The Commemoration of Jeanne d’Evreux’s Coronation in the Ordo ad Consecrandum at the University of Illinois
Hedeman, Anne D.
Essays in Medieval Studies, vol. 7 (1990)
In the Middle Ages the French royal coronation was an important ritual which transformed the royal person in significant ways. The drama and importance of this public ceremony were clearly expressed in treatises about the coronation, and the ceremony itself was commemorated in numerous copies of the ordines, most frequently in pontificals. Despite the importance of visual symbols to the French ceremony, detailed pictorial representations of the coronation are rare, perhaps because independent coronation books were made after the ceremony for a small, private audience. Only three or four illustrated French coronation books survive from before 1400. One of the earliest of these is a French manuscript from the early fourteenth century in the Rare Book and Special Collections Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The interaction of pictures and text in this ordo restructures history in order to shape a particular memory for the manuscript’s patron.