MS. Bodley 264

The Romance of Alexander recounts the adventures of Alexander the Great, whose heroic exploits and encounters with marvellous creatures at the edges of the known world fascinated medieval audiences. This manuscript of the Romance is of the highest quality. The illustrations to the French text show Alexander and his knights against glittering backgrounds, fighting battles, confronting strange dangers, performing chivalric deeds and engaging in courtly rituals. In the margins, medieval life in its myriad forms is depicted with marvellous energy. Animated figures joust, hunt, dance, chase butterflies, watch puppet shows and play board games; they practise their trades and tend their animals. They live in an upside-down world in which grotesque creatures move easily among them, and monkeys cavort about like people.