Tag Archives: New books

New Book: Pleasure and Politics at the Court of France: The Artistic Patronage of Queen Marie of Brabant (1260-1321)

By Tracy Chapman Hamilton

328 p., 37 b/w ills, 140 col. ills, ISBN 978-1-905375-68-4

More Info: http://bit.ly/2ov6q0r

For her commissioning and performance of a French vernacular version of the Arabic tale of the Thousand and One Nights – recorded in one of the most vivid and sumptuous extant late thirteenth-century manuscripts – as well as for her numerous other commissions, Queen Marie of Brabant (1260-1321) was heralded as an intellectual and literary patron comparable to Alexander the Great and Charlemagne. Nevertheless, classic studies of the late medieval period understate Marie’s connection to the contemporary rise of secular interests at the French court.

Pleasure and Politics seeks to reshape that conversation by illustrating how the historical and material record reveals the queen’s essential contributions to the burgeoning court. This emerging importance of the secular and redefinition of the sacred during the last decades of Capetian rule becomes all the more striking when juxtaposed to the pious tone of the lengthy reign of Louis IX (1214-1270), which had ended just four years before Marie’s marriage to his son. That Marie often chose innovative materials and iconographies for these objects — ones that would later in the fourteenth century become the norm — signals her impact on late medieval patronage.

Pleasure and Politics examines Marie’s life beginning with her youth in Brabant, to her entry into Paris in 1274 accompanied by her retinue of courtiers, artists, objects, and ideas from the northern courts of Brabant, Flanders, and Artois. It continues with her elaborate coronation held for the first time in the Sainte-Chapelle the following year, her years as queen of France — often full of intrigue — and her long, productive widowhood, until her death and burial in 1321. With a focus on her Brabantine and Carolingian heritage joined to her status as French queen — often expressed through pioneering styles of heraldry — her commissions included ceremonies, marriage treaties, and intercessions, as well as a stunning collection of jewels, seals, manuscripts, reliquaries, sculpture, stained glass, and architecture that she gathered and built around her. This study also reveals Marie’s regular collaboration with family, friends, and artists, in particular that with the poet Adenet le Roi, women of the French court like Blanche of France (1252-1320), and relatives from the north like Robert of Artois (1250-1302). With this broader view, it also analyzes the dynamics of Marie’s patronage and its impact on contemporary and future women and men of the royal house.

Court, culture, politics, and gender — these are the themes that flow throughout Marie of Brabant’s life and tie together the material effects of a long, pleasure-filled existence enlivened by the politics of Europe on the cusp of a new age.

New Book: Flamboyant Architecture and Medieval Technicality: The Rise of Artistic Consciousness at the End of Middle Ages (c. 1400 – c. 1530), Jean-Marie Guillouët

Flamboyant Architecture and Medieval Technicality: The Rise of Artistic Consciousness at the End of Middle Ages (c. 1400 – c. 1530)

By Jean-Marie Guillouët

xviii + 200 p., 70 b/w ills, 43 colour ill., 216 x 280 mm, 2019

ISBN 978-2-503-57729-6

More Info: http://bit.ly/2lB7Y76

This book seeks to further our understanding of the socio-genesis of artistic modernity by turning to microhistory. It explores a late-medieval decorative procedure that emerged and spread in northern and central France from the early fifteenth century to the start of the following century. Using the well-known miniature, the Building of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem from the fifteenth-century codex of Les Antiquités judaïques as a starting point, this study deals with architecture and technical knowledge of builders. This investigation unpacks and reveals many aspects of the technical and visual culture of late medieval craftsmen and artists. The virtuosic skills these artisans displayed are worthy of inclusion in the development of technical practices of Flamboyant Gothic architecture. They also reflect broader cultural and social configurations, which go far beyond the history of building. This micro-historical perspective on what can be called “hyper-technical” Gothic contributes to our appreciation of the role of technical mastery in establishing social hierarchies and artistic individuation processes during the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern period.

Jean-Marie Guillouët was trained at the Sorbonne (Paris-IV) where he began his teaching career. Since 2002, he is a professor at the University of Nantes and was also in charge of the Medieval Studies section of the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), between 2008 and 2012. His principal field is fourteenth- and fifteenth-century sculpture and architecture in France and Portugal, but he also works on artistic and cultural interchanges in Gothic Europe. He has recently published several studies relating to microarchitecture in flamboyant Gothic and late medieval construction techniques as well as several books and papers on artistic production of the Late Middle Ages with a particular focus on sculpture and architecture. He is currently working on the social and cultural history of the technical gesture in late medieval craftsmanship. Since 2016, he is the scientific secretary of the Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA).

