The Female Side of the Story

Ovid’s Heroides
December 18, 2019

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. 




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