National Library of the Czech Republic

  • our website
  • main catalogue
  • eds katalog
You are here: Home News News - homepage Exhibit of the Month: July 2024

Exhibit of the Month: July 2024

July 10 - August 31, 2024 Ante-room to the General reading Room (gate A), open Monday to Saturday 9 am - 7 pm (see opening hours of the NL)
Admission 20 CZK (free for the NL readers)

Bibliothèque nationale de France, Français 2810
NL Prague shelf mark A 755 ; BMMS Facs D 109, fol. XX

On fol. 76 of the manuscript reproduction of Bibliothèque nationale de France, Français 2810, also known as Livre des merveilles du monde (circa 1410-1412), we see a captivating miniature depicting the fantastical inhabitants of the Andaman Islands, as imagined by medieval European travellers. Portrayed with dog-like heads and the robust features of large mastiffs, this image illustrates the mix of curiosity and misunderstanding that characterised European views of distant lands during the Middle Ages. This portrait reflects the period's fascination with the exotic and underscores the role of this manuscript in shaping European perceptions of Asia.

Originally commissioned by John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, this manuscript is a masterpiece of mediaeval artistry, containing 265 miniatures and integrating narratives from explorers like Marco Polo and John Mandeville. It was a key cultural artifact, influencing mediaeval Europe's understanding of and engagement with the East. Currently preserved at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, this illuminated manuscript offers invaluable insights into medieval global interactions and cultural perceptions. The image shown here is part of a reproduction, enabling us to appreciate and study these historical artworks while preserving the original manuscript's integrity and without the need to travel abroad.

Digitized version here >>

Jul 09, 2024, HOLAN
Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube