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.

Four scholars listen to the instruction imparted by the master who is depicted in a red robe. The hailstorm is confined to the right half of the miniature, leaving the group unscathed. A tall stalk of white lilies, emblems of the patron, Amadeus VIII of Savoy, rises up in the background. The lilies were originally intended to appear above the rocks on the right side of the miniature, as revealed by the infrared image (see Infrared Layer). The artist may have decided to shift them to the left so that they, too, would escape the hailstorm. Hidden beneath the blue sky, but clearly visible in the infrared image, is the word ‘himel’ (‘sky’ in German). The word was written by the Mazarine Master to instruct his assistants to paint an outdoors scene.