This precious book was highly prized by its owner, Charles III, King of Navarre, a French-born prince whose coat of arms is painted on twenty folios. Charles visited Paris on numerous occasions and likely acquired this volume there in 1404. Paris was the center of the European book trade at this time and attracted illuminators from many parts of Europe. This manuscript represents one of the most remarkable fusions of French and Italian taste in book illumination. Though conforming to Parisian standards, most of the book’s major miniatures are the work of the Brussels Initials Master, an Italian illuminator who previously worked in Bologna and Padua.
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, 1949: "Manuscripts et livres précieux retrouvés en allemagne"
Cleveland Museum of Art, "When Angels Bent Near the Earth to Touch their Harps of Gold: The Christmas Story" December 1, 1981-January 17, 1982.
Cleveland Museum of Art, "Images of the Mind" July 7-August 23, 1987, p. 9, repr.
Cleveland Museum of Art, "Lutes, Lovers, & Lyres: Musical Imagery in the Collection" February 14-une 11, 1989.
Musée du Louvre, Paris (3/3/2004- 7/19/2004): "Paris 1400. les arts sous Charles VI", exh. cat. no. 169A, p. 274.
Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art; October 24, 2004-January 9, 2005. "Dukes and Angels: Art from the Court of Burgundy (1364-1419)."
Bavarian Nationalmuseum, Munich (5/10/2007 - 9/16/2007), the J. Paul Getty Musuem, Los Angeles (10/30/2007 - 1/20/2008) and Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN (2/13/2009 - 6/7/2009): "Sacred Gifts and Worldly Treasures: Medieval Masterworks from the Cleveland Museum of Art"
Cleveland Museum of Art, (11/06/2010 - 04/17/2011); "The Glory Of the Painted Page: Manuscript Illuminations from the Permanent Collections"
Main Gallery installation (gallery 109): November 20, 2012 -