LEMAIRE DE BELGES (Jean). Sur le trepas de feu Mgr de Nemours, Epitaphe de feu de noble memoyre Mgr Gaston duc de Nemours, La Concorde des deux langaiges (and other pieces by poets Guillaume Crétin and Jean d’Authon, friends of Lemaire). Manuscript on vellum in littera bastarda, rubricated, 6 decorated initials on gold ground, France, Paris, [c.1513].
265 x 175 mm, 54 leaves. End-XVIIth century morocco-gilt. Lemaire de Belges (1473-c.1515?), court poet to Margaret of Austria and from 1510 to the French King Louis XII and Queen Anne de Bretagne, is the best forerunner, both in style and in thought, of the Renaissance humanism in Flanders and France, anticipating Du Bellay, Ronsard and the Pléiade. Unknown and hitherto unpublished presentation manuscript for Queen Anne de Bretagne: the intended full-page illuminations and heraldic decorations could not be done due to the Queens’ death.
The manuscript opens with 2 unknown poems lamenting the heroic death of the young Gaston de Foix at the battle of Ravenna (April 1512 - his tomb commissioned in Milan is a key work in Renaissance art history). The famous Concorde des deux langages (“The Harmony of the Two Languages”), the most important piece of the manuscript, attempts to reconcile the infl uence of the Italian Renaissance with French tradition. Then comes the deploration by Guillaume Crétin of the French King’s musicians Braconnier and Antoine de Févin, where, like in his former Déploration sur le trépas de Jean Ockeghem, Crétin compares the representation of the harmony of choirs and the disharmony of mourning hearts.