Louis XII and Anne of Brittany
This personal prayer book of Anne of Brittany (1477-1514) appears to be a gift from her husband, Louis XII (reigned 1498-1515), commissioned by him in Florence. The illuminations feature a central historiated initial that depicts King David in prayer and two roundels that display the Annunciation. Anne was pregnant with her first child by Louis in 1499, so this volume appropriately contains a special prayer to be recited during childbirth. The coat of arms on this page is not Anne’s; it was repainted in the mid-sixteenth century.
From the library of Henry Probasco.
This roll chronicle, twenty feet in length, is based on the Grandes Chroniques de France, the royal history of France. It contains an abbreviated version of France’s history as maintained by its official historiographers, the monks of Saint-Denis. This copy concludes with an added sheet of parchment that notes the succession of Louis XII in 1498. The reign of each king is accompanied by images of churches and monasteries founded by the kings and their spouses.
Acquired on funds generated by the sale of duplicates and out-of-scope materials.
Brittany, a region that occupies the peninsula on France’s northwest coast, came under French rule when Anne, duchess of Brittany, married Charles VIII of France and then his successor, Louis XII. The duchy of Brittany was formally incorporated into France in 1532. This woodcut from the Customs and Constitutions of Brittany displays two lions presenting the Breton coat of arms.
Gift of the Florence Gould Foundation and the NBD Bank, Evanston.