As Richard and Mary Rouse explain in their acknowledgments, “the impetus for this book came from Myra Orth,” whose lifework was the study of illuminated manuscripts of the Renaissance period in France. Published posthumously, Orth’s book was intended to include a biographical register of names and documentation of illuminators working in France during the sixteenth century. The authors’ latest work represents their effort to complete and even extend Orth’s project through to the reign of Louis XIV (r. 1643–1715), focusing on the book arts in the city of Paris, territory previously explored by the Rouses, albeit for the medieval period. Like their earlier project, this study contextualizes illuminated manuscripts by bringing to life the community of people, including not only libraires (producers), parchmenters, scribes, illuminators, and binders, but also publishers (also libraires), printers, print designers, colorists, and miniaturists. They all worked in Paris after the invention of printing, the impact of which produced “a relentless contraction of the manuscript booktrade,” to which illuminators and other artisans had to respond (p. 11).
The book is divided into two parts: Part I, “Illuminators in the Age of Print – a Métier Redefined” (pp. 15–146) and Part II, “Register of Parisian Illuminators and Artisans of the Manuscript Book, 1500–1715” (pp. 147–259), following a similar organization of contents in Manuscripts and their Makers. Each part takes up about half of the book. Part I comprises five Chapters of discussion, supported by Appendices of selected archival sources, including parliamentary regulations, a royal decree, a contract of hire, and a contract of apprenticeship, all transcribed and translated from French. Part II features the Register, an annotated list of about 500 names, based in part on previous research, including Orth’s, but also meticulously compiled from a notarial depository known as the Minutier central des notaires de Paris  and from a handwritten archival record of artists from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries at the Department of Manuscripts at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Known as the Fichier Laborde, it constitutes a collection of 161 bound volumes compiled in the nineteenth century by Léon de Laborde (1807-1869). Together, the two sections of the book present a closely-sourced interpretation of a history that “permits us to see a picture, however incomplete, of a community of Parisian illuminators that survive the advent of the printing press for a great deal longer than anyone had a right to expect” (p. 153).
The authors, of course, know from experience that illuminated manuscripts continued to be produced when threatened by printing, even before Gutenberg, when prints emerged as a medium for illustration at the beginning of the fifteenth century. Even in the Epilogue to their previous study of illuminators in Paris from 1200–1500, they recognized that “manuscripts continued to be written and illuminated long after the press arrived in Paris in 1470.” The surprising evidence presented in their new book is how long Parisian illuminators kept their profession viable, through adaptations that continually redefined their role, or métier, as artists working in the book trade or even outside it. Chapters 1–2 examine the various strategies by which illuminators survived, such as illuminating printed books, moonlighting as print designers, or reinventing themselves as enlumineurs en taille douce (custom colorists of prints), enlumineurs d’images (colorists of prints by stencil), or enlumineurs d’eventail (custom painters of fans).
Other, more communal attempts to improve the illuminators’ situation included the unsuccessful attempt in 1607–08 to establish their own guild, or more successful formulations of various partnerships and business arrangements through apprenticeships, marriages, and legal contracts, the specifics of which are examined in Chapters 3–4. Many of the contracts discussed were for the illumination of choir books, attesting to the continued demand for these manuscripts in the sixteenth century. But some of the contracts document the illumination of printed books, including a missal, a book of hours, and a book of natural history, the last of these from the seventeenth century, requiring the illumination of flora and fauna “as natural seeming as possible” (p. 89).
Besides contracts, Chapter 3 examines post-mortem inventories of illuminators, including Jeanne Basquelin (d. 1601), who was married to a master illuminator, but according to the documentation of her estate, must also have been an illuminator herself, although she is never referred to by the title enlumineuse. Not only did Jeanne owe money for pigments and supplies, but her property included three dozen prints in taille douce, plus maps, globes, and four dozen broadsheets or placards; not only does her inventory document Jeanne as a professional enlumineuse, but it confirms the Rouses’ sense that many illuminators of Jeanne’s generation were versatile multi-taskers working in various formats and media to make a living. It also suggests that Jeanne may represent an elusive group of unrecognized women who worked as illuminators and in other trades. This claim is supported by the names of women who turn up in contracts of apprenticeship, discussed in Chapter 4, which include mothers (widows) apprenticing their sons, plus fathers apprenticing their daughters.
