The Crusades: Les Passages d'Oultremer

The Crusades: Les Passages d'Oultremer

Bourges (France) — 1474

Commissioned by Louis de Laval, illuminated by Jean Colombe: the greatest medieval source concerning the history of the Crusades

  1. Sébastien Mamerot authored the largest medieval work written on the Crusades, comprising 600 pages

  2. The owner, Louis de Laval (1411–89), commissioned Jean Colombe (d. 1493) to illuminate the incredible work

  3. It is a monumental manuscript, with respect to both its text and illustrations, composed in several scenes each

The Crusades: Les Passages d'Oultremer

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Description
The Crusades: Les Passages d'Oultremer

The Crusades were one of the defining events of the Middle Ages and had far-reaching ramifications for both Christendom and the Islamic world. The most comprehensive, albeit somewhat mythicized, source on the Crusades was written by Sébastien Mamerot at the behest of the noble French bibliophile Louis de Laval. Furthermore, the manuscript was illuminated by no less than Jean Colombe, one of the greatest artists of the French Renaissance.

The Crusades: Les Passages d'Oultremer

Sébastien Mamerot (ca. 1418–90) was the author of the largest medieval work written on the Crusades: Les Passages faiz oultre mer par les François contre les Turcqs et autres Sarrazins et Mores oultre marins, which translates to “Overseas Expeditions made by the French against the Turks and Saracens and Moors” in English. It consists of nearly six hundred pages of text written in two wide columns. The owner, Louis de Laval (ca. 1411–89), commissioned the French master Jean Colombe (ca. 1430 – ca. 1493) to illuminate the text with 145 miniatures, including some of the most iconic imagery of medieval manuscript art, e.g. the scene of the Council of Clermont on folio 19r. The result is a monumental work that is distinguished both for its textual content and the artistic refinement of its décor. A portrait of Laval appears on the first page, depicting the French nobleman and general as a thin, elderly man who is being presented the manuscript by a kneeling Mamerot. The dedication is precisely dated to Thursday, January 12th, 1473.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Une chronique des croisades: les passages d'Outremer
Chronik der Kreuzzüge: Die Passage von d'Outremer
Size / Format
286 pages / 32.0 × 23.0 cm
Origin
France
Date
1474
Style
Language
Illustrations
145 splendid miniatures
Content
The most comprehensive, albeit somewhat mythicized, source on the Crusades
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
The Crusades: Les Passages d'Oultremer – Fr. 5594 – Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris, France)
Club Bibliófilo Versol – Madrid, 2012
Limited Edition: 400 copies
Detail Picture

The Crusades: Les Passages d'Oultremer

The Siege of Antioch

Antioch was one of the most important cities in the Holy Land, it occupied a strategic position and was well defended by Byzantine walls with over 400 towers, making it a difficult target. The city endured 8 months of siege before falling on June 2nd, 1098 after two armies sent to relieve the city were defeated and routed in succession. Here we see the impressive fortifications of the city and the massive army of Crusaders attacking it with scaling ladders.

Les Passages D´Oultremer
Single Page

The Crusades: Les Passages d'Oultremer

The Council of Claremont

“Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private warfare against the faithful now go against the infidels and end with victory this war which should have been begun long ago…Let those who have been serving as mercenaries for small pay now obtain the eternal reward…Christ commands it!” With these words, Pope Urban II sparked the First Crusade.

This important speech, given on November 27th, 1095, is depicted within a gorgeous Gothic interior filled with a sea of faces. A masterful use of perspective focuses the beholder’s attention on the distant figure of Urban in this famous miniature that sparkles with gold brush strokes. The Frankish knights to whom Urban’s message is directed are depicted in contemporary armor in the bas-de-page miniature.

Les Passages D´Oultremer
Facsimile Editions

#1 Les Passages D´Oultremer

Club Bibliófilo Versol – Madrid, 2012
The Crusades: Les Passages d'Oultremer – Fr. 5594 – Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris, France)
The Crusades: Les Passages d'Oultremer – Fr. 5594 – Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris, France) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Club Bibliófilo Versol – Madrid, 2012
Limited Edition: 400 copies
Binding: Red leather with gold stamping
Commentary: 1 volume by Alfonso García Leal
Language: Spanish
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) 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: €€€€ (7,000€ - 10,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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