Friday, June 25, 2021

A Book for Anne of Brittany

From Getty's Iris Blog:

The manuscript was made around 1493 for Anne of Brittany, Queen of France, shortly after her marriage to King Charles VIII in 1491 when she was just fourteen years old. Tales of mourning women who met tragic ends through the betrayal of their partners might not seem like an appropriate wedding gift for a teenage bride, but the images do provide examples of female empowerment through taking control of their own narratives. Writing is a form of authority that was not often associated with women in the ancient or medieval worlds. Here, the foregrounding of female self-expression might be interpreted as a model for the young queen.

The manuscript culminates with a distinctive image of the young Queen Anne seated under a cloth of honor, accompanied by her ladies-in-waiting. Resplendently dressed in a rich red gown highlighted with gold, she wears a crown atop a black headdress. Like all the illuminations in the manuscript, it was painted by an anonymous artist who is called the Master of the Chronique scandaleuse (active from around 1490 to 1510). Hallmarks of the master’s style that can be seen here include figures that are characterized by prominent foreheads, downcast hooded eyes, rosebud lips, and pale skin tones, as well as the use of bold colors and liquid gold in the draperies and architectural details. (Read more.)


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