Rouen, Bibliothèque municipale et patrimoniale Villon, Leber 0146

Life of the Virgin Mary Facsimile Edition

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A Book Fit for a King

The richness of this codex's pages confirms that it was made for a great king, Francis I, considered the most important monarch of the French Renaissance. His reign knew an important development of the Arts and Letters.

The artist in charge of this ambitious project made very clear who was the recipient of his work. Proof of this is the portrait of the king, with the author kneeling and presenting him with the book. In the same miniature there is an inscription in golden letter. Another one appears in the second page and a third can be found at the end of the book.

In the miniatures it is often found the fleur-de-lis, as well as the coat of arms and the emblem of the monarch: a salamander in a brazier.

Because of the complexity and richness of its pages, the book could not be completed during the reign of Francis I, and saw the light in 1548, under king Henry II.

The Life of the Virgin

The life of the Virgin Mary is depicted in its entirety, from her birth to her death. The miniatures reflect the rules of the epoch. The real magnificence of this work is once again evident in the paintings of the curtains, the tablecloths, the canopies, making the miniatures depicting the Virgin resemble authentic palace scenes.

In each of the 46 pages of this manuscript it is possible to see that they were made for a king who loved art and beauty.

Binding description


Cow leather printed in gold.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Life of the Virgin Mary": La Vida de la Virgen María facsimile edition, published by Orbis Mediaevalis, 2012

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Manuscript book description compiled by the publisher.
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La Vida de la Virgen María

Madrid: Orbis Mediaevalis, 2012

  • Commentary (Spanish) by Docampo, Javier; Solera Casero, Gregorio; Lopez Menaza, David
  • Limited Edition: 645 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Life of the Virgin Mary: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

The facsimile edition is accompanied by a case for conservational purposes.


Red leather with dry debossing.

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