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Lombard school

Attributed to Thomas da Modena (1325/6-1379)
Sketchbook, 1360–80
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash and some watercolor, on parchment
9 1/8 x 6 7/8 inches (232 x 176 mm)
Gift of J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1924; II, 2–25 (folio 12)
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The Morgan sketchbook comprises delicately rendered drawings of children's games, tourneys, labors of the month, daily occupations, grotesques, dancers, musicians, etc., on fourteen goatskin leaves.

One example is the hunt scene (folio 12), which in its composite nature resembles two of the illustrations in Tacuina manuscripts in Vienna and Rome as well as another in Liège with similar animal motifs. Set in a craggy landscape punctuated by three solitary trees, a young hunter, sporting a spear and blowing a horn, hides behind a hill as his hound successfully captures a hare by the hind leg; an owl stands by expectantly below to the right. Another scene of pursuit appears in the lower register, where a dog chases a bear while a cunning fox remains undiscovered, comfortably curled up beneath a tree.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.