Leaves of Gold: Treasures of Manuscript Illumination fron Philadelphia Collections
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  Fox burnign in hell  
Les regnars traversant les perilleuses voyes des folles fiances du monde by Jean Bouchet
Low Countries, probably Ghent, c. 150510
An anonymous Ghent-Bruges artist

The Soul of a Dead Fox Burns in Hell in a Cauldron Stoked by Demons. About 1503 a French law clerk named Jean Bouchet wrote "Foxes traversing the perilous paths of the foolish ways of the world," a poem against the vices of society. In the poem, foxes serve as the protagonists and as metaphors for mankind. In this miniature, an evil fox who is a symbol of deceit lies dead, levitating in a landscape while his naked soul burns in a cauldron in the foreground. The poem was published with woodcut illustrations. This, the only known illuminated manuscript copy of the text, was inspired by the printed version.

Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia, MS 197/30, fol. 41

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Leaves of Gold is a collaborative exhibition organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries. All materials on this site are copyright 2001 the Philadelphia Museum of Art except as indicated herein.