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Leaf from Jehan de Courcy's "Chronique Universelle": King Priam Meets Helen and Paris outside the Gates of Troy

Leaf from Jehan de Courcy's "Chronique Universelle": King Priam Meets Helen and Paris outside the Gates of Troy

c. 1470

Ink, tempera, and gold on vellum

Sheet: 36.3 x 27.2 cm (14 5/16 x 10 11/16 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1945.16

Description

This miniature depicts the event that started the Trojan War. Helen, a Greek princess famous for her beauty, was loved by the Trojan prince Paris, who carried her off to Troy. Here she is presented to Priam, the King of Troy and father of Paris, outside the city gates. The leaf comes from Jehan de Courcy’s History of Greece and Rome, which relates the events of human history from the Creation to the birth of Christ. This work is also known as the Chronique Universelle (History of the World) de la Bouquechardière, a name that derives from the lands owned by Jehan de Courcy. Secular histories in the late Middle Ages were in great demand among aristocratic patrons.

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