Le Coeur D'Amours Espris

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     René, Duke of Anjou, was born in 1409. In 1431 he was defeated in a fight for his wife’s rights to the province in Lorraine and was imprisoned by Philip the Good in Dijon, Burgundy. There he painted miniatures until he was ransomed in 1437. René was Count of Bar, Provence, Piedmont and Guise, Duke of Calabria, Lorraine, and Anjou, King of Hungary, Sicily, Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, Sardinia and of Jerusalem. He was also an ally of Jeanne d’Arc and an employer of Christopher Columbus. Many have considered him to be a major influence in the beginning of the renaissance. In 1457 he wrote and illustrated Le Livre du Coeur d’Amours Espris
The story begins with René going to bed and having a dream about love. “Love” appears and takes René’s heart from his body and hands it to “Desire.” The heart is represented in the dream and in the illustrations by a knight in full armor named Coeur accompained by his page, “Desire.” He sets out on a perilous journey to liberate “Sweet Grace” who is being held in captivity by three enemies of “Love,” “Denial,” “Shame,” and “Fear.”
     In the miniature that is on the stamp “Heart” and his two knights, “Generosity” and “Desire” have arrived at the seacoast where a ship waits to take them to the Isle of Love. “Heart’s” page has removed his spurs and he steps into the boat. “Generosity” is having his spurs removed by his page, and “Desire’s” spurs have already been removed. The two young women are “Confidante” and “Accord,” serving ladies at Amour’s court, charged with bringing the lover to the island castle of the God of Love.

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     The stamp is part of a set issued in 1966 displaying objects from the Austrian National Library.