King Modus in conversation with one of his students: of the art of hunting and the splendid lifestyle of the Burgundian nobility

Book of the Hunt

Flanders — 1455

Book of the Hunt

Book of the Hunt

Flanders — 1455

  1. It is a dialogue between a student and a teacher, the allegorical King Modus, on the topic of hunting

  2. Made for Philip the Good (1396–1467), Duke of Burgundy, under whose patronage Flemish illumination flourished

  3. 56 magnificent miniatures illustrate the text and display the sumptuous lifestyle of the Burgundian nobility

Book of the Hunt

Alternative Titles:
  • Jagdbuch des Königs Modus
Book of the Hunt – Ms. 10218 – Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
Book of the Hunt – Ms. 10218 – Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
Book of the Hunt – Ms. 10218 – Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
Book of the Hunt – Ms. 10218 – Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
Book of the Hunt – Ms. 10218 – Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
Book of the Hunt – Ms. 10218 – Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

In the Late Middle Ages, Flanders and the Netherlands emerged as the site of arguably the most refined manuscripts of the epoch. The Flemish stlye flourished under the patronage of the Dukes of Burgundy, whose power surpassed the actual kings of their day and whose court was the most refined in all of Europe. Although the Burgundian state did not endure as an independent political entity, it has left behind a fabulous artistic legacy including fantastic illuminated manuscripts. The Book of the Hunt of King Modus is a classically styled 14th century text in the form of a diaglogue between a student and a teacher, the allegorical King Modus, on the topic of hunting. The 15th century manuscript features 56 magnificent miniatures that not only illustrate the text but also display the sumptuous lifestyle of the Burgundian nobility.

Book of the Hunt

The Book of the Hunt of King Modus – this is the title of a work conceived in 1370 by Henri de Ferrières, a knowledgeable expert of the art and practice of hunting. The Norman nobleman, who exchanged the pen against the sword as an old man, wrote the first treatise on hunting in the French language, which has since been copied several times. It is assumed that this manuscript was made for Philip the Good, the third of the great dukes of Burgundy who assembled a kingdom more wealthy and powerful than any other in Europe.

Who was King Modus?

The author wished to underline the authority of his text while also capturing the readers’ attention. He therefore patterned this work after the manner of the Greek philosophers, as a dialogue between a student and his teacher conversing on the hunting profession. The teacher in this case is embodied in the allegorical figure of King Modus.

56 Lively Miniatures

The miniatures of our manuscript, which was produced in 1455 in Burgundy, deserve special mention. Their rich golden decoration is not only intended to illustrate the instructions of the text but also to glorify the sumptuous lifestyle of the nobility. They intrigue us with a certain liveliness, the expert representation of animals and the authenticity of the luxurious vestments. The close association with nature was intended by the illuminators who attached great importance to authenticity in their depictions. The book thus displays the pinnacle of Flemish art in a work made for a prince of the high nobility.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Jagdbuch des Königs Modus
Size / Format
214 pages / 29.9 × 20.5 cm
Origin
Flanders
Date
1455
Language
Illustrations
56 miniatures, some marginal miniatures and continuously with gold initials
Jagdbuch des Königs Modus

Book of the Hunt

Training a falcon

These two falconers are dressed as fashionable young 15th century noblemen with fur hats, short jackets, tights, and pointed shoes in addition to the gloves required for protecting their hands from sharp talons. Expensive and requiring intense training, falcons were a status symbol among nobles from medieval Europe, the Middle East, and the Mongol Empire.
The scene takes place in an open field and has a glowing burnished gold background, seemingly as though they were working with the falcon at dawn. Tethered by a long leash, the falcon is shown practicing its attacks mid-flight on a fake bird which the gentlemen in blue is whipping around in the air. Written in an elegant and masterful hand, the accompanying text features golden initials.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Book of the Hunt“

Jagdbuch des Königs Modus
Book of the Hunt – Ms. 10218 – Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
Book of the Hunt – Ms. 10218 – Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
Book of the Hunt – Ms. 10218 – Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
Book of the Hunt – Ms. 10218 – Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
Book of the Hunt – Ms. 10218 – Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
Book of the Hunt – Ms. 10218 – Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
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Jagdbuch des Königs Modus

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 1989
Limited Edition
3000 copies
Binding
Leather with gold blocking, copy of the original binding. True copy of the marbled fly-leaf. All folios are cut according to the original. Facsimile and commentary volume in slip case (cloth).
Commentary
1 volume (120 pages) by Dagmar Thoss and M. Haehn
Languages: German, French, Spanish

Commentary volume: Introduction by Dagmar Thoss. German translation of the original text by M. Haehn.
More Information
True copy of the marbled fly-leaf. All folios are cut according to the original. 975 copies for the Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 375 copies for the Spanish speaking countries and 1650 copies for the French speaking countries. This limited facsimile edition is a coproduction of the Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt with the Club de Livre, Paris and Editorial Casariego, Madrid.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Please ask for a quote!
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