An historical and stylistic analysis of international style in Parisian miniature painting of the fourteenth century. Volume I: Text
Dinneen, Marie de Sales, Sister
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The primary objective of the thesis is the correlation of the stylistic evolution of the miniature with an historical evolution of society during the complex period of the fourteenth century. Apart from Courajod's thesis of an "international courante," scholars have not concentrated on the historical factors underlying the origins of Late Gothic realism: the rise of the French monarchy and the rise of the bourgeoisie. Delisle, Martin, and Durrieu directed their research towards investigating anonymous manuscripts and identifying them with the names of artists listed in royal accounts. Bunim and White dedicated their efforts to the development of perspective in medieval art. Panofsky analyzed the formal and spatial aspects of International Style in his Early Netherlandish Painting, but without elaborating in detail the initial causes of Late Gothic realism. There is need, then, of a study which presents the evolution of Parisian miniature painting within the historical context of the times. In order to show the manner in which the innovations of the fourteenth century miniature painting reflected the changes of feudal society, the treatise is limited to a discussion of the leading miniaturists of the epoch: Master Honore, Jean Pucelle, Master "Boqueteaux," Jacquemart de Hesdin, Master Boucicaut, and the Limbourg brothers. Though Courajod established the beginning of the International Style with the ascent of Charles V to the throne in 1364, a new naturalism had been introduced into the representation of the figure by Master Honore at the close of the thirteenth century. Moreover, his pupil, Jean Pucelle, responsive to the realistic currents of the north and the south, actually laid the foundation for International Style during the first quarter of the fourteenth century. For these reasons, one regards Courajod's dating of the new art merely as the point of no return. With the influx of Flemish artists into royal ateliers during the middle of the century, the future belonged to it. To determine the historical significance of form and space, the most important works of the miniaturists have been studied and are reproduced for the benefit of the reader in a volume accompanying the test. Accorded the privilege of seeing and handling fourteenth century manuscripts in such institutions as The Cloisters, the Pierpont Morgan Library, The New York Public Library, The Walters Art Gallery, and the Houghton Library, one feels qualified in stating that the principal feature lost in the prints is the element of color, an aspect of painting which, for all of its importance, is irrelevant.to the nature of this study. Of primary consideration are the reasons why the Late Gothic artist gave volume to the figure and created the illusion of space, while, at the same time, he reaffirmed the decorative quality of the page. By analyzing the miniature in conjunction with the historical interpretations of such renowned medievalists as Perroy, Pirenne, and Scheville, one arrives at a rationale for the formal dichotomy that characterized the development of an International Style in Parisian miniature painting of the fourteenth century.
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