Table of Contents

Introduction

  1. TechnicalSavoir-Faireas Historical Topic
    Observations on a well-known Illumination
    Nantes, Tours and the Master of the Munich Boccaccio
    Representation of a technical Gesture and Jean Fouquet’s Heritage
    A French 15th-Century sculptural savoir-faire
    Late Medieval Gothic Building Sites and Technical Innovations
    First Conclusions
  2. Slate Inlay: A Technical History
    Functional Constraints
    Hollowed out blocks for Inlay
    The Practice of Preparatory Tracing
    Installation in the Archivolts
    An Operational Change at the Beginning of the 15th Century
    An Interruption in the History of Technique: Auxerre
    The Consequences of a new stereotomic System
    Choices of Stone Types
    Conclusions on Implementation
  3. Social History of a Skill
    Traces and Remains of a Valued Procedure
    The Practical Geometry of a Building Site at the End of the Middle Ages and its Tools
    The Tools and their Uses
    The Prevalence of the Square
    The insignological Uses of the Compass
    The Incisions at Tours and Rouen as Illustrations of Construction Practices
    Workers with Stone: social History of a Technique
    Masons and Sculptors
    Stone-cutters and Carvers of Images
    The Socio-Professional Distinction of the Creators of the Canopies – the Case of Bourges
    Technical One-upmanship and Informal Hierarchies at a Building Site
  4. Microarchitecture and Represented Space
    Architecture and Represented Space
    Towards 1400 in Central/Middle France: a Rupture
    Microarchitecture as a Locus
    Slate Inlay and the Depth of Fictive Space
    Baldachins, Canopies and Late-Medieval Sacral Regimes
    Monumental Syntax toward “Architectural Wit”
  5. Virtuosity,Varietasand Captatio benevolentiae
    Slate or Glass Insertion, Admiratio and Varietas
    Material and Colour Contrasts during the Late Middle Ages
    An Incunabula of c. 1400
    Slate Inlay as a “Technology of Enchantment”
    Late Gothic Art: A Hyper-Technical Cultural Regime
  6. Conclusion

Bibliography

Colour Plates

New Book: The Power of Textiles: Tapestries of the Burgundian Dominions

The Power of Textiles: Tapestries of the Burgundian Dominions (1363-1477)

By Katherine Anne Wilson

BURG_26

ISBN 978-2-503-53393-3

More Info: http://bit.ly/2qCFz0a

Textiles were used as markers of distinction throughout the Middle Ages and their production was of great economic importance to emerging and established polities. This book explores tapestry in one of the greatest textile producing regions, the Burgundian Dominions, c.1363-1477. It uses documentary evidence to reconstruct and analyse the production, manufacture, and use of tapestry. It begins by identifying the suppliers of tapestry to the dukes of Burgundy and their ability to spin webs between city and court. It proceeds by considering the forms of tapestry and their functions for urban and courtly consumers. It then observes the ways in which tapestry constructed social relations as part of gift-giving strategies. It concludes by exploring what the re-use, repair, and remaking of tapestry reveals about its value to urban and courtly consumers. By taking an object-centred approach through documentary sources, this book emphasises that the particular characteristics of tapestry shaped the strategies of those who supplied it and the ways it performed and constructed social relations. Thus, the book offers a contribution to the historical understanding of textiles as objects that contributed to the projection of social status and the cultural construction of political authority in the Burgundian polity.

Katherine Anne Wilson is Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Chester. Her research interests lie in understanding the relationship between social and cultural change, and shifting patterns in the use of material culture in the later Middle Ages. She has worked and published on the circulation of tapestry and luxury goods of the Burgundian Netherlands as well as the biographies of their producers and consumers.

New Book roundup: Boydell & Brewer, 2018

Boydell & Brewer have announced their new publications for 2018. You can see the full list here: https://boydellandbrewer.com/media/wysiwyg/Catalogues/Medieval_Studies_Catalogue_-_2018.pdf 

Here are four that were featured in the Boydell & Brewer: Medieval Herald 32.

