of Gaston III Phoebus – Ms. OP N.º 2 – The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
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Libro de la Caza de Gastón III

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Orbis Mediaevalis – Madrid, 2010
Limited Edition
995 copies
Binding
Lamb leather with embossed and engraved gold also on the edges.
Commentary
1 volume
Language: Spanish
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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