Jean Corbechon, Livre des propriétés des choses

Amadeus VIII, Count of Savoy


Amadeus VIII, Count of Savoy (1383-1451) was the grandnephew of Charles V of France (1338-1380) and grandson of Jean de Berry (1340-1416) who is depicted on fol. 13r. Amadeus VIII’s emblem was the lily, which is featured in various miniatures throughout the manuscript.

A physician, resplendent in a red robe, is seated on an elaborate wooden chair beneath a canopy. Among the patients who approach him, is a man supported by a crutch and another with a broken wrist. The blue background is decorated with jars of white lilies, the emblem of the patron, Amadeus VIII of Savoy. An instruction to the artist who painted the background is faintly visible amongst the jars in the infrared image (see Infrared Layer). Although it is difficult to decipher, the brief instruction seems to include the word ‘bos’ (‘bouquet of flowers’ in Middle Dutch). After designing the miniature, the Mazarine Master must have written this instruction for his assistants, so they would know how to proceed.