Online Froissart

Toulouse Bibliothèque municipale ms. 511

22 miniatures by the Giac Master. It is very likely that the manuscript contained originally three more miniatures, found on the folios following fol. 23, fol. 75 and fol. 269, that were removed from the manuscript before it was foliated. These missing miniatures would have illustrated respectively the battle of Cassel, the naval battle of Guernsey and the battle of Cherbourg. The corresponding miniatures are still found in New York, Morgan Library, MS M.804 and Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr. 2662 and were also planned but never executed for Glasgow, University Library, MS 42, which is a twin manuscript of the Toulouse manuscript. The frontispiece double miniature is followed by a large 11-line illuminated initial. The miniatures on fol. 31v and fol. 49r are followed by 5-line illuminated initials with foliate ornaments. The miniature on fol. 98v is followed by a 4-line illuminated initial with foliate ornaments on fol. 99r. Other miniatures are accompanied by 4-line champ initials, except on fol. 253r where there is a 5-line champ initial. Other chapters are marked by rubrics and a 2-line champ initial. Rubrics are normally executed in red, but are sometimes written in black and underlined in red with a paraph before the rubric and the chapter number, like on fol. 101v, 103v, 108v–109r, 112v, 116v, 121r–121v, 124v, 131v, 135r, nearly all of them accompanying miniatures. In some other cases only the chapter number is executed in this way (fol. 109v and 115r). On fol. 14r there is an initial sketch for decoration extending from a 2-line champ initial.



  • fol. 1r, col. A: miniature showing on the left a king of England, most plausibly Richard II, who receives the chronicler, who kneels before him and offers him a book bound in green velvet with metal clasps and corners.3 The king’s robe shows the Plantagenet leopards (gold) on a red background. Two counsellors stand behind the king.


  • fol. 1r, col. B: miniature showing on the left King Charles IV of France, accompanied by three courtiers, who welcomes to his court Queen Isabella of England, his sister, who wears a robe bearing the arms of France and England, and his nephew the future Edward III, wearing a cape with the Plantagenet leopards, on the right. Isabella and Edward are accompanied by three courtiers.


  • fol. 31v, col. A: the battle of Cadzand. On the right a naval force attacking an army of knights on foot on the shore, on the left, with lances. Two banners extend from the golden frame. The one on the left, for the Flemish defenders of Cadzand, shows sable, a fess argent, while the one on the right flies from the mast of the second ship shown, with the English royal arms (gules, three lions passant or).


  • fol. 49r, col. A: the battle of Sluys. The battle is represented as two ships with soldiers who are engaged in battle seen from the shore. The ship on the right represents the English naval force, as indicated by the English royal banner flying from a coloured mast pole (gules, three lions passant gold) and the king shown with a surcoat of the same arms and a golden crown on his bacinet. The ship on the left represents the French fleet. Its commander, Hugh Quieret, is shown with an armorial surcoat with his arms, which are also seen on the banner (argent, three fleurs-de-lis gules). The colour of the fleurs-de-lys is very dark, which indicates that they were originally probably painted in a different colour and then overpainted to correct the error. Both ships have crenellations and a crow’s nest on the mast, from which a large white sail hangs. Both are also propelled by invisible rowers who operate the single range of oars which appear from the hull of the ship. Behind the ships there is a dark mountain range. The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 98v, col. B: the sack of Caen. On the left the English army led by the king shown with an overcoat with the English royal arms (gules, three lions passant or, shown contourné), a banner with the same arms next to him. The English, all on foot, pursue a French army which is retreating into Caen through an open gate. A dead soldier is lying on the ground. The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 101v, col. B: the battle of La Blanchetaque. Represented as a stand off between two armies on either side of a small river. On the left is the English army, with a banner with the English royal arms (gules, three lions passant or shown contourné), which leaves the frame and is placed in the top margin of the page. The first of the three mounted knights shown rides his horses into the water. The English footsoldiers attack the French army with lances. The French army on the right consists of footsoldiers with lances and longbows. The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 104r, col. A: the battle of Crécy. Two armies meeting in a field. On the left the French army, led by King Philip VI of Valois on horseback. A large oriflamme banner comes out of the frame and into the top margin. The French king has a golden coronet on his bacinet and wears a surcoat with the French royal arms (French modern, azure, three fleurs-de-lis or). Behind the king rides the German emperor Charles of Bohemia, who has a golden closed crown on his bacinet and an heraldic surcoat with the German imperial arms (gold, a double-headed eagle sable). A banner with the same arms can be seen above him. Behind Charles of Bohemia is shown a member of the royal family. The knight has a heraldic surcoat and a banner with the arms azure, three fleurs-de-lis or, a bend sinister, gules, shown contourné. The intention was probably to show the count of Alençon. On the right is the English army, led by King Edward III. The king wears an open coronet on his bacinet, and has an heraldic surcoat with the English royal arms (gules, three lions passant, or). Above him is flying a banner with the same arms. Behind him is shown his son, the Black Prince, who also has an heraldic surcoat and banner, with the arms gules, three lions passant or, a label silver. The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 109r, col. A: the battle of Nevill’s Cross. Two armies on foot meeting in a field. On the left the Scottish army, attacking the English with lances. On the right the English army, armed with lances and longbows. The English army is shown here led by Queen Philippa riding a horse, and followed by two ladies-in-waiting. The English royal banner is flying above the queen, leaving the frame and entering into the top margin of the frame (quarterly, 1 and 4 azure, three fleurs-de-lis or, 2 and 3 gules, three lions passant or). The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 112v, col. A: the battle of La Roche-Derrien. Two armies of foot soldiers meeting in a field and attacking each other with lances. The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 117r, col. A: the battle at Calais between the French knights who are trying to capture it by a ruse and the English who lie in ambush. The miniature shows two armies of footsoldiers meeting in a field and attacking each other with lances. On the right are the French, led by Geoffroy de Chargny, who is represented with an amorial surcoat and a banner behind him with with his arms (gules, three eschutcheons silver). On the right are the English with the English king, Edward III, wearing an armorial surcoat with his arms (gules, three lions passant or) in the front, confronting Geoffrey de Chargny. Above the English army flies the banner of Sir Walter Mauny, who according to Froissart’s text, was in command (or, three chevrons sable). The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 128r, col. A: the battle of Poitiers. Represented as a battle between two armies of footsoldiers with full body armour, meeting in a field and attacking each other with lances. The English are shown on the left, led by the Black Prince, shown with an armorial surcoat and a banner with the full royal arms (quarterly, 1 and 4 France modern, azure, three fleurs-de-lis or; 2 and 2 England, gules, three lions passant or, shown here contourné; the lions on the banner are facing the wrong way). On the right is the French army, led by King John II of France, shown with a golden coronet on his bacinet and an armorial surcoat with France modern (azure, three fleurs-de-lis or, one above and two below). Behind him is Pierre, duke of Bourbon, with an armorial surcoat showing his arms (azure, semy of fleurs-de-lis or, a bendlet gules). Above the French army flies a large oriflamme, attached to a golden shaft, represented with five streamers which leave the frame of the miniature. The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork. In the bottom margin there is a note by the scribe: "Poitiers". This is possibly an instruction to the miniature painter.


