A. Rathmann-Lutz, »Images« (Elisabeth A. R. Brown)
Rathmann-Lutz, »Images« Ludwigs des Heiligen im Kontext
dynastischer Konflikte des 14. und 15. Jahrhunderts, Berlin (Akademie
Verlag) 2010, 428 S., 70 s/w und farb. Abb. (Orbis mediaevalis, 12),
ISBN 978-3-05-004660-0, EUR 74,80.
rezensiert von/compte rendu rédigé par
A. R. Brown, New
Anja Rathmann-Lutz’s book is an eminently useful and comprehensive survey of the political, ideological, and artistic images associated with Louis IX of France, who on 11 August 1297 was transformed from earthly monarch to confessor-saint. The king’s post mortem images naturally reflected those cultivated by the king and his counselors during his lifetime. However, the store that existed when Louis died in 1270 was molded, modified, and elaborated for a variety of purposes by the saint’s successors and devotees. For more than a century after his death his name and status as royal progenitor were particularly valued by those involved in the intricacies of dynastic politics occasioned by the expiration in 1328 of the line of direct Capetian kings, who had ruled France since 987. Philip VI of Valois, the successor of the last direct Capetian Charles IV, was fully as Capetian as his predecessor. His father Charles of Valois was just as much the grandson of Saint Louis as was his older brother Philip the Fair, Charles IV’s father. Yet the issue was complicated, chiefly because of the Capetian blood that Philip the Fair’s daughter Isabelle transmitted to her son, who would rule England as Edward III and become his Valois-Capetian cousins’ determined enemy and rival. Genealogical competitiveness, married to the thirst for land and power, would thus lead Louis’s distant progeny to enlist him in promoting their divergent goals. The nurturing and manipulation of Louis’s reputation and fame for these and other ends are the central subjects of Rathmann-Lutz’s sweepingly synthetic work.
After an analytical and historical introduction devoted to previous studies of Louis and his legacy, Rathmann-Lutz treats the image of Louis promoted by the mendicants and the papacy immediately after his death. The next section surveys »the king’s many bodies« and the development of Ludovican imagery during the reigns of Philip the Fair and his sons in France, and also across the channel in England, with particular attention devoted to Edward III and his mother. Charles of Valois’s dedication to his grandfather’s cult is also discussed (p. 65–66)1. Louis’s liturgical image is considered chiefly from the standpoint of the surviving books of Hours that contain the Ludovican office Sanctus voluntatem. Although the extant books all happen to have been owned by females, library inventories and accounts demonstrate that the cult of Louis was in no way monopolized by women, as Rathmann-Lutz makes clear (p. 69, 211–212). The final section of the book considers the effect on Louis’s image of the accession of the Valois and the canonization of Saint Louis’ great-nephew Louis of Toulouse and Marseille, grandson of Louis IX’s brother Charles of Anjou (whose cult came to be closely linked with that of his older relative). In this section Rathmann-Lutz analyzes the role that Louis played in the spiritual lives of Charles V and Charles VI as well as Mahaut of Artois (mother of Blanche of Burgundy) and other princes and princesses of the blood, including Jeanne II of Navarre. The section ends with a discussion of Louis’s importance in the fifteenth century as a new-found Jesse, when the French and English turned to him for support as they engaged in internecine competition to control the realm the confessor-king had once ruled with justice and in peace.
The bibliography that Rathmann-Lutz provides (p. 300–395) is copious. It includes numerous manuscripts (p. 300–306), which are summarily identified. Fuller descriptions (including probable dates) would have been welcome. The curt references to MSS. fr. 2090–92 and lat. 13836 of the Bibliothèque nationale de France as »Vie de Saint Denis« might, for example, lead the unwary to assume that the core texts of these magnificent volumes dedicated to the Life and Acts of Denis are in French rather than Latin. It is not clear how many of the manuscripts Rathmann-Lutz has been able to examine herself, although her comments on the devotional book that likely belonged to Charles IV’s first wife Blanche of Artois and Burgundy (which she describes as a book of Hours, now New York Public Library, Spencer 56) suggests that she has not been able to see them all. Rathmann-Lutz’s list of published works is exhaustive. The only significant omission I noted is Lucy Freeman Sandler’s description of Spencer 56 in the catalogue of manuscripts of the New York Public Library that appeared in 20052. The index (p. 396–405) is full and accurate, although Rathmann-Lutz unfortunately did not include references to the pages where she mentioned the manuscripts listed in her bibliography.
One of the book’s few flaws is the separation of illustrations from text, doubtless a consequence of publishing exigencies, but burdensome to the reader. The pictures are all grouped at the end of the book, in appendix 5 (Abbildungsnachweis, p. 406–428). The nine illustrations in colour vary noticeably in quality; two of them, disconcertingly, are printed horizontally rather than vertically. Sixty-one black-and-white pictures follow (p. 410–428), two of them again presented horizontally. Throughout this section the cryptic captions could usefully have been fleshed out. The source of the picture of Louis IX’s head reliquary (fig. 3, p. 411) is unclear, although it is evidently based on the engraving that Du Cange published in his edition of Joinville’s »Vie de saint Louis«.
These minor shortcomings can be corrected in a future edition of Rathmann-Lutz’s fine book. They do not detract from the great merit of the work she has written, which provides an informative and thoroughly researched guide to the current state of scholarship on Saint Louis and the uses to which he and his images have been put.
1As I recently found, in June 1299 the chapter of the church of All Saints in Mortagne[-au-Perche] (Orne) established in Charles’s honor (and in gratitude for his generosity) two chaplaincies to be attached to the altar in their church that was dedicated to Saint Louis: Paris, Archives nationales, J 460, no. 20.
2 Jonathan J. G. Alexander a. o., The Splendor of the Word. Medieval and Renaissance Illuminated Manuscripts at the New York Public Library, New York 2005 (Exhibition catalogue, 21 October 2005 through 12 February 2006), p. 223–226, no. 46 (Lucy Freeman Sandler, »Hours, Psalter, and Prayerbook of Blanche of Burgundy«); Elisabeth A. R. Brown, Laver de ses pechiés une pecheresse royale. Psalm Collects in an Early Fourteenth-Century Devotional Book, in: Eglal Doss-Quinby, Roberta Krueger (ed.), Cultural Performances in Medieval France. Essays in Honor of Nancy Freeman Regalado, Woodbridge 2007, p. 163–177, may have appeared too late for Rathmann-Lutz to consult.
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Rezension von: Anja Rathmann-Lutz, »Images« Ludwigs des Heiligen im Kontext dynastischer Konflikte des 14. und 15. Jahrhunderts, Berlin (Akademie Verlag) 2010, 428 S., 70 s/w und farb. Abb. (Orbis mediaevalis, 12), ISBN 978-3-05-004660-0, EUR 74,80. In: Francia-Recensio 2011/2 | Mittelalter - Moyen Âge (500-1500) URL: http://www.perspectivia.net/content/publikationen/francia/francia-recensio/2011-2/MA/rathmann_brown Veröffentlicht am: May 20, 2013 Zugriff vom: May 20, 2013