The French Concept of World History (in Sixty Feet)

Explore scroll

This presentation requires a larger screen size to be viewed.

This comprehensive scroll outlines the history of the world from Creation to King Louis XI of France (r. 1461-83).  At its most expansive, it parallels five lines of descent:  the popes, Holy Roman Emperors, and kings of France, England, and the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.  With sixty-six miniatures, it is the most fully illustrated copy known.  By his own reckoning, the anonymous compiler covers 6,000 years of history, which concludes with France as the world’s superpower.

Tap on the roundels for enlargements and identifications.

This online exhibition was presented in conjunction with the exhibition Now and Forever: The Art of Medieval Time, on view January 26 through April 29, 2018.

Chronique anonyme universelle, in French
Northern France, 1473-83
MS M.1157, roundels 17 through 29
Melvin R. Seiden Collection, 2007