New Publication: ‘Écrire l’art en France au temps de Charles V et Charles VI (1360-1420) Le témoignage des chroniqueurs’ by Michele Tomasi

During the reigns of Kings Charles V (1364-1380) and Charles VI (1380-1422), the arts flourished in France, particularly in court circles. The sculptures, precious objects and manuscripts of this period still fascinate us. But how did the aristocrats of the time view these stunning creations? Careful reading of the most important historical works of the time – the famous chronicles of Jean Froissart, the official account of the reign of Charles VI written by the monk Michel Pintoin, the Grandes Chroniques de France – offers answers to this question. These privileged witnesses tell us that princes and nobles gave more importance and attention to goldsmiths, textiles and tapestries than to painting or sculpture, reveal the taste for multi-sensory spectacles, show the complicity of powerful people who adored what was rare and exotic, and show us how the arts were at the heart of social relations but also the object of a true aesthetic pleasure. A detailed analysis of the chroniclers’ texts and their words provides access to the representations and reveals the practices, expectations and hierarchies of the French elites in the 14th and 15th centuries. This book thus makes a contribution to the history of the reception of the arts at a key period in their history, but also outlines a protohistory of the discourse on the arts north of the Alps and sheds light on the values and customs of the nobility at the end of the Middle Ages.

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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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