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Les Louanges

"The Fine Arts manuscript offers to the one who looks at it immense pleasures and opportunities for reflection and meditation that are no less."
Éric de Chassey, Director of the INHA


A work halfway between illumination and calligraphy reproduced for the first time and accompanied by critical texts on this image-poem by Raban Maur (9th century) whose verses draw sacred and symbolic figures.


Raban Maur, who was abbot of Fulda and archbishop of Mainz between the years 822 and 856, was a theologian and missionary of the ninth century. In addition to numerous biblical treatises, he published an important poetic work, including the Praises of the Holy Cross, a poem-image in twenty-eight parts dedicated to the cross, whose verses draw sacred and symbolic figures. This famous manuscript tells in a cycle the whole holy history of the world, from the crucifixion to the Last Judgment. Raban Maur deals with theological, mathematical, historical and philosophical subjects. As the pages turn, angels, animals and geometric shapes are drawn among the letters, forming a work halfway between illumination and calligraphy.


The manuscript is enhanced with introductory texts and fully translated from Latin to French, while explanatory diagrams reveal the secrets and symbolism of each poem.


Texts by Éric de Chassey, director of the Institut national d'histoire de l'art; Alexandre Leducq, director of the network of community media libraries of Ardenne Métropole; Michel J.- L. Perrin, professor of Latin language and literature at the University of Picardie Jules-Verne in Amiens and specialist of the Raban Maur, François Ploton-Nicollet, professor of Latin language and literature and codicology at the École nationale des Chartes and Laure Rioust, curator at the Department of Manuscripts of the Bibliothèque nationale de France Translations by Michel J.-L. Perrin and François Ploton-Nicollet.


The work, kept at the Bibliothèque des Beaux-Arts in Paris, was produced by copyists in the 12th century and is here revealed in its entirety for the first time. Its last pages contain a magnificent illumination of the Virgin and unpublished sermons from the 12th century.


Collection Treasures of the library
Format 25 x 33 cm
224 pages
Bound in paperback
Price incl. VAT 45 €.
ISBN 978-2-84056- 816-2 1