Le Jardinet de l’Ame (the garden of the soul) is an authentic balm for the eyes, a Book of Hours of singular delicacy and of enormous visuality and formal perfection. Amiens (France), 1569.
It contains illustrations signed by the great miniaturist AB Normand and several more without signature. The miniaturist manifests a special mastery in the treatment of faces and figures, as well as a great delicacy in the composition of funds.
The miniaturized capitals with human faces, skulls and landscapes in their interior stand out, as well as the framed fringes with plant and fruit elements, fantastic animals, fish of impressive realism, etc.
Facsimile edition held in 2010, with a prize for the best facsimile. Artisanal book in engraved and dry decorated leather, format 11 x 14.5 cm. 188 pages containing miniatures and capitals decorated in gold relief, enamels and colors in drawings made entirely by hand.
A limited edition of 898 copies numbered and authenticated notarially.
The facsimile is presented in a box-case format 18.5 x 22.5 x 6 cm.
Book study with excellent works on this rare manuscript within the rating of “Books of Hours”, published in 2014, bound in hardcover decorated in silver, format 16.5 x 23.2 cm. 304 pages ISBN: 9788494199141
Le Jardinet de L’Ame is part of the “Rara Bookstore Collection” that the publishing house Siloé presents in a set of 5 extraordinary works: Maps of Heinrich Bünting, Tractatus of Ludo Scacorum (National Library of Spain), Book of Masks, Book de las Setas, and this one from Le Jardinet de L’Ame. You can purchase the works separately or as a whole. Ask us if you are interested.
Le Jardinet de L’Ame:
It is a beautiful Book of Hours of the second half of the sixteenth century, sober and perfectly bound in skin with nerves by the Tessier bookbinder in Amiens, names that appear clearly on the spine. The page size is 140 x 100 mm and the writing box is 70 x 50 mm. It has 188 pages, five of them blank, in vellum, plus five additional pages of respect on paper (one at the beginning and four at the end). In folio 1 you can read: “Le jardinet de l’ame three orné et cultivé de plusieurs belles et prouffitables oraisons”, that is, express mention is made of the rich ornamentation of the book. On the back of the title appears a beautiful heraldic shield, with a legend somewhat blurred in its lower part, but in which you can read: Amiens.
Throughout the book there are several illustrations signed by the painter AB Normand: on page 12, The Virgin and Child; in 26, the Birth; in 26v, The Annunciation; San Cristóbal crossing the river with the baby Jesus on his shoulder, on 32; the Virgin of the Puy of 1519, in the 73; in 85, Saint Dominic and Saint Ulfia; María Magdalena, only miniature in gray tones, in 97; in 117, San Francisco; in 125, Saint Nicolasa, who would be beatified in 1740 and canonized in 1807; and in 157, St. Fermin, who was consecrated by the Bishop of Toulouse and built a temple in Amiens, converting many pagans to Christianity and finally receiving martyrdom.
Others are unsigned: page 12v, san hermit Abraham; page 20, Jesus Christ crucified held by his father; at 20v, Santa María Egipcíaca; in 28v, Santa Gertrudis; Santa Catalina, in the 32v; and St. Aubin, in 74. The artist also stamps his signature on the ornamentation of the beautiful page 105.
This valuable manuscript is written in black and red ink. The red used especially in the heading of the sentences to highlight them. The beautiful color bursts so much in the decoration of the text through the numerous initial capitals as in the sumptuous ornate margins. The decoration of the frames of the writing box has a very large variety, which includes multi-colored fruit and vegetable elements (pages 2, 7v, 25v, 92 99), fantastic animals and pixies (pages 16, 22, 24, 27v, 33, 146), beautiful fish of impressive realism (pages 22v and 168), conches (page 16), architectural elements, human figures (women, musicians, men reading, etc. on pages 13v, 24, 70v, 165) or saints. Despite this rich diversity, it is difficult to choose one that stands out above the others in beauty.
Of great interest are the small-sized illustrations used to complete the blank space on pages. 7v, 25v, 72, 80, 140, 166 and 168. In this same section it is worth mentioning the portrait on page 171 that presumably could correspond to the author.
Finally, one could not overlook the numerous and beautiful miniature capitals that, for the most part, introduce human faces, biblical scenes and even skulls and landscapes in their interior, with an extraordinary application of golds and enamels in relief.
An attentive study confirms that the painter Normand makes this new Book of Hours by collecting the saints and prayers of the “Jardinet de l’ame”, to which he adds some prayers dedicated to the memory of his parents, Nicolás Casimir Normand and Catherine Faroux, already deceased (page 156), and made according to the tastes of his time a new pictorial version of the patron saints of the French city of Amiens.
For all this we can say without hesitation that we are facing a book of unique beauty and personality, great visuality and formal perfection.
Click here to see a video of this beautiful and charming work, of great beauty and plasticity.
Exemplary complete and in perfect condition.
Shipping costs on account of the buyer, according to order and destination. Consult us without obligation (indicating the reference of the article) any doubt.