4 June 2008
LANCELOT WITH THE SLAIN GIANTS, miniature cut from Livre du Lancelot del Lac, in French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
90 x 92mm. In a woodland setting, Lancelot on horseback, leaving behind the bodies of the two giants he has slain, approaches a man on horseback and a man on foot, framed by a double fillet of pink and burnished gold, with 14 lines of text in black ink in a semi-cursive gothic bookhand on the recto (laid onto a card surround leaving text visible, tiny loss at left border, two small holes at left border, one minute hole beneath horses's head). Framed.
This miniature was number 2 in the Alpine Club Gallery Exhibition, where its outstanding quality was recognised by its selection as one of the two reproduced in the catalogue in colour. It illustrates Book III, 206.40, where the two men should also be knights: Ywain who gives his horse to Lancelot to replace that slain by the giants (perhaps the man holding up an animal as the result of an ambiguous instruction to the illuminator) and Lancelot's former adversary, behind whom Ywain now has to mount. The text on the recto is from Bk III 205.28.
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