MS M.820, fols. 11v–12

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Henri de Ferrières
active 1377

Le Livre du roi Modus et de la reine Ratio, in French

Illuminated by the Master of the Vienna Roman de la Rose

Lyon, France
ca. 1465
295 x 223 mm

Purchased, 1947

MS M.820
Page description: 

Henri de Ferrières, a Norman nobleman, finished his allegorical hunting treatise, Le Livre du roi Modus et de la reine Ratio, about 1370. To judge by the number of surviving manuscripts (36) and printed editions (8) of "King Method and Queen Reason," the work remained popular until at least 1560. It was the first cynegetic manual in French and provided the model for Phoebus's Livre de la chasse. The Roi Modus, however, also included a large section on falconry. A copy of the present manuscript was used for the first printed edition in 1486, the woodcuts of which are also related to the cycle of miniatures in the manuscript. The text accompanying this chase advises the hunter to observe the directions of the turns taken by the stag, for they would consistently turn to the right or left. According to Queen Reason, hunting helped man to recover the five senses given to Adam, which were originally superior to those of animals but were lost with his downfall.