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    N. Hatot, M. Jacob (dir.), Trésors enluminés de Normandie (Alison Stones)

    Francia-Recensio 2017/2 Mittelalter – Moyen Âge (500–1500)

    Nicolas Hatot, Marie Jacob (dir.), Trésors enluminés de Normandie. Une (re)découverte, Rennes (Presses universitaires de Rennes) 2016, 294 p., nombr. ill. en coul. et n/b, ISBN 978-2-7535-5177-0, EUR 28,00.

    rezensiert von/compte rendu rédigé par

    Alison Stones, Pittsburgh, PA

    This beautiful exhibition catalogue is another in the memorable series devoted to manuscripts in French museums, most of them unknown and undervalued. Already published are the manuscripts in the Louvre, Paris (2011), and in institutions in the regions centred on Lille (2013), Toulouse (2013), and Angers (2013). These exhibitions were all multi-cultural, including Byzantine miniatures (Louvre), non-Western manuscripts (Toulouse), medieval and contemporary metalwork and mixed media works (Lille), coloured illustrations in early printed books (Louvre, Angers, Toulouse).

    Distinctive in this Norman exhibition is the inclusion of 19th-century works of medievalism and the re-evaluation of medieval art from the 17th through the 19th and 20th centuries. The first part of the exhibition and catalogue concentrates on the historiography of collecting, highlighting the individuals and institutions whose contributions to the revival of interest in manuscript illumination were most significant. The first item in the catalogue is Bernard de Montfaucon’s »Monuments de la monarchie françoise«, published between 1729 and 1733, followed by Pierre Choque’s »Commémoration on the death of Queen Anne of Britanny« of 1514 (no. 2). After this are antiquarian facsimiles or copies (nos. 3–9) and an original manuscript (no. 10), the 11th-century »Collectary of Saint-Ouen«, illustrated by Albert Sarrazin in his »Histoire de Rouen d’après les miniatures des manuscrits of 1904« (no. 9). This section concludes with a Book of Hours belonging to Marie-Augustine Laîné dating to 1934 in which the Transfiguration was copied from a Rouen Book of Hours of c. 1500 illustrated by Robert Boyvin (no. 20). Auguste de Châtillon’s portrait of Victor Hugo’s daughter Léopoldine (drowned in the Seine on 4 September 1843) holding a large Book of Hours open to the »Death of the Virgin« page evokes the devotional and commemorative context to which so many of these items belong.

    The next section surveys Norman collectors, beginning with Louis-Émery Bigot (1626–1689) of Rouen, whose collection was dispersed in 1706, and the Dutuit brothers, August and Eugène, who favoured the Musée du Petit Palais in Paris for their bequest of 1902. Their acquisitions are among the highlights of the present exhibition: vol. 2 of the very handsome Breviary of René II de Lorraine (LDUT 42, no. 43), whose distinctive grisaille figures are documented as the work of Georges Trubert in 1493; several fine Books of Hours, including LDUT 35, no. 53, attributed to the orbit of the Bedford Master, and LDUT 37, no. 65, attributed to Noël Bellemare; secular books include the hunting treatise of Louis de Gouvis (LDUT 217, no. 72), illuminated by Robert Boyvin; and one of three copies of »Les faicts et conquestes d’Alexandre le Grand« by Jean Wauquelin (LDUT 456, no. 71), made for Philippe le Bon, Duke of Burgundy (1419–1467), illustrated by the Bruges painter Willem Vrelant and associates; the »Jardin de santé« by Jean de Cuba, printed by Antoine Vérard (LDUT 138 no. 89) and the final work in the catalogue (LDUT 623, no. 93), Xenophon’s, »Quae extant opera«, dedicated to King James I (of England) and VI (of Scotland) with its splendid allegorical frontispiece.

    There follows a survey of the important contribution made by Leopold Delisle (1826–1910) to the study of illuminated manuscripts. Though not a distinguished collector (he did give three manuscripts to his wife Laure, of which the small mid-13th century Bible is included [no. 35]), Delisle exerted enormous influence on manuscript studies through his position as conservator in the Department of Manuscripts at the Bibliothèque nationale and then as its Director. He paved the way for the directions that manuscript studies would take throughout the 20thand into the 21stcentury, bringing to the attention of scholars and amateurs distinguished manuscripts like the Ingeborg Psalter and named artists like Honoré and Pucelle. The Colloque de Cérisy-la-Salle in 2004 (Saint-Lô, 2007), ed. by FrançoiseVielliard and Gilles Désiré dit Gosset, was devoted to Léopold Delisle and is heavily drawn upon in the present catalogue. Altogether the historiography section tells a fascinating story and one in which the Norman contribution is exceptionally rich.

