Building a castle

Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, Roman de la rose
France, thirteenth century

Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 169, f. 18r
France?, late fourteenth/early fifteenth century
Vellum, 338 x 246 mm (219 x 144 mm), IV + 140 + III ff.

Guillaume de Lorris’s section of the Rose ends with the Lover standing at the gates of a moated castle and bewailing his misfortune, for Jealousy has built a seemingly impregnable fortress to imprison Fair Welcome and the beloved rose. In the upper miniature Jealousy directs her workmen – two stonemasons, a carpenter and a man gesturing vigorously at the castle – and in the lower miniature Rebuff stands next to a gate and portcullis, ready to drive away any attackers.

By permission of the Syndics of the Fitzwilliam Museum. Image © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

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