Capitonius (sea-hare) - Der naturen bloeme - Jacob van Maerlant - KB KA 16 - 114r b2
Capitonius (sea-hare) - miniature from folio 114r from Der naturen bloeme (KB KA 16) by Jacob van Maerlant
Topics depicted in this miniature
Molluscs (sea-hare) (25F72(SEA-HARE))
This miniature is part of the righthand side folio 114r
"Der naturen bloeme" is a Middle Dutch poem written by Jacob van Maerlant, a 13th-century poet and writer. The poem is part of the "Naturen Bloeme" cycle, a collection of allegorical poems that focus on the nature of creation and the cycles of the seasons. The poems were written in a courtly style.
The manuscript was produced around 1350 in either Utrecht or Flanders and contains about 460 miniatures besides a number of drawings of the heavenly spheres. The most interesting are those of ‘homines monstruosi’, strange races that were said to live in distant lands and of imaginary animal species. Among them are cannibals and cyclopses, and people with only one leg and feet so large that they could be used as a parasol. Jacob van Maerlant (1230/1235-c.1291) produced a Der naturen bloeme, is an adaptation of De natura rerum by the philosopher and theologian Thomas of Cantimpré (c.1200-c.1272). De natura rerum itself derives from a Greek text written in Alexandria in the second century AD, in which some fifty animals, monsters, and minerals are described.