    Most of the 35 illuminated manuscripts, two illuminated printed books and 35 single leaves in the exhibition and catalogue come from private collections in the region. They mainly date to the 15th century and are Norman or Parisian work of a somewhat modest artistic level (nos. 50, 52, 54, 57, 58, 59; no. 64 attributed to Jean Coene IV or his workshop; no. 38 attributed to Jean Serpin). Two manuscripts are attributed to the South (nos. 48, 49); two are associated with the charités, of the church of Notre-Dame de la Couture de Bernay (no. 75), with full-page miniatures of the »Trinity and the Coronation of the Virgin«, much worn but once beautiful, the figures enclosed in elaborate architectural framing devices; and the simpler register of the charité of the church of Sainte-Croix de Bernary (no. 76). Fragments and complete manuscripts from Italy include a magnificent Crucifixion page attributed to Attavante degli Attavanti (no. 82); a miniature of the »Calling of Peter and Andrew« attributed to Matteo di Ser Cambio (no. 77); several small Books of Hours and numerous cuttings of decorative capital letters (nos. 79, 80, 85). No. 63 is a Book of Hours of Utrecht in Geert Grote’s Dutch translation; nos. 56, 60, 62, 66, are of Flemish or Hainaut manufacture; no. 46 is a modest prayer book in German and no. 24 is an impressive Book of Hours of the use of Mainz attributed to Lievan van Lathem. England is represented by no. 36, an Evangeliary from St Albans datable to the 1150s with distinctive foliage and maskhead initials.

    Among the French manuscripts are several little-known items: the Bible of Foucarmont, perhaps from Le Mans under strong English influence (no. 39). One of the artists (author of the splendid inhabited initial reproduced on the cover of the volume) I think could be compared with the psalter of Soissons Use, Le Mans, MM 175, and with part of the »Vocabularium« of Papias from Saint-Amand (Valenciennes, BM 397), suggesting that the abbey relied on itinerant artists or on commissions placed far from home. Another Foucarmont manuscript that would be interesting to compare is the contemporary Cartulary of Foucarmont (Rouen, BM 1224 [Y 013]).

    Two manuscripts of the end of the 13th century seem to reflect Parisianising styles, the Hugh of Pisa, »Liber derivationum« (no. 68), sparsely illustated and perhaps here dated too late; and the remarkable customary dating c. 1291, of the Vicomté de l’Eau de Rouen (no. 23). Once in the Bigot collection, it contains majestic Virgin and Child and Crucifixion images, perhaps used as swearing pages as was the case in the South in the 13th century, as in the Customaries of Limoges, Cahors, Agen and others: Illustrated Customaries are rare in the North so this is an important find, attributed to the orbit of the Parisian-based Méliacin Master, active from the 1280s into the early 14th century. There are also hints, it seems to me, of the work of the Maubeuge Master in the treatment of the Crucified Christ (cf. Paris, Bibl. Mazarine 427).

    Two copies of the »Grand Coutumier de Normandie« are included (no. 69), for which I find comparison with the Norman Apocalypse group and the Pontificals of Guillaume de Thiéville, Bishop of Coutances, unconvincing: Parisian painting from the Montbaston shop with its linear approach to facial features and its un-modelled drapery of the seems to me more apt. The Apocalypses and the de Thiéville books work better as comparisons for the other »Grand Coutumier« included here (LDUT 95, no. 70), as suggested by Avril (1981, p. 303–305). To the Dutuit »Grand Coutumier« were added two monumental full-page miniatures of Tables of Affinity and Consanguinity, attributed by Avril to the Parisian Maître du Jean de Mandeville de Charles V (BnF NAF 4515–4516), c. 1350–1360; these are among the highlights of the exhibition.

    Overall, this rediscovery of Norman illumination is impressive and the catalogue makes absorbing reading. It needs no parentheses around the word »(re)découverte«.

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    PSJ Metadata
    Alison Stones
    Trésors enluminés de Normandie
    CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0
    Hohes Mittelalter (1050-1350), Spätes Mittelalter (1350-1500), Frühe Neuzeit (1500-1789)
    Frankreich und Monaco
    Normandie (4042617-8), Buch (1064672450), Buchmalerei (4008650-1)
    PDF document hatot_stones.doc.pdf — PDF document, 347 KB
    N. Hatot, M. Jacob (dir.), Trésors enluminés de Normandie (Alison Stones)
    URL: http://www.perspectivia.net/publikationen/francia/francia-recensio/2017-2/ma/hatot_stones
    Veröffentlicht am: 13.06.2017 15:18
    Zugriff vom: 20.08.2017 00:32
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