New Publication: ‘Visual Translation: Illuminated Manuscripts and the First French Humanists’ by Anne D. Hedeman, Notre Dame Press

Hedeman explores how visual translation works in a series of unusually densely illuminated manuscripts associated with Laurent and Lebègue circa 1404–45. These manuscripts cover both Latin texts, such as Statius’s Thebiad and Achilleid, Terence’s Comedies, and Sallust’s Conspiracy of Cataline and Jurguthine War, and French translations, including Cicero’s De senectute, Boccaccio’s De casibus virorum illustrium and Decameron, and Bruni’s De bello Punico primo. Illuminations constitute a significant part of these manuscripts’s textual apparatus, which helped shape access to and interpretation of the texts for a French audience. Hedeman considers them as a group and reveals Laurent’s and Lebègue’s growing understanding of visual rhetoric and its ability to visually translate texts originating in a culture removed in time or geography for medieval readers who sought to understand them. The book discusses what happens when the visual cycles so carefully devised in collaboration with libraries and artists by Laurent and Lebègue escaped their control in a process of normalization. With over 180 color images, this major reference book will appeal to students and scholars of French, comparative literature, art history, history of the book, and translation studies.

Order here.


Published by charlottecook

Charlotte Cook graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in European History from Washington & Lee University in 2019. In 2020 she received her Master’s degree in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, earning the classification of Merit. Her research explores questions of royal patronage, both by and in honor of rulers, in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England. She has worked as a researcher and collections assistant at several museums and galleries, and plans to begin her PhD in the autumn of 2022.

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