Lives of the saints (also referred to
as the " Livre noir " ['Black book'])
Saint-Ouen, Rouen, 11th century
332 f. 244 x 165 mm.
Bibliothèque municipale de Rouen, ms. 1406 ( Y 41)
manuscript contains many lives of the saints, including a collection of
miracles of saint Ouen composed on the orders of Nicolas, abbot of the
monastery of Rouen (1042-1092). This copy of the volume dates from the life of
the abbot, as confirmed by a form of anathematisation, composed against any
thieves. Fine ornamented letters introduce some of the lives of the saints.
That of folio 305 v°, which begins with the life of saint Nicolas, contains a
representation of the saintly bishop, majestically seated in a almond-shaped
halo giving a benediction. The letter itself formed from plant stems,
culminating in a dragon's head, is highlighted by lines and a grained pattern
in pink ink and bordered by a green braiding pattern. The same pink highlights
and green braiding appear in other manuscripts which are probably by the same