Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorStokstad, Marilyn
dc.contributor.advisorGoddard, Stephen
dc.contributor.authorBreckenridge, Martha Lynn Fowler
dc.date.accessioned2009-05-08T22:29:48Z
dc.date.available2009-05-08T22:29:48Z
dc.date.issued2008-01-01
dc.date.submitted2008
dc.identifier.otherhttp://dissertations.umi.com/ku:10123
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1808/4537
dc.description.abstractChristine de Pizan, the first professional author in Western Europe, wrote the Book of the Epistle of Othea to Hector in 1399. Of Italian origins, Christine had moved with her family to the Valois court of Charles V in approximately 1368. The French king had invited her father, a professor at the University of Bologna, to Paris as his personal physician and court astrologer. Surrounded by the nascent humanism encouraged by the French monarch, Christine gained the rudiments of a classical education, including the notarial script with which she would early support herself and her family upon the deaths of her husband and father. Having begun by writing lyric poetry for her personal use, the author created the Epistle of Othea mixing poetry and prose, using the format of earlier Latin works. Scholars generally concur that Christine participated in the facture of her numerous manuscripts. Although the extent and nature of her participation remain unclear, this paper assumes that she played some role in directing the contents and style of the illustrations with which her artists embellished the work. Comparisons among eight manuscript copies and one printed edition of the Epistle of Othea, the most popular of Christine's literary creations, constitute the basis of the present study. A collection of 100 vignettes loosely related to the Trojans (from whom the French believed they were descended), the Epistle of Othea contains an illustration accompanying each of its allegorical stories. Although its purported subject falls in the "miroir des princes" genre, the work's disjunctive nature leads to the conclusion that its author's actual motivations in writing it lay elsewhere. Specifically, this paper contends that Christine created her first serious prose work as a vehicle to establish herself within the royal and aristocratic community as an author to be respected, a voice to be heard. She designed it as a demonstration of the proper form of allegorical writing, in which the author clearly guides readers' interpretations. Furthermore, she herein embarked upon a lifelong battle against misogyny. Finally, Christine began with this work her efforts to rehabilitate her astrologer/father's tarnished reputation. Comparison of the verbal and visual imagery in the earliest three copies, created under the author's control between 1399 and ca 1410, discloses the close association between text and image. No textual comparisons among the in later copies were included, but later illuminations diverge increasingly from the originals. The changes result both from new media (grisaille, watercolor and woodcut print) and from the social milieux of the owners. That is, the art work in the Bodmer mixed-grisaille copy for Antoine, Great Bastard of Burgundy, demonstrates elements suggesting a highly enlightened court, while increased violence and sensationalistic qualities characterize the watercolor copy at Lille, created for bourgeois buyers. The reductive nature of the woodcut images, like that of the watercolors, relates to their medium. The most significant changes occur in the Lille watercolor on paper, whose artists sought innovation to please their clientele, according to the Lille M�_��diath�_��que Jean-L�_��vy in whose collection it is found. Similarities among the three later generations suggest possible ancestry in the ca 1400-50 Beauvais copy for the Bodmer and Lille manuscripts (both of approximately 1460) and the Paris incunable of 1499 created by Philippe Pigouchet. Although no clearcut family relationships can be identified at this time, it appears that the latter three copies and the Beauvais manuscript may all descend from an earlier copy, now lost.
dc.format.extent447 pages
dc.language.isoEN
dc.publisherUniversity of Kansas
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright and unless otherwise specified the copyright of this thesis/dissertation is held by the author.
dc.subjectArt history
dc.subjectMedieval literature
dc.titleChristine de Pizan's Livre d'Epitre d'Othea a Hector at the Intersection of Image and Text
dc.typeDissertation
dc.contributor.cmtememberCornelison, Sally
dc.contributor.cmtememberEldredge, Charles
dc.contributor.cmtememberJenkins, Ernest
dc.thesis.degreeDisciplineHistory of Art
dc.thesis.degreeLevelPh.D.
kusw.oastatusna
kusw.oapolicyThis item does not meet KU Open Access policy criteria.
dc.rights.accessrightsopenAccess


Files in this item

Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record