Frisians and their North Sea Neighbours
Frisians and their North Sea Neighbour
Although Frisians neighboured Anglo-Saxons, Franks, Saxons and Danes in north-western Europe, the details of their lives, communities and culture have remained little-known. Why is this? Well, largely because Frisia and Frisian have meant different things to different people through time, and partly because Frisians had no tradition of writing until relatively late. We trust that this new collection, edited by John Hines and Nelleke IJssennagger, will help change that and broaden knowledge of and interest in the previously mysterious Frisians.
Church Monuments in South Wales, c.1200-1547, by Dr Rhianydd Biebrach
Church Monuments in South Wales, c.1200-1547, by Dr Rhianydd Biebrach
Despite the modest distances that separate them, monuments in south Wales can differ greatly from those in north Wales or the west of England. And although they can tell us much about religious and cultural practices of the time and place, they have until now been sadly understudied. Rhianydd Biebrach explains their special significance, reveals her two favourite monuments and how she undertook her extensive research (losing her dining table in the process). And why we should all (continue to) be grateful to Michael Praed.
The Saint and the Saga Hero- Hagiography and Early Icelandic Literature
The Saint and the Saga Hero: Hagiography and Early Icelandic Literature, by Dr Siân E. Grønlie
While they might not seem to be natural literary bedfellows, Siân E. Grønlie’s new book explains the profound impact that the medieval saint’s life had on the saga literature of Iceland. Predating sagas by several centuries, the Latin lives of saints could, in some ways, be said to provide a model for the (anti-)heroes of the later written sagas, though these protagonists had of course usually led largely un-saintly lives. Here Dr Grønlie provides a quick introduction to both genres and guides us through the results of their intermingling.
The Medieval Merlin Tradition in France and Italy
The Medieval Merlin Tradition in France and Italy: Prophecy, Paradox, and Translatio, by Dr Laura Chuhan Campbell
Dr Campbell uses the figure of Merlin to demonstrate how language and culture shaped different takes on the same character and story. And what an ideal focus he makes, for within him texts, languages, events real and fictional all converged. Crucially, the language barrier between France and Italy proved highly porous and the fluidity of cultural exchange brought new translations with new narrative possibilities. Dr Campbell explains the remarkable process.

New Books: ‘Il Maestro di Nola’ and ‘Medieval manuscripts: Ghent University Library’

Il Maestro di Nola. Un vertice impareggiabile del tardogotico a Napoli e in Campania, by EMANUELE ZAPPASOD

ISBN: 978-8874613465

Description:
En los últimos años se ha puesto de manifiesto, cada vez con más claridad, que el patrimonio artístico del sur de Italia puede compararse, por la calidad, importancia y carga poética, de igual a igual con las obras producidas por otros centros cuyo valor ha sido ponderado desde hace mucho tiempo por una larga tradición histórica.

La Galería Sarti siempre ha mantenido vivo el enfoque en el arte de esta tierra llena de creatividad, que en la época medieval y renacentista constituyó un animado cruce de diferentes culturas y el centro de una espesa circulación mediterránea que incluía Sicilia, Cerdeña, Liguria, pero también Francia y España. Una similar pluralidad de influencias que se mezclan con la tradición local ha fomentado el nacimiento de un lenguaje fascinante, rico de una abrumadora expresividad y, al mismo tiempo, de una elegancia refinada.

El libro -con el estudio específico de Emanuele Zappasodi y el de Virginia Caramico sobre el contexto artístico del Reino de Nápoles entre los siglos XIV y XV – presenta el redescubrimiento de una hermosa pintura, hasta ahora desconocida, del pintor conocido como Maestro di Nola, un raro artífice que, a juzgar por la alta calidad de sus obras, supuso realmente la cumbre incomparable del gótico tardío en Nápoles y Campania.

El volumen -destinado a ser en el futuro un valioso punto de referencia para futuros estudios- permite dibujar con mayor claridad la trayectoria del artista y arrojar nueva luz sobre algunos episodios importantes de la pintura a finales del gótico en Campania.

More information here.

 

Medieval manuscripts. Ghent University Library

Medieval manuscripts: Ghent University Library, by Albert Derolez
ISBN: 9789461613813 ISBN-13: 9789461613813

Description:

This is the first catalogue to provide metadata on all medieval manuscripts in the collection of Ghent University Library. The catalogue offers full descriptions of texts and provides codicological data for all handwritten books and archival documents on parchment or paper, including fragments, dating prior to c. 1530. Giving all the essential information in a nutshell and in a uniform way opens numerous ways to new research with these unique relics. Albert Derolez (1934) is Curator emeritus of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books at Ghent University Library. He taught for many years palaeography and codicology at the Free Universities of Brussels and at several American universities. President of the Comité International de Paléographie Latine 1995-2005. Editor-in-Chief of the series Corpus Catalogorum Belgii. The Medieval Booklists of the Southern Low Countries (1994-2016). Editor of the Liber Floridus of Lambert of Saint-Omer (1968), the Liber divinorum operum of Hildegard of Bingen (1996), and other medieval texts. Author of books on medieval libraries, codicology and palaeography.

