Marie-Pierre Dion, Head Curator of libraries, Condé museum
Treasures of the Reading Room
There are animals on every page of the Très Riches Heures, a book of hours belonging to the Duke of Berry. A fortiori, Chantilly’s rich and varied medieval collections contain a wealth of animal themes. Mankind’s companion since Creation, a window into human failings in fables and illustrated margins, and a source of fear, wonder and knowledge, in medieval books, animals constitute a bestiary filled with humanity and poetry. This exhibition presents a display of some thirty such manuscripts and incunabula conserved at the Château de Chantilly.
The Reading Room is incidentally also involved in the Sublimes animaux (Sublime Animals) project, the first collaborative virtual exhibition organised by the Armarium, the digital library of the literary, graphic and written heritage of the Hauts-de-France region. Aimed at the general public, this virtual exhibition takes a closer look at the medieval bestiary and includes fun sections for children.
During the first months of 2024, treasures from Chantilly featured in this digital exhibition can also be admired in the sumptuous Reading Room.