  • fol. 135r, col. A: battle between the French and the Anglo-Navarrese near the ford of Saint-Clément (Cotentin). Represented as a battle between two armies of footsoldiers with full body armour, meeting in a field and attacking each other with lances. The French army is on the left and is led by Raoul de Renneval, who is shown with his armorial surcoat and his banner (or, a cross sable charged with five shells argent). The English are on the right and are led by Godfrey of Harcourt, who is shown with his armorial surcoat and his banner (gules, two bars or). The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork. To the right of the miniature, in the intercolumnar space, are two bars traced in black pen, ostensibly a sketch of the Harcourt arms.


  • fol. 140r, col. A: French knights defeat the Jacques in Meaulx. On the right an army of knights on foot with full body armour. Their commander is Charles of Navarre, shown with an armorial surcoat and a banner with his arms (quarterly, 1 and 4, gules, an escarbuncle with eight rays or charged with bells, a bordure or, 2 and 3 France ancient, azure, a semy of fleurs-de-lis or). Behind Charles of Navarre is the Captal de Buch, also shown with an armorial surcoat and his banner (or, a cross sable charged with five shells argent). The text does not refer to Charles of Navarre, but to the count of Foix, so the miniature probably conflates the earlier episode in Clermont, where Charles of Navarre attacked the Jacques (illustrated in New York, Morgan Library, MS M.804, fol. 138v), with the episode in Meaulx, where the Jacques were defeated by the count of Foix and the Captal de Buch. On the left are the Jacques, with open helmets and mail rather than the plate armour worn by the French. The Jacques have pikes with which they attack the knights, but in the foreground there are several dead bodies of Jacques and one knight. The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 150v, col. A: the battle of Nogent-sur-Seine between Eustace of Auberchicourt and his followers, and the French led by Burchard of Fénétrange. It is represented as a battle in a field between two armies of footsoldiers armed with lances and full plate armour. On the left is the army led by Eustace of Aubercicourt, who is shown with an armorial surcoat and a banner with his arms (ermine, three hamades sable placed beneath one another). On the right are the French. Their commander is also shown with armorial surcoat and banner (gules, a bend or). This is probably meant as the arms of Burchard of Fénétrange, but in that case the colours are probably wrong.4 The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 169r, col. B: the battle of Brignais. It is represented as a battle in a field between two armies of footsoldiers armed with lances and full plate armour. On the left is the army led by Jacques of Bourbon, who can be recognised from his armorial surcoat and banner with the full arms of Bourbon (azure, a semy of fleurs-de-lis gold, a bend gules). Behind him is Renaud of Forez, also with armorial surcoat and banner, showing the full arms of Forez (gules, a dolphin or). On the right are the heavily armed soldiers of the Compagnie. Above the army is a long triangular pennon, with the arms of England (argent, a cross gules). The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 177r, col. A: the battle of Cocherel. It is represented as a battle in a field between two armies of footsoldiers armed with lances and full plate armour. On the left is the French army, led by Bertrand du Guesclin, with an armorial surcoat and his banner (argent, an eagle with two heads sable, a bend gules). On the left are the Gascons, led by the Captal de Buch, who has an armorial surcoat and banner with his arms (or, a cross sable charged with five shells argent). The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 181v, col. B: the battle of Auray. It is represented as a battle in a field between two armies of footsoldiers armed with lances and full plate armour. On the left is the army led by Charles of Blois, with an armorial surcoat and banner both showing the arms of Brittany (ermine). Behind him is Bertrand du Guesclin, with an armorial surcoat with his arms (argent, an eagle with two heads sable, a bend gules). On the right is the rival contender to the duchy, John of Montfort, also with an armorial surcoat and banner showing the arms of Brittany (ermine). Behind Montfort is John Chandos, who wears an armorial surcoat with his arms (argent, on a pile gules a martlet or). The miniature has not been completely