Livre des merveilles du monde (Marvels of the World)

This manuscript contains numerous images of the real and imaginary lands that made up the medieval world. The miniatures are arranged alphabetically and typically focus on the various peoples, exotic costumes, unusual customs, and fantastic creatures of a particular region. Clearly intended to inspire marveling, the depictions are not terrifying or indicative of sin or disaster. Rather, they are designed for and from a Western perspective that considered distant lands and their inhabitants as strange, exotic, and captivating.

Livre des merveilles du monde
France, probably Angers, ca. 1460
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1911
MS M.461, fol. 5v (detail)