Free Library of Philadelphia


This manuscript, which has been dated to ca. 1430-1440, was previously attributed to a follower of the Bedford Master.

This miniature introduces the first chapter of the allegorical poem La Voie de Povreté ou de Richesse (The Way of Poverty or of Wealth), composed by the French poet Jacques Bruyant in ca. 1342. In this manuscript, the poem is called "Le Livre de Chastel de Labour" (The Book of the Castle of Labor) and comprises forty-six chapters. It is an allegory of the profits of hard work. The poem concerns Newlywed, as the hero is called, who is visited one night in a dream by Want, Necessity, Suffering, and Hunger. They scold him for not having found work. He is eventually saved by Reason who shows him the paths to a virtuous life.

In the roundel in the lower margin, an elder man reads to an audience of five listeners. The significance of this scene has yet to be determined.

Want, Necessity, Suffering, and Hunger visit Newlywed

Digital Scriptorium ShelfMark:

Rare Book Department