finished, with some of the figures lacking the lances, which their gestures suggest they should be holding. The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 194r, col. B: the battle of Nájera. It is represented as a battle in a field between two armies of footsoldiers armed with lances and full plate armour. On the left is the army led by Pedro the Cruel, who is shown wearing a golden coronet on his bacinet, and with an armorial surcoat and banner both showing the quarterly arms of Castile-Léon contourné (quarterly, 1-4, gules, a triple-towered castle or with windows, 2-3, argent, a lion passant sable). On the right is the army led by his opponent Henry II of Castile, who is also shown wearing a golden coronet on his bacinet, and with an armorial surcoat and banner both showing the quarterly arms of Castile-Léon (quarterly, 1-4, gules, a triple-towered castle or with windows, 2-3, argent, a lion passant sable). Behind him is Bertrand du Guesclin, with an armorial surcoat and a banner with his arms (argent, an eagle with two heads sable, a bend gules). Between the two armies there are several dead bodies. They are facing the left and so probably represent the casualties on the side of Henry II of Castile, who lost the battle. The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 203v, col. A: the battle of Montiel. What is shown is the advanced stages of the battle, in which Pedro the Cruel was defeated and fled into the castle of Montiel. On the left is the army of Henry II of Castile, led by the king on horseback. Henry is also shown wearing a golden coronet on his bacinet and an armorial surcoat and banner both with the quarterly arms of Castile-Léon contourné (quarterly, 1-4, gules, a triple-towered castle or with windows, 2-3, argent, a lion passant sable). Behind him is Bertrand du Guesclin, also on horseback, with an armorial surcoat and a banner with his arms (argent, an eagle with two heads sable, a bend gules). They are attacking the army of their opponent, Pedro the Cruel, which is fleeing through an open gate into a fortified building or walled town. Pedro is shown wearing a golden coronet on his bacinet and an armorial surcoat with the quarterly arms of Castile-Léon (quarterly, 1-4, gules, a triple-towered castle or with windows, 2-3, argent, a lion passant sable). On the foreground several dead bodies, most of them facing the left and therefore probably representing the casualties on Pedro the Cruel’s side. The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork. In the middle of the painting there are some imperfections: either the pattern was left incomplete, or the black, gold and blue painting was rubbed of through later use.


  • fol. 237v, col. A: the battle of Pontvallain. It is represented as a battle in a field between two armies of footsoldiers armed with lances and full plate armour. On the left is the army led by Bertrand du Guesclin, who is shown wearing an armorial surcoat and banner with his arms shown contourné (argent, an eagle with two heads sable, a bend gules). On the right is the army of Robert Knolles, but the miniaturist probably did not know Knolles’ correct heraldic arms and has therefore represented its leader with the arms of Grandson (paly of argent and azure, a bend gules charged with three shells or), probably a reference to Thomas Grandson, who is mentioned in the text. Between the two armies, on the side of Knolles’ army, a dead body. The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 244r, col. B: the sea battle of La Rochelle. Two ships with soldiers in full armour attacking each other on the sea, seen from the coast. The ship on the left has two masts with crow’s nests and white sails. The ship on the right is partly hidden behind a fortified building, probably representing the city of La Rochelle. Towers and crenellations extend beyond the rectangular frame into the right margin. The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.


  • fol. 253r, col. A: the battle of Chizé. It is represented as a battle in a field between two armies of footsoldiers with full plate armour. On the left is the army led by Bertrand du Guesclin, who is shown wearing an armorial surcoat and banner with his arms shown contourné (argent, an eagle with two heads sable, a bend gules). On the right is the English army, identified by a pennon with the arms of England (silver, a cross gules). The English are armed with longbows while the French have lances. Between the two armies several dead bodies. The background is diapered with gold, blue and red with white penwork.