More information here.

Book round up: L’aventure des cathédrales, Le cloître de Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines, La scultura in Valnerina tra i secoli XIV e XVI: Scoperte e nuove proposte, Cisterciensi: Arte e storia & Byzantine Art and Italian Panel Painting: The Virgin and Child Hodegetria and the Art of Chrysography

Five recent publications that may be of interest to our readers:

aventure-cathedrales-289x330

GÉRARD DENIZEAU.  L’aventure des cathédrales, Larousse, 2015, 128 p. ISBN: 978-2035923455

The story of cathedral construction, told through the involvement of the artisans (carpenters, blacksmiths, masons, masters of stained glass and more).

 

 

 

scultura-valnerina-239x330DIEGO MATTEI. La scultura in Valnerina tra i secoli XIV e XVI: Scoperte e nuove proposte. Dal Formichiere, 2015, 103 p. ISBN: 978-8898428564

New research into the sculptural traditions of the Valnerina region,  containing  many hitherto little known or unpublished works.

 

 

 

cloitre-genis-184x330GÉRALDINE MALLET. Le cloître de Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines, Trabucaire, 2015, 80 p.ISBN: 978-2849742167

A study of the medieval cloister of Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines, often described as a “jewel” of the Romanesque.

 

 

 

 

cisterciensi-arte-253x330TERRYL N. KINDER; ROBERTO CASSANELLI (ed.). Cisterciensi. Arte e storia, Jaca Book, 2015, 432 p. ISBN: 978-8816604414

An analysis of Cistercian art, culture, contribution and life from the twelfth century to the present, with 40 contributions from international scholars.

 

 

 

byzantine-hodegetria-238x330JAROSLAV FOLDA. Byzantine Art and Italian Panel Painting: The Virgin and Child Hodegetria and the Art of Chrysography, Cambridge University Press, 2015, 424 p. ISBN: 978-1107010239

Tracing the transformation of the Hodegetria, from the Byzantine virgin as human mother of God, to the Italian Madonna enthroned as Queen of Heaven.

Book roundup: Spring 2015

Here’s just five books we’ve seen have come out in 2015 that might be of interest to our readers. We’d always welcome a review of one if you have opinions: email us!

9781782977827_2[1]Britain’s Medieval Episcopal Thrones by Charles Tracy with Andrew Budge (Oxbow Books)

This book is the first major investigation of a subject of seminal importance in the study of church history and archaeology. The two stone thrones, at Wells and Durham, the three timber monuments, at Exeter, St Davids and Hereford, and the mid-14th-century bishop’s chair at Lincoln, all come under a searching empirical enquiry.

The Exeter throne is the largest and most impressive in Europe. It is a distinguished innovatory example of the English Decorated style, with antecedents passing back to the court of Edward I. It exemplifies most of the historical and formal strands that suffuse the entire book – visual appearance, distinctiveness within the building, prestige, construction, stylistic context, finance, and the patronage and personal role of the bishop himself; as well as the subtler issues of the personal and collective politics of bishop and chapter, the monument’s liturgical applications, its relationship with the cathedral’s relics, its symbolism and what it tells us about the aspirations of the institution within the existing ecclesiastical hierarchy.

The thrones also reveal much about the personal circumstances of an individual bishop, and where he stood on the scale of a good diocesan on the one hand, and ambitious politician on the other, as exemplified at Exeter and Durham.

The text is by the art historian, Dr Charles Tracy, a seasoned expert on church furniture both in Britain and on the continent of Europe. The chapter on the stone thrones was prepared by Andrew Budge who is currently preparing a Ph.D thesis on ‘English Chantry Churches’ at Birkbeck College. The polychromy authority, Eddie Sinclair, spent many hours on the scaffold to bring forward her remarkable report on the Exeter throne. Her full report is to be published online.The Exeter throne is also interpreted by the established timber conservation practitioner, Hugh Harrison, and the St Davids throne by the experienced draughtsman, Peter Ferguson. In an age of the CAD, his meticulous measured drawings of the Exeter and St Davids monuments are one of the most remarkable features of book. The architect, Paul Woodfield prepared the drawings for the Lincoln chair.

