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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: Expanding the Book: Image and Literacy in Valois France (HIAR11040)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the development of illustrated books in France from the fourteenth to the early sixteenth centuries, exploring ways in which illuminated manuscripts and early printed books were designed to function visually and aesthetically, as well as textually.
Course description Particular attention is given to programmes of illustration for which textual expositions of the pictures have survived, permitting clear assessments of the aims of the artists, their supervisors and their patrons. Several kinds of book are considered, including Books of Hours, new translations into French of works by classical authors, and late medieval romances and collections of poetry. A special focus is how the demands of audiences for new forms of book illustration expanded considerably during this period, challenging artists to devise evermore imaginative decorative schemes and pictorial possibilities. The interplay of sacred and secular themes is one topic that characterises the whole period.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Assess key developments in the pictorial arts of the book in France between c.1380 and c.1520, especially in relation to examples in the Centre for Research Collections in the University of Edinburgh.
  2. Engage with approaches that help to identify, date and contextualize illuminated manuscripts and early printed books during this period.
  3. Interpret examples of illumination of this period by means of visual analysis.
  4. Apply critical attitudes to understanding illuminated manuscripts in their original contexts through observation and through reading of original documentary and literary sources.
  5. Evaluate the significance of the arts of the book in France during this period within the broader history of Western visual culture.
Reading List
J.J.G. Alexander, Medieval Illuminators and Their Methods of Work (New Haven, 1992
F. Avril and N. Reynaud, Les Manuscrits à Peintures en France 1440-1520 (Paris, 1993)*
M.P. Brown, A Guide to Western Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600 (London, 1990)
M.P. Brown, Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms (London, 1994)
B. Buettner, ¿Profane Illuminations, secular Illusions: Manuscripts in Late Medieval Courtly Society¿, Art Bulletin, lxxiv (1991), pp. 75-90
M. Camille, Image of the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art (London, 1992)
C. De Hamel, A History of Illuminated Manuscripts (Oxford, 1986)
M. Meiss, French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry:
I. The Late Fourteenth Century and the Patronage of the Duke (London, 1967);
II. The Boucicaut Master (London, 1968);
III. The Limbourgs and their Contemporaries (London, 1974)*
J. Plummer, The Last Flowering: French Painting in Manuscripts 1420-1530 from American Collections (New York, 1982)*
C. Sterling, La peinture médievale à Paris 1300-1500, I (Paris, 1987); II (Paris, 1990)*
P.M. de Winter, ¿Copistes, éditeurs, et enlumineurs de la fin du XIVe siècle: La production à Paris de manuscrits à miniatures¿, Actes du 100e Congrès National des Sociétés Savantes (Paris, 1978), pp. 173-98
Taburet, E. and Avril, F. Paris 1400 (Paris, 2004) [An important exhibition catalogue]
Morrison, E. and Hedeman, A. Imagining the Past in France: History in Manuscript Painting, 1250-1500 (Los Angeles, 2010)
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills * Visual and critical analysis
* Independent research
* Presentation and communication skills
* Pictorial and textual interrelationships
* Organisation and planning
Additional Class Delivery Information Location will be confirmed in Handbook
KeywordsIllumination,Book of Hours,Charles V,Charles VIII,René of Anjou,Pucelle,Limbourgs,Fouquet,Perréal
Course organiser Course secretaryMrs Anna Johns
Tel: (0131 6)51 5740
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