A most interesting issue for historians of manuscripts comes up in Chapter 5, which addresses the problem: when does the tradition of illuminated manuscripts end? One answer is that it never did, and there are still organizations of illuminators today, such as the Société des miniaturistes et enlumineurs de France, founded in 1890, or the Society of Scribes and Illuminators in the UK, founded in 1921. The authors, however, take a different, more philosophical position, namely, that “the history of illumination and illuminators in Paris…ceased when a routine procedure became an affectation” (p. 119), specifically during the reign of Louis XIV. He, nevertheless, employed nine enlumineurs du roi, who produced some exquisite examples of the illuminators’ art, represented in beautiful illustrations, for which Harvey Miller publications are known.
Commissions for illuminated manuscripts from Louis XIV included choir books for the Hotel des Invalides and the royal chapels at Versailles, as well as single-leaf paintings intended for framing or placement in albums, such as the Recueil des vélins, a series of botanical specimens illuminated by Nicolas Robert for the Jardin du Roi (now the Jardin des Plantes). The authors argue that these examples differ from the single-leaf miniatures made by artists of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, because, “rather than having books that were enhanced by beautiful pictures, one had pictures – elaborate, showy, extravagant, gorgeous paintings – in search of a book, most likely an album, to serve them as a framework or a raison d’etre” (p. 129). The authors also point out that most artists who produced these works were painters first and illuminators second, whose work in manuscript “represented the self-conscious and antiquarian preservation of a ‘museum art,’ an imitation of a trade that was no longer connected to anything vital” (p. 129).
The Rouses’ argument about the end of the tradition is, by their own admission, subjective, but as experienced scholars of medieval libraries, they support this assessment through a closing discussion of the library of Cardinal Jules Mazarin (d. 1661). Mazarin, who was prime minister of France during Louis’s reign, assembled a collection of about 40,000 volumes. Although much of the original collection was confiscated and disbursed during the revolt of the Fronde (1648–1652), preserved lists suggest its contents, including both illuminated printed books and illuminated manuscripts. As the authors point out, however, none of these works were commissioned by Mazarin himself. Unlike earlier bibliophiles, such as Jean Duc de Berry or Federico da Montefeltro, Mazarin did not employ illuminators to make new books, but rather applied his extraordinary resources and princely tastes to acquiring antiquarian books, along with paintings, sculpture, furniture, and “Marvels of the World” (p. 130). Thus, this book draws to a close with the death of Mazarin in 1661, as “the gap between origin and adaptation eventually became too broad for the same word enlumineur to stretch across” (p.132). I only wish Mazarin had lived longer – I would have loved to keep reading.
Debra Taylor Cashion
Saint Louis University
 Myra Orth, Renaissance Manuscripts: The Sixteenth Century (London: Harvey Miller, 2015).
 Richard H. Rouse and Mary A. Rouse, Manuscripts and their Makers, Illiterati et Uxorati: Commercial Books Producers in Medieval Paris, 1200–1500, vols. 1-2 (London: Harvey Miller, 2000).
 “Minutier central des notaires de Paris,” Archives Nationales, http://www.archives-nationales.culture.gouv.fr/web/guest/minutier-central-des-notaires-de-paris (accessed 30 March 2020).
 “Léon de Laborde (1807-1869),” BnF Data, https://data.bnf.fr/fr/11910393/leon_de_laborde/ (accessed 30 March 2020).
 Rouse and Rouse, 2000, I: 329.
 The Society of Scribes and Illuminators, https://calligraphyonline.org/ (accessed 30 March 2020); the Société des miniaturistes et enlumineurs de France does not appear to have a website.
 See, for example, their study of the library of the Sorbonne in Rouse and Rouse, Authentic Witnesses: Approaches to Medieval Texts and Manuscripts (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1991), 341–408.
 After the Fronde Mazarin rebuilt the collection, which became the foundation for the Bibliothèque Mazarine in Paris: “History,” Bibliothèque Mazarine, https://www.bibliotheque-mazarine.fr/en/about/history (accessed 30 March 2020).
 Federico is not mentioned in the book, but he represents another fifteenth-century collector who also commissioned his own manuscripts. His collection comprises the majority of works in the Vatican Library with shelfmarks Urb. Lat. and Urb. Grec. See Marcello Simonetta, ed., Federico da Montefeltro and his Library (Milan: Y. Press, 2007).