9780198201571_450[1]The Art of Solidarity in the Middle Ages: Guilds in England 1250-1550 by Gervase Rosser (Oxford University Press)

Guilds and fraternities, voluntary associations of men and women, proliferated in medieval Europe. The Art of Solidarity in the Middle Ages explores the motives and experiences of the many thousands of men and women who joined together in these family-like societies. Rarely confined to a single craft, the diversity of guild membership was of its essence. Setting the English evidence in a European context, this study is not an institutional history, but instead is concerned with the material and non-material aims of the brothers and sisters of the guilds.

Gervase Rosser addresses the subject of medieval guilds in the context of contemporary debates surrounding the identity and fulfilment of the individual, and the problematic question of his or her relationship to a larger society. Unlike previous studies, The Art of Solidarity in the Middle Ages does not focus on the guilds as institutions but on the social and moral processes which were catalysed by participation. These bodies founded schools, built bridges, managed almshouses, governed small towns, shaped religious ritual, and commemorated the dead, perceiving that association with a fraternity would be a potential catalyst of personal change. Participants cultivated the formation of new friendships between individuals, predicated on the understanding that human fulfilment depended upon a mutually transformative engagement with others. The peasants, artisans, and professionals who joined the guilds sought to change both their society and themselves. The study sheds light on the conception and construction of society in the Middle Ages, and suggests further that this evidence has implications for how we see ourselves.

9781780232942[1]The Riddle of the Image: The Secret Science of Medieval Art by Spike Bucklow (Reaktion Books)

The Riddle of the Image explores the materials and methods that lie behind the production of historic paintings. Spike Bucklow, who works as a research scientist and restorer of paintings, analyses some of the most well-known and important medieval works of art, as well as less familiar artworks, to throw new light on art production techniques that have been lost for centuries. By examining the science of the materials, as well as the techniques of medieval artists, he adds new aspects to our understanding and appreciation of these paintings, and of medieval art in general.

The case studies include one of the most popular paintings in the National Gallery, London, and the altarpiece in front of which English monarchs were crowned for centuries. Many of the technical details presented here are published for the first time and some others have only been featured in exhibition catalogues and specialist academic papers. The author is internationally recognized for his work in the scientific examination of paintings and he also draws upon the work of other internationally recognized specialists. While intensive research into artists’ materials and methods has been undertaken for several decades, this book is the first intended for a general audience that examines the subject in depth.

9780226169125[1]Seeing Sodomy in the Middle Ages by Robert Mills (Chicago University Press)

During the Middle Ages in Europe, some sexual and gendered behaviors were labeled “sodomitical” or evoked the use of ambiguous phrases such as the “unmentionable vice” or the “sin against nature.” How, though, did these categories enter the field of vision? How do you know a sodomite when you see one?

In Seeing Sodomy in the Middle Ages, Robert Mills explores the relationship between sodomy and motifs of vision and visibility in medieval culture, on the one hand, and those categories we today call gender and sexuality, on the other. Challenging the view that ideas about sexual and gender dissidence were too confused to congeal into a coherent form in the Middle Ages, Mills demonstrates that sodomy had a rich, multimedia presence in the period—and that a flexible approach to questions of terminology sheds new light on the many forms this presence took. Among the topics that Mills covers are depictions of the practices of sodomites in illuminated Bibles; motifs of gender transformation and sex change as envisioned by medieval artists and commentators on Ovid; sexual relations in religious houses and other enclosed spaces; and the applicability of modern categories such as “transgender,” “butch” and “femme,” or “sexual orientation” to medieval culture.

Taking in a multitude of images, texts, and methodologies, this book will be of interest to all scholars, regardless of discipline, who engage with gender and sexuality in their work.

130676227895079625Lincoln%20Cathedral%20Bio%20resize%20100[1]Lincoln Cathedral: The Biography of a Great Building by Jonathan Foyle (SCALA publishing)

A fascinating and personal study of one of Britain’s greatest cathedrals, illustrated with specially commissioned photography, comparative and archival images, and the author’s own plans and drawings. Lincoln is one of Britain’s greatest cathedrals, its three towers and formidable west front dominating the surrounding plains from its commanding hilltop position. It was largely built over the course of a century, up to the completion of the glorious Angel Quire in 1280.

Architectural historian and broadcaster Jonathan Foyle regards Lincoln Cathedral as an old and valued friend and writes with deep knowledge and passion about the developing character of the building. He shows how innovative and experimental the grand thirteenth-century rebuild was, influenced not only by spectacular contemporary work at Canterbury, but also by changing political and spiritual values, and by the continental travels and experience of individual bishops.

Did we miss any new books that you’re enjoying? Email us at medievalartresearch@gmail.com to let us know about it? Are you an author that’s publishing a new book of interest to medieval art historians and want a plug? Let us be your socket!