Jean Corbechon, Livre des propriétés des choses

Book 7: On diseases

Texts and Images

The seventh book, which concerns diseases and their remedies, has 69 chapters. It opens with an image of a physician with scholars and patients. The author discusses a range of ailments and their symptoms and remedies, including epilepsy, paralysis, leprosy, gout, bad breath, rabies, and different types of fevers. A short section (Chapter 11) is devoted to sneezing.

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.