The period from 1275 until 1325 could easily be described as the golden age for the production of large literary manuscript collections in Northern France. For more information on the diverse compilations from this period see the work of the Hypercodex team.
BNF, fr. 837 was probably created around the last quarter of the thirteenth century and offers one example of the manuscript compilations produced in this vibrant period.
The codicological evidence suggests that BNF, fr. 837 was produced in a professional setting rather than by an amateur compiler. The style of decoration and illustration often provides the most important evidence for identifying the geographical and historical origins of a codex. The style of decoration found in BNF, fr. 837 links the manuscript to Paris. Alison Stones has suggested that it may be associated with the artist known as the Hospitaller Master, who is known to have worked in the region of Paris until around 1280. For more information about the decoration of manuscripts click here.
Paris emerged as an important centre of commercial book production in the later Middle Ages. Richard and Mary Rouse examine the processes and people behind book trade in their seminal study, Manuscripts and their Makers. See further reading for more information.
To discover more about the manufacture of this codex click here.