Laments were a popular genre from the 13th-century in French literature, relating the misfortunes of a 'character' whose acts are memorable (here, that character is Faith personified). Often, their popularity is related to their political, even revolutionary, content, though here the lament has a moralising tone and a religious message.
Printed 'complaints' were often sold as loose pamphlets, but the present poems are only known in this illuminated version, perhaps a presentation copy for the 'prince eternell' to whom these poems are addressed. King Louis XII (1462-1515), a possible dedicatee, promoted an image of being a knight-king and an exemplary Christian, having commanded armies against the Turks in 1499 and 1501. However, these campaigns notably ended in disaster.