Book of the Hunt

Gaston Phébus (French, 1331 - 1391)about 1430 - 1440

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Hunting was the favorite sport of aristocrats during the Middle Ages, and the Livre de la Chasse (Book of the Hunt), written in 1387, was the most popular guide for hunters. The text's author, Gaston Phébus, was an important political and military leader known for the magnificence and sophistication of his household. He himself owned sixteen hundred sporting dogs and two hundred horses. This copy of the treatise, produced a generation after Gaston's death, features over sixty images covering hunting-related topics ranging from the use of camouflage to proper veterinary techniques. The illuminations are painted in a highly decorative style. The trees and figures are treated as flat forms arranged into pleasing patterns, while the shallow sense of space and lack of modeling lend the images a naive quality. Such stylized compositions are reminiscent of designs used for tapestries, which may have inspired some of the illuminations in this book.

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  • Title: Book of the Hunt
  • Date Created: about 1430 - 1440
  • Location Created: France
  • Physical Dimensions: w18.4 x h26.4 cm
  • Type: Manuscript
  • Rights: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • External Link: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=1768
  • Medium: "Tempera colors, gold paint, silver paint, and gold leaf on parchment bound between pasteboard covered with red morocco"
  • author: Gaston Phébus (French, 1331 - 1391)
  • Terms of Use: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • Subject: Hunting