This video from our research library presents an extremely rare compilation of five of Ovid’s Heroides, in French translation by Octovien de Saint-Gelais. This manuscript was made for Anne of Brittany, Queen of France. The subject matter, the heroines of antiquity telling events from their – female – perspective, might have encouraged Saint-Gelais to offer these translations to the Queen, whose own life was just as dramatically at the mercy of men as Ovid’s female letter-writers. Heiress of Brittany, Anne was forced to marry King Charles VIII and to agree that, if widowed, she would remarry only his successor. The manuscript includes eight full-page compositions with outstanding illumination by the Master of the Chronique scandaleuse, including a representation of Anne of Brittany herself.
Also have a look at our video on the Vita Christi that was illuminated by the same artist.