The Romance of the Rose for King François I

The Romance of the Rose for King François I Facsimile Edition

Rouen (France) — Ca. 1519

One of the most famous romances in history, magnificently illuminated for the King of France: the allegorically narrated ups and downs of a young man's journey to find his love

  1. The popular Renaissance story describes the highs and lows of the journey of a young man in love

  2. This royal manuscript is an early-16th century copy of an earlier work that was then illuminated in Rouen

  3. The illustrations reveal stylistic architecture in their frames and show a tendency toward the Renaissance style

The Romance of the Rose for King François I

Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Log in here!
  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (2)
Description
The Romance of the Rose for King François I

The 12th century Le Roman de la Rose by Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meung was a real bestseller of the Middle Ages, especially in the branch of profane, vernacular poetry. It is a dream reproduced in 22,068 verses, whose only real person is the narrator himself: all the other characters are allegories, for example, of Reason, and the rose represents a woman. The wit, directness, and complexity that have made this work so popular over the centuries are also found in the 107 exquisite miniatures, which relocate the action to the northern French world of the Renaissance around the year 1519 and thus preserve for us an immediate access to it. The addressee at that time was François I, who had been anointed king of France in 1515. Thus we have one of the last and certainly most exciting manuscripts of Le Roman de la Rose, not only because of the contemporary references.

The Romance of the Rose for King François I

During its era, Le Roman de la Rose was an allegorical epic concerning the theme of love – one of the most read fictional books of a secular nature and written in the common language of the people. The text in its own way is a unique conception of Old French literature.

Sensuality, Dissociated Irony, and Aristocratic Allegories

A young 20 year-old man dreams on a night in May of a beautiful paradise garden. While in the most beautiful part of the garden he finds a rose, the symbol and ultimately his metaphor for a beloved girl. Suddenly he finds himself overcome with an untamable passion and without warning he is transformed from a dreamer into a lover. With the courtship of his rose (the beloved girl he longs for), a long way begins for him experiencing all the highs and lows of true love. All the soul-moving, confusion and delight that he encounters along this path become personified within him; some lifting him to heights of unimaginable joy and others dropping him into the deepest depths of despair until finally his ultimate goal is attained: the conquest of the rose.

107 Radiant Miniatures

In the long series of Romance of the Rose transcriptions, this gorgeous copy in New York holds a special place. It was copied in 1519 by Girard Acarie for his King Francois I and the perfect illuminated hand writing was endowed with exceptional decorative illustrations in Rouen. 107 radiant miniatures altogether show a soft language of pictures. The illustrations reveal stylistic architecture in their frames and the joyful details that are arranged in the background are not just the formal Middle Age traditions that existed but also show a tendency toward the expression of a strong Renaissance style. All 420 pages of the manuscript have the format 27 x 19.5 cm and 107 true-to-original miniatures are displayed throughout. The book cover is made out of soft red velvet. The commentary is dedicated to uniquely decorated miniatures and features a special interpretation of different points of attention.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
The Romance of the Rose
Der Rosenroman für François I.
Le Roman de la Rose
Size / Format
420 pages / 27.0 × 19.5 cm
Origin
France
Date
Ca. 1519
Language
Script
Gothic cursive
Illustrations
107 miniatures, finely embellished with gold
Content
Love story composed in verse
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Rose Novel for King François I – Ms M.948 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA) Facsimile Edition
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 1993
Limited Edition: 50 copies

Rose Novel for King François I – Ms M.948 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA) Facsimile Edition
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 1993
Limited Edition: 430 copies
Detail Picture

The Romance of the Rose for King François I

Jupiter commanding Subjects

Wearing a crown of laurels and green tunic with a decorative belt and golden leg warmers, the Roman god Jupiter is shown pointing with his right hand at a pair of young lovers while holding hands with a young man who gestures as though he were a guide. The couple seated across from them are dressed as early-16th century aristocrats. Various occupations are shown in the background including lumberjacking, shipbuilding, and horse-training. Fine strokes of gold ink highlight the entire scene.

Der Rosenroman für François I (Luxury edition)
Single Page

The Romance of the Rose for King François I

Presentation Miniature

The patron of the manuscript, François I of France, is pictured here wearing a feathered hat, fur-lined coat, and collar trimmed with cockleshells linked with double knots indicative of the Order of St. Michael. Holding his hat with his left hand and partly kneeling, Girard Acarie, the illuminator, extends the newly completed manuscript to the King with his right hand.

We see five other courtiers, four wearing feathered hats, and at least four guards, of whom three hold halberds and one a spear. The scene occurs within a wonderfully perspectival interior space with a tiled floor of alternating red and yellow, which opens up to a hilly landscape with the silhouette of a ship on the water. This is a truly exemplary presentation miniature.

Der Rosenroman für François I (Luxury edition)
Facsimile Editions

#1 Der Rosenroman für François I (Luxury edition)

Rose Novel for King François I – Ms M.948 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA) Facsimile Edition
Rose Novel for King François I – Ms M.948 – Morgan Library & Museum (New York, USA) Facsimile Edition Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Limited Edition: 50 copies
Binding: Red velvet with clasps. All folios are cut according to the original. Facsimile and commentary in a slipcase.
Commentary: 1 volume (188 pages) by William Voelkle and Margareta Friesen
Language: German
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: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Log in here!

#2 Der Rosenroman für François I (Normal Edition)

Limited Edition: 430 copies
Binding: Red velvet. All folios are cut according to the original. Facsimile and commentary in a slipcase.
Commentary: 1 volume (188 pages) by William Voelkle and Margareta Friesen
Language: German
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: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Log in here!
You might also be interested in:
Book of Marco Polo Facsimile Edition
Book of Marco Polo
Antwerp (Belgium) – 1485

The crucial source of information about China for centuries: Christopher Columbus' personal copy of Marco Polo's famous travelogue

Experience More
Pierre Sala's Little Book of Love Facsimile Edition
Pierre Sala's Little Book of Love
Paris and Lyon (France) – Between 1500 and 1519

Gorgeous, magnificently illuminated poetry for his beloved: Pierre Sala's masterpiece on the themes of love, wisdom, poverty, and success

Experience More
Blog articles worth reading
Filter selection
Publisher